It could be said Maeve O’Meara’s got the best gig in TV.
Each day life revolves around tasting, testing and celebrating food. She’s an award-winning author, food journalist and TV producer, adding her new gig, hosting SBS’ The Chefs’ Line to her plate.
And before you all groan, “food TV fatigue” O’Meara thinks there’s room for viewers to tuck into this one – celebrating a different cuisine each week, as home cooks battle professional chefs.
Between shooting Food Safari, writing and running your food adventure company Gourmet Safaris you’ve got a lot on your plate, why did you decide to do The Chefs’ Line? Well, it’s the food, of course! And I like that it’s very multicultural at its heart. I don’t like those cooking shows that are all about hard-line competition rather than the food, so when SBS first asked me to do the show I said, ‘No one’s going to be really mean to each other, are they?’ Because in my world food is about joy and generosity.
So what do you think of shows like MasterChef and MKR? I don’t watch them. I’m often cooking dinner when those shows are on or I’m eating in my kitchen with my family, so I don’t sit down and watch food TV at night. But I think it’s fantastic that food has come front and centre in Australia. People love it and there’s a whole generation that now talks about “plating up”.
If you went on the show as a contestant what cuisine would you cook? Oh, I don’t know – I cook something different every night. I call myself a refugee from the meat and three veg world. I’ve You’ve been working in food for two decades, what’s The Chefs’ Line taught you? I have learnt new respect for the role a good head chef plays because they have to wear so many hats and mentor their staff. I can tell in a heartbeat after entering a kitchen whether it’s a happy, harmonious place.
Are you Australia’s answer to Nigella Lawson? Oh heavens no! I just feel really fortunate that no two days of my life are the same and every day is spent with people who are creative, warm and generous who feed me delicious things. I’m in a very happy world and I never take it for granted.
SEE THE CHEFS’ LINE PREMIERES SBS, MONDAY, WEEKDAYS 6PM
“I think it’s fantastic that food has come front and centre in Australia. People love it”
MAEVE ON THE FOOD SCENE