Former Ready, Steady, Cook star Matt Golinksi excited to meet Hunter food producers ahead of Maitland Taste Festival

Matt Golinski. Picture: Paul HarrisHigh-profile chef Matt Golinski hasn’t been to the Hunter Valley before, but he’s done enough Facebook stalking of local producers to be impressed.

“There’s a lot of very switched on and passionate people there,” he said.

The former star of TV show Ready, Steady, Cook is the special guest at this weekend’s Maitland Taste Festival and he can’t waitto immerse himself in the Hunter food world.

While he hasn’t visitedthe Hunter, Golinski has strong connections to Slow Food Hunter Valleyas an active member of the Slow Food movement. He grew up on a fruit farm, so has always had a passion for fresh produce.

“I’ve always loved the whole paddock to plate thing,” he said. “I’ve known (Slow Food Hunter Valley leader) Amorelle for many years.”

The Noosa-based chefsaid he plannedto meet as many local producers as he could during his visit, in order to further understand and showcasethe region’s“food identity”.

“I’m there to help convey to the public why they should be supporting these producers,” he said.

“I like to try and meet everyone as soon as I get there, so I can get up on stage with some authority.

“I’m really looking forward to getting a feel for the landscape of the area.”

Golinski said the diversity of produce in the Hunter made his job preparing cooking demonstrations and recipesnot only easy, but exciting.

He was sent a long list of ingredients to use in his demos, and said he planned to use just about every single one in the 10-12 dishes he will prepare across the weekend.

Matt Golinski. Picture: Paul Harris

“It’s going to be pretty fast and furious,”he said.

“I’m going to be using figs andtromboncini andwarrigalgreens andeggplants and tomatoes. It’s all about what’s in season.”

Maitland Taste Festivalis on in The Levee, Central Maitland on March 10 and 11.

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