Bittersweet Symphony

By Varshini Murali

Since winning the third installment in the MasterChef Australia series, Kate Bracks has compiled some of life’s simple and complicated truths in her dessert docket – The Sweet Life – and collaborated with a number of well-known local chefs in and around Australia. In town to inaugurate Bengaluru Marriot Hotel’s special outlet – The Whitefield Baking Company – the “dessert specialist” speaks to Explocity on the shape of her culinary career so far.

What was the inspiration behind your cookbook – The Sweet Life? What else have you been up to since winning MasterChef Australia Season 3?

Sweet cooking is my first love in the world of cooking, so The Sweet Life is really a celebration of that. Life after MasterChef has been busy with more cooking demonstrations and public speaking engagements than I care to count. I’ve had a monthly column and recipe in the MasterChef Magazine. I regularly team up with a local chef legend and put up pop-up dining restaurants at a local bookshop in Australia, complete with linen tablecloths and candelabra. Something that I’m really excited about is that I’ve teamed up with another highly-awarded Australian chef to work on a local food line that is due to launch in April. So far, we have a muesli, cherry jam and cornflake crunch set to hit the shelves.

Which of your desserts do you love to make?

I love my Chocolate Terrine. It’s decadent, different and fairly easy to make, especially when you’ve made it as many times as I have!

If there was one dish or dessert you could have any of the MasterChef professional chefs make for you, what would it be?

I would still like to try Peter Gilmore’s Snow Egg. Anything Peter Gilmore does is delicious but this legendary dish is one I’m still waiting to try.

Past winners/contestants have used the MasterChef platform to enter the culinary industry – as established cookbook authors, as apprentice chefs etc. You, however, decided to stray off the beaten track and stated that your plan was to start a B&B. At a time when many seem to hanker for opportunities to get inside a professional kitchen, what was your reason in not doing so?

For me, life is much more than just work. My family will always be a higher priority than my career. It’s not that I don’t want to be in a commercial kitchen, but the reality is that to be a good chef in a restaurant, you need to put in long hours that do not fit well with family life when children are young. At the moment, my work in the food industry enables me to be in a commercial kitchen during school hours, which works perfectly for us now. But my hope is that as my children grow, the B&B will become a reality and something that we can all be a part of.

What are your expectations of the culinary journey you’ll experience during your visit to India?

I’m very excited to be partnering with the Marriott Hotel and to trade culinary experiences. I can’t wait to learn how to make a real curry from scratch. I know India is so much more than curry and I can’t wait to taste the rest of it! And to soak up the sights, sounds and smells, both in the kitchen and beyond.

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