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Meet Guest Chef Matthew Sartori

Meet the chef that challenged five contestants to cook a five-course degustation at Wildflower

Chef Profile: Matthew Sartori

Best Known For:

Experimenting with flavours from the bush throughout his cooking.

Restaurant:

Wildflower.

Q&A with Matthew

Why did you decide to be a part of MasterChef Australia this year and what does it mean to you?

I really believe in what we’re doing at the restaurant and I wanted to showcase that through MasterChef, I hope out of this we get some more interest and more awareness is brought forward to native ingredients.

What’s the best cooking advice you’ve received that you want the MasterChef contestants to know?

Advice from other chefs; Being a good chef is doing lots of little things very well. Advice from me; You need to motivate yourself, set goals and complete them sooner than you allow yourself so you can move on to the next task. Listen to chefs, listen to Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, Dave McMillan and Fred Morin, Edward Lee, Dominique Crenn and Jeremy Chan.

Can you give us a taste of something you saw in the MasterChef kitchen this year that excited you?

One of the contestants prepared a Marron dish with radish, persimmon and Geraldton wax which I thought was very tasty.

What is your all-time favourite comfort food dish?

Cassoulet.

What’s your go-to ice cream flavour?

Choc-mint.

Pineapple on pizza – agree or disagree?

If I am eating pizza, it would be very unlikely for me to order a Hawaiian pizza, but if I did eat a Hawaiian pizza by accident I wouldn’t be super mad about it.

What jumps out at you when you’re looking at menu at a restaurant?

Something that I haven’t tried before.

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?

My mum used to make stuffed pasta a lot which I sometimes cook at home, she also used to crumb and fry strips of chicken breast and make little parmies, I think that’s part of the reason why when I go to a pub I can't order anything other than a chicken parmy.

What ingredient or flavour do you love to cook and eat?

For a lot of my career so far I’ve always stayed more to the cold, pastry side and it has only been up until recently that I have gained more confidence on the hot side so I’m enjoying prepare and cooking proteins, although I do not eat a lot of meat. My favourite flavour I think is ginger, it’s in most of the meals I cook at home.

What’s your favourite dish to make at home on a lazy Sunday?

Mac and cheese, from scratch with some blue cheese and smoked paprika, or maybe some homemade Cavatelli with broccoli, garlic and parmesan.

What dish or technique did you struggle with in the past and you’ve now mastered?

I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered anything, I used to try to avoid filleting fish because I knew I was so bad at it but I forced myself to start practicing to fillet fish and now it’s something I enjoy doing, I’m also pretty quick at breaking down a duck.

If you could go back in time and give yourself some advice as a young chef, what would it be?

Travel, stage at the restaurants run by the chefs that inspire and motivate you to cook.

Is there a naughty technique for a dish that you use that other chefs might find controversial?

My team and I are pretty obsessive compulsive, much of that lead by me I think so we’re not very naughty at Wildflower, at home I do use Campbell’s stock a lot, but if it’s good enough for Manu then it’s good enough for me!