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Iron Chef Australia – Chris Badenoch V Neil Perry


In programming gold Chris Badenoch, from Masterchef Australia Series One will appear as a competitor on Channel Seven’s Iron Chef.

I am sure the production company and SEVEN will be canny enough to put him up against Neil Perry, Iron Chef Australia/Asia after the snaffu that Neil got himself earlier this year about the Masterchef contestants. The uber-chef  said (see previous blog post here) that the Masterchef contestants would struggle to survive in a real kitchen, and that it was a “game show”.  Neil later said he had been misquoted.

It will be interesting to see if Chris will be able to produce four dishes in an hour as his food philosophy is very meaty, slow cooking. But he will have his partner in life and of his new restaurant, Julie Jenkins, to be his sous chef. I will just be watching the show for that dynamic.

The Herald Sun states:

Badenoch and Jenkins are now business, as well as romantic, partners. Josie Bones will be a beer bar with matching food.

“All the doubters out there have been proven wrong,” Badenoch says.

“We’re doing the restaurant together and it will be a combination of our ideas.”

Badenoch says he relished the chance to return to television.

“It (Iron Chef) was the opportunity to push myself,” Badenoch says.

“It’s one thing cooking against other amateurs (on MasterChef). Going up against guys of this calibre (Perry/Grossi/Brahimi) is a rare opportunity.”

Victoria’s Sacha Meier, Head Chef and manager of Lorne’s Ba Ba Lu Restaurant and Bar, will also be one of the challengers onIron Chef.

Other challengers are Sydney’s Dan Hong (Head Chef, Lotus Bar and Bistro), Adelaide’s Judyta Slupnick (Head Chef and owner of Phore Seasons), as well as Perth’s Matt Stone (Head Chef, Greenhouse Restaurant) and Herb Faust (Head Chef, Scotch College).

Iron Chef will screen on Channel 7 in mid-October.

October 5, 2010   21 Comments

Neil Perry Talks About Why He Is Doing Iron Chef

Neil Perry talks to TV WEEK about his role on Iron Chef and his comments on this season of Masterchef.

The article says:

You’ve Turned down TV gigs in the past – what drew you to Iron Chef?

I’ve always watched the Japanese [version] and I have a lot of respect for what the guys do, so I thought it was a real honour to be asked to be an Iron Chef. I just didn’t realise how hard it was going to be!

How worried are you that you’ll be beaten by the challengers?

Oh, tremendously! Being an Iron Chef means I’ve got absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose.

Is it tougher than Masterchef?

I don’t know. It’s completely different, as it’s professional against professional, whereas Masterchef is about amateurs. The ferocity of [the challenge] – four world-class dishes in an hour – is really pressurised and I think the level of cooking that people [will] see might be a little more extraordinary than on Masterchef.

While you said your quotes were taken out of context, were the Masterchef producers angry that you described their contestants as “nobodies”?

I spoke to the judges and the producers and they all know exactly what I said. It upset me a little bit because [the article] missed the point, which I still stand by – that all these contestants coming off the show are terrific, but they really need to utilise that 15 minutes of fame and really work hard. I am 53 and I ‘m still working really hard to be relevant in this business.

Do you think people like Julie Goodwin will stick around?

Julie Goodwin will have her moment in the sun, but I don’t know if it will continue – I hope it does. With reality TV, there are always new contestants ready to take your spot, [but] if you own restaurants and work really hard at it, you have more longevity.

Why weren’t you at the Masterchef grand final?

I was invited, but Sundays are off limits as it’s the only time I get with my family. I only get about 40 days a year to spend with them, so I just couldn’t give that day up.

Do you feel bad for spending so much time away from your kids?

Yeah, you’re really torn. It can be really difficult, because I often don’t see my kids in the morning, as they’re not up when I leave, and then they’re in bed when I get home. I miss a lot.

What kind of dad are you?

Too relaxed! My wife calls me “the yes man”. My girls wrap me around their little fingers and pretty much get whatever they want.

Does it put a strain on your marriage?

No, we just work it out. We’ve had to realise that this is the life we’ve chosen. We do try and take time out together for date nights, plus we love having Sunday lunch with the girls. Josephine’s boyfriend, Matt, comes along now, so it’s an extended family.

Are you cool with her dating?

