Hand-picked by sustainability legend Joost Bakker to open the Greenhouse in Perth at just 22, Matt Stone is on a mission to change the way we eat. Now 26, he's executive chef at Silo by Joost, a zero-waste cafe in Melbourne's Hardware Street in the CBD. He's also an ambassador for Thermomix, and appeared on TV screens alongside Blur bassist Alex James in Recipes That Rock. Part travel doco, part cooking show, the six-part series aired on 7Two, following the pair as they explored Stone's home turf of Margaret River. Stone is unsurprisingly enviro-conscious when he's at home at the no-frills terrace he shares with three fellow chefs in the heart of Fitzroy, with its killer compost system and thriving vegie patch.
I've got a massive collection, but these are a few I reference quite a bit and like to cook with at home. The Momofuku books are perhaps not as ethical as some, but they're really fun and interesting. Ottolenghi: The Cookbook has got amazing cakes and pastries and things - you can see this one is well loved. And the CWA cookbook is just a classic. It's got awesome basics and I'm always trying to get our younger apprentices to pick it up, because everything comes from that base.
Last dinner at home
I cooked spaghetti al olio last night: just spaghetti, chilli, capers, garlic. Easy. It was quite late and I'd had a big prep day at Silo and it was cold and horrible so I just wanted a simple little pasta. Then a couple of nights ago we made a dodgy curry - we cleaned the fridge out and found some curry paste and some vegetables that had seen better days and we had some noodles in the pantry, so we made a slap-happy curry. I'd rather do that than throw food away. We have such a wasteful society and that mentality has to change, because in a few years we won't have the food that's available these days.
My pantry Good salt, good olive oil, fish sauce and hot sauce. At the moment I love this Amazon hot sauce from South America, and natural salt and olive oil from Mount Zero, which we also use at Silo. I always have some Ridiculously Delicious Australian peanut butter, which is a favourite on wholegrain toast. I do a lot of stuff with the Rooftop Honey guys in Sydney, too. This honey is from Neutral Bay, and it's from the April harvest when all the fennel blossom was out, so it's got a real aniseed note to it. The beeswax candle is from Queen B - once it's been burning for a few hours the wax starts to spill from the eyes, which is pretty rad.
My fridge There's always fresh vegies in here and at the moment we've got muffins that were baked at Silo on the weekend. Because the stuff we make doesn't have a long shelf life, we'd prefer to see it being consumed. I'm also a fan of this Senor BBQ chimichurri, which is great to rub on a bit of beef, then chuck on the barbie.
We've got a great compost system out the back from Bunnings. We grow radishes, leeks, watercress, carrots, parsley, lemongrass, sage, broccoli, chilli, capsicums, lemons, mint and corn. I also really like my knives, especially this cleaver I picked up in China.
My Flocino oat mill is great. It's simple but effective. Commercial oats are steamed for about two hours, so that kills 23 or 24 of the 33 known vitamins and nutrients in whole oats. I like to have freshly rolled oats in the morning; it keeps me going all day.
I quite like the crappy Old El Paso taco kit for dinner. You can cook it really quickly and it's pretty tasty - plus it reminds me of being a child. Hard-shell tacos, packet seasoning, mince, and I might chuck in an onion and garlic clove if I'm feeling elaborate.
I've had a bit of a cough the past few weeks so I've been on the green tea with some of the Rooftop honey in it.
Saturday night tipple I love home-brew beer. My old man has made his own beer for as long as I can remember. I've always made my own beer, and it follows our philosophy of making everything ourselves where we can. If I'm out then I'll have a Coopers Pale Ale.
Edible weeds are something we're serving at Silo. As opposed to, say, spinach at breakfast, we're serving a mix of sauteed greens and weeds. Again, we need to be utilising the food that's around us - things like dandelions, nettles, mallow. They are full of nutrients and they're free.
Of course, it's Joost Bakker. He's been the biggest inspiration in my life in recent years. I remember getting a call from this crazy Dutch guy who said he wanted to build a recycled building covered in plants. At this stage I was seriously considering stopping cooking and moving abroad, so I said no to the offer initially. Then, two weeks later, I decided I'd be stupid not to give it a shot. It was kind of overwhelming opening a building that size as a 22-year-old.
Most memorable meal
The most memorable recent meal would be at D.O.M in Sao Paulo. I was lucky enough to meet chef Alex Atala at the Gourmet Escape in Margaret River last year and he invited me to hang out at his restaurant. We had 20 courses matched with wine over six hours - but the portion sizes were very responsible so I didn't leave feeling ill or anything. We tried some interesting things such as ants. The Western world needs to change its perception of where it finds its protein - you can grow insects that have more protein than beef with zero waste.
I've been using a Thermomix for about six years, both in the restaurant and at home. It's got scales, you can blend, you can chop, you can cook - it can do absolutely everything, so it's a fantastic appliance for the home. I can make perfect custard in 15 minutes. I'll just chuck the organic raw ingredients in and have a beautiful little treat that's easy to prepare. It's temperature controlled so you're not going to burn it, it's not going to split, and it will stay warm and silky.
I drink up to seven coffees a day, which probably isn't the healthiest, but I do drink about four litres of water a day to balance it out. Luckily, living in Fitzroy, I can walk to get coffee - Industry Beans and Hammer & Tong are two cafes that are five minutes away and they both do great coffee. Rather than mucking around with it at home, I'd rather leave it to someone who knows what they're doing.