Kitchen Spy: Pete Evans
Pete Evans in his kitchen. Coconut water is among his staples. Photo: Danielle Smith
Chef Pete Evans has cooked for royalty, built Hugos - his Sydney restaurant empire - with great pizza as its foundation, and written seven cookbooks. His blue-eyed good looks and approachability meant offers from TV producers here and in the US were inevitable. Evans is a regular judge on My Kitchen Rules and appears at food festivals around the country. He recently opened an organic store, BU Organics, in Sydney and will open a steakhouse, Little Hunter, in Melbourne in February. He has started studying nutrition by correspondence at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York.
My girlfriend makes beautiful carob muffins once a week when my kids come around, so that's when I eat them.
I make all my own fruit and vegetable juices, and drink herbal teas and filtered water. Saturday night tipple? A cup of herbal tea.
Most memorable meal
It was at the French Laundry, Thomas Keller's restaurant in California, in 2002. It was about more than the food. The service, the location and the attention to detail - it was perfect, the complete package. It was before he had his other restaurant, Per Se, in New York, so he was in the kitchen.
Extra-virgin coconut oil. It's all I cook with - the proven health benefits are so great and its structure remains stable when heated. I dress salads with Little General extra-virgin olive oil, cold-pressed sesame oil or macadamia oil. Apple cider vinegar for health benefits as well as fantastic flavour. Murray River salt flakes.
Coconut water - it's so refreshing. Green olives for salads. Fermented vegetables at every meal for their natural probiotics.
For our last dinner at home, we had a salad of all-organic produce: kale, rocket, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, carrots, tomato, avocado, pickled fermented garlic and vegetables, green olives all dressed with lemon juice. I served it with seared salmon. Really simple.
The Pete Evans Ultimate Pan. It took me two-and-a-half years to design and it's perfect for paellas, curries, stews. It's non-stick; no Teflon.
The juicer I use a couple of times a week. It juices the fruit and vegetables much more slowly than normal juicers, retains more nutrients and is much quicker to clean afterwards. The sous vide machine is fantastic. It's a chef's tool that has become a domestic one. I do all my meat and fish in it, cooked to 48 degrees then finished in a pan or on the barbecue. My German knife, which I've had for 15 years. The best way to pick a knife is to choose one that feels right for your hand.
Cookbooks, always. I'm loving the new book by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Jerusalem, as well as Under Pressure, the sous vide book by American chef Thomas Keller. The paleo diet suits my body type, so I often read Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas.