The ever-smiling and cheeky celebrity chef and famous TV host, Gary Mehigan became a popular name in India, when Masterchef Australia become a one-stop cookery show for many people across the country.
Gary is one of those people who, when comes to Indian food, can be seen trying each and everything to get a hint of what Indian cooking is all about. Be it trying some fluffy dosas, relishing some pani puri or sitting in some high-end restaurant and trying out butter prawns, he is ready for anything and everything.
One of the most famous judges on the show, his twinkling eyes and subtle smile after tasting a dish not only puts the contestants in a fix but even the viewers, and it is his reaction that often wins our hearts. He is one of those people who easily bond with most of the contestants and make sure that everyone is having a fun day.
MensXP got into a candid conversation with Gary who loves to eat, travel and explore. Gary gave us some amazing tips that every man must follow to impress his date and also expressed his desire to sit and chit-chat with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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You’re One Of Few Celebrity Chefs Who Rides Bikes. What’s Your Bike Story?
(Laughs). I have got three of them and I ride regularly, it’s my chill out hobby.
How Did Cooking Happen To You?
My grandfather was a chef, so when I was young I was deciding what I wanted to be in my life. I thought I wanted to be an engineer like my dad. So I used to study Physics and Chemistry when I was growing up. And then I got to see what my granddad was doing and he always seemed very happy. He loved people, enjoyed what he did. He obviously cooked beautiful things and I was kind of leaning towards that. Then I got a job on the weekend at a local hotel when I was 16 and then I got hooked on to cooking. I loved the excitement of the kitchen and obviously making delicious things helped.
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What Does Gary Mehigan’s Spice Box Consist Of?
One of my favourite spices is the green cardamom (laughs), coriander, fennel seeds, I love black pepper too. Then I love fresh aromatic curry leaves, I have got a plant of it. I have got fresh lemongrass, fresh coriander and lots of ginger.
One Cooking Advice You Would Like To Give Men?
(Laughs) I think times have changed certainly when I talk to young boys who are 15-16. There is no division what was there before like a man’s job or a woman’s job. But I have one advice for men: find that one thing you always you love to cook or eat. It can be anything curry, barbeque and just practise it and become an expert at that. So when you invite people over, you have something to fill in.
© Star World
What’s Next? More Culinary Shows, Another TV Series, Celebrity Dinners?
Next is my show ‘Far Flung’ which will air on Fox Life. I have travelled to Mumbai and Delhi for it and tried out various local spices and culinary style. It was an amazing experience. I tried out some great things, the show will release at the end of February.
How Was Your Experience In Masterchef This Time?
It was really exciting actually because season 9 is probably one of the best. This time we had lots of young contestants and interesting new food. There were a lot of patterns, constructions and some classy cooking of some tasty food. Masterchef Australia airs in India on Star World and if you have seen this time we have worked hard and tried to find some really good home cooks. The kind of cooking is very delicious. We have tried to get the diversity of Indian, Pakistani, Australian, Greek, we tried to get the cultural influence. In fact, most of the dishes were that I have never seen before. We have got a mixed bag, some young ones but also some old ones.
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You Biggest Cooking Disaster?
I had a few but I try to forget them. But I remember that once a long time ago, I was cooking for a wedding and I had put 150 portions of fish inside the oven. And then the fan went off so I got distracted. And I just forgot the fish, so instead of cooking it for 8 minutes, I cooked it for 25 minutes which totally ruined all of the 150 portions. Very expensive mistake! But luckily we had enough portion left for the function and we could recook again but if we hadn’t, it would be an utter disaster with hundred and fifty people with no food. I have been cooking for 35 years and I have made many mistakes but it becomes a part of learning things and making it better. A good mistake is a quick one and a cheap one. (laughs)
Two Easy Fix Dishes For Males Who Are Trying To Impress Their Lady Loves?
Make a tasty, easy-to-prepare salad, with a lot of lettuce in it. Keep everything ready and something that is easy to go so you are not very distracted by the kitchen. Something that you can prepare in advance and just set it up when your lady arrives. And a really good chocolate mousse, light and tasty. Something that you both can share in a bowl or both can make together.
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One Indian Dish You Are Never Tired Of Eating?
I totally love batata bhaji and coriander chutney. I just love the taste of it…OMG!
One Indian You Would Like To Cook For And What Would It Be?
India is going through a transition period. There is a lot of good and a lot of bad, I would like to sit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and know what are his plans, what’s his vision and where is India going. And what would I cook for him? I think I will have to go for a week’s session to find out what all he likes and that would be the smart thing to do. I would cook something from his childhood, that he really loves or likes and it could always have a little ‘Gary’ twist (laughs). And the result is when I have a chat with him I will let everyone know what is going on (laughs loudly).
5 Items Every Man Should Have In Their Kitchen To Fix An Easy Meal
Oh my goodness, that’s a tough question. They should have fresh tomatoes, lots of green vegetables and some interesting grinds, like black rice. Good olive oil and good cheese are a must too.