Getting to know Jimmy Wong

We recently had the chance to have a chat with KitchenAid guest and MasterChef star, Jimmy Wong about his love of cooking.

1. What dish are you most proud of from your time on MasterChef?
The dish I am most proud of has to be the dish that I entered into MasterChef with. This dish was called ‘Walk in my Japanese garden’, made up of 12 elements on the plate with the hero being a tuna tataki. This dish pushed my boundaries like nothing before, but has also become my most rewarding.

2. What did you learn from being a contestant on MasterChef?
I’ve always said that being on the show was like the best personal development program you could’ve gone on. It pushed my boundaries, tested my abilities, and made me question my own capabilities. But through it all I found out I could do way more than I could ever have imagined. The steps to overcoming any challenge is taking that first step.

3. What started your love of cooking?
My love of cooking started with my family first and foremost. It’s solidified from my time working overseas and the travel that I have been given the opportunity to do. All the special moments that I remember have usually been formed around food. I am also drawn to cooking because it can take you places just by the combinations of different ingredients—something that I’ve thought long and hard about.

4. Is there a food that you didn’t like as a child that you love now?
Through to my young adult life I really couldn’t eat raw fish. I was even given an opportunity to have the most amazing sushi and sashimi platter which was served at my friend’s father’s restaurant. I couldn’t get over the texture and the thought that it was raw and I remember apologising that I couldn’t eat it. Looking back, how silly was I?! In my adult life now there is no greater pleasure than a beautiful plate of sushi and sashimi.

5. What is your favourite winter comfort food?
Winter for me is all about low and slow cooking. There is nothing better than a really luxurious beef stew served with a crunchy bread roll. It’s like a big hug in a bowl.

6. What is the most useful kitchen appliance that you own?
Hands down the KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer and the KitchenAid food chopper which are both permanent fixtures in my kitchen. They open up so many ways to save time and create the most incredible dishes in my kitchen.

7. Do you have any pets?
I currently don’t have a pet as I live in an apartment. I desperately want a dog and hope to be able to adopt one soon if the regulations in my building change. In the meantime I get to play with my friends’ dogs which gives me great joy.

8. When you’re not busy in the kitchen, where can we find you?
I am definitely in my kitchen most of the time, or in front of my computer editing photos or video. I do a lot of my work from home and I collaborate with a lot of brands and businesses to create social media content. Most of the time I would definitely be found at home or at some really incredible restaurant or cafe. I love my work.

9. What is more nerve-wracking; cooking on TVSN or MasterChef?
It's definitely more nerve-wracking being on MasterChef as it really pushes your boundaries and there are quite dire consequences if you fail. The team at TVSN and the hosts are just incredible! They all make you feel right at home.

10. Do you have any cooking rituals, e.g. listening to music?
I do love putting on Spotify on high volume and having a little bop around the house as I’m cooking. The other thing is that I am a bit obsessive about making sure I clean up as I’m going along with my cooking.

11. What is your favourite type of cooking?
I would definitely say that during the show and for most of my life, savoury has been the prominent type of cooking that I have loved. However, today I would say that I equally love sweet and savoury cooking as they both bring a lot of joy to myself and those that I’m cooking for serving it to—providing it turns out as I had hoped.

12. What recipe book do you turn to for inspiration?
I have a very extensive collection of cookbooks which I absolutely love. One of my favourites is the Eleven Madison Park cookbook which I refer to if I am cooking more complicated dishes. The cookbook breaks down a lot of the components, which is handy to interpret in your own dishes.

13. What is your go-to 10-minute lunch recipe?
One of my favourite quick and easy lunches is roasted chicken, a Japanese mayonnaise called Kewpi, diced avocado, and a small squeeze of lemon between a couple of slices of fresh sourdough. It makes the perfect lunch in my opinion.