Find out why Celebrity chef Matt Moran avoids the supermarket

He is a country boy who grew up on a dairy farm at Badgerys Creek, west of Sydney yet now celebrity chef Matt Moran, 46, is celebrating his new season of The Great Australian Bake Off, with Maggie Beer, showing on Foxtel from 13th October 2015.

Matt Moran was raised on a dairy farm at Badgerys Creek, west of Sydney. He now lives in Sydney with his wife Sarah Hopkins and their two children, Harry and Amelia. He has appeared on numerous television cooking shows, launched eight successful restaurant ventures and has published four books.

“I’ve been cooking for 30 years. I’m a very lucky person and I fell in love with it. It’s like the old saying ‘do something you love and you’ll never have to work another day in your life’. The longer I’ve been doing it, the more love for food, farmers, produce, seasonality has come into it,” he says.

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Matt Moran believes fresh produce are the best ingredients for any recipe

His down-to-earth, country upbringing helped instil in Mr Moran a passion for growing his own produce, a passion he still pursues. “There’s something about being able to grow something yourself; if you know the story behind it and you’ve watched it and nurtured it. That little pot plant of basil – you’ve grown it yourself and it’s fresher. If you put that into a tomato sauce, no one can tell me that doesn’t taste better because you put your heart and soul into it. To me that’s the romance about it,” he adds passionately.

Moran loves to share his passion for fresh produce and home-cooked meals. He is a regular face on television cooking shows. “I think with anything if you’re passionate about it, you want to tell the world,“ he says. For the second season of the award-winning Foxtel tv show Paddock to Plate Moran travelled throughout South Australia and Western Australia to meet the best growers and farmers in the country.

“Paddock to Plate was a true love! I was a farmer’s son and I own a farm. I know how hard farmers have it,” he adds. “I know they’ve got to diversify a lot more. And I wanted to do a show that enabled me to cook but also tell their stories so people would see how hard they actually work.”

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Matt Moran adores culinary icon Maggie Beer

Moran is also a judge on the Foxtel show The Great Australian Bake Off, alongside fellow judge Maggie Beer and comedic hosts Claire Hooper and Mel Buttle. Originally a hit show in the UK, the local version involves 12 home baking enthusiasts pitting their skills against each other to create a delectable array of cakes, tarts, pastries and other desserts that will get your tummy rumbling.

The Great Australian Bake off is filmed in Sydney and it’s fairly easy cooking to do. It was a lot of fun working with Maggie Beer. I absolutely loved and adored her. I just had a ball filming it and it is one of the nicest shows I’ve ever done.”

As well as cooking in his prestigious restaurant ARIA and on cooking shows, Moran also loves to cook for his family and friends. “I train to eat. I love cooking at home. I find it relaxing. I have plenty of time to do it and it’s fun to me. I’ve never found cooking a chore.”

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Matt and Maggie Beer are judges on the The Great Australian Bake Off

He adds, “I love doing a chicken in master stock on a Sunday night or doing roasts or baking tarts or cakes. I just love all food and I’m always cooking something different. Anyone that watches my Instagram feed will realise that I’m always cooking on a weekend.”

Food Trends
According to research by LG, compared to 10 years ago, more Australians are:

  • eating more fruits and vegetables, 52.1%
  • increasingly concerned about where their food comes from, 52.4%
  • cook at home more frequently, 49.7% 
  • saying what they eat is either important or very important to them, 77.5%
  • cook for themselves or their family at least five times per week, 60.4%

For those of us who are still honing our kitchen skills, Moran recommends starting by always using fresh food. “Go to the growers’ markets, buy it fresh from the people; try and keep out of the supermarkets. Find out the story behind it,” he says. “It’s all about using the best possible produce and doing little to it. Only using the best and integrity is important.”

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Matt shares his cooking tips at the launch of LG’s new Door-in-Door refrigerators with CustomChill™ Drawer

Why not start making the most of Australia’s abundant local produce and take a leaf out of Matt Moran’s book by getting creative in the kitchen with some fresh, seasonal ingredients?

Matt Moran’s Buttermilk Pancakes With Ricotta and Berry Compote
Serves 4-6 people

INGREDIENTS

3 eggs (separated) 
480 ml buttermilk 
60g melted butter 
300g plain flour 
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
70g castor sugar 
30ml water 
200g frozen raspberries, thawed 
320g fresh ricotta 
320g fresh mixed berries 
icing sugar, for garnishing 
mint for garnish

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(Photo: Shutterstock)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks well then whisk in the buttermilk and melted butter. Sift the dry ingredients together and fold through the egg mixture.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and gently fold into the batter. Lightly grease a heavy base fry pan and pour in approximately 1/4 cup of batter, cook until bubbles start to form on the uncooked side, then flip over and cook the other side until golden brown.
  3. To prepare the coulis, bring the sugar & water to the boil stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Add the syrup and the raspberries to a blender and puree till smooth. Pass through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. 
  4. Place the pancake in the centre of the plate and spoon on the fresh ricotta. Arrange the mixed berries on and around the pancake. Dust with icing sugar to garnish. 

Also check out this Porchetta Slider recipe by Matt Moran!

Do you grow your own produce at home to cook with? Join the conversation below. . .