The former MasterChef winner loves an electronic cookbook and is not above Instagramming his dinner – no guilt involved.
You’re very active on Twitter. What do you like about it?
It’s my voice, unfiltered. I love the two-way nature of social media. With a lot of traditional media, you can only broadcast. But with Twitter, I can live-tweet along with Destination Flavour and see what people like or don’t like so we can make our series better every year.
How long do you spend crafting a tweet?
Less than a second. There should probably be more time and effort put into it.
What technology do you rely on while you’re on the road?
I don’t think I’d be able to do this job if Skype and FaceTime didn’t exist. But what’s better is when my son is on the swings at the park and my wife can take a photo and send it to me in real time and I know he’s having fun.
What other tech do you use when you’re travelling for work?
I use an iPad Pro to edit everything, from a 300-page book to a recipe and photo for a newspaper column. In the past, a whole ream of paper was express-posted to me [for a book] and I’d have to carry it through multiple countries, make my edits then try to find a post office to send it back. Last year was the first time I was able to do it all electronically, which was fantastic.
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And what about day to day?
My phone, laptop, camera and iPad. Plus noise-cancelling headphones because I’m usually on my way to or from an airport. That sort of defeats the purpose of an all-in-one smartphone… I could do it all on my phone but that would take too long. Carrying it all is a complete mobile office for me.
What technology do you wish existed?
All I want is Tesla [solar-powered] batteries. I’m happy to take equipment but I don’t like carrying cords and having to bring all the accoutrement required.
Real books or ebooks?
I have a lot of ebooks. I even have cookbooks in an electronic format but I’ll usually have a hard copy as well.
You need both?
I like ebooks from the perspective of having a full library wherever I go. All of my cookbooks, plus a few others I refer to, are ebooks. But if I’m going on holiday to sit on a beach somewhere and read a book, I prefer that to be in hard copy.
Is there any kitchen technology you think is game-changing?
The sous vide revolution was touted as being a big game changer but it hasn’t eventuated. That said, now that it has made its way into ovens, it’s brilliant. It’s also exciting that precise oven-temperature controls in high-end kitchens are heading into domestic kitchens in a way that’s actually practical.
Are you guilty of taking food photos for social media?
I do it all the time – but I feel no guilt. Even in a fancy restaurant, I’ll happily bring out a camera.
Any tips for great food photos?
Get a seat near a window. And don’t worry too much about it. There’s nothing worse than having people sitting around waiting for you to finish taking photos. Snap a shot, put the camera away and enjoy the meal.
How would you sum up your tech habits?
Borderline unhealthy. When I was a lawyer for Disney, I worked in digital so it’s been a part of my job forever. I’m slightly tech obsessed. And I still get told off for pulling out the phone at the dinner table.
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