“Food for Thought”

On March 14th I’ll be at Foodbank Victoria cooking for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. It should be a great event and all proceeds go to assisting the amazing work that Foodbank does.

Every year, Foodbank helps distribute 4 million kilograms of food to those in need around Victoria. People affected by bushfires and floods; people living below the poverty line; victims of domestic abuse and many others. The work they do is so important to our society and I’m really glad to be helping out.

If you want a Melbourne Food & Wine Festival event with a difference, please do come along. I’ll be guiding you through some of my favourite dishes using ingredients from Foodbank’s warehouse. We’ll also have the chance to talk a little bit about food security in Australia, which is an issue that’s very important to me.

For more information or to book tickets, head to http://www.foodbankvictoria.org.au.

Hope to see you there!

Happy Australia Day!

Happy Australia Day everyone!

As an Asian Australian it makes me incredibly proud this year to be both Sydney’s Chinese New Year Ambassador was well as an Australia Day Ambassador at the same time. As a country, Australia has such a rich shared history with Asian culture, especially in terms of food.

It’s wonderful to see so many Asian restaurants in Australia and I am on record many times saying that in terms of its depth, diversity, availability of ingredients and authenticity, Australia is the best place in the world to eat Asian food. Many of Australia’s best chefs such as Neil Perry, Peter Gilmore, Mark Best and Tetsuya have undeniable Asian influences in the way they approach (and define) modern Australian cuisine.

I’ll be spending my Australia Day in Adelaide with my family – having a BBQ, watching the cricket and tennis and having a few nice cold beers. I hope you all have a cracking day!

These photos are from an initiative called ‘Australia – Make Your Mark’. As an Australia Day Ambassador, I was asked to write an inscription on one of these giant letters about what it meant to me to be Australian. Mine read:

“Australia isn’t just a place. We are also a community. More than just being here, we need to be involved in our country. Make your mark!”

 

 

MasterChef Top 24 Welcome Letter

Those of you that watched MasterChef last night would have seen a letter I wrote to the new contestants welcoming them to the MasterChef house. I had a few people ask me what the letter said in full, so I thought I’d reproduce it in full here.

“Dear Contestants:

Welcome to MasterChef!

This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you to get ready for the ride of your life, but there is really nothing that you can do to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. You are about to embark on what will be one of the most wonderful experiences you will ever have. Over the next few months you will do things you never thought you could, see things you never thought you would and learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible, but best of all you will share those experiences with the people around you who will become close friends for life.

There will inevitably be difficult times, when you doubt yourself and your decisions, but be strong and stay faithful to the parts of yourself that have brought you to where you are standing right now. Be yourself, do your best and cook what you love. Rush headlong into the challenges you will face with joy, poise and passion, and I’ll see you on the other side of the whirlwind.

Best of luck,

Adam”

Shoot the Chef – Behind The Scenes

Here are some behind the scenes shots from my photo shoot with the brilliant Steve Greenaway from CI Studios for the Sydney Morning Herald/Sydney International Food Festival competition. It was honestly the most fun photo shoot I’ve done, and not just because I got to wear armour and play with swords.

Congratulations to all the entrants, finalists (including us – Yay!) and winners!

I’m really more of a ‘jeans and t-shirt’ kind of guy.

Since winning Masterchef, I have people that dress me. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I feel ridiculous.

This was seriously razor sharp. Wreaths and condolences can be sent directly to the wake.

The ‘dirt’ was actually a mixture of glycerin and cinnamon. I smelled like a doughnut.

But of course, at the end of all of that, the results speak for themselves. Many thanks and congratulations to Steve and the team for a great shoot with great results!

South Australian Cheese Boards

One of the best things about winning Masterchef is that I get invited to a lot of stuff now. Everything from primary school show and tell (seriously) and dinner parties held by complete strangers (seriously) to World Expos in China (seriously) and secret billionaire islands in the Caribbean (not seriously).

But by far the best thing I’ve been invited to so far was the Adelaide Crows Chairman’s Luncheon last Saturday before the Crows vs St Kilda game. This is a team I’ve supported since I was a kid, and last weekend I got to raise the 19th man flag on the ground, stand in the Guard of Honour and sit at the luncheon with His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, Governor of South Australia, Crows Chairman Rob Chapman, Crows CEO Steven Trigg and other dignitaries (oh, and Callum too).

To say thank you for the invitation, I had a woodworker in the Adelaide Hills make me these awesome cheese boards in the shape of South Australia. They were made from River Red Gum and turned out brilliantly, so I was very proud to present them to the Chairman and His Excellency the Governor at the luncheon.

Actual size.

Together with the boards were some of my favourite South Australian cheeses from cheesemakers such as:

All brilliant artisan cheesemakers that make some of the best cheeses in Australia. Many thanks to Kris Lloyd and Sue Rogers from Cheesefest for pulling these cheeses together at such short notice!

I’m getting a few more boards made so hopefully I will be eating some great SA cheeses off one of these very soon!

Thank You!

Things are all in a bit of a spin at the moment as Callum and I are being shunted from pillar to post for a bunch of media interviews following Sunday’s result, but I wanted to get back onto this blog to say a genuine and heartfelt thanks to all of the people who have supported me, the other contestants and the show for the last few months.

In the limited time we had access to the real world outside the Masterchef kitchen, the support from everyone surrounding the show and also on facebook, forums, twitter and this blog was absolutely wonderful. Whenever the producers would tell us  how many people were watching the show, we would be so proud – not because of the fame, but because we felt that if people at home were appreciating our food every night then maybe the stress, tears and long hours were all worthwhile.

It has been an amazing experience and a pleasure cooking on everyone’s TVs night after night, and I really look forward to continuing to do so, whether it be in cookbooks, on TV screen or hopefully even in my own restaurant.

If you do want to stay in touch with me and what I’m doing (and trust me, not even I know what that’s going to be over the next few months), the easiest way is probably to subscribe to this blog (adamliaw.com) via this link.  Alternatively you can follow me on twitter (@adamliaw) or even just drop in at my fan site on facebook.

It’s going to be a crazy ride from here on, but I’m glad you’re all with me!

With absolute gratitude,
Adam

No More Multitasking

I’m really trying not to multitask anymore.  How efficient can it really be to try and to do 2, 3 or 10 things at once – and even if it’s efficient is that really what’s important?  Surely it’s better to do something to the best of your ability, rather than just doing it efficiently.

Even when washing the dishes or cleaning the house I used to turn on the TV or put on some music, but after trying it without those distractions there’s something to be said for being alone with your thoughts.  That’s when my best ideas come anyway.

Some things I’m going to try:

  • One task at a time, no matter how small or how menial.  Any spare brainpower can just go into “thinking”.
  • Removal of “planned distractions” when performing simple tasks – listening to music, background TV etc.
  • Read one book at a time – start to finish – rather than starting 5, getting distracted and never finishing any of them.
  • One window and one tab for browsers – Not sure if this is going to be possible.  There’s 3 tabs open right now while I type this.
  • Closing desktop windows after I’m finished.  Of course, this anticipates actually finishing something before moving onto the next task.