COVER STORY

De­li­cious. on Sun­day ex­cep­tional team of ex­perts to in­spire you ev­ery week, writes AMY HAR­RIS From now on, din­ner is sorted. has hand­picked an

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Stellar Contents -

Meet our team of food ex­perts.

Aflock of food lu­mi­nar­ies is gath­er­ing at a photo stu­dio on a win­ter’s morn­ing. Chefs Matt Moran and Shan­non Ben­nett are first to ar­rive and fall into an­i­mated con­ver­sa­tion. They’re fol­lowed by feisty chef Colin Fass­nidge, who roars in on a mo­tor­bike, and breezy TV per­son­al­ity Hay­den Quinn, who Snapchats while he waits. When jovial Masterchef Aus­tralia host Matt Pre­ston ma­te­ri­alises, the mood in the room be­comes even live­lier. Italian au­thor­ity Sil­via Col­loca is the fi­nal mem­ber of the dis­tin­guished group to ar­rive, but only be­cause she did the school run.

At de­li­cious. on Sun­day we be­lieve you can never have too many cooks (or chefs) in the kitchen. That’s the ra­tionale be­hind as­sem­bling an all-star culi­nary team for our new sec­tion in Stel­lar. Ev­ery Sun­day, our food fra­ter­nity, among the big­gest names in the in­dus­try and long­time con­trib­u­tors to de­li­cious., will be shar­ing their take on cook­ing at home. These are the dishes they pre­pare for their families and friends: sim­ple yet sen­sual, im­pres­sive yet ef­fort­less, cost-ef­fec­tive yet richly flavoured. The goal is to in­spire with col­lectible, ac­ces­si­ble meal plans for the work­ing week. “Peo­ple may not re­alise this but when chefs cook at home they make it as easy as pos­si­ble,” says Fass­nidge, the Ir­ish pow­er­house known for his nose-to-tail ap­proach, his Syd­ney restau­rant 4Four­teen

and ap­pear­ances on My Kitchen Rules. Fass­nidge has a mas­ter­ful way with meat. Off the clock, the 43-year-old also has two kids with wife Jane Hy­land.

“We grav­i­tate to easy­go­ing recipes that have max­i­mum flavour, and that’s what I’ll be do­ing for de­li­cious. on Sun­day.”

Moran, 47, is one of the coun­try’s most re­spected chefs, the tire­less tal­ent be­hind restau­rants in­clud­ing Aria Syd­ney, Aria Bris­bane and Chiswick, and a cham­pion of sea­sonal and lo­cal pro­duce. Yet for all his ac­claim, he loves home cook­ing.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate food that peo­ple can re­pro­duce in their own kitchens,” he says. He’s also a dad with two kids.

“But it’s still re­ally fresh, amaz­ing and eye-pop­ping. You shouldn’t have to be a chef to cook any of my dishes. And that’s what I love about this team, that we all of­fer something unique.”

Each mem­ber of the dos squad brings a dis­tinct point of view. Ben­nett, 40, the vi­sion­ary be­hind Mel­bourne’s Vue de monde, has a clas­si­cal back­ground. Yet as a fa­ther of six, and hus­band to ac­tress Madeleine West, he also has a knack for crowd-pleas­ing, fam­ily-friendly recipes.

“I’ll be of­fer­ing prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions for time-strapped peo­ple,” he says. His first meal plan fo­cuses on 30-minute dishes that in­clude in­gre­di­ents such as lamb and snap­per (see next page).

Pre­ston, 52, au­thor, jour­nal­ist and fa­mous fash­ion plate, is a poly­math in a be­spoke suit. As any­one who has seen him on tele­vi­sion is aware, the EnglishAus­tralian bon vi­vant dis­penses food ad­vice with wit and a global sen­si­bil­ity in­formed by ex­ten­sive trav­els. But Pre­ston, who has three chil­dren with wife Emma, is no food snob.

“de­li­cious. was the first mag­a­zine to recog­nise that home en­ter­tain­ing wasn’t just for women with big hair who lived in Toorak and Dou­ble Bay,” he says. “It pro­motes the idea that good food can be made with ev­ery­day in­gre­di­ents. de­li­cious. on Sun­day will be a nat­u­ral con­tin­u­a­tion of that theme.”

And Col­loca, 39, might be a trained mezzo-so­prano but her ap­proach to Italian food is down-to-earth.

“I want to bring something a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent each time, whether it’s mid­week din­ners for busy peo­ple to more op­u­lent dishes that you would be proud to serve at a week­end din­ner party,” she says. The raven-haired Italian beauty and cook­book au­thor, known for the 2014 se­ries Made In Italy With Sil­via Col­loca, in­fuses tra­di­tional fare with a mod­ern, se­duc­tive twist.

Hay­den Quinn, at 29, is our youngest con­trib­u­tor. He burst onto the scene as a con­tes­tant on Masterchef Aus­tralia in 2011. Since then he’s be­come a TV reg­u­lar, has co-au­thored cook­books and even launched a gym and a wine brand with friends. Along with Dan Churchill, Quinn hosts Surf­ing The Menu: Next Gen­er­a­tion.

“I like food that is healthy and fu­els my busy body,” says the for­mer life­guard and avid surfer.

Pon­der­ing his peers, Quinn says: “I al­ways feel ner­vous when I am with this group – they are such amaz­ing chefs with in­cred­i­ble ca­reers.”

Aside from Pre­ston, who’s pen­ning a weekly col­umn, we’ll be ro­tat­ing our team ev­ery week.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing what Matt (Moran) brings to de­li­cious.,” says Col­loca. The pair are long­stand­ing friends. Moran, his wife Sarah and their chil­dren reg­u­larly hol­i­day with Col­loca, her hus­band ac­tor Richard Roxburgh and their kids.

“She’s the best cook I have ever met,” Moran says with af­fec­tion.

They are renowned chefs and home cooks, au­thors and en­trepreneurs. They are Italian, Ir­ish, English and Aus­tralian. And, as our shoot at­tests, they are fans of each other’s work. Sur­vey­ing the group, Col­loca smiles play­fully. “I have a group of naughty boys here,” she says. They all crack up.

“When chefs cook at home they make it as easy as pos­si­ble”

Meet the gang, (l-r) Colin Fass­nidge, Matt Moran, Sil­via Col­loca, Matt Pre­ston, Hay­den Quinn and Shan­non Ben­nett.

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