An Interview with Thalia and Bianca

Thalia and Bianca My Kitchen Rules 2014 MKR

I am SO delighted to have some very special guests on the blog today.

My Australian readers – especially the ones from Tasmania – will already be very familiar with Thalia and Bianca. They are two beautiful ladies, University of Tasmania students, and extremely talented chefs, who recently made it to the top five of My Kitchen Rules (and should really have made it even further, grumble grumble…).

Thalia and Bianca made a point on My Kitchen Rules of showcasing the wonderful food produce that Tasmania has to offer, and it seems especially appropriate to publish this interview with them today, given that it has just been announced that later this year Tassie will host a major gala event for the world’s biggest foodies.

Over to them…

 ***

What do you think makes Tasmania so special in terms of the quality of the food, wine (and now whiskey!) produced here?

I think we have been very lucky to experience growing up in Tasmania because the access to great fresh food, often direct from the producer has meant the whole food experience is enhanced. I love that we can buy oysters down the road from my family shack, and they are from the lagoon across the road. We think the food we cook really reflects the Tasmanian way of life.

 

If you were going to cook a three-course meal showcasing the best that Tassie has to offer, what would it include?

Entrée: Salmon Rillettes with Olive Oil Crisps

Main: Pan-fried Gnocchi, slow braised beef brisket with basil pesto

Dessert: White chocolate panna cotta with raspberry granita.

 

And if you could ask any guests you wanted – alive or dead, famous or family, who would they be?

Neil Perry (a chef we really look up to)

Ryan Gosling (no explanation needed…)

Harry Styles (again, just for some eye candy!)

Thalia’s YiaYia (she lives in Greece so we only get to see her once a year)

Lorna Jane (An Aussie women who has started from nothing and lived her dreams)

 

Where are your favourite places to eat and shop locally?

Our favourite restaurants in Hobart include Written on Tea, Berta and Rin. We shop for our local produce at Hobart’s Farm Gate Market every Sunday.

 

If you were going on a world tour to learn about other styles of cooking and ingredients, where would you like to go?

Mexico, we would love to master their bold flavours!

 

Which chef’s/restaurant’s kitchen would you most like to be a part of?

Colin Fassnidge’s restaurant – 4Fourteen – tough love but you would learn a lot!

 

What are your store cupboard staples?

A block of Lindt chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla beans and hazelnuts.

 

And what is your one essential piece of kitchen equipment?

A microplane! Can’t live without it. And a sharp knife, of course!

 

What recipe books do you have on your shelves?

We have waaaay too many cookbooks, but a few favourites include The Art of Pasta, Rockpool, the Agrarian Kitchen and the Messina cookbook. New to the collection, Chinchin!

 

What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten?

Colin Fassnidge’s Beef Brisket at 4Fourteen. Ohhh the things we would do to eat this every day!

 

And the worst?

An over cooked steak.

 

Any food-related guilty pleasures?

Does pâté count?

 

What’s the best brunch to restore your health after a big night out?

Definitely scrambled eggs with Persian feta and avocado. Depending on the state of the hangover, bacon may be required also!

 

Which MKR moment are you proudest of?

When we cooked seared tiger prawns with goats cheese tortellini. Off camera we were going through a bit of a tough time in the competition and getting dish of the day was a real surprise.

 

And if you could go back and do anything differently what would it be?

We try and go by the motto of living without regrets, but if we had to we would change our menu for our Ultimate instant restaurant.

 

What are your foodie plans now

We have started the Market Kitchen, which evolved from our instant restaurant where we demonstrated our passion for fresh Tassie produce. We now want to showcase this beautiful produce. We have started a stall at Hobart’s farmers market selling our pâté every Sunday, using all locally sourced ingredients. We are hoping to extend our range of products in the near future. Ultimately we would love to get our products on the shelves of local delis.

We also want to keep cooking for people, as there isn’t a better feeling than seeing someone enjoy food you have cooked for them. So we have started catering for private dinner parties and functions. Our menus include some of our signature dishes – many of which we cooked on the show! We can tailor a menu to suit any occasion, whether it be a birthday, corporate event or just a special occasion. Hopefully the sky really is the limit because we want to do it all. We hope to one day have a restaurant and a cookbook! Bring it on…

For enquiries you can contact Thalia and Bianca on thaliaandbianca@gmail.com or take a look at their website. You can also say hello to them @market_kitchen on Instagram or on Facebook.

29 responses

  1. What a lovely interview.

    They sound like ladies after my own heart. Got to applaud people for supporting producers and local fresh ingredients. Best of luck to them!

    • Absolutely – its brilliant that they’re putting Tassie on the foodie map even more than it was before. I am all for shopping and eating local!

  2. I would so love to live somewhere where you can walk down to the harbour and buy oysters from a shack. I don’t eat enough seafood as it is hard to trust that seafood here is really fresh and I am so bad at cooking it as I don’t get enough practice! Sounds like Tassie is a foodies paradise, good luck with all your new ventures ladies x

    • One of the things I really missed in Herts was fresh seafood Kirsty, so you have my sympathy. The times we did buy it there it definitely wasn’t fresh, which was a real shock to the system after living in Scotland for so long! You’ll have to pop over here for some Bruny Island oysters soon😉 xx

    • It’s probably easier to do here than it is in a lot of places – although it’s coming to the end of raspberry and strawberry season so I have no idea what T is going to live on for the next 6 months! Glad you liked the interview, thanks for commenting x

  3. oh wow. What a lovely interview. I am so envious of you and your time in Tasmania. You should get a job with the tourist board. You have sold it to me.

    And now I want to find this programme and catch up on these two talented ladies.

    • If the tourist board are offering I am definitely up for it! I really hope they show the Australian MKR in the UK, I think it’s a great format (although like any cooking show I suspect a lot of editing goes on too…) It was a nice change after so long watching Masterchef though x

  4. You so need to get yourself a job with the Tasmanian tourist board Ruth. Before your first trip out there I could have placed Tasmania on a map, but knew very little about the place. Now I am DESPERATE to visit and that’s before I even consider the fact that you and DorkySon are there. As soon as the kids are old enough I’m booking flights. Now, I wonder if Qantas fancy working with any UK bloggers on a review…😉

    • Oooh. Now there’s an idea. I’m sure you could do a great write up of a Tassie trip on your blog Penny. What are you waiting for?! xx

  5. I completely agree, Lindt is a must-have in every cupboard. Having watched some Australian cookery programs, I have to say that I’m really impressed with Australian food. It looks so exciting and fresh and I love all the Asian influences x

  6. Yet again you make me want to travel to Australia, this time to eat! I’ve stalked these lovely ladies blog and I’m loving their main courses. Oh my such a lot of yummy!
    What a lovely interview Ruth x

  7. Great interview. Wish I had a block of Lindt chocolate in my pantry, but it never seems to make it that far. I’m still harvesting stuff from the garden, one of my favourite things about Tassie is that there are things to eat right out the back door every month of the year. Persimmons, rocket, lettuce, radishes, celery… I love fresh food from the garden. Not to forget the eggs!

    • Hah! I have that same problem with Lindt, Heidi. Sometimes it doesn’t even make it out of the car on the way home! I completely agree with you about Tassie produce – our garden is still very much a work in progress, but even being able to pick our own herbs and lemons from the garden is a real joy.

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