MELBOURNE:Award-winning Michelin Starred Indian chef, restaurateur, and cookbook writer Vikas Khanna – who is also the host of TV show, MasterChef India – visited Melbourne as a guest judge on MasterChef Australia’s series six, currently showing on Channel 10.
Vikas sat down with Gary Mehigan, renowned chef, restaurateur and judge on MasterChef Australia, after filming wrapped for the day.
Gary probed Vikas on his impressions of his home town, Melbourne, and the city’s rising reputation as a foodie destination. The two discussed Melbourne’s rich, multi-cultural heritage, the availability of amazing produce and the appeal of the gourmet regions surrounding the city for Indian visitors.
“I think it’s a fantastic city, it’s so multi-cultural yet it has this calmness and history, very much like Europe,” said Vikas.
“People are so passionate about what they are selling or consuming. Guys are buying all this fresh produce, and they are already talking to each other about they are going to cook with it.”
Gary added, “As a consumer, I can buy some of the best food on the planet. I can go to Victoria Market or Prahran Market or Preston Market and I can buy anything I want from baby artichokes or carrots to slippery jack mushrooms.”
“Mornington Peninsula is only an hour away and you get all these beautiful artisan producers and little wineries like Ten Minutes by Tractor. You can go and pick cherries, pick strawberries, buy a bottle of wine, have lunch overlooking a vineyard, go for a swim – all in a couple of hours then drive back to Melbourne,” said Gary.
Melbourne’s hidden gems and laneway culture was also referenced by Gary, “The city alleyways, holes in the wall, the little surprises that make the food culture feel like an almost underground experience.”
Vikas added that Melbourne’s appeal is as much about the people as the experiences, “A city is not made of tall buildings and beautiful structures; it’s the people. I find Melbourne very much like friendship; it’s not one big thing, its millions of small things put together which makes the city so warm.”
“Australia gets more and more enriched day by day, which can only happen to a country that is extremely welcoming,” said Vikas.
The episode aired on Australian television on Monday 23 June and will air in India soon.
Source : Pieces of Victoria (http://www.visitvictoria.com)