Matt Moran is amongst Australia's most recognizable chefs, but his media savvy is only outdone by a string of top notch eating establishments. From high end Aria at the Sydney Opera House precinct to casual iconic beach bistro North Bondi Fish, his various establishments involve one thing in common: the best possible produce. A childhood on the land, long instilled this passion for the best produce to the point that both his Chiswick restaurants have attached herb and vegetable gardens, and on a grander scale, Matt's family farm supplies the notable succulent Moran lamb to all his restaurants.
I asked Matt how life has been for him since the Covid19 pandemic forced the shut down of restaurants. He calls it a slow bleed, with major losses which they hope to recover from in the following weeks. Understandably, he is cautious about opening up again- looking to gauge the response of diners before surging ahead with full scale openings. He has spent this time in isolation cooking, overseeing his farm, innovating, lending his voice and support to the industry for recovery, and filming what he laughingly called awkward zoom cooking classes.
I finished with asking Matt my three questions:
1.Secret naughty food obsession?
Oh, I have a bit of a sweet tooth! I always have some dark chocolate before I finish up at night. My current favourite is one with quinoa in it which gives the chocolate some crunch. It is called Alter Eco organic chocolate.
2.Best thing you ate most recently?
Look, I've been lucky enough to be asked to judge the Delicious Produce Awards (NB: referring here to the home delivered fresh produce boxes that have sprung up during this lockdown period.)
It is a blind taste testing, so sadly I can't tell you where these amazing tastes are from, but I've had an incredible wild honey tasting recently. Its probably the best honey I've ever tasted.
I've also tasted an amazing semi-dried fig. Its not hard and firm, but just wonderful.
3. Never fail pantry ingredients?
Ah, that's a hard one. A very good olive oil, and organic soy sauce. Olsson's sea salt.
I've been baking a lot recently, so an organic sustainable white flour, a spelt flour and a good stone ground. All great for bread making!