If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, then you’ve already managed a sneak peek at this picture where I had the chance to meet up with Sarah Todd from the current season of MasterChef Australia, right here in Mumbai! This was all possible because of the good folks at Tourism Australia and Godrej Nature’s Basket (the latter played host), who made it possible for Sarah to whip up two of her most famous creations from the show – ‘Scotch Quail Eggs’ (remember the runny yolk when the judges cut into it?) and _‘Mint Goat’s Cheese Parfait with a Nutmeg Tuile’
I’ve been following the show fanatically since its first season premiered in India, and if you’re as crazy about the show as I am, I’m pretty sure that you would have noticed the top notch quality and calibre of contestants this season. I mean, they don’t have to be taught how to temper chocolate, they’re making croquembouche without a recipe and fearlessly tackling whatever Heston Blumenthal throws their way! Incidentally, Sarah’s recipe for Scotch Quail Eggs is also inspired by what she ate at one of Blumenthal’s restaurants in London. And the best part? I got to cook this recipe with her too!
What can I say about Sarah? She’s super tall (as you’ll notice in the picture above), is a doting Mum to an adorable three-year-old boy, is engaged to her partner of Indian origin Devinder Garcha, and has moved away from her career on the ramp to don kitchen clogs full time! Don’t let her zen aura fool you, underneath is a steely resolve that made her re-enter the competition after being eliminated the first time. Her calm confidence and attention to detail translate to everything that this former model whips up in the kitchen. Below, are some excerpts from my chat with Sarah, where she talks about being on the show, her experience in India and making ‘paranthas’ for her son! Here goes :
Me:You had the unique chance of re-entering MasterChef Australia through a wildcard entry. You seemed so calmly determined while cooking chicken roulade in that episode. What was that experience like?
Sarah:The biggest determination in my mind from this opportunity was to prove that it was just an off day for me in the kitchen when I was eliminated. I wanted more than anything to prove that this was a delicious dish. This experience was such a rush for me and so rewarding to actually win the opportunity to get back in.
Me: What is your biggest takeaway from Masterchef Australia?
Sarah: _Confidence. I went into this competition extremely worried of what both the audience and the judges would think of me. To have had my food loved by the judges gives me so much confidence to follow my passion.
Me: What is your earliest kitchen memory?
Sarah: Baking a pavlova with my mum when I was 2 years old.
Me: You’ve said that your partner’s Mum has been teaching you to cook Indian food, what all has she taught you? How is it different from the food experiences you grew up with?
Sarah: My partner’s mum has taught me a freedom in the kitchen. Not having to follow a specific recipe allows intuition to kick in and I believe that is when you truly become a talented cook.
Me: What do you like to cook for your son?
Sarah: His favourite is ‘paratha’.
Me: What kinds of food have you tried during your trip to India? Any favourites, so far?
Sarah: So many, I have had a feast that had a dish from 10 different areas in India. One of my new favourites is the Goan fish curry.
Me: This year has seen the genre of food movies grow with 2 new additions – ‘Chef’ ‘100 Foot Journey’… your favourite food film of all time?
Sarah: I just watched both of those films back to back before my trip to India. I was so inspired by both of them. I especially related to Hassan the Indian chef in “The Hundred Foot Journey” as I feel I am on a similar journey myself, experiencing the extremes in fine cuisine and eventually coming back in full circle to my roots.__
That’s it for my chat with Sarah! If all my talk about Scotch Quail Eggs has you hungry enough to try the recipe, well below are all the details you need to know!