We caught up with Bondi local, 2012 MasterChef Australia winner and all round good guy Andy Allen about his recent escapades travelling and eating Europe, and what's been keeping him busy.
PO: Andy, we're big fans of your youtube channel and and saw you have just released series 2 of your show "Eat the World". Looks like you had some awesome adventures. Any highlights from the trip?
AA: You're damn right! We had such a crazy time over in Spain and Portugal and as you can imagine there were many, many highlights. As far as food goes - We visited a ridiculous winery in Rioja (Spain). When we got there, a farmer lit a fire in the vineyards using dried vines from the land. Once they cooked down he laid a piece steel over the coals and proceeded to cook the most amazing lamb cutlets I've ever eaten. I know, I know it sounds really simple but you should have tasted those bloody cutlets! It's strange in that we travelled over 5000kms through Spain and Portugal and this is the first food memory that comes to mind - I piece of lamb cooked over coals.
PO: What are your favourite things about living in Bondi? Do you have any local tips for anyone visiting?
AA: To be honest, i just love the vibe about the whole place. Yeah, there's nice restaurants and bars but lets face it, you can find those anywhere in Sydney. For me, it's a combination of the ocean, the people, the landscape and the atmosphere that makes our backyard so special.
PO: We are lucky enough to enjoy a hot summer here in Bondi. What's your favourite thing to cook on a hot summer's Bondi day?
AA: I'm a massive seafood fiend! I made some pretty special octopus this summer. To get them super tender, I braised them in a stock, then marinated in my go to - chilli, ginger, garlic, coriander and olive oil and then bbq them over charcoal. Then shared them with my mates with an ice cold beer :)
PO: What's next for Andy Allen?
AA: So much good stuff is happening right now. I'm days away from signing a lease for my first restaurant- which I'm pumped about. I can't give too much away, but trust me, I'll be shouting from the rooftops once it's all over the line. We are also in pre-production for another TV/Web series. This time we are bringing it home and doing a road trip from the bottom of Tasmania to the top of Cape York, visiting local producers, farms, restaurants and basically anywhere that there is something fun happening with food.
PO: Good to chat Andy. Can't wait to see the rest of the series and follow your next adventures.
Check out Andy's youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/