Australian Chef of the Year competition has selected our very own Chef Martin Bouchier for the top 32 chefs in Australia to compete in Sydney for the top spot; Chef of the Year 2018.
Chef Martin will be heading down next week from the 27th to the 29th of May to compete against the other 31 top chefs in Australia. To win he is given a box of ingredients & has an hour to create a three course meal to impress the judges.
We are all wishing him the best of luck & are excited to see what he prepares!
Read below a written interview with him & Chef of the Year.
Martin Bouchier comes from a long line of chefs in the north of England and has almost 40 years’ experience in UK, Europe, USA and Australia. In that time he has worked his way up from junior dishwasher at 14 to his present position as BevCo’s Group Executive Chef at Hot Tamale.
Martin enjoys being a mentor to young chefs and is NT President of the Australian Culinary Federation.
Why have you entered Chef of the Year?
I’ve spent the last 20 years telling students and apprentices to enter competitions for their development and knowledge of culinary arts, however it’s nearly 30 years since I last competed. Currently I have two apprentices in one of my kitchens, both whom I’ve mentored for comp. I thought it was time to put my money where my mouth is and challenge myself. I’ve been burning stuff for nearly 40 years, I like to learn new things.
What excites you in cooking?
Natural flavours, artistry, innovation and provenance. I adore a perfectly cooked piece of fresh fish caught off the jetty, or a steak from a boutique producer, presented well, not masked with non-complimenting flavours. I will always seek out a local producer over mass production. I enjoy food with a story to tell, yet I love dining out where my senses are distorted through a chef’s artistry
What do you think of the new format where you order the product you need, instead of a mystery box?
I would love the “off the cuff” of not knowing until the last minute. Sometimes as chefs we overthink a dish, over complicate it and cause ourselves a little extra heartache in an industry that already has a lot, but I must admit it’s given me a bit of time to come up with a couple of ideas.
What do you like about working with Australian Pork?
I am a massive fan of pork; its taste can be bold or subtle depending on cut or provenance. I’ve been using some of Jason Stephenson’s produce from Boston Bay in S.A. His black pigs are awesome and it’s some of the best Pata Negra I’ve come across since my days in Andalucía, Spain.
What’s your favourite ingredient?
Really hard to answer as it changes with the seasons. At the moment I’ve been using a lot of Spanish Mackerel out of the Arafura Sea. We got hold of a 15kg beauty the other week that I used as a masterclass for my guys. I used it in an aguachile, ceviche, sashimi and deep fried. We even nicked one of Africola’s ideas and did a creamed corn with the head; but next month it could be something completely different!
How would you best describe your food?
What would it mean to you to win this competition?
Having worked all over the place for a crazy amount of years and still be on the pans, this would be an awesome top to a really interesting career. It would vindicate the work and hours I’ve put in. It would give a little notoriety to the Top End, a place I really enjoy living in and am passionate about promoting. But most of all it might just give a nudge to countless other chefs around the country to put themselves out there and pass it forward to the next and the next.