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If you had to pick the 50 greatest dishes of the world what would

make it on your list – eaten in the country of their origin, of

course? Spanish paella, perhaps, or French coq au vin, or Thai

green curry? It’s fun to find out if your choices match any in food

writer James Steen’s own compendium titled

50 of the Greatest

Dishes of the World

which aims to chronicle dishes renowned

around the world and the stories behind the food. It’s a delicious

journey from Britain’s fish and chips to the elegant Black Forest

gateau with many stops, and cooking tips from acclaimed chefs, in

between. Published in March by Icon, RRP $22.99.

When roving chefs and

best mates Andy Allen

and Ben Milbourne,

both graduates of


terchef Australia

, were

invited to go fishing

in the mangroves just

outside Port Douglas

with Linc and Brandon

Walker they didn’t realise

just how fierce it was

going to be. As they pad-

dled in ankle deep water in

search of mud crabs, the pair

was warned by their guides that

if they came upon a crab it would

likely rear at them in its own defence

and they would have maybe three to four

seconds before it would run at them! Okay for the

chefs who had a spear each, not so good for the cameraman following their

every move. As warned, a crab appeared and charged for the cameraman!

That wasn’t the end of the episode for the cameraman who steadfastly kept

filming even while a stingray was later nibbling at his foot. Such candid

TASTE of Queensland on TV



moments are captured in the new series of

Andy and Ben Eat Australia


a 15-part series commissioned by SBS and now airing on the free-to-air

Food Network.

The series traces the travels of Andy and Ben up the east coast of

Australia, and the last three episodes (airing in March) follow their

discoveries in Queensland – from harvesting honey on the rooftop of a

city office block with Brisbane’s star beekeeper Jack Stone of Bee One

Third to cooking a whole fresh fish on Fraser Island and foraging for native

Australian ingredients in the Tropical North.

Andy admits that the experience in Queensland was new to him and

just the beginning of what he had to learn about local ingredients from

innovative producers and stunning new recipes from top chefs such as

Alejandro Cancino at Brisbane’s Urbane and Nick Holloway at Nu Nu

in Palm Cove. The show is not rehearsed and Andy says that even if the

cameras hadn’t been rolling they would have done it just the same way. He

even threw out his homework early on the trip and instead of using pre-

prepared recipes he learnt to improvise along the way with the many new

ingredients he was discovering each day, cooked mostly on the charcoal

barbecue they carried with them. It’s a spontaneous blend of travel and

cooking and the people they meet along the way are also stars.

Andy and Ben Eat Australia

is on Wednesday nights from 9.30pm on

the Food Network and available on SBS On Demand.


| BNE March/April 2017