Back on our screens, Food Safari host and SBS's very own food thrill seeker, Maeve O'Meara is joining The Chefs' Line team and Friday nights have her name all over it.
By
Farah Celjo

16 Mar 2017 - 9:16 AM  UPDATED 12 Apr 2017 - 4:33 PM

From her last series Food Safari Fire we learnt that Maeve is more than partial to the fiery and charcoal-filled lifestyle and we loved it. “Some people install swimming pools and tennis courts to enhance their lives… others install wood fired ovens. I’m all for the oven — the food cooked in wood fired ovens tastes incredible, and the lighting and cooking is a fun way to entertain.”

Some people install swimming pools and tennis courts to enhance their lives… others install wood fired ovens.

And whilst she is already paving the way for her next Food Safari instalment (Food Safari Earth coming to SBS later in 2017 ), we couldn't miss the chance to get her involved here,too. What everyone loves about Maeve is the voice she gives to the world of culture through good food and great people, right on our doorsteps. She loves tackling new ingredients and techniques and delving deeper into the tastes, origins and life behind food, so it comes as no surprise that she will be joining The Chefs' Line team, hosting Friday nights as part of each week's offering. These weekly specials episodes will see Maeve guiding us through each week's restaurant and showcasing a behind-the-scenes look at the chefs, their stories, the cuisine and of course, some recipes for all you home cooks out there.

We wanted to get a little more information about Friday night's with Maeve, what the restaurants have taught her and how she tackles her very own kitchen like a boss. Here's a little extra slice of Maeve:

Fridays will be insightful, passionate and a deliciously motivating tool for all food lovers out there.

1. What can viewers expect from Friday nights with Maeve?

A rich and hands on approach to each week’s cuisine. Fridays will be insightful, passionate and a deliciously motivating tool for all food lovers out there.

2. What can you learn about a person from the way they prepare their food?

I was always find it intriguing that chefs can reach some great culinary heights in restaurants and are happy to settle for a toasted ham-and-cheese sandwich or two-minute noodles at home. That said, I love the care that many Asian friends put into their food and its presentation – it embodies their gentle spirit. Or the flair that some of my Italian friends or Greek or Spanish friends add to what they cook. It's always a revelation.

3. One...

... ingredient you can't live without?

Yoghurt - so versatile for so many Lebanese and Turkish recipes, especially easy dips!

... cooking utensil you adore?

Whisk - for salad dressings, a cheat’s way of sifting flour and making buttermilk pancakes on Sunday mornings. We featured it previously on French Food Safari - and I have never seen so many uses for such a simple device.

... thing that has changed the way you look at food?

Filming Food Safari Earth (coming soon to SBS) and the ingenious ways cuisines use to make vegetable dishes absolutely sing. That and travel - at age 20 I started exploring exotic places and talked my way into many family kitchens where beautiful regional food was being prepared. In a sense I’ve never left them.

... reason you do what you do?

The warmth of many extended families, the taste of exceptional dishes cooked with love, the opportunity to document cuisine and culture. Every day of my life is fun and delicious.

 

4. What have you learnt about chefs versus home cooks over you time through Food Safari and now The Chefs' Line?

Chefs are usually very disciplined and systematic in their work, often ingredients are prepared in advance - portioning, sauces prepared, par-cooking certain dishes. Home cooks often use tried and tested family recipes that sing with flavour and resonate through the generations. Both worlds are fascinating and delicious. In terms of The Chefs' Line, the contest is pretty equal… chefs cooking from scratch against the clock, often making dishes they are not familiar with; home cooks with tricks to incorporate flavour and ‘do their culture proud’ can be formidable opponents.

5. What's your favourite dish to cook at home?

Baked salmon "tarator" style.

Our much loved dish for big family gatherings, especially Christmas or birthdays, this is one we featured on the very first Food Safari series - it looks magnificent, works every time and is loved by all... it also makes great leftovers! Get the recipe here.

 

Have we got your attention and your tastebuds? Home cooks versus restaurant chefs, cultural exploration and discovery through food reaches a whole new level with the launch of The Chefs' Line. This brand-new series airs weeknights at 6pm on SBS.  

Most popular Food Safari recipes
Malaysian laksa (cheat's laksa)

This laksa combines fresh ingredients with a commercial laksa paste, meaning a lot of the prep work is done for you. To make this recipe even easier, place the garnishes in the centre of the table, allowing diners to assemble their laksa to taste.

Orange and almond cake

A classic Passover dessert that draws on the Sephardic traditions of the Mediterranean, Morocco and the Middle East. In this recipe whole oranges are boiled for two hours and then puréed skin, pips and all. Not only is this cake incredibly moreish and moist, it is also gluten and dairy-free making it the perfect all-rounder. 

Food Safari's Hainanese chicken rice

A much-loved Chinese classic, this Singaporean recipe is an interpretation of chicken rice, using pandan, kecap manis and cucumber to complement the balance of flavours.

Afghan lamb pilaf (Kabuli pulao)

Served in the centre of the table, this dish is a complete meal and needs little else but bread and a good appetite.