PREVIEW: Behind-the-scenes with a masterchef

It was a sunny day at Anna Gare’s Fremantle home and the celebrity chef was cooking up a storm. The occasion was the photo shoot of her much anticipated cookbook, to be published by Fremantle Press in 2011.

The kitchen quickly filled with delicious aromas, the team’s lively banter and the family’s two dogs, who kept a close eye on the wok. The atmosphere between snaps was fun and stress-free, reflecting Gare’s attitude to cooking.

“Cooking is very much about feeling to get the balance right for salty, sour, sweet and for seasoning,” said Anna.

Picking fresh basil from her herb garden for a chilli smoked trout stirfry, Anna explained; “If you’ve just got some fresh herbs on hand, you can cook really robust flavours.”

The Junior MasterChef judge and star of Quickies In My Kitchen and The Best In Australia said her cooking was all about “fresh, quick and healthy” dishes with lots of flavour.

“That’s how I got the nickname Corianna – I love cooking with coriander, chilli and lemon,” said Gare.

Gare’s home, where she lives with her partner, NBA basketball legend Luc Longley, and their children, is every host’s dream. The warehouse-like structure creates an organic, unbroken living space that lets the family and their guests move and socialise freely. And family is an essential part of Anna’s cooking philosophy.

“I like cooking food that I eat myself, and that Luc and our children enjoy,” she said.

Gare, nominated in 2008 and 2009 for ‘Favourite Female Personality’ at the Astra Awards, was in her element as she worked side by side with food stylist Ursula Nairn to create the dishes that will star in the new book. Rob Frith and Mike Ziebarth of Acorn Photo were on the scene, capturing the picture-perfect plates prepared by Anna and her team of professionals.

Anna’s recipes and tips, accumulated over an impressive twenty-two year career in the food industry, will feature in her upcoming book, to be published in 2011 by Fremantle Press.

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