Live4 Master Class with Massimo Mele

Eat, Play, Sydney / 28 August 2012

Did you know that one in four of us spend more than 22 days a year commuting to and from work? That is 2 days more than the annual leave of most Australians. Thanks to, a new interactive website with a range of celebrity blogs, features and interviews and in association with NRMA, we were given the chance to escape our daily commute and take the Joyride, Live4 the Journey Bus.
The bus picked us up from busy commuter destinations and although the early rise was somewhat hard to take, it was well worth listening to the relentless alarm clock.

Manly Wharf.

The sun was shining and the water was glistening – a beautiful morning down on the water at Hugo’s, Manly. Thankfully it wasn’t too long before we were armed with caffeine, juice and mini yoghurt parfaits, ready to face the day.
We began with a master class from executive chef of the Hugo’s group, Massimo Mele. Sticking to the theme of the day, Massimo gave us tips and tricks to easily create an impressive hot breakfast.
Eager students.

The celebrity chef himself.

Now, I don’t know about you but I’ve always been afraid of poaching eggs. Whenever I’ve tried, the perfect ball of oozy goodness has evaded me, resulting instead a watery mess of something I’d rather not name. But now, eggy greatness is within grasp. All you need to do is gently crack an egg into a glad wrap lined cup, tightly tie it up without air bubbles and cook it in simmering water for 4 minutes. It’s too easy! And if you have friends coming over for brunch you can even cook the eggs the night before. Massimo’s cheats’ hollandaise is the perfect accompaniment. See below for recipies.
I’m not going to deny it, all this egg talk was making me hungry. My prayers were answered and almost magically breakfast started emerging from the kitchen.
Poached egg, smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce on sourdough.

With food in our bellies and caffeine pumping through our blood stream it was now over to us. In a MasterChef inspired Invention Test it was our task to turn the ingredients on our benches into the most impressive Mille-feuille we could muster. With Massimo’s demonstration serving only as a guide the boundaries were as wide as our imaginations.
Massimo's Mille-feuille.

The assembly line

The finished product! Aptly named 'Bigger is Better'.

Proud chefs.

Even when given the same ingredients and time frame there were no two identical end products. Although we didn’t win, there were many fabulous creations including a boat inspired ‘Spirit of Sydney’, The Sydney Opera House, even David Beckham’s haircut.

And just incase we hadn’t consumed enough sugar, we finished the morning off with a waffle. Deeeelicious.

Waffle with chocolate sauce, crème pâtissière, strawberry and pistachios

Thanks to Live4 for giving us something forward to before work. Instead of the usual morning traffic, I had mastered egg poaching, eaten a delicious breakfast at Hugo’s and even built Pisa – all before 10am. Having achieved so much I’m thinking maybe I should set my alarm clock for 5.30am more often!
For more ideas on ways to get the most out of your day check out Live4, a new daily escape online
Massimo’s Easy Poached Eggs
Crack an egg into a cup lined loosely with glad wrap.
Cradle the egg within the glad wrap and gentle tie it up making sure there are no air bubbles.
Place in a saucepan of simmering water for 4 minutes or until the white has set. For a harder yolk cook for another minute or two.
Carefully remove glad wrap. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Massimo’s Cheats Hollandaise

250g chopped butter
5 egg yolks
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and white pepper, to season
1. Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Bring to the boil, then transfer to a heatproof jug.
2. Process egg yolks and white wine vinegar in a food processor until smooth.
3. Gradually add hot butter while motor is still running in a slow and steady stream until sauce thickens.
4. Transfer to a heatproof jug, stir in tarragon, salt and white pepper to taste. Cool slightly before serving.