Fusion food not authentic says Aussie celeb chef

Masterchef Australia winner, Diana Chan, sheds light on the latest food trends

Diana Chan

In 2017, Malaysian-born Australian cook, Diana Chan won the reality television show ‘Masterchef Australia’. Since her win, she’s been promoting tourism in Malaysia, has her own food column in a magazine, has launched products in the supermarket and conducts masterclasses across the world. She was recently in the city for the CRED experience where she shared her expertise and knowledge of the culinary arts. 

She spoke to Metrolife about being in India and of the food trends she has observed during her travels.

Is India everything you thought it would be? 

I absolutely love it here. I haven’t had any time to explore Bengaluru as I am here only for the event but this country is so exciting. The people are lovely and the food is just amazing. I love how the food changes every 100 km; there’s so much to explore. The smell, the hustle and the bustle... I love it! 

What’s it like travelling the world and working in different kitchens? 

Every country is different and has its own challenges. There are different stakeholders in each place. It’s definitely different and the kitchen, venue and perception of how things are run vary too. But nothing can be unsolved. Ultimately, it’s your job to give the best to your client and give the guests something to come back for. 

Any new food trends you’ve noticed? 

The awareness into the health sector is growing. There’s more awareness of sustainability and about where your produce is coming from. I’ve been noticing a shift where people are looking into vegetarianism and veganism. I eat meat only a couple of times a week nowadays. 

But growing your own food or looking for out only organic food is expensive. How do you think everyone can afford it? 

Yes, that’s there but it’s also the consciousness of doing things that helps. Food waste is one of the biggest issues we have. So if people can be aware of not over-ordering or buying too much, you’re helping out reserve the supplies for someone else’s demand for food. 

How can kitchens also adopt this style? 

Zero waste management is being adopted in many kitchens now. Use everything from the stock of the vegetable to the carcass of the animal when you cook. Celebrity chefs can conduct classes and work with the media to support this art and help others understand the situation. 

Metrolife recently noticed that there aren’t any female executive chefs in the hotels. What are your thoughts on that? 

Oh, wow. Are you serious? But you know what? There’s a big stigma attached to certain professions. A nurse is always addressed as a ‘she’ or ‘her’. A chef is always considered to be male. But that’s slowly changing. People are more vocal now and the whole ‘yes, chef’ thing is phasing out.

Having said that, we need men in the kitchen to work and handle the heavy pots and pans. Women bring in that mothering nurturing
aspect when men are shouting in the kitchen.

Ideally, women should be considered the better cooks as they have been doing it for centuries at home. 

What are your thoughts on social media and food? 

It’s definitely growing and only enhances the food industry. People refer to Instagram before they go to a restaurant. But it can also be equally damaging. People are too quick to judge. Then again, being in the industry, you should be able to take the criticism and work on it. You can’t please everyone but can improve. 

You work with a lot of fusion food. Do you think it’s ruining authentic food? 

Not as long as you are clear that fusion food is not authentic. But here’s the thing — when you cook traditional food, if you can’t do it better than the original, don’t do it. Fusion food
help chefs adapt to the environment they are working in, so why not experiment? 

 

 

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