‘I had to save Curtis Stone’s life’
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