A commitment to using locally sourced produce is no new concept to Matt Golinski. Growing up on his family farm on the Sunshine Coast, incredible produce was always at Matt’s fingertips – it was part of his everyday life. As a renowned chef, local flavours are at the core of Matt’s cooking, which lead to him becoming the food ambassador for Gympie. You can also see Matt present at this year’s Regional Flavours!
LET’S START FROM THE BEGINNING – DID YOUR PASSION FOR FOOD STEM FROM CHILDHOOD?
Yes, growing up on a farm on the Sunshine Coast I was surrounded by great produce from a young age, and by the time I’d hit high school I had no doubt that being a chef was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALISE THAT YOU WANTED TO BECOME A CHEF?
The first time I cooked a meal for a group of family and friends and realised it gave me the ability to make people happy.
IN ADDITION TO WORKING IN A NUMBER OF RENOWNED RESTAURANTS IN QUEENSLAND, YOU WERE ALSO ONE OF THE ORIGINAL TEAM MEMBERS ON READY STEADY COOK. HOW DOES COOKING FOR TELEVISION DIFFER TO THE REAL WORLD?
Ready Steady Cook was no normal cooking show! Despite what people think, you really had no idea what ingredients you had to work with and only had 20 minutes to cook four dishes. That pressure was actually really good for teaching me personally to think on my feet and trust my instincts.
YOU’RE A PASSIONATE ADVOCATE FOR UTILISING LOCAL PRODUCE – SO MUCH SO THAT YOU’RE THE OFFICIAL FOOD AMBASSADOR FOR GYMPIE AND A MEMBER OF THE SLOW FOOD MOVEMENT. ARE THERE ANY INCREDIBLE LOCAL PRODUCERS THAT YOU’VE DISCOVERED RECENTLY?
I could name a hundred incredible producers that I’ve met in the past few years – there is always some clever hard-working person coming up with a new product to excite us chefs. I love that I get a chance to meet these people and visit their farms to see them doing what they love.
YOU WILL BE RETURNING TO REGIONAL FLAVOURS AGAIN THIS JULY! WHAT KEEPS DRAWING YOU BACK TO THE EVENT?
Regional Flavours is a wonderful reminder each year that the people of Brisbane are truly interested in where their food comes from and are willing to support Queensland producers. I love being a part of such a buzzing event where I get a chance to share with the public my knowledge of our producers and how I use their wares.
WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT TO SEE FROM YOU AT THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL?
I will be representing Gympie Region as usual, showcasing the incredibly diverse array of produce that comes out of that area in the form of cooking demonstrations and a food stall.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE INGREDIENT TO WORK WITH, AND IF SO WHY?
Anything that comes out of the Gympie Region, because it’s right at my doorstep so it’s always super fresh. I’m able to get everything from dairy, fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, and the freshest seafood all direct from the source.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE CULINARY EXPERIENCE?
Sitting on a street corner in Turkey eating watermelon, fetta and onions from a piece of paper with a complete stranger who didn’t speak English. Also cooking chicken skewered onto wild sage stalks on a barbecue made from a flat rock in a cave I camped in on the Mani Peninsula in Greece.
DO YOU HAVE AN ALL-TIME FAVOURITE DISH TO COOK AND/OR EAT ?
Any fresh Queensland seafood cooked on a barbecue. Prawns, scallops, bugs, crabs or fish … or all of the above please. Simplicity is always the key with fresh seafood.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT THUS FAR?
Training the 100 or so apprentices I’ve had over my career and helping inspire them to love the industry as much as I do. And having most of them still like me!
OUTSIDE OF THE KITCHEN, HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR SPARE TIME?
I like playing music with my friends and trail running the Noosa Trail network.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FOND MEMORIES OF DINING AT SOUTH BANK YOU’D CARE TO SHARE?
A big dinner at Stokehouse Q for a bucks party, albeit a fairly blurry memory!