Full flavours from home
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