‘I had to save Cur­tis Stone’s life’

Herald Sun - Switched On - - COVER STORY -

Cur­tis Stone, the bright­est star on SBS’s new Food Net­work, says his favourite cook­ing show was his first, Surf­ing the Menu. “It was such a beau­ti­ful show to make, and to get to travel, you meet food pro­duc­ers so you’re con­stantly learn­ing, jump­ing on and off of boats and out of planes — there’s not much to dis­like,” says the LA-based celebrity chef.

So it’s a curious co­in­ci­dence that both for­mer hosts of the ABC show are launch­ing re­al­ity cook­ing com­pe­ti­tions this week: Ben O’Donoghue with Aussie Bar­be­cue He­roes, and Stone with Kitchen In­ferno on Satur­day night.

“We’re still great mates,” Stone says. “I hadn’t re­alised we were go­ing to be com­pet­ing, I like a bit (of com­pe­ti­tion). As long as it’s not with a surf­board un­derneath me, I’m happy!”

O’Donoghue laughs the last time he went surf­ing with Stone “I had to save his life” and tow him in af­ter he got stuck in a rip. “I al­ways said he made me look bad on land but really good on wa­ter!”

Surf­ing the Menu will re­screen on the Food Net­work, along with Stone’s new se­ries Beach Eats USA in Jan­uary. The lo­cal Food Net­work takes its cue from the Amer­i­can version that Stone is one of the stars of. Aimed at food­ies, he says it’s not just about high end so­phis­ti­cated cui­sine.

“There are what we call ‘dump and stir’ cook­ing shows, where you watch some­body cook in the stu­dio, all the way through to big glossy high-stakes com­pe­ti­tion food re­al­ity,” he ex­plains. “We meet a lot of peo­ple over here who say ‘Oh my god, I’ve got that chan­nel on all day long … I want to just have a bit of back­ground de­li­cious­ness go­ing on’.”

KITCHEN IN­FERNO, FOOD NET­WORK, SATUR­DAY, 6.30PM

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