September, 2018

August, 2018

  • Cracking the code on cheffy terms

    28 August, 2018 Cracking the code on cheffy terms

    Sometimes fine-dining menus can seem like more of a maze than a relaxing pre-dining experience. Here, we breakdown some of the cheffy terms you’re likely to come across and include recipes so you can test them out at home.
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  • Cooking the classics

    27 August, 2018 Cooking the classics

    We consider those classic recipes we go back to time and time again.
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  • IGNI: The first year

    06 August, 2018 IGNI: The first year

    VIDEO: Acclaimed chef Aaron Turner's stirring account of love, loss and starting again.
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May, 2018

February, 2018

  • How a chef cooks for those he loves

    13 February, 2018 How a chef cooks for those he loves

    Skipping the crowds in favour of a lovingly prepared meal at home is your best bet for a romantic Valentine’s Day. This is chef Jock Zonfrillo's idea of a nice night in.
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January, 2018

December, 2017

October, 2017

September, 2017

  • Win a pro toastie pack

    18 September, 2017 Win a pro toastie pack

    Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this kit, including a no-mess Breville press, a copy of Darren Purchese's Chefs Eat Toasties Too and a subscription to Cooked.
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August, 2017

July, 2017

June, 2017

  • Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    08 June, 2017 Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    Gill Meller is in the country, his first time to Australia, showcasing his beautiful book Gather with a series of dinners and classes. We caught up with him to find out what's on the menu for his Aussie guests.
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May, 2017

April, 2017

February, 2017

January, 2017

December, 2016

October, 2016

September, 2016

August, 2016

July, 2016

June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

March, 2016

February, 2016

January, 2016

December, 2015

November, 2015

  • Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    27 November, 2015 Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    We're looking at those staple recipes that can make or break your Christmas spread. First up, the much-misunderstood sweet seductress, custard.
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  • Halfway Home

    16 November, 2015 Halfway Home

    I’ve been sugar-free for a total of two weeks, and things are going surprisingly well...
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  • Bubbles or nothing

    11 November, 2015 Bubbles or nothing

    Out to impress this party season? To take your entertaining game to the next level, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Halliday Wine Companion to share tips on matching sparkling wines to a range of show-stopping canapes.
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  • The anatomy of the perfect burger

    11 November, 2015 The anatomy of the perfect burger

    Looking for your next weekend challenge? Why not have a crack at making your own cheeseburgers from scratch? Chef Daniel Wilson shares the secret recipe to recreating his famed Huxtaburger, from bun to patty and everything in between.
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  • No Sugar November

    04 November, 2015 No Sugar November

    This month while the boys are growing staches, I’ll be growing a conscience about all the confectionary I consume.
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October, 2015

September, 2015

May, 2015

April, 2015

March, 2015

February, 2015

January, 2015

December, 2014

November, 2014

October, 2014

September, 2014

August, 2014

July, 2014

June, 2014

May, 2014

April, 2014

March, 2014

February, 2014

  • Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    27 February, 2014 Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    Jams, pickles, chutneys, sauces, compotes and conserves are the best way to preserve abundant produce so you can enjoy your fruit and veg all year round. Margaret Fulton shares her guide to the art of preserving.
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  • Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    27 February, 2014 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, running from February 28 to March 16, begins in just over a week. We’ve put together our picks of the fest.
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  • Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    24 February, 2014 Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    Master of the dough Philippa Sibley shares her step-by-step guide to making sweet shortcrust pastry, taking you through everything you need to know to perfect the art of peerless pâte.
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  • In season | Eggplant

    21 February, 2014 In season | Eggplant

    The unsung hero of the nightshade family, eggplant is found in cuisines the world over. From Sicily to South East Asia, the Middle East to the Mediterranean, many signature dishes feature the versatile aubergine. We sing the praises of the humble eggplant.
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  • Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    17 February, 2014 Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    Meat expert and chef Adrian Richardson explains the different cuts of pork, and what you should use them for.
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  • Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    14 February, 2014 Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    Skewers, kebabs, shaslicks, yakitori … Whatever you call them, meat just tastes better when cooked on a stick. We share our tips to help you ace the skewers at your next barbecue.
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  • In season | Figs

    06 February, 2014 In season | Figs

    Figs evoke the flavours of exotic decadence. Sweet and visually striking, figs make for a decadent tart topper, a sumptuous sticky jam or a delightful savoury venture with cold meats. We share some of our favourite fig recipes.
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  • Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    05 February, 2014 Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    There's nothing more thoughtful than a handmade edible gift. April Carter shares her tips and tricks for making beautiful and delicious treats for those you love.
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January, 2014

December, 2013

November, 2013

Q&A with Chui Lee Luk

By
Hannah Koelmeyer
Added
20 November, 2013

Cooked talks to celebrated chef Chui Lee Luk ­– formerly owner of the much-loved Claude’s in Sydney – about her new venture, Chow Bar & Eating House, and her new cookbook, 'Green Pickled Peaches'.

