Celebrity chef Curtis Stone has made a name for himself over the years as a talented cook, thanks to his many successful television appearances, but he says it’s all thanks to his granny as she taught him everything he knows about food and cooking.
While he’s undoubtedly skilled in the kitchen, slicing and dicing with the best of them, the 42-year-old chef didn’t plan on a life spent in the kitchen, rather envisaging a successful career in business.
“My dad’s an accountant,” he told Starts at 60,” So I was lured into business for a spell and as a restaurateur that paid off.
“But food was my first love and my earliest memories were spent in the kitchen with my mum and gran.”
Curtis revealed he was just four years old when he had his first truly memorable experience with food – digging into his gran’s Yorkshire fudge.
“The first recipe I learned to make was my gran’s fudge,” he explained. “My brother and I always looked forward to dessert and [it’s] probably where I developed my sweet tooth.”
He said his mum also taught him a thing or two about cooking: “They were just wonderful cooks. My mum was an excellent baker. Her pork roast is still one of my favourite things.”
Read more: Curtis Stone’s tender roasted pork belly
And when it comes to cooking, the LA-based chef says the greatest dishes are often the most simple – a very different approach from the fancy 1970s dishes our parents used to dish up at dinner parties.
“Cooking can be like fashion in a way,” he added. “I say, stick to what you know and like. Simplicity goes a long way.”
The Australian-born chef has made a name for himself in the food industry, turning his Surfing the Menu stint into a successful career. Curtis is now head judge on the American series Top Chef Junior, and runs two restaurants in LA.
Feeling hungry? Curtis shared with us a delicious recipe below — perfect for entertaining!
“This mouthwatering bird is a classic, and every family has their favourite version,” he says.
Extract from Good Food, Good Life by Curtis Stone, published by Ebury Australia on 1 April 2015, RRP $39.99.