Sunday, August 21, 2016

Chop Chop - tasty new cookbook from MasterChef Brett McGregor

Chop Chop
Brett McGregor
Random House - $45.00

Fresh from his Taste of a Traveller adventures, Brett McGregor — NZ’s original MasterChef — shares his favourite Asian inspired recipes, simplified for home cooking.
The way we cook at home is changing. People want simple, fast, food that is full of flavour, uses a range of vegetables, meats and spices, and is easy to make. Asian-inspired recipes tick all these boxes.

A keen traveller, MasterChef NZ season one winner Brett McGregor has always been inspired by food and other cultures. Brett lived in Hong Kong for three years and travelled for ten years visiting such places as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Morocco, North Africa and Spain.

In Chop Chop he shares his take on his favourite Asian-inspired recipes. With salads, curries, soups, stir-fries, noodle dishes and sweet treats inspired by cuisines from Japan, Hong Kong, China, India, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea and even the middle east.

‘Since entering MasterChef New Zealand in 2010, life’s been nothing short of amazing. I’ve been lucky enough to follow my dream of working with food,’ explains Brett.

‘My parents’ passion for seeing the world and tasting new flavours ignited the same passion in me, and this was enhanced by anthropology studies at university. Here, food wasn’t just a meal ­— it was an experience of another culture. My studies spurred on years of travelling the globe, eating and learning the joys of another country’s food.’

While travelling Brett has always carried a journal around with him. If he happened upon a great dish he has been known to whip out the back to the kitchen and try to meet the chef, watching and learning the magic that is going on behind the scenes and convincing the chef to share his secrets. Brett incorporates these experiences into his cooking.

‘My inspiration for cooking and trying new flavour combinations stems from places travelled, more often than not on a shoestring budget… like most Kiwi adventurers.’

Broken into chicken, beef and lamb, pork and prawns, vegetables, the sea, and sweets, Chop Chop also includes a list of pantry essentials, the most important ingredients that Brett believes you should have on hand in order to create authentic dishes.
I made the Cauliflower & Potato Curry from the book the day it arrived, it was superb and very well received by all.. Next up I am going to try the Mussels with Thai Dipping Sauce and Crispy Shallots.

With truly gorgeous photographs by Jae Frew and styling by Federica Contardi, the food and photos in this stunning book will transport you.

About Brett McGregor

Brett McGregor stars in the Taste of a Traveller TV show which takes him all around the world exploring different culture’s cuisines— the second season is currently screening on TV One. Brett is author of the bestselling Taste Of A Traveller and A Taste of Home. Previously the deputy principal of a Branston Intermediate School in Christchurch, he has contributed a regular column to Food magazine and featured in cooking demonstrations all over New Zealand.
He is involved with the Diabetes Trust and Countdown supermarket in the Keep Calm and Learn to Cook program, visiting thousands of Kiwi school kids and teaching them cooking skills. He is an ambassador for Kaipara Kumara and has launched his own kumara crisps with Proper Crisps. He is an ambassador for Progressive, Blue September and the Auckland Seafood Festival and is a member of the NZ Chefs association. Since 2011, he has conducted many food tours to the tastiest places on the planet.

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