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Q&A with Ben O'Donoghue from My Market Kitchen

We catch up with My Market Kitchen host Ben O'Donoghue to talk inspirations, flavours and his return to our TV screens.

Who are some of your cooking inspirations?

There are so many peers outthere doing amazing stuff. I really love looking at chefs like Analiese Gregory and what she’s doing in Tasmania. Alastair Waddell at Harvest is doing some really good stuff with bush food and Dan Barber from Blue Hill Farm, I love looking at his Instagram. His holistic approach to food, it’s so simple and strong, that’s the kind of food I really love.

You run three very different restaurants – how do you stay inspired to keep things fresh?

I really rely on collabs with chefs I work with, eating out, reading and keeping up with social media. When I was growing up, you had to buy recipe books and you had to buy magazines, now young chefs have social media at their fingertips which is kind of a double-edged sword. Sometimes you get anxiety looking at all this wonderful stuff people are doing, but it doesn’t mean it tastes any good! That’s the dilemma!

Your wine lists have a strong focus on Australia – what’s your favourite wine region?

It depends on the variety, but if I can only pick one, Margaret River. I love Margaret River because I grew up there, surfing there, I’ve done the Cave Road Wine Trip many a time. There are so many good wineries, they just keep popping up. I love
the Cabernet Merlot, the Cabernets, the Semillons, the Riesling from further down south, there’s nothing we can’t grow there, it’s just awesome.

Your restaurants have a focus on local produce – what are some of your favourite ingredients?

We get beautiful quails from Brisbane Valley Quails and they’re all free range, we get the big birds, 400-500g, and they’re so delicious! We have beautiful pork and local vegetables as well. The seafood is always good from Mooloolaba. When I say local, I mean the Northern Rivers as well, Northern NSW out to Moree, Gwydir Grove, we use their olive oil, we also use Fino, which is local Queensland produce, local farmers from out Stanthorpe way, all the apples and stonefruit come from there, Gympie and Sunshine Coast, Hinterland for finger limes, strawberries… the list goes on.

What are you looking forward to most about the My Market Kitchen experience?

I’m just enjoying not being stuck behind a stove, I love cooking and I love enthusing about it and I think I connect with people when I talk about food – I seem to anyhow! I wish every chef had the opportunity to do this sort of stuff, it would make them think a little bit more about why they do it.

Check out Ben on My Market Kitchen on Network Ten or on demand at TenPlay.


>> Click here to enter our MMK photo competition!

We’re so excited to have teamed up with My Market Kitchen again in 2020 and to be sharing our combined passion for searching for the best local producers. So, to celebrate, over the next 18 weeks, we’re giving lucky viewers the chance each week to win a premium 6-pack of Australian wine valued at $150!

To be in the running all you need to do is simply follow Wine Selectors on Facebook and Instagram and upload a picture of your favourite wine and food moment!

Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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