HYDERABAD: Diana Chan, the winner of Masterchef, Australia, 2017, was in the city for a masterclass. Ask her about the early influence on her style of cooking and pat comes the reply, “It’s my family, especially my father who left much of his stylistics imprinted on the way I prepare food.” That’s how her first food memory is of remembering the taste of herbs that her mother used in her cooking. She chuckles saying, “Varieties of these tiny sprigs bring a unique flavour to the food.
I remember the taste of Vietnamese mint--a long stem with short leaves having a distinct note. It adds more taste layers to Tempura and salads.” Other than the sharp mint her favourite ingredients are lemongrass, pandan, kaffir lime and cloves. She was 10 years old when she first cooked. It was an apple pie. So after two decades how did she become a celebrated chef especially when she was an accountant? “I dreamt of participating in Masterchef. It fuelled my passion and later I won it,” she shares.
The 31-year-old chef was born in Malaysia but she lives and works in Australia. She says that Laksa is quite popular in the country.
This is the first time that she’s in Hyderabad. She loves Indian cuisine especially Vada, Sambar and Dosa. So are there any similarities between Malaysian and Indian food? “Yes, of course. Both the cuisines are really diverse offering many possibilities. A lot of spices are used. Some ingredients like cinnamon, cardamom, star anise and tomatoes are common,” she informs. Before she signs off, she shares that the future food trend is freshly grown produce. Happy, healthy eating, nay? Diana was in the city for a masterclass at The Westin as part of CRED experience.