Julie Goodwin was the very first winner of TV blockbuster MasterChef. Her family-style cooking and friendly personality spawned a career, with recipe books, morning TV, magazine columns and now a Central Coast breakfast radio program. She also runs a cooking school, Julie’s Place, in Gosford, NSW.
Q: What is your kitchen like?
My home kitchen was built prior to MasterChef, so it is fairly standard, but my cooking school was custom-designed as a domestic kitchen. The people who come to learn there are not going home to commercial kitchens.
Q: What is your ideal kitchen design?
For me it is all about having everything in easy reach, so the cooking can just flow. I want drawers for pans, so you can see straight away what is there, without reaching to the back.
I need everything handy and accessible to the stovetop, so I can reach all the utensils on one side, the spice drawer on the other, all streamlined so the cooking flow is easy, and I only move to get ingredients – usually I have those all prepared already so I can just get in the zone and cook.
Q: What are your kitchen essentials?
Two ovens or at least a double oven. Especially if you’re cooking for a crowd – well my family certainly eats like a crowd! Multiple ovens are really helpful for things like pavlova or pork belly that need to cook low and slow, and you can still be roasting potatoes and other bits and pieces in the other oven on nice and high.
A walk-in pantry with modular shelving so you don’t find those things in the back corners that have been there for a year. Stone for the benchtop – I love the feel of it. I love the weight of it. I feel like I’m serious about cooking when I have a stone bench.
Q: What don’t you like in a kitchen?
The kitchen I don’t like is one that has no home or heart to it. It needs to be open to the house. When we were buying a house many years ago we walked into lots of houses and just walked straight out, because the kitchens were shut away. I don’t like a kitchen that looks like it’s never used.