Lentils worth a rhap­sody

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence - MICHELLE ROWE

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

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