Born in New Zealand, Roberts grew up on a farm and was surrounded by a family of food professionals, inspiring his passion for food at an early age. He spent several years in Australia building his career as an executive chef, going on to host his own food talk show, “Jason Roberts’ Taste”.
Read on for our interview with this charismatic chef.
Q: Who or what has had the greatest impact on your culinary style?
A: I think the biggest impact for me when it came to cooking was staying grounded in a tough industry that is ruled by egos. Having a mentor with a positive outlook with continuous encouragement was and is still key – Damian Pignolet has been my Mentor for the last 22 years. To me, he is a god of the kitchen.
Q: What is the best dish you’ve ever made?
A: I’m not sure which dish I have made that would stand out as being the best, but I can tell you the best food I have cooked came when I realized it wasn’t about me and my ego, it was about the people I was serving.
Q: Which recipe in this week’s box is most personal for you? What inspired it?
A: I’m a big fan of Southeast Asian cuisine. Any dish that starts with fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice will only ever taste amazing. Shaking beef is a Vietnamese dish that tantalizes the taste buds using very basic elements!
Q: What’s the best cooking advice you’ve ever gotten?
A: Keep it simple stupid! I find a lot of chefs add one ingredient too many. I like simple food cooked well, the single ingredient should always be the star.
Q: What’s one budget item that should be on every home gourmet’s grocery list?
A: Tin tuna for quick salads!
Chef Challenge: Get out to a fresh food /growers market and check out the fresh seasonal produce. Cooking via the seasons is so much fun, and so much more beneficial to your health. Mother Nature is a smart woman!
– Pareesha Narang