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Matt reveals he is a bona-fide bushie: Interview by Bec

The vineyard’s progress had stalled, so Matt had fewer things to do on the weekend. After nearly 12 months in the country, Bec decided now was an opportune time to test his real rural mettle.

Bec: Which famous bushman are you most like, and why?

Matt: Well to start, the word is bushie. You’re obviously not from here.

Bec: Would you like to have a beer with Duncan?

Matt: Been too busy mustering for that. It’s tough out here.

Bec: What have you been mustering?

Matt: Livestock mostly.

Bec: Specifically?

Matt: Three chickens, one miniature fox terrier and some worms.

Bec: Just how “tough out here” is it?

Matt: Put it this way, Duncan was a sheila when I first met him.

Bec: What speeds have you reached on the ride on mower?

Matt: I think you mean ‘lawn tractor’.

Bec: How calloused are your hands, from all of your livin’ and a workin’ on the land?

Matt: Bushies like me don’t worry about that sort of stuff.

Bec: Didn’t I see a jar of moisturiser on your shelf in the bathroom the other day?

Matt: That would have been deep heat cream, for my eyes. I use that as training for staring into the sun, which I have to do a lot while looking for lost cattle.

Bec: How many wild beasts have you tamed?

Matt: Wild beasts are for shootin’, tannin’ and possibly eatin’. They ain’t for tamin’.

Bec: How many brown snakes have you wrestled with your bare hands, ensuring they came off second best?

Matt: 2.5

Bec: How is that possible?

Matt: I wrestled the third one so hard it snapped in half, upon whence the front end bit me and the back end crawled away while I sucked the poison out. Once that poison is inside you, you have to suck it out immediately. The nearest hospital is a day’s ride away. You can’t take any chances out here.

Bec: A day’s ride on what?

Matt: Ride on mower.

Bec: Do you mean lawn tractor?

Matt: Yes.

Bec: What do you think of ‘city slickers’?

Matt: They come out here in their fancy Rav4s, thinking they can go ‘off-road’ because they’ve parked on a lawn at a street party…

Bec: How fast can you crack a whip?

Matt: When I crack a whip, it’s not the whip you hear; it’s the sonic boom.

Bec: You know a whip crack IS a sonic boom?

Matt: When I do it, yes.

Bec: No, when anyone does it. That’s what the crack is. It’s the tip of the whip breaking the speed of sound.

Matt: Nope.

Bec: It is.

Matt: Well, when I crack a whip it breaks the speed of sound, AND the speed of light. So you can’t even see it. Did you see that? I just cracked a whip and you didn’t see it.

Bec: I didn’t see anything. Nor did I hear anything.

Matt: Exactly.

Bec: Did the gene test end up proving your “irrefutable claim” that you are “related to RM”?

Matt: You don’t need science to prove obvious fact.

Bec: What did the test say?

Matt: I can see the fence needs immediate repair. Hooroo.


Cooking and Cleaning

Bec: Darling, I think we need to talk.

Matt: Uh-oh. Is this about the wee on the floor?

Bec: No, what wee on the floor?

Matt: Nothing. What do you want to talk about?

Bec: What wee on the floor?

Matt: I was just going to say, it wasn’t me, it was Molly. We left the toilet door open and her newspaper was too damp so she went into the toilet and peed on the floor instead. It was right in front of the bowl. I didn’t want you blaming me.

Bec: Well why didn’t you clean it up?

Matt: I forgot.

Bec: Yes, well, on that, I want to talk about me doing more jobs around the house.

Matt: *cough*

Bec: What do you mean “*cough*”

Matt: Nothing. Is this a test? What’s the right answer?

Bec: There’s no right answer. I haven’t even told you what I’m talking about or asked you a question yet.

Matt: In that case, I think you do a perfect amount of jobs around the house. And I love you. And you’re very pretty.

Bec: It’s not a test. That’s not what I’m getting at.

Matt: It really does sound like a test. Like when you say, “Do you like this dress?”

Bec: It’s not a test.

Matt: Because you are very clean, and I do appreciate everything you do around the house. You’re a very good cleaner. You could be a professional cleaner if you wanted to, you’re that good.

Bec: No, look, what I was about to say is – you make a lot of mess every time you cook, and I actually end up resenting your cooking, because it means at least an hour and a half cleaning job for me the next morning. Which is the reason I often suggest pizza home delivery. Every night.

Matt: You don’t like my cooking?

Bec: No, I do like your cooking, I just don’t like the mess you make. Remember how you’re banned from cooking at your parents’ house?

Matt: They just don’t like it when I put chilli in things.

Bec: No, they just don’t like it when you put chilli in their carpet.

Matt: Why don’t you like my cooking?

Bec: I do like your cooking, even when you put vegetables in things. You’re getting very good at hiding them.

Matt: Did you like that beurre blanc sauce I made the other night? You couldn’t even see the carrots underneath it.

Bec: Yes, I did. Thank you. But that’s a good example of what I’m saying – you left the butter on the bench overnight and you burnt the pan a little bit. Only a little bit, it was very tasty, but it was really hard to clean up.

