Hayden Quinn has been been keeping himself busy since entering the food world back in 2011!
On the cusp of releasing his debut cookbook, Dish It Up, and helping out with the delicious menu at the Gumtree Garden, we caught up with the former lifeguard on the advantages of cooking with local produce and his top tip for cooking this Christmas.
In the kitchen this summer, what is your favorite ingredient to cook with and why?
Anything that has come out of my garden, I love having fresh herbs at hand for Sunday brekky's and my tomatoes are not far off either! Also, you cannot go past some local seafood, fresh, sustainable and cooked over hot coals with a beer in hand, doesn’t get any better.
What’s the best thing about cooking with fresh, seasonal and local Aussie produce?
Basically, it’s THE BEST! It’s fresh, it’s tasty and most important of all, and you know it hasn't travelled too far.
What’s your top tip for cooking seafood this Christmas?
I think the number one tip for people would have to be "give it a go"; leave the boring old turkey behind and try something fresh and simple. I have an unreal Salmon Sashimi dish in my new book "Dish it Up" which is dead simple and so perfect to be shared on a hot summers day.
What’s your favourite recipe from your new cook book?
I think I just gave it away above!!!! I also don't mind the Grilled Ginger Prawns with Yuzu Mayo, beans and ground rice. It is another awesome starter!!!
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to somebody starting out as a cook?
Don’t let the fear of people not being impressed with your food stop you. Everyone loves their food being cooked for them and they will always be grateful, so start simple, give it a go and next minute you will be creating your own menus!!!!
'Dish It Up' is available from December 1st. Visit www.haydenquinn.com.au for more information and recipes.
Interview by Francisco Torres