Interview: Pete Evans

1. What are your top tips for summer entertaining?
Keep it simple and plan you menus so that you are able to be out of the kitchen.

2. What is the key to keeping food fresh in summer?
Try to buy produce from small suppliers that you know and trust. A lot of little farmers markets have popped up in suburban areas which are a fantastic new way to shop. Always ask questions of your suppliers and be informed about where your food is coming from.

Try Pete's grilled king prawn with mango, coconut and lime

3. Why do you think it is so important to cook with seasonal produce?
It’s just the natural way, why would you want to eat food out of season? It’s more costly and tastes completely different. I think people are becoming more informed about eating seasonally which is great, and each season represents reminds us of the one before. When you see Mangoes in the shops you know Christmas is coming!

4. What’s your favourite summer recipe?
I would have to say my prawn roll – cooked prawns in a fresh crusty bread roll with tarragon, sliced celery, iceberg lettuce and my cocktail sauce!

Pete's prawn martini with mango salsa

5. You have just released your fourth book “My Party”, what makes it different from your other books?
My Party is a book that focuses on small tasty morsels ideal for entertaining. When I go out I like to eat lots of entrees so I can sample the chefs diversity. We do a lot of great Parties around the country with Hugos Catering so My Party can show you how to do it yourself at home.

6. For a summers afternoon get together what canapés and cocktails would you serve?
I would start with Fresh Oysters and a champagne cocktail, followed by a bunch of South American inspired canapés such as King fish Ceviche, Beef Empanadas and Crab Cakes with Mango Mojo. Then I would probably make a big jug of Mojitos to go with this.

7. You’re currently an ambassador for mangoes. Why do you love cooking with mangoes?
Mostly because you don’t have to cook them! They are a perfect accompaniment to all meal times - breakfast with your cereal, lunch in a salad and after dinner as dessert – so versatile!

Mango and strawberry pavlova roll

8. Which foods work well with mangoes?
I love seafood with mangoes - prawn, lobster, crab - but they also go with coconut and limes. Or, have a whole peeled mango blended up with yoghurt and wheat germ for a healthy breakfast.

9. You’re an avid fisherman, what types of fish are great for that Sunday afternoon barbeque?
Whatever is biting at the time! I caught some flathead over the weekend which we just BBQ ed with lemon. I also love mudcrab and have just released a sauce in my food range which takes the work out of authentic chill crab.

10. Finally, what do you love most about Aussie food culture?
The multiculturalism that we can pull from and also the amazing seafood we have on our door step, and of course our laid back attitude creates one of the best food cultures in the world.

Fresh and tasty summer recipes