Pete Evans cooks with love

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Pete Evans launches a new cookbook and discusses his favourite recipes

He's one of Australia's favourite celebrity chefs - and one of the busiest too. While co-hosting the smash hit cooking show My Kitchen Rules with fellow foodie Manu Feildel, Pete Evans has also been collating his favourite recipes for new cookbook Cooks with Love. Y7 Food quizzed Pete about his love of cooking and healthy living.

Do you have a signature dish?
I have about 50 or so signature dishes because I'm passionate about so many different flavours, cuisines and produce.

If you had just three ingredients to cook with, what would they be?
Fish, ginger and herbs.

Are there any popular food trends you’re excited about at the moment? (We know that you’re an advocate of healthy eating!)
Absolutely! Cultured or fermented vegetables are becoming a revived healthy trend throughout the world, and we make our own like kimchi or sauerkraut at home every week.

Cultured veggies are a wonderful, natural and affordable way of getting a good daily dose of probiotics, which are paramount for keeping your digestive system functioning at an optimum level!

What’s your idea of the ultimate meal?
Anything fresh, sustainable and organic, or something that I've caught myself like a kingfish accompanied by a delicious salad.

Most memorable restaurant experience?
I'm fortunate enough to have had a few, but my most recent memorable restaurant experience would have to be at our new restaurant in Melbourne 'Little Hunter.' My good mate, chef Gavin Baker, is an incredibly talented, unique and inspiring chef, he's a truly amazing artist in the kitchen and he puts his heart and soul into every dish.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Yes, but I don't feel guilty about it, I'm fully addicted to surfing!

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home and why?
I love cooking food that my girlfriend and my daughters love to eat, I feel so much satisfaction when the girls all smile from ear to ear and say an enthusiastic 'yum!' At the moment they're loving everything from the sea, from prawns to scallops, so I prepare them different ways with flavours like garlic, ginger, tamari, coriander, and sesame seeds or yuzu dressing and olive oil.

Who would you most love to cook for?
Always my family, or a hall full of kids that haven't had a tasty, healthy meal, and are in need of some nourishing TLC.

Which chefs do you most admire?
Definitely Chef Gavin Baker, he's my current chef crush for sure. His food is incredible, and always reflects his creative, patient and wise nature.

What has been your proudest moment?
Without a doubt becoming, and being a father. Watching my girls grow and love life is the most amazing feeling, especially when my girlfriend Nic [Kiwi model Nicky Watson] and I take the girls surfing and they catch a wave all the way into the shore, and with a huge grin paddle back out the back to catch another.

Can you recall your biggest cooking disaster?
Well there's been a few, it's always when I'm cooking abroad with unfamiliar ovens, and I've either overcooked or undercooked the meat.

What meal do you remember most from your childhood?
My Mum's Asian style sticky pork spare ribs. They were sublime, and I still make them now, just with slightly different ingredients.

What's your best basic kitchen tip for aspiring home cooks?
Invest in a really good knife or two! You'll cut your prep time in half, and a professional sharp knife is a lot safer than a budget blunt one!

Don't be afraid to get creative and play around with ingredients, you will soon learn what works and what doesn't and you'll begin to create your own unique dishes.

And cook with good energy, relax and breath and enjoy the process and your dishes will reflect your positive attitude.

RELATED: Pete Evans' dinner party recipes

Click the photo to go to Pete Evans' dinner party recipes
Click the photo to go to Pete Evans' dinner party recipes

Cook with Love by Pete Evans, published by Murdoch Books, is available in April 2013 (RRP $49.99)

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