Q: Congratulations on your beautiful cookbook and the recent opening of Chow Bar & Eating House. It’s been a big year for you!

Thank you. I hadn’t set out to open Chow and to launch the book within the same month but it’s made the end of 2013 full of excitement and celebration for me.

Q: Chow Bar is a big gear change from Claude’s – what inspired you to take a more casual approach?

I’ve spent my whole professional career cooking formal cuisine and I saw a lot of friends and colleagues moving to or starting more casual places and having so much fun. And when I cook at home, it’s often a much more spontaneous and casual form of cooking. This made me think about the possibilities of starting a restaurant with a more flexible, spontaneous and casual approach to cuisine.

Q: Restaurants in Australia are increasingly tending toward casual dining. Do you think this is a trend or a true cultural shift in the way Australians want to eat out?

I think this is a cultural shift that stemmed first from economic circumstance (such as the recent and continuing global recession). I also think it is influenced by the changing way of how we are these days: everyone has frenetic lifestyles, we have been trained to be impatient for things to happen quickly, we’re presented with a constant overload of stimulation that makes us crave simplicity and casualness and simply some ‘down’ time. I think dining casually in an environment where you don’t have to think too much and that is simply fun meets that kind of need.

Q: It seems that so often when you dig into a chef’s biography, there is a moment of discovery or epiphany relating to French cuisine that has been a driving force in their career. What do you think it is it about the French discipline that is so inspiring to chefs?

I can’t speak for other chefs. In my case, I was attracted to the way in which French cuisine is logically systematised; for example, roux forming the basis for a whole family of sauces, which have as their bases flour and butter as thickening agent, etc. When my interest in cuisine began, I wanted to learn as much as I could in as little time as possible and French cuisine presented that opportunity to me. And being in Australia, information and exposure to French cuisine was more prevalent than Chinese which was the other cuisine that I felt I could learn in that systematic way.

Q: In Green Pickled Peaches, you describe cooking and eating as a ‘national preoccupation’ in Malaysia. What do you think it is that drives this cultural culinary obsession in some countries, while it is not at all prevalent in others?

I wonder if every country has something culinary that they obsess about, some more so than others. It’s probably about degrees. Malaysians from all walks of life seem to be highly obsessive about a large range of foodstuff, and about the minute details of provenance and preparation. So I guess in comparison to countries where this obsession is seen to be less prevalent, fewer people show that depth of interest and over a smaller range of food stuffs.

Green Pickled Peaches

Q: Has the process of writing a book changed the way you think about food and cooking?

My aim in writing the book was to explore in words how I had been creating dishes and developing ideas. In writing the book, I am more aware of the thought processes that I was following. I take on inspiration from my environment and imaginings and think laterally around it, and gradually a pattern emerges which reveals its way to a new idea for a concept or dish.

Q: What dish in Green Pickled Peaches is the most meaningful to you, and why?

The dishes drawn from my memories are all emotionally significant to me in some way. Favourites include the banana fritters which came from excursions to night markets with my father or uncle; corn soup made under the keen eye of a very strict aunt; stuffed crab claws which were a rare treat only to be seen on special occasions. I remember tastes, flavours, smells and the dishes in the book were chosen because they evoked a special response in me.

Q: Do you use cookbooks when you cook? And if so, do you have any favourites?

I look at a large range of cook books to stimulate my thinking. My favourites are the ones that excite my imagination including the books by Paula Wolfert, Elizabeth David, Jane Grigson, Florence Lin. These books explore ideas and history not simply recipes.

Q: Do you still cook at home? If so, what are the main differences in the way you cook at a restaurant, and the way you cook at home?

I do cook at home from time to time. There are more ingredients, stocks and condiments on hand in the restaurant which makes improvising a great deal easier. At home, cooking is usually more relaxed as there is no real deadline, and it’s for healthy sustenance and enjoyment rather than concentrating on craft to create a special statement piece.

Green Pickled Peaches is an exploration of Chui’s influential experiences from her childhood in Sabah, Malaysia, and how each – perceived through one of the five senses: scent, sight, sound, touch, taste – is central to the food she creates today. 

Cook the recipes from Green Pickled Peaches. 

 

FEATURED RECIPES FROM GREEN PICKLED PEACHES

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