Kitchen spy: Julie Goodwin
TV cook Julie Goodwin.
The inaugural winner of MasterChef Julie Goodwin was drawn to cooking in her early 20s so she could make the food she loved when a huge mortgage ruled out restaurant dining. The former youth worker is still a fan of ''budgetarian cooking'' and describes herself as a ''political shopper'', eschewing home brands as anti-competitive. She lives on the NSW Central Coast with her husband, Mick, three teenage sons Paddy, Tom and Joe, three dogs and six chickens, and is now working on her fourth cookbook.
I have one coffee every morning. My husband makes it for me on his machine, which is his baby. Then I might have a couple of cups of English Breakfast tea through the day, which I'll make with just a teabag, but if Mum comes over I've got to make a pot with leaf tea. In the afternoon I drink jasmine tea because after 2pm I can't do caffeine. I like Hunter Valley semillons or sem sauv blanc. Later on at night I like a deep rich red like a cabernet merlot or a shiraz. I'm in the wine selector's club so I get sent a variety of Australian wines through that - there's no brand loyalty there.
For our last dinner at home, we had my bacon-wrapped glazed meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans. It's a good boys' dinner.
Saturday night tipple
If we're having friends over we might kick the night off with an Australian sparkling wine like Jacob's Creek.
I find it everywhere: whenever I travel, whenever I eat out, whenever I go to someone's house, whenever I watch telly or wander into a bookstore. One part of my brain is always thinking about food.
Sunbeam Cafe Series coffee machine which is really my husband's. It's manual because he likes to be hands-on. A Thermomix which is just wonderful and has changed the way I cook (Julie is sponsored by Thermomix). Global knives I was given on the set of Master Chef. I love them because they're really light and they sharpen up nicely. A Le Creuset pot which lives on my stove. An Anolon non-stick chef's pan is a bit deeper than an ordinary fry pan and allows you to cook ingredients without overcrowding.
Most memorable meal
We went to Italy a couple of years ago and went to an open air restaurant, La Sponda in Positano overlooking the Amalfi Coast. There were columns covered in ivy, lots of candles and fairy lights and a guy playing the guitar. It was a degustation and I can't remember all the detail but I do remember tagiolini with vongole, beef carpaccio with cheese ice-cream, a quail dish with savoury custard, a risotto … it was the whole experience. We drank a lovely sangiovese and it was all ridiculously romantic!
My pantry: Different kinds of rice and pasta, Cobram Estate olive oils, various vinegars, Australian tinned tomatoes, tinned tuna and always lemon, garlic, onions and potatoes. Baking needs such as sugar, flour, nuts and chocolate. I'm not comfortable talking about too many brands. I don't want to endorse a whole lot of products when I don't necessarily use them all the time.
My fridge: Eggs from our chickens, Greek yoghurt which I use for tandoori marinades. I eat it for breakfast with Carman's muesli and honey, and it goes into tzatziki. Full cream milk. A selection of smallgoods for those snacky moments. Iceberg lettuce, shallots, pumpkin and mushrooms. But I also have a vegetable garden with leeks, silverbeet, snow peas, beans, broad beans, beetroot, carrots and chillies, so I don't need to keep much in the fridge.
My late mother-in-law's copy of the Margaret Fulton cookbook. It has some of her own handwritten recipes tucked in the pages and notes written in the margins. And my outdoor wood-fired pizza oven.
Wine and cheese. I like to put together a beautiful platter with a blue, a camembert or a brie and a sharp crumbly tasty as well as some crackers and a bit of quince paste or something else sweet.
I love that it's open to the family area so that while I'm cooking I'm still involved with the kids and their homework or whatever. It really is the hub of the household.