TORONTO — Top Australian Chef Curtis Stone has travelled the world and worked and dined in some of the finest restaurants (including his own). So when he gets back to his hometown of Melbourne, what dish does he crave most? Believe it or not, the answer is fish and chips.
On hand to meet and break bread with the consumer and travel trade press last night at Bosk restaurant in Toronto’s Shangri-La Hotel as part of a Tourism Australia presentation, Stone said he looks forward to Melbourne’s humble but incredibly tasty take on fish and chips “every time I go back”.
Now based in L.A. where he’s been at the helm of his Beverly Hills restaurant, Maude, for the past several years, Stone took time out of his busy schedule this week in Toronto to offer interviews, meet-and-greets and his thoughts about all things Down Under:
- On Australia’s dining scene: “Food and wine is one of our fantastic pillars in Australia, along with beautiful beaches.” Add in Austaralia’s cosmopolitan cities, wildlife and adventure opportunities and natural beauty “and basically Australia has it all”. He adds: “In Australia we like to break the rules and I think that’s served us well for food and wine.”
- His top Australian cities: “My favourite city is of course Melbourne because that’s where I’m from. Sydney really is one of those cities where you finish work and say, ‘Is it a beach day?’ and you go for a swim. Also Brisbane – we call it Bris-Vegas because they’re a little glitzy but it’s a great city. Brisbane has developed into a really cosmopolitan city with great restaurants.”
- Something everyone should do in Australia: “You have to go to a sporting event. We’re mad for football.” Visitors should also take the time to drive out to a ‘country town’, says Stone. His dad lives in Woodend: “It’s where the wood ends.” There are sheep and cows everywhere, says Stone, and it has the makings of a completely authentic rural stay not far from the city lights. “It’s a really unique experience”.
- His go-to meal when dining with family: “Roast chicken and rice”.