10 Questions with Hayden Quinn

10 Questions With..., Sydney / 20 November 2013

Say hello to up and coming chef extraordinaire, Hayden Quinn. You might remember him from Masterchef 2011, and since then this young chef has certainly been making a name for himself. From publishing his first cookbook, to creating a bespoke menu for the recent Gumtree Garden pop-up bar, he’s one new chef to watch. We caught up with Hayden recently for 10 questions with…
1. What inspired your love of food and love of cooking?
For me food has always been a part of all things that I love, the ocean, travel, friends and family. There is no better way to experience these things than with food. Going for a surf and then smashing a fish taco on a beach in central America, walking down the street in France with a baguette under your arm, then most special of all sitting down at the family dinner table and sharing stories and food with the ones you love.
2. Best childhood foodie memory?
Eating freshly peeled prawns with my dad and grandpa at our holiday home up the coast, sunburnt shoulders and sand on the feet, there was and is, nothing better.
3. Funniest moment/cooking fail when you competed in Masterchef 2011?  
Ha. There were plenty of these. Let’s hope there’re no dramas in the Gumtree Garden kitchen! Probably the worst thing for me in MasterChef was making praline. I just couldn’t do it, event the cameramen would laugh at me every time I gave it a shot. It was a real laugh haha (and yes there is praline on the Gumtree Garden menu!)
4. Tell us a bit about your journey post-Masterchef. What’s your greatest achievement to date?
Well it’s been a busy road I have travelled. For me, I think the greatest achievement was completing and publishing my first cook book; Dish It Up which will be hitting shelves from December 1st.
5. What was it like creating the menu for the Gumtree Garden pop-up bar? What kind of foods did you create?
Creating the menu with the Gumtree team has been great fun, it’s always exciting and a little daunting when you are working on such a big project but the team from Gumtree along with my team on the food side of things made it all possible. The food was tasty, simple, fun sharing bar food. It’s the sort of stuff that I would love to eat if I was having a beer or wine of an evening. We kept the dishes as Australian as possible, using ingredients like WeetBix and bush tomato, along with sourcing local Sydney suppliers like Sonoma Breads.
6. Where would we find you when you’re not in the kitchen?
Haha in front of my computer working! Or at an airport! But preferably at the beach.
7. What’s in store for Hayden Quinn in 2014?
Big year for me I think. I am currently working on a number of TV shows, along with an online content play to house my own “tv” network. I am also involved with a new wine label called Kooks Wine where we are all about charitable causes and crazy capers, 50% of the profits from our wine go back into awesome projects. We are launching in mid November in Dan Murphy’s and are currently available as the exclusive wine inflight for JetStar. Plus much, much more!
8. What’s your favourite place to EAT at in Sydney?
Hm, haha this is always a tricky one. Being a northern beaches boy I don’t get over into the city very much, locally I love Livoti’s Deli in Dee Why, they have incredible Italian food at a price that is incomparable. In the city, one of my faves is Sake in the Rock, Chef Sean Presland always looks after me when I am there.
9. Best place to grab a DRINK with mates in Sydney?
I love filling up my growler at 4pines in Manly and sitting on the grass by the water with some mates, a bit of food and maybe some tunes.
10. Where do you love to PLAY in Sydney?
I love getting down to Dee Why for a swim and surf, I also do a lot of fitness and for me that is play, I love my crossfit and also yoga (Power Living – Manly). I don’t go out too much and play like that any more!