Most people will know him as Mr. nice guy on MasterChef. Others may know him for his comport food and some will get the chance to met him as he inspires us on his daily food adventures. Over the past six years of being glued to the TV watching MasterChef, cooking his recipes and following him on social media, I finally got the chance to meet the man himself, Gary Mehigan!
What an unbelievable experience! The Essential Ingredients store, Rozelle hosted the event. It was the release of his new cookbook “Favourites” and he was demonstrating some of the easier recipes for us to see and taste. We sat down in our VIP seats and giggled like school girls as Gary walked through the door.
Gary is just like what you see on MasterChef. Charming, funny, honest and whose “obsession with food is bordering on the unhealthy”- as he describes it! He talked about his recent travels to Vietnam and Laos and reinforces that he travels solely for food. “I don’t travel to Italy to go see The Colosseum. If I happen to see it, that’s great however I am more interested in eating at that new restaurant hidden around the corner that no one knows about”.
He starts with a simple bruschetta with pea and broad bean paste topped with buffalo mozzarella. A great combination that leaves us wanting more!
Inspired by his trip to Vietnam, Gary starts cooking the duck for his rice paper rolls. He tells us that when cooking duck its important that you render all the fat. As he makes each roll mentioning that he “always seems to over fill them”, he struggles with keeping everything in the last one and quickly pops it into his mouth! I don’t blame him. They are light, healthy and perfect with his peanut dipping sauce.
“I can’t but help like the feeling of being full” he mentions as we tuck into canapés of whole wheat toast with smashed avocado, haloumi and olives. They are incredibly fresh and delicious. We also enjoyed mini chicken skewers but the highlight was the chocolate melting moments filled with dulce de leche. I will be making them soon!
At last the time had come to meet Gary! He signs my cookbook and wraps his arm around me as we smile for the camera. What a great day for a foodie!