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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Joanne Q&A

Fast facts

1. Favourite chef: My Dad and Greg Malouf.
2. Favourite restaurant: Tanuki in Brugge, Belgium.
3. Favourite cuisine: Japanese and Lebanese.
4. Favourite place to travel: Europe (Brugge in Belgium).
5. Favourite dish to cook: Chestnut soup.
6. Favourite vegetable: Fennel.
7. Sweet or savoury: Savoury then sweet.
8. How do you like your eggs: Always in twos, sunny side up.


Favourite ingredient and why?
Baharat. It's used in most Lebanese dishes and has a mixture of many spices. I always say that variety is the spice of life. 

What's your favourite meal of the day - breakfast, lunch or dinner?
Dinner is my favourite meal where my family and I can share some quality time together at the end of the day.

What dish would be the way to your heart?
Fresh quince uncooked or any dish that has quince as a main ingredient.

What are your favourite tunes to cook to?
Josh Groban. Rock tunes, jazz, classical.

What do you think you'll learn from being on MasterChef?
To be a more skilful cook and gain an insight into the food industry.

Which judge makes you the most nervous?

Tell us about how you got into cooking and how old were you?
I was quite young, about seven. My mother, father and aunties would gather together and cook beautiful Lebanese dishes. I would watch and always ask if I could help. I was keen to cook whenever my mother allowed me.

What's the first meal you remember cooking and was it a success or a disaster?
A chicken and pineapple dish that I learnt in high school. I was 13 and tried to cook the dish on my own. What a disaster that was! I'm still not keen on chicken to this day.

What three ingredients would you take with you to a desert island and what would you cook with them?
Bread, wine and cheese.

If you were having any three people, alive or dead, over for dinner, who would they be and what would you cook for them?
Oprah, Alan Jones and Matt Preston. I would have them gathered around my teppanyaki and feed them many dishes that are close to my heart. I would finish off with a dessert that has quince as a main ingredient.

What inspired you to go on MasterChef?
The opportunity to fulfil my food dreams. I wanted to do something for myself that would make me and my family proud. Watching the journey of the contestants on MasterChef series one, especially Julie, was truly an inspiration too.