At the table with: Ben Milbourne

Since leaving the 2012 series as a contestant of Channel 10’s MasterChef, Ben Milbourne has been busy writing and hosting his own show.

The former schoolteacher launched his first cookbook Mexican Craving in November 2013, and followed it up with a second one Tasmanian Trail, which is focused on celebrating Tasmanian producers.

He also has his own TV show, Ben’s Menu, that airs on weekedays on Channel 10.

At the table with: Ben Milbourne

Who is your inspiration?
Fresh produce, and taking an old favourite and giving it a makeover! It’s been apple season in Tasmania recently and I served a modern apple crumble at a dinner. Diners enjoy looking at food they’ve taken comfort in and seeing how it’s been created in a new light.

What’s currently in your pantry?
I have a good selection of dried chillies for winter curries, some All-Bran and Just Right for mornings on-the-go, and Maltodextrin, Ultra tex and a few other goodies that I’ve been using while playing around with molecular gastronomy.

What’s in your fridge?
It’s loaded with fresh produce at the moment. Cauliflowers are coming into season and they are so versatile and delicious so there’s a couple of those! I always stock up on yoghurt too.

Best thing to come out of the microwave
I’m not much of a microwave user, however curries and Thai are always better warmed up in the microwave the next day!

What did you last eat?
Current scones for morning tea!

Where do you like to go for a feed?
I like to try different restaurants and see what the chef is creating.

When I’m not cooking, I’m…
Writing recipes or looking after my daughter.

Butter, margarine, a mix or neither?
Butter! A local dairy, Ashgrove Farm, makes this amazing garlic, chilli and herb butter that is a fantastic addition to most meals. It packs so much flavour into a dish and is a great timesaver.

Tools I can’t live without
My knives.

Cookbooks I always return to
I have so many it’s hard to choose! I read magazines also to get inspiration and ideas.

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