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Sanjeev Kapoor on why Australia has the world on its platter

(01/09/2016)

Well, there are more than enough reasons to love this huge country adorned with a multicultural nature and splendid landscape. And why not? This continent has a bit of everything - from jaw-dropping architectural marvels and stunning beaches to heritage sites and food that can easily tantalise your taste buds and all things in between. Australia won my heart the first time, the second time and all times. Oh! By the way, I did get to "grab lots of feed" while in Australia. "Got something to eat" is what this Australian slang would literally translate to.

When talking about the Australian cuisine, the most interesting thing is that it's blessed with remarkable produce from land and sea, combined with a climate that makes outdoor dining a pleasant reality nearly every day of the year. Food, wine and lifestyle are the articulation of Australian culture which lucidly defines its people. And I was fortunate enough to have worked with a team that helped me to formulate a show "Out of the World - Australia" for Food Food, where Australia's multicultural cuisine, vibrant cities and breathtaking natural landscapes were captured in one fun-filled television series.

I travelled on a food trail across the Australian states to bring alive the taste of Australia in its inimitable style.

Australia is seen as the hub of global cuisine with influence of foods from every corner of the world. It was a great adventure and an enriching journey to discover these beautiful destinations and cook some delectable cuisines that reflected Australia's diverse culture.

My food and adventure trail took me and my teammates to Brisbane, Gold Coast (Queensland), Sydney, Blue Mountains (New South Wales), Melbourne, Great Ocean Road (Victoria) and Adelaide, Kangaroo Island (South Australia), with each destination standing out distinctly different from the other and defined by its own unique characteristics.

Adelaide and in particular, Barossa, was in true terms, the "wine country" in Australia as it sparkled, intoxicated and lingered on my mind much like the wine it produces! Barossa carried me into a verdant expanse dotted with charming little restaurants along the way. A walk through the vineyards, a cooking session with chef Mark making a scrumptious Roasted Sweet Potato Salad, a tour through the heritage site Sepplets field winery that was deeply rooted in history, I was given a tour of the entire process from vineyard to bottle.

Perhaps, the most unexpected sighting, yet adventurous exploration came in the form of the nugget called "Kangaroo Island" off the coast of Adelaide. Four times the size of Singapore, this island was a treasure trove of hidden jewels of nature. Next in line was Pandana Park, that brought with it a delicate moment for me, as I was able to bottle feed a baby wallaby in my arms and a "do or dare" moment when I was presented a python to hold!

The "Remarkable Rocks" took my breath away as I was left speechless at the mammoth rocks along the sea that were worn away over the years by wind. Here, I finally played the didgeridoo to perfection after an ongoing training session in every city. As my crew held together, it surely felt as if this was the last spot on earth. At Adelaide Oval, I met a 16-year-old budding cricketer and also joined her in the cricketing session. Before boarding the ferry back to Adelaide, I had this refreshing stop combined with a cooking session with chef Kate called "The Source". Here I was pleasantly surprised to see homegrown spices that are found in the Indian kitchen as well. Seasonal vegetables, fresh produce combined as we rustled up an Australian Aubergine, Halumi Cheese, Zucchini Salad. With a hungry Indian crew on hand, I played saviour by cooking and teaching Kate our traditional baingan bharta and yoghurt kadhi.

What I would also like to add here is that whilst I got a taste of a variety of Australian food all across the country, from beef burgers stacked to beetroot salad, barbied (barbequed) seafood, grilled meats, fruit platters, pumpkin soup and much more, I was delighted to taste the quintessential Pavlova. Notwithstanding that the origin of this dessert inspired by the ballerina Anna Pavlova is debated with a question mark over Australia or New Zealand, this is one dessert that surfaced at every dining table, restaurant and dessert outlet across Australia. The Pavlova - a light meringue, infused with cream, gently baked and covered with fresh fruit such as strawberries, mango slices and kiwi wedges - always shows up on my dessert wish list.

As I end, I will only say that I'm in love with Australia more than ever. Seeing and experiencing is believing. I would recommend everyone to put this kangaroo land on their bucket list of places to visit in their lifetime.

Cheers mate!

Source: DailyO

MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.

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