Occupation: Scuba Diving InstructorEdit
Adam is a qualified scuba diving instructor with a passion for the sea in more ways than one.Edit
What is you earliest cooking memory?
|Occupation||Scuba Diving Instructor|
Cooking a Pavlova with mum when I was 10. To this day I still love making a Pavlova and eating the lot with a cup of tea.
What area of food are you particularly passionate about, and where did that passion begin?
My food passion is seafood, I love and respect the ocean. I just love all the amazing creatures that come out of it that we can be amazed by with their beauty and their flavour when they’re cooked properly.
Which celebrity chef do you most admire and why?
Gordon Ramsey, because of his passion for food and the quality of the food he produces.
Which past contestant is your favourite?
Chris and Julie from Season 1.
What three ingredients could you not live without?
Moreton Bay Bugs, good quality bread and butter.
George, Matt, Gary - who's your favourite and why?
Matt Preston. He is honest, down to earth, humble and a really great person. He gives you good quality feedback.
What's your most memorable cooking triumph?
Cooking a five-star meal while camping on Fraser Isalnd last Easter for a group of friends. They were all amazed at the quality you can get from camp oven-fresh fish, flour, butter, cream and some vegetables.
What's your most memorable cooking disaster?
Making brownies when I was 12. I accidently used salt instead of sugar. I gave one to my grandmother and she ate it out of kindness, but my dad was worried that she may have had a stroke from all of the salt! LOL
What's the one cooking tip you absolutely swear by?
Respect food produce by not wasting, interfering or adding too many artificial flavours. Let the food speak for itself.
You're trying to win over potential investors for your new restaurant - what do you cook them?
Pan-fried Duck Breast on a bed of red cabbage and red onion relish with red wine sauce.
The world is ending tomorrow and you're allowed one final meal, to be cooked by a chef of your choosing - what meal and which chef?
Balmain bugs with home-made seafood sauce, fresh French sticks, soft butter and some really cold beers. Then I’d sit back and watch the show unfold eating and drinking all of it until it was over.
Sweet or savoury?
Both. A great meal is finished with a great dessert.
As a scuba dive instructor with 7000 dives under his belt, Adam is totally at ease being metres away from sharks the size of cars and has even learnt a party trick of “tickling sharks to sleep”. But put him in the MasterChef kitchen to present a plate of food to Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan, and he’s a fish out of water.
“The biggest shark I’ve ever seen is about five and-a-half metres – and that’s scary,” says Adam, who was once circled by a great white shark and has learnt to make leopard sharks docile by stroking their belly. “But putting a dish up in front of three professionals is one of the most intimidating processes I’ve ever put myself through.”
Having owned a Brisbane dive business for 12 years, Adam now has time to follow his one unwavering passion – food – and one day hopes to plunge into the culinary world.
“Don’t get me wrong, I still have a passion for diving, but not necessarily for the job I do within my business anymore,” explains Adam, who now concentrates on the business element of his company as opposed to being a dive instructor. “I’ve always loved my food – I’m a big guy. My parents say that when I was young I loved food so much they had to put a padlock on the fridge!”
Adam is hoping to unlock the key to finding successful food business opportunities.
“Brisbane doesn’t have a lot of gourmet food stores or providores for example,” he says. “Maybe a small bar with good food would be good, I’m conscious that I’m not going to leave MasterChef as a qualified chef.”
Alongside his shrewd business sense, is a passion and drive to join Adam Liaw and Julie Goodwin as winners of the series.
“I’m not one to lose, and I don’t like failure,” says Adam, who was a semi-professional AFL player in his late teens before going into business management hospitality. “ I’m here for a life experience and to make a change in my future. Passion is one thing that a lot of Aussies are almost afraid of. Maybe it’s perceived as arrogance, but when you’re passionate about something you can make anything happen. “
He describes his style of cooking as versatile and hopes his rounded approach helps him.
“The one thing that will help me in this competition is my versatility and hopefully there will be some competitors who will be one dimensional which will help me,” he says. “I might regret saying that!”
Cauliflower Soup with Poached EggEdit
Cauliflower soup 40ml extra virgin olive oil 125g butter, cut into 3 pieces 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 500g onion, thinly sliced 10g ginger, thinly sliced 1 kg cauliflower, cut into florets 500ml dry white wine 500ml water 200ml veal stock 100ml Vermouth 200ml cream, pure 50ml milk Poached eggs 10ml white wine vinegar 4 fresh free range eggs Ciabata croutes ½ cup olive oil 1 ciabata loaf, sliced 1cm thick pieces 2 tablespoons salmon roe
Preparation and cooking time: 70 minutes Serves: 4 1. For cauliflower soup, place oil, 50g butter, garlic, onion and ginger in a large deep frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes over a low heat until onions soften and turn translucent but do not caramelise. 2. Add cauliflower and panfry for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Add wine, water, veal stock and vermouth and cook for 12-15 minutes or until cauliflower is soft and very tender. 3. Transfer cauliflower mixture to a food processor, pour in cream and puree until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and repeat if desired. 4. Pour sieved cauliflower into a clean frying pan, add milk, remaining butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place over a medium heat and stir until combined. Pass liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan and set to one side until required. 5. For poached eggs, bring a saucepan half filled with water to a gentle simmer, add vinegar and salt and gently swirl to create a vortex. Gently add an egg into the centre of the vortex, poach for 3-4 minutes, remove egg with a slotted spoon and transfer to plate until required. Repeat with remaining eggs. 6. For ciabata croutes, heat oil in a large frying pan over a high heat, add ciabata slices and press each slice firmly down with a spatula to flatten and absorb oil. Panfry for 2 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden. 7. To serve, spoon ladlefuls of soup into serving bowls, top with a poached egg and 1-2 teaspoons of salmon roe.