Full flavours from home

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Janita Singh

FOOD is in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to fam­ily for former MasterChef con­tes­tant Jimmy Wong.

The Sin­ga­porean-born cook and his sis­ter Theresa Vis­intin were the first sib­lings to com­pete in the real­ity cook­ing show.

“I told Theresa (who lives in Canada) I had an in­ter­view for the show and asked her to ap­ply,” he says.

“Food re­united us af­ter liv­ing apart in dif­fer­ent parts of the world for so long,” Wong says.

The el­dest of four chil­dren, Wong cred­its his late fa­ther for fos­ter­ing his love of food.

“I used to call Dad the ‘food pusher’ (no one left the ta­ble hun­gry),” he says.

“Food was part of our lives as Mum and Dad ran a Chi­nese res­tau­rant in the north­ern beaches of Syd­ney.”

A love of travel also helped Wong ex­plore dif­fer­ent cuisines.

“It’s amaz­ing that com­bin­ing a few in­gre­di­ents can in­stantly trans­port you to so many places around the world,” he says.

Wong, who plans to open a res­tau­rant in Tas­ma­nia along the Huon River, quickly be­came a MasterChef 2016 favourite for his mod­ern spin on Asian-Aussie food.

He loves Ja­panese cui­sine and who can for­get his MasterChef cre­ation – the “Walk in my Ja­panese gar­den”, a tuna tzatziki dish with nine el­e­ments – a high­light of the show.

His great plat­ing skills, which he at­tributes to his in­te­rior de­sign back­ground, also drew at­ten­tion.

“I eat with my eyes and present food in a visu­ally ap­peal­ing way ... when it comes to plat­ing think tex­tures (crunchy, smooth, liq­uid and soft).”

Since leav­ing the show, Wong has gained work ex­pe­ri­ence at restau­rants in­clud­ing Ice­bergs and Quay.

He says there is no short­cut to be­ing a great cook – you have to work hard and cook with pas­sion. For more in­for­ma­tion: jim­my­wongeats.com

MasterChef 2016 con­tes­tant Jimmy Wong loves to cook with fresh sim­ple in­gre­di­ents. Pic­ture: Carly Earl

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