By Lauren Hermon
You may have seen her on your television screen last year cooking to win the title of ‘MasterChef’.
An entire nation tuned in, but now Adelaide cook Jessie Spiby is happy not taking food “so seriously”.
She’s bringing something new and fun to the city’s catering scene with the launch of her personal catering brand, Jessie Does Food.
“It’s about keeping food full of flavour and not so serious. Jessie Does Food sources local produce and is inspired by a fun Australian/Asian fusion menu full of fresh, colourful and flavour-filled food options,” she says.
“I’ve been doing all sorts of food things and been really busy. I’ve definitely made the right decision going into this industry – especially in Adelaide,” she says.
But, for Jessie, the desire to stay and work here wasn’t always strong.
“Adelaide has always been home, but I never felt like I had to stay here until all of that changed last year,” she says.
“I wanted to be part of the solution and be pro-South Australia rather than follow everybody leaving to chase opportunities in other States.”
“Adelaide’s a great place to be and so vibrant. There’s a really good culture here of giving things a go and supporting local producers a lot more… I think you can create your own opportunities here and people will support you.”
Nearing one year since season seven of Channel Ten’s MasterChef ended, Jessie is preparing to cook a six-course Asian fusion banquet at McLaren Vale’s Alpha Box & Dice cellar door as part of her Jessie Does Food project this Friday (June 10) at 6:30pm.
“Food needs to be colourful and packed with flavour, and the collaboration with Alpha Box & Dice will help to bring this out,” she says.
The menu represents Jessie’s fun style of cooking and the things she loves most about food.
“It combines my love of South East Asian flavours and our own native ingredients… think dumplings with crispy salt bush and spicy, sticky Thai-inspired Buffalo wings with native pepper.”
Multiculturalism is probably something Jessie loves most about South Australia’s food industry.
“It’s growing and changing so much and I’m proud to be part of that.”