Learn a little bit more about Australia's resident chef-with-a-bun as he heads SBS Food's largest commission to date - The Cook Up.
By
Mark Mariano

15 Apr 2021 - 11:33 AM  UPDATED 21 Apr 2021 - 10:42 AM

 --- The Cook Up with Adam Liaw airs weeknights on SBS Food from Monday April 19 at 7.00pm and 10.00pm, or stream it free on SBS On Demand. ---

 

There's more than meets the eye with celebrated chef, SBS Food star and overall legend Adam Liaw. 


 

1. Adam was a gifted and talented student

He accelerated most of his studies, completing Year 11 at the age of 14 and enrolling in university at 16.

2. He graduated with a double degree in Science and Law

While many know of Liaw's history as a commercial lawyer, he also studied science. He often marries his scientific background with his culinary knowledge, noting how some recipes and dishes may need a formulaic approach. 

3. Adam is also a professional photographer

Amidst regular kitchen chaos, Adam often styles and shoots his own dishes. His trained culinary eye goes far beyond how a dish tastes and smells, and travels further into how a plate can look. 

4. Adam is trilingual

Atop knowing English and Mandarin, Adam learned Japanese through both food and theory as a young lawyer living in Tokyo - where he worked for Disney and met his wife, Asami. In Destination Flavour Japan, Adam mentions that it wasn’t until he learned how to read Japanese and could buy Japanese cookbooks that he understood what it was that made the cuisine tick.

5. For some time, Adam held the Australian record for...

The most viewed non-sport television event with his Masterchef season two finale win. TV Tonight's David Knox describes it as the top rated TV event of the decade.

6. Adam is a formally recognised social media megastar

With a combined social following of over one million (across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube), and roughly 24 million hits on YouTube, Adam is one of Australia's most followed food personalities. His witty and organic social presence is unmatched, with even Buzzfeed writing multiple listicles urging others to follow suit.

7. He is a bonafide expert on Asian cuisine

Adam competed in Australia's very first Celebrity Mastermind in 2019, passing the first round through to the finals, where he placed (**Spoiler Alert**) third overall with his knowledge of Asian cuisine. 

8. Contrary to his complex education and professional background full of to-do-lists and documents, Adam prefers simple, step minimal recipes

He told Sydney Morning Herald that 'If I see something that is, ‘Here’s my 74-page recipe that uses 300 different ingredients and 12 different elements’ – whatever an element is – to me, that’s nice to watch, but it’s not something I’ll ever, ever, ever want to make unless you put a gun to my head'. 

In 2018, he mentioned that he '[doesn't] like to over complicate it, just keep it simple and let the ingredients shine through' in an interview with 2AussieTravellers

9. Adam makes his own soy sauce

When asked 'What his favourite ingredient was?' by Google's Caroline Rainsford, Adam responded with 'soy sauce'. While he clarified that he has no real favourites, he mentions how he often makes his own soy sauce with an organic soy brew and an array of flavourful additives - brown sugar, shiitake mushrooms, and kombu to name a few.

10. He is a father before anything else

On top of sharing parent hacks and fat pocky recipes, Adam told Now To Love last year that an unexpected up-side to COVID-19 for him was that he was able to witness first hand all of Benji's (his third child born in August 2019) magical first moments. 

ALL IN FOR ADAM
Episode guide | The Cook Up with Adam Liaw | Episodes 1 to 25
SBS Food has been busy cooking up a fresh new food show, The Cook Up with Adam Liaw, and with 200 episodes, it’s the biggest commission in the network’s history.
12 Adam Liaw hawker-style recipes to make at home
Hawker food is fast, flash and fabulous - which suits Adam's style of cooking down to a tee.
WATCH: Adam Liaw slurps up Singapore's Katong laksa
328 Katong Laksa is known for making the best version of this short vermicelli noodle seafood laksa, a specialty of the Singapore suburb of Katong.
WATCH: Adam Liaw's beef satay skewers
“Satay is found all over Southeast Asia. In Singapore, these little flame-seared morsels are a popular and affordable street snack enjoyed at all hours of the day and night.″ Adam Liaw, Destination Flavour Singapore