If you are in Australia and are an avid Masterchef fan, then you are already familiar with Billy Law. Super blogger, creator of the fabulous food blog A Table For Two
, photographer extraordinaire, Masterchef Australia Season 3 contestant, culinary travel guide and companion and now a cookbook author with a delicious offering – Have You Eaten?
Those are just some of the day jobs Billy juggles effortlessly. He is known for his trademark tongue-in-cheek humour, his affable personality, his boundless creativity and his gung ho attitude. He is as humble and as genuine as they come. And this I speak from personal experience, having met him briefly on numerous occasions.
Today I am very excited to share with you a short, fun, casual interview Billy agreed to do for readers of Cook Republic as part of his book launch. Thank you Billy for taking the time out to reflect on your personal side. To read Billy’s cheeky answers and food philosophy, read on.
10 QUESTIONS WITH BILLY LAW
Me – Five things in your fridge right now.
BL – Top shelf, middle or bottom shelf? HA! Let’s say 5 things in my fridge that I regularly use or eat right now are – my sourdough starter called “The Sloth”, camembert cheeses that are still fermenting, butter, Kewpie mayo and japaneno.
Me – If you were to create a futuristic kitchen gadget, what would you invent? What would your vision be?
BL – I actually want a garbage chute where perishable waste can go straight from kitchen to a compost outside then it turns into fertiliser itself! You can tell I hate taking garbage out.
Me – If you knew you were going to be marooned on an island full of exotic fruits, what two things would you take with you?
BL – Well, have to have a knife to cut the fruit open. Then maybe fire, you can do lots of things with fire.
Me – Five things that should not be in your trolley but have managed to sneak in?
BL – Store bought roast chicken (but is so simple to make a quick lunch sandwich!), loaf of bread (I can never go through whole loaf before it gets moldy, besides now I am making my own bread at home), blue cheese (I have a thing for blue cheese), chocolate (yep, the popping candy type is evil but oh so good), Indomie (sorry, I love that stuff!)
Me – Most challenging ingredient to cook with? Why?
BL – I’d consider artichoke to be a challenging ingredient to cook with. Despite it looking pretty, I find it very limiting on what you can do with an artichoke. But I can’t wait until the artichokes in my garden are fully grown so I can experiment with them and try out a few new recipes.
Me – Most unusual inspiration for a recipe you developed?
BL – Putting Vegemite into a dessert! As bakers would know salt elevates the sweetness in cakes, so in theory by adding Vegemite into a cheesecake should work. Voila! A Vegemite cheesecake was born.
Me – Tell a story about your biggest cooking disaster that you turned around into a success. How did you do it?
BL – I think Macaron has to be the ultimate nemesis for many bakers including myself. I’ve failed way too many attempts, chucked out way too many ugly, hollow, cracked macaron shells that were simply unsalvageable. It became an obsession and I had to keep trying until I perfected it. 90g egg white, 30g caster sugar, 110g almond meal, 200g icing sugar… See, I’ve learned the exact amount of each ingredient by heart!
Me – What about creating, writing and publishing a cookbook did you discover that you did not realize before you started the process?
BL – Because I’ve been involved in every aspect of this cookbook, hence it became a lot more involved and labour intensive for me. I had to write, cook, test, photoshoot and style it. It took me a good solid five months to complete the cookbook with 110 recipes. Also, cooking 15 dishes a week can really affect the diet, I had to exercise twice as hard to keep on top of it!
Me – Your dream shared dinner location? What one dish would you bring to the table?
BL – A long table in the backyard at a farm house under a big oak tree. Roast pork belly with extra crunchy crackling!
Me – George, Gary or Matt?
BL – Gary.
Me – Last meal.
My mum’s vinegar braised pork belly with eggs. Recipe is in the cookbook.
Me – If you could leave just one bit of wisdom as your legacy, what would it be?
BL – “Buy my book!” Haha! Just kidding… I would have to say, I didn’t grow up thinking I want to be a chef or work in food industry, cooking is my passion, but it is my desire to learn new things that gets me going. So don’t be afraid to pick up a cookbook, pick a recipe, buy the ingredients and give it a go, you might surprise yourself!