Home Town: Fitzroy, Melbourne, VIC
Marital Status: In A Relationship
Profession: Beer Merchant
Cooking Style: Cooking With Beer
“I develop recipes that specifically use beer as an ingredient – a few weeks ago I did beeramisu using a chocolate stout.”
Having worked in advertising for over twenty years, Chris knew it was time for a change. Last year he packed in his steady job and along with a business partner became a beer merchant. Entering MasterChef Australia is an extension of his well planned strategy for career change.
“I’ve always had a love of food and beverages and I worked on a lot of beer accounts and wine accounts in the ad industry. It got to a point when I needed a change and I decided to pursue it seriously. If I was going to make a change it was now, and I gave myself a deadline. People say they want to do things in life and they never do, so I knew I had to.”
As a beer merchant, Chris sends different cases of beers to his members every three months, and wants to expand.
“We put together a mixed case of beer every three months, and we send with tasting note and recipe suggestions, we invite them to tastings and dinners. I write all the recipes and I’m the face of the company. I’d really like to show more people that they can really cook with beer.”
“Most people only do beer battered fish. I sit down and develop recipes that specifically use beer as an ingredient – a few weeks ago I did beeramisu using a chocolate stout. Telling people to poach fish with beer – That sort of thing.”
Chris claims that his new business is the first of its kind in Australia and he’s keen to expand.
“We’re very unique, we taste all the beers and it’s a very personal approach, we’re not swayed by companies who sell the beers, and it’s about having an experience. There are thousands of types of beer so you can really match everything. It’s just about having an understanding of beer.”
Confessing that he is already doing his ultimate job, Chris says that more than some of the other contestants, he knows exactly where he wants to go with his ambition.
“A lot of people get jealous. I get beer mailed to me from around the world. It’s fantastic and interesting and I’m living the dream. This is the next stage in my business. I want to take beer masons and open a place that has a bar and a micro brewery and a restaurant attached. All focussed on really good beer.”
Chris also wants to teach people about being wasteful in the kitchen.
“I like buying a whole animal and cooking all of it, I don’t like waste. I like to buy a whole duck and use every bit of it. There is no excuse for not using any of it. I have an issue with the amount of waste in domestic kitchens.
“I don’t like the way domestic food is packaged. I find it unnatural, I hate the way meat is packaged and doesn’t look like a beast anymore.”