by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
Visiting Masterchef chef Callum Hann received a warm welcome, Sunday morning, in Millicent with almost 80 people turning out for a personal lesson from the popular Masterchef 2010 runner up. Callum was interviewed on 5 THE FM two weeks ago and accepted the invitation to appear in Millicent. Manager of Libraries Janice Nitschke was keen to partner with 5 THE FM and with her library staff and volunteers turned the library into a cooking school for the morning as part of the library’s continued community participation. 5THE FM sponsored the event with advertising.
Millicent chef Bryce Tomlinson assisted with the preparation and said he enjoyed working with Callum.
Callum shared some of his favourite stories about taking part in a reality TV cooking program and his love of food which stems from his family’s involvement in the food industry. He is an accomplished speaker and kept the audience interested with tales of cooking experiences peppered with light hearted humour.
“If you ever wondered what happens to the left over opened ingredients used on Masterchef, they are given to Aus Harvest so there is no waste,” he said.
Saturday was International Women’s Day and he shared a story as a tribute to the day. He said he’ll always remember doing a cooking demonstration in Cambodia, similar to the one he did in Millicent Sunday, but with a difference; less than six feet behind him, behind a light screen, a lady gave birth.
A demonstration in a major shopping centre in Adelaide resulted in a less than happy manager when their equipment shorted out the power in much of shopping centre.
One of his first TV commercials was for a milk company and being his first, he dressed in his ‘Sunday best.’ As the producer directed him towards the camera amongst a paddock of cows he could hear his shiny news shoes squelching through the ……………….paddock!
Callum now runs a cooking school in Adelaide called Sprouts, with dietician Themis Chryssidis; has produced two recipe books, worked with the Adelaide Market, Wesley Mission, Jamie Oliver’s Home Cooking Skills, is a presenter with SA Life and won $20,000 for the Cancer Council on Masterchef All stars.
He shared two of his recipes on Sunday – a haloumi, fig and walnut salad and a salmon main course. Lucky audience members were the official tasters and both recipes are in his second book ‘I’d eat that.’
When asked what the most unusual food item he had ever eaten was – deep fried tarantula – but only the legs, he said. His most valued kitchen item is the mortar and pestle given to him by Jamie Oliver.
Millicent woman Jenny Young’s son Andrew Creanor, a chef, was working with Heston Blumenthal when Callum visited his restaurant Hatfield House in London as part of his Masterchef experience. Andrew began his chef career in Mt Gambier, studied at TAFE, went to Adelaide and then London. Ms young was delighted to meet Callum and bought one of Callum’s recipe books to be signed for her son.
Callum always appeared to be the nice one on the 2010 series of Masterchef, and was the same in person, chatting to people as they arrived, while setting up a temporary kitchen in the library. His niceness was the subject of a story by one member of the audience that took the chef’s breath away.
Kerry Oschar told Callum his visit meant so much to her, “my husband and I thought you were such a nice young man when we watched you on Masterchef, we decided to name our son Callum after you.” “That is so flattering,” Callum said.
Kerry’s son Callum was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes just before he was two years old. Many of chef Callum’s recipes are designed with special eating requirements in mind.
Callum’s young namesake received this special message in his book.
Callum said TV cooking programs encourage people to become interested in food but sometimes they intimidate people because many of the recipes are complicated, so his aim is to teach people to cook well, but simply and easily and to encourage people to cook for themselves. The 5THE FM winner of Callum’s recipe book said she was looking forward to being inspired to cook for herself.
He said recent studies show that more young people are interested in food now and there were a number of young people attending the demonstration on Sunday.
His theory on food is – ‘you have to eat for the rest of your life so you may as well eat well and that means cooking well even if it is simple recipes.’
His first book ‘Starter Kitchen’ – Learn how to love to cook, and his second one just released called ‘I’d eat that’, simple ways to be a better cook, were a popular purchase for husbands, wives, grandchildren, children and friends of all ages. Some were bought with Christmas in mind but I can’t tell!!!
Morning tea was prepared and served by library staff and volunteers while Callum signed recipes books and posed for photographs.