Chef Profile: Darren Purchese
Best Known For:Darren specialises in delicate and decadent desserts interpreting traditional pastry techniques with scientific methods and bold flavour combinations. You may remember his intricate Dessert Degustation in 2014, or his Passion Flower Pressure Test.
Restaurant: Owner & Pastry Chef at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Writer of Sweet Studio, Lamingtons & Lemon Tart, and Chefs Eat Breakfast Too.
Have we seen him on MasterChef before? Absolutely. Darren has racked up the most guest appearances of any chef in MasterChef history. Most recently, in 2018, he challenged the contestants to an unforgettable Pressure Test, with his reinvention of the classic Australian dessert, the Peach Melba.
Q&A with DarrenCan you give us a taste of something you saw in the MasterChef kitchen this year that excited you?I saw a bunch of amateur cooks that had drive, determination, skill and a real passion for food. That really excites me.
If you could go back in time and give yourself some advice as a young chef, what would it be?Learn as much as you possibly can as quickly as you can, have the right can do attitude, stay positive and go to bed early!
What’s your favourite dish to make at home on a lazy Sunday?Roast Chook rubbed with Harissa, Sweet Potato & Crunchy salsa.
What was your favourite dish to eat as a kid and is there a dish that you make now that reminds you of this time?Trifle! I make an epic one at Burch & Purchese, but I don’t think anything is as good as you remember.
Is there a naughty technique for a dish that you use that other chefs might find controversial?Using the microwave! Not naughty, but frowned on in professional kitchens I guess. I love using the microwave for all sorts of things.