Yeah, I’ve learnt to cope! She’s happy and he’s a good kid. There are plenty of ratbags out there, and she’s not out gettign drunk.

Will you retire in the near future?

I think I’d honestly still love to be working in restaurants when I’m 80! It’s a lifestyle.

You’re a keen Twitter user – where do you find the time to tweet?

Just in the office doing all my work before I hit the kitchen! When the Masterchef drama happened, people were just so vehement and vile towards me on Twitter.

How did that make you feel?

You can’t take it personally, but, yeah, it does hurt. In my twenties, I’d probably have tried to punch them out, but at 53, you just go, “Wow, these people really have nothing else going [on] in their lives.

Gosh I hope that last comment wasn’t aimed at me… but I think he makes a good point about there will always be more reality TV stars to take someones place.

October 4, 2010   1 Comment

Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris Release Another Cookbook – Your Place or Mine

With impeccable timing Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris have released another cookbook called Your Place Or Mine. With them on our TV screens once a week, and soon to be twice a week, with the very popular Junior Masterchef the book is sure to race off the shelves.

Also the title of the book is very clever as this pair are sex symbols to the over 30 female demographic.

Above is a promo for the book film in George’s Hellenic Republic restaurant in Melbourne.

September 27, 2010   7 Comments

Is Marion From Masterchef Australia Being Too Picky?

J.Mo and Elle in the Sunday Telegraph question in their column whether Masterchef Australia’s It girl Marion Grasby is being to picky post her reality show appearance.

They write:

When it comes to reality TV stars, it’s often best to strike while the iron – or in Marion Grasby’s case the frying pan – is still hot.

We’re hoping the MasterChef 2010 finalist isn’t being too picky when it comes to TV opportunities.

“There have been some TV offers thrown around,  but I’m just waiting for the right project,” she said at the Network Ten 2011 program launch this week.

Grasby has been working on her own range of Thai inspired food products since leaving the show and flew to Bangkok on Friday to finalise details. She is also in the process of finishing a cookbook.

I am sure Marion is savvy enough to ensure she does not diminish her own brand by picking stuff that is not quite right for her.

September 26, 2010   7 Comments

Masterchef Winner Adam Liaw Opening Restaurant In Sydney

Adam Liaw’s plans to open a restaurant  are well on the way. He has teamed with ex-tetsuya’s alumni Matthew Crabbe who is currently working in Tokyo. Also they have a business partner Nathan Smith.

Adam has said the location is highly likely to be in Sydney and the concept is going to be a isakaya bar. He is also currently working on his cookbook which will be released in April next year.

The SMH reports:

“It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time,” Liaw says over the phone from Tokyo, where he is packing up his apartment ahead of a permanent move to Australia.

“We had restaurant plans long before MasterChef. We had the business plans all ready but obviously these kinds of things take a long time to make happen.

“Over the last few months I’ve been designing the menus. We’re pretty clear on the concept and budgets but the launch is still a little time away.”

Liaw’s high concept, Japanese-inspired dishes stood him apart from MasterChef‘s series two field, as well as series one winner and proud home cook Julie Goodwin.

His signature Seven Lucky Gods dish in the yakitori style, served up in a top seven challenge that was screened in July, is a good indication of what diners can expect.

Liaw describes the two months since MasterChef wrapped as ”crazy” and “exhausting.”

Interesting to note in the same article Masterchef Australia runner Callum Hann has resisted a book deal because he did not feel ready. I think this is a canny move and will set him up for longer term career success.

He said:
“Financially it would be a good decision to do a book now but I don’t really want to do one at this particular time. To get one out for next year, you’re looking at a November deadline and that’s very tight.

“I also don’t want to rush it. I think I’ll be in a much better position [to write one] once I’ve spent more time in a kitchen. Adam and Marion (Grasby – another MasterChef finalist once favoured for the title) are older and more experienced than me and have much more interesting stories in terms of their food backgrounds.”

Hann, who lists an offer to spruik insurance as his strangest to date, is keenly aware of the pressure and scrutiny at The Press Club, which was given two chef’s hats at this year’s Good Food Guide Awards.

“These guys in the restaurant have gone through the [training] process from the beginning, whereas I’ve gone the easy route because I went on a TV show. I’m conscious of that, of course, but I’m also really excited.”

I will definitely be going to try out Adam’s restaurant and I am sure it will be a roaring success.

September 18, 2010   3 Comments