I love Fast Ed’s approach to cooking. As a novice in the kitchen, I completely connect to his concept of keeping the entire cooking process simply. As his nickname suggests, he also likes the journey of cooking to be quick, and puts the success of his segments on Better Homes & Gardens down to the recipes being simple and achievable.
Ahead of the upcoming Better Homes & Gardens Live, I grabbed a few minutes with Fast Ed to discuss how he got his BH&G gig, if his kids have their dad’s flair for food, and why he’s doing Dry July.
Fast Ed talks Cooking, Kids and BH&G Goss
Your role on Better Homes & Gardens came about by chance, right?
“I was happily busy, running a leading restaurant down on Sydney’s waterfront when Sydney Weekender turned up out of the blue to do a restaurant review. I should point out that, at that stage, I had never even given a single thought to the idea of working in media. I was a chef, and happily so.
Nonetheless, I endeavoured to be hospitable and went out of my way to look after them. A week later I got a call to ask whether I’d be interested in doing a screen test. Seems that the producer on the day was living with the series producer of BHG and she had gone home and told him about this young fella she’d been filming. The rest, as they say, is history”.
What do you put the success of the show down to? It keeps going from strength to strength.
“The ‘A’s: Affordable, achievable, accessible. The main part of our show’s appeal is that everything we do can be actually done by everyday Australians. And, because of the magazine format, if gardening isn’t your thing, just wait3-4 minutes and we’ll be on to a whole new adventure!”.
Do you road test a lot of your recipes from the show on your family at home?
“Family. Friends. Crew. Random strangers. No one is safe. We have to test 20-24 dishes a week, so fair to say that no one goes hungry”.
I love your whole mantra of keeping it simple when it comes to cooking. Do you use this approach all the time?
“Absolutely. It’s more than simplicity, it’s about having real respect for the food we’re working with. As I constantly tell apprentices, ‘when you do less, the ingredients can do more’.
In a perfect dish you shouldn’t be reveling in the mastery of the technician who brought it to life, but overwhelmed by the flavours, textures and intuitive qualities. The ingredients matter so much more than the cook”.
I noticed on Instagram that you rope your kids into cooking too. Do they have the same flair for cooking as their dad?
“Not yet, but it is something you learn. To be honest, I’m bit of a control freak in the kitchen and usually really busy, so I don’t always have the patience required to deal with the side tracks my kids want to travel down.
But yeah, I get them involved… as long as the follow EVERY SINGLE INSTRUCTION. Just kidding, I’m way more fun than that!”.
You’ve just taken part in dry July. Why was that so important for you?
“Australia has an outstanding medical system in terms of the direct services provided. But often it’s the ancillary parts of a health experience that make it more bearable and more human. Dry July is dedicated to the idea that helping Australia survive their cancer in a humane and loved way matters”.
What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming Better Homes & Gardens Live?
“The kids. I just love their enthusiasm. We have a fantastic fan base of young people, and I really enjoy showing them some new stuff, sharing some flavours and watching them learn and grow”.
Better Homes & Gardens Live
Fast Ed will be joining the rest of the BH&G team for Better Homes & Gardens Live 2016. Enjoy days of interactive fun across both Sydney and Melbourne this September and October.
Sydney shows are from 16 – 18 September at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.
Melbourne shows are from 14 – 16 October at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Click here for more information and to grab tickets.
Are you a BH&G fan? What are you looking forward to most about Better Homes & Gardens Live?