Ottolenghi’s Wise Advice For The ‘MasterChef’ Street Food Challenge
Legends Week hero Yotam Ottolenghi had one crucial bit of advice for our 'MasterChef' contestants.
Tonight's episode will see our amateur cooks split into teams to create street food meals from three ~mystery~ global cuisines at Melbourne's HWKR Food Centre.
Legendary cook Ottolenghi flew all the way from London to Australia to oversee the challenge, which makes total sense because he's something of an expert about the kinds of magical meals you stumble upon in a hidden alley or crowded bazaar.
Not the stuffy, sit down restaurant meals that require napkins and wooden chairs, but the punchy, flavoursome on-the-go treats that you remember for the rest of your life.
Ottolenghi was born in Jerusalem to German and Italian Jewish parents, and it was an upbringing that exposed him to the cuisines of the Middle East and the Mediterranean. He's also travelled to Crete, Sardinia, Turkey and Tunisia for cooking his shows like 'Yotam Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Island Feast' and written cookbooks like 'Jerusalem' (with Sami Tamimi) and more recently, 'Simple'.
Which brings us to the very wise advice that Yotam gives his eager protégées tonight as they sweat it out in the tiny HWKR kitchens.
"Make it delicious but don’t overcomplicate, street food is made on the street but made pretty quickly," he tells our contestants.
"If you over complicate it, it’s going to taste like restaurant food," he warns, adding that street food needs to be "simple, delicious and BOLD".
It's a philosophy that Ottolenghi applies in 'Simple' with every recipe colour coded into categories like 'Short on Time' for a quick turnaround meal, '10 ingredients on less' for when the pantry is bare, 'Made Ahead' means you can pre-prepare and serve at your leisure, and 'Lazy' which usually means recipes you can leave in the oven for a few hours and that don't require much washing up.
Yotam last visited 'MasterChef' in 2017 -- for an entire Ottolenghi Week -- and provided some winning examples of simple cooking that, hopefully, our contestants have brushed up on like these scotch eggs with eggplant and Manchego cheese, a cauliflower salad with mint and pistachios, and this to-die-for mezze feast.
But will our amateur cooks be able to keep their dishes simple tonight or will they be tempted to add too many fancy elements in a desperate attempt to stay out of an elimination challenge tomorrow night?
Tune in at 7.30pm on 10 to find out!