Matt: It wasn’t burnt, it just had colour. That’s what the French do. Like on Masterchef professionals the other night. Remember, with the blowtorch?

Bec: Yes, OK, ‘colour’. Look, darling, your cooking is lovely, but I’m just wondering if maybe we can swap jobs. So, instead of you doing all the cooking and me doing all the cleaning, maybe you could do the cooking, and you could clean the kitchen bench and sink, and I could do some other regular jobs instead of cleaning the kitchen.

Matt: I can think of a few regular ‘jobs’ you could do.

Bec: Thanks. Are you 15?

Matt: You don’t even know what I was referring to.

Bec: You said “jobs” in baritone, and pointed to your crotch. Anyway, how about you stick to the cleaning the kitchen. You’re used to that space, and I’ll do the bins, in addition to my regular cleaning.

Matt: OK, but I just want to make clear that I actually do other cleaning as well.

Matt and Carmen Electrolux

Bec: Darling, the only time you’ve seen the underside of a toilet seat is when you pee all over it, and the only time you’ve touched the vacuum cleaner is when you brought it inside, in its box, declaring that you had an “amazing present” for me. Oh, and the time you posed with it after we named it ‘Carmen Electrolux’.

Matt: OK, I’ll look after the kitchen.

Bec: Really? Deal?

Matt: Yes. Deal.

Bec: Oh thank you sweetheart. I can even do the grocery shopping if you like.

Matt: No, I’ll do that. Last time you did the shopping you got the wrong butter, the wrong fish and you got spring onions instead of shallots.

Bec: What do you mean the ‘wrong’ butter?

Matt: You have to get the butter with the Masterchef logo on it.

Bec: I see. Is it different is it?

Matt: Yes, it has a logo.

Bec: I see. Alright. So, what are we going to have for dinner tonight, as the first dinner of the new system?

Matt: Microwave popcorn. Do we have any paper plates?


A Brief History of Hawaiian Pizza

List of things invented by the Greeks:

  • Olympics
  • Running
  • Civilisation/Society
  • Science
  • Halloumi
  • Effie
  • Hawaiian Pizza

Sam Panopoulos: Fricking champion. Imagine the scene. 1962, small town Canada, Ukelele mania is sweeping the world. The Aloha State has only just been added to the union, grass skirts are everywhere. Surfing is the bomb. You’re young. You’re smart, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re in the pizza restaurant business. What are you going to do to to ensure you absolutely kill it at next year’s Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce small business cafe innovation awards? Pineapple; ham. Bam.

Hawaiians hate it apparently. As do Canadians. As does everyone else, except us. Ham and pineapple is the most popular topping in Australia, at least according to a broken hyperlink reference on Wikipedia. I can’t find any recent research to back that stat up, but given that chicken menu items generally incur an additional fee of between $1.1-1.2 million, it doesn’t surprise me. In fact, I used to work as a Dominos delivery boy in Western Sydney when I was at uni and I must admit, the thing they seemed to want the most of, other than flannelette and heroin, was Hawaiian pizza.

Pineapple and ham naturally do go so well together so it’s no surprise Sam Panopoulos saw the connection. Pineapple contains the enzyme ‘bromelain’, which breaks down protein (meat is made of protein, so are protein shakes and body builders and Chinese swimmers), so when you have a fatty animal like pig, duck, or westie, throwing some pineapple their way can make them a lot more tender (depending on your aim).

I used to love ham and pineapple pizza when I was a kid so I thought I’d have a crack at making a more grown up version of this Italian/Canadian/Greek/French/Polynesian favourite. My food blog MaTTsterChef has the ingredients/method in a post I’ve entitled ‘The Fricking Ultimate Hawaiian Pizza Recipe‘. It may possibly *cough* be a thinly veiled way to write off a dinner party on tax as ‘research’ for a client, or it may not. That’s between me and Rob Oakeshott though really (he is the Treasurer now isn’t he?).


Cute Food Gallery on Flickr

I found some links to these photos via Tumblr and then stumbled onto the Flickr Gallery. OMG are they kewt! Visit.


Campos Menu

I must be having a menu fetish this week. Campos in James Street just won an award for best cafe in Brisbane so I thought I’d check it out. I didn’t have time to stop and eat or get a coffee, but they gave me a copy of the menu. They change it every couple of weeks, obviously. Which is always a good sign.

Campos Menu
Campos Menu

Hotel Orient: Best Pub Menu in Brisbane

For a pub on the fringe of the CBD the grub is absolutely divine, at least on paper. I don’t know who they hired to create the à la carte menu, but it’s clearly not the same person doing the cooking! This isn’t a restaurant reviews blog so I won’t chastise, just make sure you order the steak blue if you want it medium rare. That being said, I’ve had most of the meals on this list and they’re all, for the most part, delicious. Exactly what you want on a mid-week trivia night (my team won, of course). There’s some great ideas here, so kudos to them. It’s not fine dining, but it’s easily the best pub menu in Brisbane.

