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    The Food Consulate invites you to join MasterChef Australia finalist Renae Smith, as she recreates some of the dishes from the show

    IMG_8684Wea��ll get to the point. The Food Consulate at Velachery is bringing down MasterChef Renae Smith for a two-day workshop from Australia. Having already been to India to participate in Mumbaia��s Good Food Show and to cook at the Ultra High Lounge in Bengaluru, she is quite kicked about her first trip to Chennai. a�?The last time I was in India, I learnt to make pav bhaji which I now make every few weeks,a�? says Smith, who will be showcasing dishes that have something to do with her MasterChef experience. a�?The squid with red pepper sauce is from the episode where I cut my finger and ended up with stitches. This is the dish I was trying to make but ran out of time during the injury. I will finally get to share it. On top of that we have the chocolate chilli fondant that I made in the Mexican challenge that unfortunately meant my friend Colin was eliminated,a�? she shares.

    Ask her for pointers and she starts with her first rule of baking. a�?Relax. Everyone thinks baking is a scientific art form, but if you relax and remember the basics, you can have fun.a�? Her second lesson is something that many of us fail to realise. a�?I think techniques are the basis of cooking, not recipes. I will teach participants basic egg skills such as souffle, custards and tart fillings. Then we have a pastry element where they will learn short crust pastry skills. There is also the basic cheats pasta, which is handy if you dona��t have a lot of time,a�? she says. And what about lessons she has learnt on MasterChef? a�?I learnt to trust myself and be confident. As far as my cooking goes, I learnt that I was a better cook than I thought I was, and learnt to experiment and not to be scared of cooking with my head, instead of a recipe,a�? she shares.

    While Smith is known to participate in events that promote vegetarianism (she was the ambassador for Meat-Free Week this year), she insists ita��s only to promote a consciousness when eating. a�?I realise that due to economic or even demographic reasons, many people cannot live a vegan diet. A lot of work goes into making sure your vegan diet still provides you all the nutrients you need. I am able to do it in Sydney as I have access to incredible produce,a�? she reasons. a�?I think if everyone knew the alternatives to things like meat and dairy, then the world would be a better place,a�? Smith concludes.
    The Cook & Bake with MasterChef Renae Smith takes place on September 26-27. Priced at Rs 2,500 per head and Rs 3,500 per couple for the demo and Rs 12,222 for the bake along. Details: 9962966066

    A�Ryan Peppin

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