Adam Ross is a 31-year-old blogger trying to learn more about the city he loves and lives in (Melbourne) through food. His blog Totally Addicted to Taste features delicious, homely recipes, such as breakfast gnocchi (pictured, right); cafe and restaurant reviews; and musings on his eating habits ("I go out for breakfast most weekends"). Here he answers our foodie questions.
What is your secret food shame?
2 Minute noodle omelettes. I’ve been eating them since I was a kid and still do, when I want something tasty in a hurry.
What ingredient can't you live without?
Two things that are always in my pantry are sea salt flakes and some lovely Aussie olive oil. I could almost eat pasta with just good salt and oil on it.
What inspires you and your food?
Friends are a massive part of my life and I love to have them over for dinner. I like to impress them every time they come over to eat, so each time I cook for them, I set the bar higher and higher for myself. I always feel the need to outdo myself. The downfall to this is that people are often too scared to invite me over for dinner at their house. That kind of annoys me, because I'm not critical of friends’ cooking at all. I love to have a meal cooked for me!
What can you learn about a person from the way they prepare their food?
A lot! From someone’s cooking, you can see if they’re quirky, a perfectionist, lazy, pay attention to detail, if they have time management skills, if they are passionate. In fact, I think instead of job interviews, we should all have to cook our potential bosses a meal – Masterchef style.
What is your favourite recipe:
The red cooked baby chicken from Ezard restaurant in Melbourne. It has three types of dipping sauce and looks simply amazing on a plate.
Luke Nguyen’s coconut/soy cooked chicken drumsticks. Oh. My. God.
For an easy weeknight dinner?
Baked tomato and sausage risotto. Whack it in the oven and 20 minutess later, dinner is ready!
What chef inspires you?
A while ago I attempted to cook all of the recipes from Teage Ezard's first book (theezardchallenge.blogspot.com). I learnt so much from cooking those recipes. However, the time and cost involved in cooking each one of those dishes eventually took its toll. I had no time on weekends other than to cook and no money to do anything else. The food was amazing though!
Tell us about your favourite food event in Australia.
Taste of Melbourne is definitely my favourite event. All those restaurants in one room and getting to sample something from each. It gives you a good idea of what’s happening around town and also of restaurants you’d like to visit. It’s also great to meet the chefs face to face.
Your favourite cook book, food show and cooking utensil?
My favourite cookbook is Jamie’s Kitchen. I learnt to cook from that book, it gave me the confidence to be able to do things in the kitchen I’d never tried before. Things like make aioli, how to crisp the skin on a fish fillet and how to peel tomatoes.
Favourite food show would be Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. It’s hilarious to see how bad some places are out there and how Ramsay deals with them. Although it’s kind of sad at the same time to see people that just don’t care, have these huge restaurants, where someone passionate like myself could never afford a restaurant like that.
Favourite utensil would be my Microplane Graters. Who can be bothered chopping garlic or ginger, especially when you can just grate it.
What is your favourite restaurant in your area?
My favourite restaurant in my area would be Anada in Gertrude St, Fitzroy. Amazing tapas in a cosy little restaurant. The staff are so friendly, helpful and I’ve even spotted Stephanie Alexander there!
If you could be anybody in the world for a day who would you be?
Jamie Oliver. He has it all. The beautiful family, the money, the travel, the fame. Only thing he’s missing is my good looks.
I would love to one day open my own café. Hopefully it will be somewhere on the outskirts of Melbourne, maybe towards the beach or the hills. Just doing good simple food, with ingredients sourced from my local community where possible. One can dream.