Lentils worth a rhapsody
CHEF Simon Bryant is on a crusade to help save cats and dogs in China under the auspices of Animals Asia. Best recent dining experience: The Kitchen Door at Penny’s Hill Winery in South Australia; amazing seasonal food served as a shared platter degustation. Ingredients are predominantly sourced from surrounding McLaren Vale producers. Must-buy ingredient: I’m not really into food trends and must-have ingredients, but it’s always exciting to see autumn produce return; it’s one of my favourite seasons. I love seeing new-season pomegranates in the markets. Most embarrassing pantry item: Marmite (sorry but I’m a Pom). Can’t live without: Lentils, the most undervalued of our crops. We grow absolutely fantastic green, red and Puy-style lentils in Australia. They are high in protein, water wise and a nitrogen-replacing crop, so they tick all the boxes. What I’m cooking at home: The last of my summer vegie garden: tons of yellow zucchinis, basil and eggplants. I am running out of ways to get through them all, so if anyone has any suggestions . . . Next big thing: There seems to be a growing interest in ethically sourced and raised meat, fish and poultry as well as some real environmental concerns about landcare, ocean sustainability and water management. Let’s hope this movement gathers momentum. I hate: Bad coffee. Favourite cuisine: Indian. There is an amazing economy to the cuisine. Its variety means you never tire of the flavours and you feel good not just during the meal but afterwards. Worst meal I ever ate: Being mindful that about 15 per cent of the world’s people are undernourished, I feel stupid complaining about badly prepared food and am just grateful I’m not hungry. Biggest culinary influence: Too many to list. I learn something food-related just about every day. Favourite cookbook: Larousse Gastronomique rarely gets returned to the bookshelf; and at the moment I can’t get enough of David Chang’s Momofuku; he evokes so many images, it is hard not to be inspired. My last supper: A macchiato: I would like to go out well caffeinated so I can hit the ground running in the next life.
Simon Bryant loves Indian cuisine for its economy and variety