Hotel Orient À La Carte Menu


  • Flash fried calamari with cumin salt and harissa, quinoa salad and fresh lemon | $16.90
  • Orient chicken caesar, poached egg, fresh cos, crisp prosciutto, garlic croutons and whole egg dressing |$16.90
  • Zesty beer battered white fish with chips and salad, lemon and tartare | $18.90
  • Asparagus and sweetcorn risotto with toasted walnuts and goats cheese (v) | $16.90
  • Pasta of the day, please check specials board for details | $15.90


  • Whole breast parmigana with shaved leg ham, roast tomato relish and mozzarella, fresh garden salad and beer battered fries | $18.90
  • Fragrant red curry of duck breast and caramelised pineapple with coconut rice, fried shallot and asian greens | $21.90
  • Wagyu and honey sausages on crushed potato, savoy cabbage, speck and balsamic onion glaze (gf) | $19.90
  • Braised lamb shank pie with roast pumpkin, mint pea puree and smoked garlic jus | $23.90
  • Baked Tasmanian salmon with preserved lemon and black olive crust, sweet potato mash, warm green bean and chorizo salad | $24.90
  • 350g black angus rump with creamy seeded mustard mash and steamed greens, your choice of brandy pepper or porcini mushroom sauce (gf) | $26.90
  • 200g grain fed eye fillet wrapped in prosciutto with creamy potato and gorgonzola gratin, roast fi eld mushroom and cabernet jus | $26.90
  • Grilled fish of the day, please check the specials board for details | P.O.A

Moving House, New Kitchen

I’m moving house today, which means a new kitchen (a pretty good one at that), but no Internets at home for a while. There’ll be a week or so of takeaway as I unpack pots and pans and knives and things. We’ll return to your regularly scheduled broadcast shortly. Stay tuned.


Monkey at The Ekka / Bananas

This is my pet monkey at the banana stand at the Ekka. They weren’t as big as I thought they’d be, and much greener. The metamorphosis from green through yellow to brown decay is amazing.


Masterchef Application Questions

I ‘may’ be thinking about applying for MasterChef Australia next year. If you’re in the same boat and were wondering what the questions are on the application form, here they are (hope you like typing, there’s almost 50 of them):

  1. What is your living situation? (married, co-habiting, living with parents, single, widowed etc)
  2. Do you have any siblings / children / grandchildren?
  3. Where did you grow up?
  4. What is the highest level of education you received? What school(s) did you attend?
  5. Where do you work? Have you always done this? Do you like your job?
  6. What other hobbies do you have?
  7. What is your greatest ambition in life?
  8. What do you think has been your greatest achievement in life so far?
  9. Where and what would you like to be in 5 years time?
  10. What has been the most difficult thing in your life so far?
  11. Have you ever had an apprehended violence order placed against you? Yes/No. If so, what were the circumstances?
  12. Have you ever served time in prison or a correctional facility (other than juvenile). If so, provide details.
  13. If chosen to be on the program, is there any personal part of your life that you would prefer not to share on camera? (i.e social organizations, activities, personal history, friends) Yes/No Explain below:
  14. Are you prepared to be isolated/apart from your family and friends for up to 4 months?
  15. Are you prepared to be away from your employment for up to 4 months?
  16. How would someone who really knows you describe your BEST qualities?
  17. How would someone who really knows you describe your WORST qualities?
  18. What personality traits annoy you?
  19. Do you hold a current passport?
  20. Have you ever acted, performed or appeared on television or film before? If so, please describe:
  21. What other reality/game shows have you applied for or been on? Please list shows, dates of application and air dates:
  22. Are you currently being considered for any other reality TV shows, including game or contestant shows? If so, please describe:
  23. How long have you been cooking for?
  24. Who taught you how to cook? What is your first memory of cooking?
  25. Why do you want to change your life to become a professional in the food industry?
  26. Please tell us about the moment when you realised cooking was what you wanted to do and you fell in love with food.
  27. What is the hardest cooking situation you have ever been in?
  28. How do you see your cooking ability progressing over the next 5 years?
  29. What do you hope to achieve by entering Masterchef?
  30. Have you ever imagined being a chef or owning your own restaurant?
  31. If yes, what has stopped you from doing it already?
  32. Have you ever cooked professionally before? (If yes where and for how long?)
  34. Have you ever taken any cooking courses? If so, what, where, when.
  35. Who eats your food and what do they think of it?
  36. What is your favourite restaurant?
  37. Why should we choose you?
  38. How often do you cook?
  39. What have you cooked lately?
  40. What is your signature dish?
  41. What style of cooking are you strongest at?
  42. How good do you think you are at cooking? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  43. What is your greatest skill in the kitchen? (knife skills, timing etc)
  44. Is there anything you will not cook? (due to allergies, religion etc)
  45. Do you like to throw dinner parties or just cook on a small scale?
  46. Can you make sauces from scratch?
  47. What’s your personality in the kitchen? (e.g. calm, panicky etc)
  48. How confident are you that you will be able to cook under the pressure of TV cameras?
  49. How competitive are you?

This is me

Excuse the randomness. I was seeing how the pic looked in the new blog template. As you were.