MasterChef's Marion Grasby shares tips for entertaining on a budget

EXCLUSIVE: The beloved food star reveals two of her go-to recipes when entertaining.

Not only is Marion Grasby a successful cookbook author, TV presenter and food entrepreneur, but she’s also an expert hostess.

The Thai-Australian cook, who rose to fame after competing on the second season of MasterChef in 2010, has teamed up with Australian Lamb on their ‘Say More With Lamb’ campaign to share her top tips for entertaining this summer.

Marion Grasby.
Marion Grasby has partnered with Australian Lamb on their ‘Say More With Lamb’ campaign. Photo: Supplied

When it comes to curating a menu, Marion believes lamb is the perfect protein for any summer occasion because it’s easy to grill and can be paired with many different flavours.

“Obviously, I love to cook Asian food, so my lamb often has an Asian spin to it,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “But at the same time, you can also mix it up and make it very Middle Eastern or Mediterranean.

“I think it's such a versatile summer protein for me and definitely one that's on my grill constantly.”


Marion shares that serving a family-style dish, like her Crying Tiger Lamb, is an easy and budget-friendly option when entertaining a large group.

“Lamb rump steak in particular is a really great cut because you can slice it really thin and then you can fan it out so it gives you that that beautiful look of abundance, but you don't have to buy as much as you would think to,” she details.

“You wouldn't really need to buy one per person. You spread it out and then have all of your lovely herbs and the lettuces and the rice and all the little side things that people pick at. And I feel like when you're doing that kind of Asian style picking and sharing, you actually get a lot fuller than you think.”

Marion's 'ultimate hosting dish'

Marion adds that her Thai-Style Panang Grilled Lamb Cutlets are the “ultimate hosting dish” because most of the elements can be made in advance so you only have to do “a little grilling, a little saucing, and a little herbing” at the end.

“The Thai Panang sauce is something I do a lot because I can have it heated and ready to go and then it's just about grilling, and everyone loves to stand around in the sunshine with a cold beer or a margarita and watch lamb grilling,” she shares. “It's a spectacle, and everything's already done so it's a bit less stress.

“And I also like that with lamb grilling, it's a very easy cut of meat to grill. It's got some nice fat to it and can cook really quickly so you're not waiting a long time.”

The mother-of-two describes herself as a “comfortable party hostess” and adds that it's just as important to dress for the occasion as it is to curate an appropriate menu.

“You won't see me getting around the kitchen in my stilettos, I'm gonna be in my sandals by the barbecue with a drink in hand,” she remarks.

“But for sure it's all about the preparation because in summer in particular, you get a lot hotter running around in the kitchen. So for me, it's that ease of the sharing table, that’s what I’m thinking about when I’m thinking about sharing or party dishes in spring and summer for sure.”

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