If you hang around this blog much, you might notice there is a lot of food here. I cook it. I bake it. I eat it. I enjoy it. I share it.
I also WATCH it. My hubby and I love to watch those foodie shows. Our pet favourites are Masterchef New Zealand, Masterchef US, Hell’s Kitchen and a couple of local Hong Kong shows I don’t know the english names for. They are funny, and often over dramatised, but if you actually push the personalities and dramas aside you can often get down to some pretty decent and interesting food commentary. Although I admit to laughing my head off at shows like Hell’s Kitchen … pure entertainment.
New Zealand Masterchef I enjoy particularly because of the interesting challenges and the judges. They tend to be more down to earth (if any TV celebrity can be) than any of the other shows. At some point my hubby and I are very keen to try Simon Gault’s restaurant Euro in Auckland but timing hasn’t allowed us that indulgence when we’ve been back there visiting yet.
Aaaaaanyways. On one of my trips to New Zealand last year I got the chance to visit a food and wine show. Who should I happen across but Ray McVinnie – one of the Masterchef New Zealand judges and a food critic. Anyone who knows me well will know I stay in the shadows when it comes to celebrities. Unfortunately I have a mother who will brazenly walk up to them and introduce herself and ultimately get me dragged over (especially when people find out where I live) – in this case anyways. Ray couldn’t believe I was a kiwi living in Hong Kong and had to find out for himself. He was actually a really nice guy and we fired up a conversation about how the Masterchef contestants don’t know what REAL asian food is. I suggested he needed to bring them to Hong Kong to show them what they are missing out on to which he commented he wished he could. He too adores the food mecca that I happen to be fortunate enough to live in.
A few minutes later we rounded a corner and came face to face with Simon Gault.
I did check with him whether it was as hard as everyone said it was to get into his restaurant for a booking and he said “no … just come on down.”
I’ll be taking him up on that offer next time I am in Auckland and can procure some babysitting services.
So I’d met two of the three judges … and half an hour later I made it a perfect 3 out of 3 when I got to see Josh Emmett whisk up a New Zealand lamb dish. His cooking skills were amazing to watch “in the flesh”. It is one thing to see a professional chef create something on tv and an entirely different experience to see them do so right in front of you. I made sure to get his recipe so I can make it for Titus … of course he made it look a lot easier than I am sure it is.
The queue was so long for Josh I didn’t get a picture as he just didn’t have the time for it. I am so pleased I got the opportunity to meet these chefs, and whilst they are TV celebrities to most, I appreciated the fact they actually KNOW their stuff. I could happily sit down with Ray McVinnie over a meal and talk about Hong Kong styles and cuisines regardless of him being on a show or not.