TAK­ING ON THE PROS

It’s not just an­other cook­ing con­test: Benowa home cook Larissa Sat­tler and Kiy­omi chef Chase Ko­jima are in for a food fight

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION - SALLY COATES

AGold Coast home cook will step up to the hot plate as part of an all-new food se­ries pre­mier­ing on Mon­day. Each week The Chefs’ Line will fo­cus on a dif­fer­ent cui­sine that drives Aus­tralia’s food cul­ture, with novice cooks chal­leng­ing an en­tire chefs’ line from some of the coun­try’s best restau­rants – and they’re leav­ing the drama in the kitchen where it be­longs.

The dishes will be judged by three of Aus­tralia’s hottest culi­nary stars: Mr Wong ex­ec­u­tive chef Dan Hong, renowned indige­nous chef Mark Olive and lead­ing food writer Melissa Leong.

Benowa phys­io­ther­a­pist Larissa Sat­tler en­tered the show and took part in Ja­panese week, work­ing along­side Kiy­omi ex­ec­u­tive chef Chase Ko­jima.

The avid foodie wasn’t wor­ried about be­ing tarred by the re­al­ity TV brush.

“When SBS ad­ver­tised want­ing home cooks I trusted in the SBS brand­ing and trusted that I love their shows,” she says.

“I thought if it wasn’t go­ing down a path that was re­spect­ful to the con­tes­tants and food I could pull out but I’m so glad I gave it a shot.

“Ev­ery­one is so pos­i­tive and lovely, it’s a won­der­ful cel­e­bra­tion of home cook­ing.”

While there’s a flood of food shows on ev­ery Aus­tralian channel, Larissa assures us The Chefs’ Line is not just an­other cook­ing con­test.

“It was a con­test but still at the core it was a cel­e­bra­tion and that’s what makes it dif­fer­ent,” she says.

“It wasn’t about drama – al­though there was drama in kitchen – but it was about cel­e­brat­ing the cul­ture and cui­sine of the re­gion.

“It’s al­ways nice to get through each night, but at the end of the day it was just fun to be part of it.”

If you’ve found your­self be­com­ing tired of the clas­sic roles main­stream tele­vi­sion pro­duc­ers tend to as­sign con­tes­tants, this show might be for you.

“The show doesn’t milk any­thing or twist it – that’s what sets this show apart,” Larissa says.

“I was so sur­prised how pos­i­tive the pro­duc­ers and judges and ev­ery­thing was.

“They wanted ev­ery­one to have fun and gen­uinely do their best.

“Some shows seem to care more about the peo­ple and their back­sto­ries then the cook­ing – this show is all about the food.”

Larissa never set out to be on a TV show, but she’s used to high pres­sure sit­u­a­tions in the kitchen, reg­u­larly host­ing for friends and fam­ily.

“Cook­ing is for me and my fam­ily and kids and what I cook is to fit into a healthy fam­ily life­style,” she says.

“I re­ally had no as­pi­ra­tions be­yond cook­ing for fam­ily and friends and hold­ing din­ner par­ties.

“I love hav­ing din­ner par­ties and when you have young chil­dren some­times it’s eas­ier to host at home – you can have a few wines and there’s no rush­ing home to the babysit­ter.”

Al­though Larissa’s her­itage is not Ja­panese, it’s her go-to cui­sine, whether it be cook­ing at home or eat­ing out.

“For me I love eat­ing Ja­panese first and fore­most and be­yond that I love cook­ing with Ja­panese in­gre­di­ents,” she says.

“I don’t have a lot of Ja­panese tra­di­tion but I do love to take tra­di­tional Ja­panese in­gre­di­ents and present them in a mod­ern Aus­tralian way.

“My cook­ing isn’t bound by tra­di­tion. For me it’s about us­ing great in­gre­di­ents and pro­duce.”

Those great in­gre­di­ents might in­clude any­thing from enoki mush­rooms to fresh fish.

“Be­cause I’m a physio I’m quite health con­scious, so the in­gre­di­ents I like to work with are very good for you,” Larissa says.

“For ex­am­ple, miso and pick­led veg­eta­bles that are good for di­ges­tion.

“Ja­panese in­gre­di­ents are very seafood fo­cused ... I do use red meat, but it’s gen­er­ally more seafood, with all dif­fer­ent mush­rooms, seaweed, soba noo­dles and buck­wheat noo­dles. Din­ner for the kids might be as sim­ple as homemade teriyaki with soba and edamame.

“Ja­panese food is very fam­ily friendly and quick. The flavours en­hance the in­gre­di­ents rather than over­power them.”

But if you’re not so savvy in the kitchen, Larissa has a cou­ple of hot tips where you can find de­li­cious Ja­panese eats right here.

“In terms of restau­rants we’re so lucky on the Gold Coast,” she says.

“Kiy­omi is ob­vi­ously ex­cel­lent for high-end Ja­panese.

“As I have a fam­ily I find Donto Sap­poro at Broad­beach and Itoshin at Mer­maid are ex­cel­lent and both have been there for more than 20 years.

“Any­thing that’s been there for 20 years you know they’re on to some­thing good.” The Chefs’ Line pre­mieres Mon­day at 6pm on SBS

Benowa home cook Larissa Sat­tler will ap­pear on new SBS show The Chef's Line.

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