For me, it was genuinely refreshing to watch Hayden Quinn (who some may best remember as the 'surfer dude') on series 3 of MasterChef Australia in 2011. His food was always packed with flavour, looked fresh and vibrant and, from what the judges on the show said, tasted delicious as well! So it's little surprise to have received a copy of his cookbook, Dish it Up, subtitled 'healthy food you'll love to share', released this month by Murdoch Books.
Hayden Quinn loves food, travel culture and all things outdoors. He grew up on Sydney's northern beaches and was never far from the ocean nor cooing with his mum and family. His motto is 'live life, eat well, travel far', and he says it was his passion for travel and experiencing new food and cultures that led him to apply for MasterChef Australia.
The book generates a sense of freshness and the idea of having fun as you cook your way through it. For instance, chapters are titled: Why eat soggy cereal; Fuel your body; Who needs knives and Forks; Travel comes to you; Eat it outside; You don't need to dine out to be fancy; and The sweeter side. There's also a Behind the Scenes chapter, with QR codes and links to Hayden's social media pages.
There are numerous standout recipes, such as Bali-style pancakes with banana, coconut and honey; baked Spanish eggs with Jamon; seared tuna and chickpea salad; charred beef with a Thai salad and nahm jim; glazed duck; green papaya salad in a bag; Thai fish balls on a stick; NYC cupcakes with bacon and maple syrup; and (perhaps surprisingly) white peaches, ricotta and rose petals! Each of the dishes is accompanied by quite beautiful (and drool worthy). photographs from renowned photographers, Alan Benson and Ben Dearnley.
All in all, this is a cracker of a cook book with a diverse and delicious selection of recipes. Curtis Stone said of the book, 'This is the kind of food I love to cook.' Yeah... what he said.
Dish it Up by Hayden Quinn, $35.00, Murdoch Books. Thank you kindly to Hayden and also the publicity team at Murdoch Books for sending me this title to review. I'm off to road test a couple of recipes now...
Cookbook reviews and interviews with food writers and chefs.