Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor recently travelled on a culinary journey to Australia. As a part of his delightful gourmet expedition, he travelled to four Australian states — Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, and got a taste of some of the finest foods and beverages Down Under. He tells us what makes Australia the capital of fine wine and food.
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“I love Australia. It’s a place that abounds in natural beauty and good food. You eat fresh, and therefore, feel energetic. Everything is good about that place — the food you eat, the people you meet and the wine you drink!” says Kapoor. “Whenever I holiday in Australia, I come back fully refreshed. I love the abundance of space and the amazing experiences this vibrant country offers. There’s so much to see and do,” he adds.
From cooking on hot air balloon to using herbs directly from the kitchen garden, Kapoor loved the adventures Australia offered. “We indulged in many exhilarating adventures in Australia — hot air balloon rides which gave us a bird’s eye view of the region, Sydney Harbour bridge climbing.”
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Talking about the cuisine, he says, “Australians love seafood and the meat is great. Their cuisine is influenced by cooking styles of the world, and is a true reflection of the country’s diverse culture. I love the Barramundi fish and the local Australian cheeses. I am also a big fan of the great Australian barbecue,” says Kapoor. He adds, “The country also offers a great variety of South East Asian cuisine, and food from all over.”
Talking about comparing Indian cuisine with its Australian counterpart, he says, “Australia prides itself on fresh ingredients as a star factor in their cuisine. And it is the same with India, we also use fresh produce in our cuisine, but we don’t articulate it as well as Australia does. Apart from it, we do tandoori and Australians do barbecue, and that’s a similarity.”
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Australian wine has gained popularity around the world. Speaking about his wine tasting experience in the country, he says, “Wines from Barossa valley are superb. Especially the Shiraz and the ports. I had ports that were almost 300 years old! Although ports are no longer in fashion, you can have the ones that were bottled in the year of your birth! Other wines I loved were Grenache and Mataro.”
The celebrity chef is smitten by Australia and wishes to retire there. “Every city in Australia has given me unique experiences. The food there has an amazing taste that only comes from cooking with fresh produce; in fact I’m so impressed by the quality of the produce and the wines, that I want to retire there!” he says.