Hayden Quinn is a young Sydney-born lifeguard with an old-school passion for food, whose love of good eating is matched only by an insatiable appetite for travel and surfing.
A dash of surf and sand, a pinch of world travel and a hearty serve of home-style fare are essential ingredients in the life of Hayden Quinn. On any given day you might find Hayden hitting the waves, in the kitchen, aboard a plane, in front of the camera, capturing his own experiences behind the lens or simply making the most of the beautiful city he calls home with his mates.
Growing up in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, when Hayden wasn’t riding the offshore swells he was lending a hand or running the show in the family kitchen. To this day he says his mum is a huge influence on his love of food, along with Jamie Oliver, Curtis Stone and everyday people who put passion into cooking for their family and the community. To Hayden, “those guys are what food is all about”.
The Dee Why local loves to start the day with a sunrise surf and admits he’s not a fan of aprons, which says a lot about his “grassroots” cooking style. Bringing things back to basics, Hayden’s recipes are as much about the experience as they are the ingredients.
Hayden’s first publication Dish It Up is all about “healthy food you’ll love to share” (think BBQ pork with Asian greens, or the perfect one-pot Aussie pie). Filled to the brim with fresh, tasty easy recipes, Dish It Up is a cookbook for both the kitchen novice and seasoned foodie.
Beach-inspired, accessible cookery is a resounding theme in his eBooks, Hayden Cooks with Friends and Hayden Cooks Summer, as well as his web series Unrefined – humble video morsels merging Hayden’s favourite places, people and food.
Hayden has also just recently returned from South Africa where he was filming a 13 part television series for South African audiences which covers all things, food, travel, adventure and sustainability.
The world has truly been Hayden’s oyster since his stint on MasterChef. Along with his previously established titles – university qualified marine biologist, nine years as a professional lifeguard and avid world traveller – he now adds celebrity chef, Cleo Bachelor of the Year (2012) and cookbook author to his long list of achievements. To borrow from Cleo Editor Gemma Crisp, he really is “the whole package”.
Energetic, good-humoured and charismatic, Hayden won us over with his magnetic personality and continues to hold our attention with his philanthropy (including charitable work with the Starlight Children’s Foundation, Melanoma Institute of Australia and Woolworths South Africa’s “Fishing for the Future” initiative) and unwavering passion for sustainable, sensational cuisine.
Always chasing exciting new endeavours, Hayden is also a partner in the innovative new Australian wine label Kooks, the Positively Generous Wine Co, where 50 per cent of profits go towards projects that make people feel good. He has also a partner in The Cube Gym on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, strengthening his passion for finding harmony in food and fitness.
Right now, the 28-year-old is living the dream (a very demanding dream, he admits) and is ready to lean into the next learning curve, whatever that may be.
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