Johannesburg - Adam Liaw, author and a winner of MasterChef Australia, makes a welcome return to Joburg next month as one of the star attractions at this year’s Good Food and Wine Show.
Adam, who first cooked at last year’s Good Food event, has plenty up his sleeve for his visit this year.
Since his last trip, he has travelled to Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the US where, he says: “I’ve been eating, cooking and writing about food.”
Visitors to the show are in for a treat:
“I love Asian food and I really want to show people how easy it is to make at home,” he said. “Asian cuisines are generally cuisines of the people, not of chefs. For that reason it’s perfectly suited for home cooking, so it’s strange that a lot of people prefer to go out to eat Asian food. I love showing people really simple dishes that make them think: ‘I’m going to try that.’”
Asked about food trends, Adam replied: “Central and South American food is quite popular in Australia these days, but I think the next big thing is ‘short menu’ Chinese food, which explores the region and its specialties and strongly focuses on the quality of the ingredients.”
In the past, Adam said, Chinese restaurants had more than 100 dishes on their menu. He believes that over the next few years a lot of the newer Chinese restaurants will focus on between 10 and 15 dishes and do them really well.
Adam’s planning to launch his own simple Japanese eatery in Sydney next year.
“I have been so busy with other things. I write a column for The Wall Street Journal’s Scene Asia, and also for Australian magazines and newspapers.
“I’m also working on a second book and for the past few months I’ve been filming my first TV show, a food and travel programme called Destination Flavour, which goes to air in Australia in August.”
Since winning the MasterChef contest, Adam’s life has changed dramatically. “Things are really crazy these days. Before MasterChef I used to go into an office week after week. These days I’m in a different city or a different country every week. It’s a lot of fun, but very hard work. I got married a few months ago and we haven’t even found time for a honeymoon yet.”
When asked if he had any advice for SA’s MasterChef winner, Deena Naidoo, he said: “Winning MasterChef gives you a great opportunity to do the things you’ve always wanted to do, but you still have to work very hard to get there.
“Stay focused, stay humble, work hard and don’t get sidetracked from achieving the things you set out to achieve.
“My trip to Joburg last year has been one of the real highlights of everything I’ve done since winning MasterChef.”
* The Good Food and Wine show takes place at the Coca-Cola Dome from September 21 to 24. Other international chefs featured are Heston Blumenthal, Anjum Anand, Caribbean cook Levi Roots and CBeebies’s Katy Ashworth. - Saturday Star