Georgia Barnes loves food. To her, it is her life. Learning to cook at a young age from her mother and grandmother, Georgia’s culinary affection continued to grow with her, leading her to audition and make it through to the grand finale of MasterChef Australia 2015. As far as Georgia is concerned, her gourmet journey is only just beginning. We took five with Georgia to talk all things food…
What drew you to audition for MasterChef Australia?
I had reached a moment in my life where I was standing at a crossroads. I had a good job, but daily I was dreaming about a life in the food industry, not knowing where I would even begin if I were to give it a crack. My family played a big part in encouraging me to apply. Sometimes I truly believe life is all about timing.
Your grandmother was one of your biggest culinary influences. What about her inspired you?
My grandmother, Mama, was probably the most influential person in my life so far. She taught me so much about life, and a lot about food. Her cooking was always simple. She used fresh ingredients and would create the most beautiful food. Everything was cooked gently and with a whole lot of love. Mama and Grandad owned a butcher shop, so there was always meat on the table, paired with fresh vegetables from the garden. And then there was the baking, the sweet and sticky treats that required discipline and restraint. She really provided me with a beautiful platform to grow from as a home cook.
If we took a peek inside your grocery basket, what would we find?
I love collecting groceries and scoping out the markets. You will always find me with fresh veggies and fruit – I really try to base most of what I cook around what is seasonally available. For me, they’re the hero. I love natural yoghurt, seeds, dark chocolate, mineral water and I always buy a whole organic chicken. One little bird provides you with so many delicious meals, I don’t throw away a single bit! Oh, and I have one rule – I always buy an ingredient that I’ve never tried before.
You appeared at your first Regional Flavours last year and are returning again this year. What do you enjoy most about the event?
I had an absolute ball at Regional Flavours. I loved that the event showcased how incredible the local produce is in Queensland. Cooking in the sunshine, in front of so many lovely, food-loving people, with amazing ingredients, it was seriously spectacular!
Do you have any fond memories of a dining experience at South Bank?
I’ve had plenty of wonderful dining experiences at South Bank. Champagne and charcuterie in the sunshine at Stoke Bar, relaxed dinner and suckling pork with friends at Popolo, dinner and an unforgettable souffle at Bacchus with my family, blankets and warming winter cocktails at Next Door Kitchen & Bar. The list goes on. It’s the hub of the Brisbane food scene.
See Georgia at Regional Flavours this year…