Dish­ing out Ja­panese flavour

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television - Mag­gie in Ja­pan,

Mag­gie Beer with chefs and restau­rant own­ers Kane­jiro Kanemoto of No­daiwa and Koji Fukada of Terra Aus­tralis Mag­gie Beer and ori­en­tal food don’t ob­vi­ously go to­gether. Beer, who lives in South Aus­tralia’s Barossa Val­ley, ac­knowl­edges the Mediter­ranean in­flu­ences in her cook­ing. And her role as a judge on The Great Aus­tralian Bake Off would sug­gest other con­ti­nen­tal in­flu­ences and tra­di­tional ex­per­tise.

How­ever, ap­par­ently Beer has had a se­cret affin­ity for Ja­panese food and cook­ing meth­ods for some time — but says she has been re­luc­tant to try her hands at it.

This at­trac­tively pro­duced one-hour spe­cial fol­lows Beer from Tokyo to Osaka and into the coun­try­side, where she en­coun­ters chefs who have cooked a sin­gle dish their whole ca­reers, those cook­ing in their fam­ily homes, high-end cui­sine, and ev­ery­thing in be­tween. Ul­ti­mately, Beer brings home her Ja­panese in­flu­ences and cooks a fu­sion-style feast for her friends.

The pro­gram co­in­cides with more food shows on Aus­tralian TV than ever be­fore, in­clud­ing the SBS Food Net­work and higher-end pro­duc­tions such as Net­flix’s Chef’s Ta­ble se­ries. (This pro­gram is pro­duced by Lingo Pic­tures, which is also work­ing on the Wake in Fright re­make.)

For her part, Beer tells The Ad­ver­tiser she is a re­luc­tant star, de­spite ap­pear­ances again this year on MasterChef. “I’m not very good at bal­ance. I seem to take on too much. But I’m lucky I have huge en­ergy and a fam­ily and com­mu­nity life that gives me amaz­ing ground­ing,” she says.

“I don’t need it (TV), I have to put it aside in my life be­cause I don’t have a lot of time for it. There is a thing about it tak­ing over your life which I run away from.”

View­ers of this pro­gram will be pleased she yielded. Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, Life­style.

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