“I suck at making stir fries,” confesses Matt Preston

The food critic gets candid about his love for pizza and cravats, and reveals what the three genial Masterchef judges usually bicker over

brunch Updated: Jan 20, 2018 23:08 IST
Ananya Ghosh
Ananya Ghosh
Hindustan Times
Matt Preston,Masterchef Australia,food writer
Matt Preston, apart from being a world famous food critic and celebrity judge, is one of the most sartorially flamboyant television personalities today(Getty images)
  • Date of birth: November 2
  • Sunsign: Scorpio
  • Place of birth: England
  • School/college: University of Kent, UK
  • High point of your life: Birth of my three children
  • Low point in life: I have been a very lucky boy. I have my dream job and the best family. My real low point is probably how bad my golf game is!

How did you end up in the food industry from being a soap opera correspondent?

It was kind of a Cinderella story. A friend of mine was starting a food magazine and knew that I could cook a bit. She called me up and asked if I wanted to do restaurant reviews for her. And I couldn’t think of anything better!

You, Gary Mehigan and George Colambaris make great judges on Star World’s MasterChef Australia. But what’s the one thing you three never agree upon?

It has to be how to make mashed potatoes! George likes to make it with olive oil and Gary makes it with butter. I don’t like either. I think the best way to do it is with mustard oil.

Your most disastrous food experiment on your kids...?

There are a few. I suck at making stir fries. So my children prefer it if I stay away from trying my hands on anything stir-fried! They absolutely love my pizzas.

And one thing they are apprehensive about when you are in the kitchen...?

Whenever I am cooking, my 12-year-old daughter is always scared of if I am experimenting with anything ‘weird’. If I am making chicken wings, and after putting in the vinegar, I am looking for something else... she would be like “dad, I hope you are not putting anything ‘weird’ in there.” She is not a fan of the ‘weird’!

One Bollywood movie you want to watch?

Dangal (2016). But it’s almost three hours long! Maybe I will watch it during the holidays. I love Bollywood!

One cartoon character you think you resemble...?

The green ogre, Shrek!

If your were a dish, what would that be?

Ah! Something delicious but not quite good for your health maybe!

One food item you don’t want to try out ever...?

Rancid roasted kangaroo tail.

What is the most bizarre food you’ve ever tasted?

Ovaries of snow frog! It didn’t taste too bad actually.

The most English thing about you is...?

My love for a good cup of tea! It must be strong and with milk.

You are one of the most well-dressed man on television. How much time you take to get ready?

Well…about an hour. And it is mostly because of the hair! George can get ready in 5 mins but then he will keep fussing and arguing over what shoes he is going to wear. I don’t do that!

Your favourite piece of clothing...?

I reckon it is the pair of check trousers and the long jacket with velvet collar. I have 60 different floral shirts from Liberty, London, which are rather rare. And I picked them all up in one day! I absolutely love them.

How many cravats does the king of cravats, Matt Preston, own?

Ah! Not too many. It should be around 400 maybe. I make it a point to throw away at least 50 each year, but they keep multiplying!

My favourites:
  • Movie: The Ninth Configuration(1980)
  • Comfort food: Hard-boiled egg and toasted white bread with lots of butter
  • Holiday destination: England, to meet my mother! Also, Kimberley at the north end of Western Australia
  • Indian dish: Reshmi kebab
  • A song that makes you break into a dance:Lonely Boy by The Black Keys and Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite

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From HT Brunch, January 21, 2018

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First Published: Jan 20, 2018 21:59 IST