As one of Australia's well-known chefs and restaurateurs, Mark Best reveals where his foodie passion comes from.
Starting out as an industrial electrician, Mark Best's early life is a far cry from where he stands today as AEG ambassador and acclaimed Australian chef. Mark sits down with Lifestyle to discuss everything from his favourite ingredients to cook with, to his biggest industry inspirations.
Why did you want to become a chef?
"It was really as a reaction to what I was doing (industrial electrician) rather than a calling or burning ambition. I’m from the country so food was always about farming, gardens and produce, making do with what you had. In that way I had such a solid foundation when I decided that cooking was where I wanted to be. I was naive enough to take the chance and lucky enough to be actually good at it."
Who is your biggest industry inspiration?
"My culinary heroes are Alain Passard, Rick Stein, Stephanie Alexander, Neil Perry, Anne-Sophie Pic, Pierre Gagnaire, Michel Bras, Alain Ducasse, Mark Verat amongst many. They continue to inspire with their drive, creativity and leadership."
What’s your go-to kitchen appliance?
"My favourite appliance is the AEG SensePro induction cooktop which includes the AEG SensePro Wireless Food Sensor and SenseFry technology. This technology allows you to select the protein and desired wellness, then the assisted cooking function will cook your protein to consistently to medium, rare or well-done. It takes the guess work out of home cooking."
Favourite ingredient to cook with and why?
"I’m torn here between eggplant and beetroot. Both culinary staples that are so incredibly versatile and relatively easy to render - delicious."
What is your career highlight so far?
"I’ve had so many. The most amazing thing is that I feel there are more to come."
What staple meal do you cook regularly at home?
"I have a large cast iron pot that I use to roast chicken pieces (on the bone) marinated in plenty of grated ginger, an entire head of garlic, grated on a box grater (including skin), salt, Korean chilli flakes and sesame oil. Start by preheating the pot to 190C, then add the chicken, skin up, for 1 hour in the AEG SteamPro and it's perfection."
Can you tell us about the worst cooking blunder you’ve ever had?
“Blending tomato soup – the lid wasn’t secured. The kitchen was covered floor to ceiling.”