Kitchen spy: Luke Mangan
Luke Mangan's 10 restaurants are scattered from Sydney and the Gold Coast to Tokyo and south-east Asia. He is pictured here in his home kitchen. Photo: James Brickwood
These days he tends to eat, rather than cook, in his restaurants, running an empire that will launch its 10th establishment in February next year. His businesses stretch from Sydney and the Gold Coast through south-east Asia to Tokyo. Mangan also oversees business-class catering on Virgin Airlines and has Salt Grill restaurants on P&O cruise ships. He has written six books, has another in the pipeline, and has put his name to a range of food products, including olive oil, mustards, spices and cakes. But he still keeps a jar of his mum's homemade tomato chutney in the fridge at all times.
Most memorable meal
For my 30th birthday I went to El Bulli, which was pretty amazing. It was about 25 courses and it was before Ferran Adria was a huge name. It was open for lunch in those days and it was a long lunch.
I like the Wolfgang Puck app. It's cool and funky and has lots of features. It has recipes, ideas, what he's doing in his restaurant.
Last dinner at home Steamed fish and green beans is a regular home dinner, something simple.
Secret vice Haigh's chocolates.
Sometimes I have ordinary Liptons tea with milk and sugar. I get my coffee, a flat white, from the cafe down the road. I was going to get a coffee machine but there are plenty of good cafes around. I have herbal tea at night. I really like coconut water as a refreshing drink.
Saturday-night tipple Wine. It's always white - chardy - or there's a French rosé I drink. I might start with a gin and tonic. I like a French burgundy or a good Aussie shiraz. I'm pretty easy when it comes to wine.
My pantry I always have olive oil and sea salt. It's my own brand of olive oil from Romsey, Victoria - a blend with a deep, rich green flavour and a little bit of spice. The salt would be Murray River or Maldon. Honey for smoothies and to put on toast; I like the simple things in life. Burgen bread, the soy-linseed one. And ginger and garlic, which go into pretty much everything
My fridge There's always wine, beer, aioli, feta cheese, my mum's wonderful tomato chutney and tonic water for the gin and tonic.
I love making soups, so my blender gets a workout. There's a small bamboo steamer and a Swiss Diamond fry pan. It's non-stick, but doesn't have Teflon, which I think is good. I have a couple of old copper pans I've had since I was an apprentice that I still use but never polish. Their value is sentimental as well.
Favourite I have a Japanese knife that I use all the time. I was in Tokyo; I saw it in a market.