Luke’s Pantry

INTERVIEW Caitlin Jones

With restaurants in Australia and overseas, Luke Mangan is one of the country’s most revered chefs. Journey beyond chats with Luke to find out what ingredient his kitchen’s never without and why he doesn’t mind going to the market five times a week.

JB:    Luke, you have restaurants around the world, on the sea and even in the sky but what are the ingredients you’ll always have in your fridge at home?
LM:   I don’t like to keep too much food in my fridge but I’ll always have organic eggs for a lazy Sunday night omelette. If you have eggs in the fridge, then you always have a meal. I always have a jar of Mum’s chutney for steak sandwiches and BBQs and of course a good bottle of chardy and some tonic water for a nice gin & tonic in summer.

JB:    And in your pantry?
LM:   Always the staples – I believe these ingredients are the basis to any great meal; ginger for tea, steamed fish and Asian vegetables. Garlic, because this goes in pretty much everything. Good quality olive oil. Honey for smoothies and good sea salt for seasoning.

JB:   Foods come and go in fashion… what do you think the next food trend will be?
LM: I’ve never really followed food trends to be honest, I wasn’t ever really into molecular cooking – maybe I’m getting old but for me, real, honest cooking will always be a trend!

JB: If you had to wow a friend with a meal made out of just four ingredients, what would you prepare?
LM: Steamed salmon, olive oil, ginger, soy and garlic – you can’t go wrong and sometimes the simple dishes are the best ones.

JB:   What type of wine do you always at hand?
LM:  My Luke Mangan Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley. I might be biased but I think it’s one of the best!

JB:   What would you be happy to buy on the cheap and what’s the one ingredient you’d be happy to shell out extra for?
LM:  I would probably have to say a table salt would be something I would buy on the cheap. I’m always happy to shell out for organic eggs, milk and chicken – for these things in particular, organic is always best and worth spending the extra money.

JB:   Whose personal kitchen would you love to take a peek in?
LM:  Alain Ducasse, because who wouldn’t want to take a peek inside the kitchen of one of the world’s best chefs!