Dublin born Colin Fassnidge is the cheeky, no-holds-barred Irish chef, whose name is on everyone’s lips.
Not only famous for his delicious carnivorous dishes that use the entire animal from “nose to tail”, he’s also made a name for himself on Australia’s TV screens, as a judge on popular home-cooking show My Kitchen Rules.
Starting out as an apprentice chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford under the watchful eye of Raymond Blanc, Colin moved to Australia in 1999 and ended up working for some of Sydney’s most acclaimed chefs, including Liam Tomlin at Banc.
Taking on pub food at Paddington’s Four in Hand in 2005 Colin has since popularised “nose to tail” cuisine, introducing sophisticated Sydney-siders to the wonders of all things offal.
In 2011 he opened his own sister restaurant, 4Fourteen in Surry Hills, to rave reviews, exposing a new generation of diners to his waste-not-want-not food philosophy.
But in spite of his culinary expertise and frank judgment of contestants on My Kitchen Rules, there’s nothing Colin loves more after a long day in the kitchen than a liberal serving of baked beans on toast and a good glass of Pinot.
What first sparked your interest in food?
What was your big break? Who have been your mentors?
I got my first big break from a college teacher of mine, who opened a restaurant in Dublin. I promised him I’d work two years in his restaurant and in return he got me a job at Le Manoir with Raymond Blanc, who became my mentor.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
Ants in the rainforests of Queensland – part of my prep for ‘I’m A Celebrity’ next year…
If you had $1000 to spend on a bottle of wine, what would you buy?
The biggest bottle of Pinot Noir I could find.
Can you tell us about your biggest kitchen disaster?
Exploding a tin of condensed milk all over the kitchen during service, while trying to make dulce de leche.
What is the best meal you’ve ever made?
The classic ‘Chefs Saturday night after service dinner’ – baked beans, cheddar cheese and Branston Pickle on toast, all washed down with a glass of Pinot Noir.
What is your guilty food pleasure?
Jelly snakes and chocolate ice cream.
What is the most exciting local ingredient you’re using right now?
If you were opening the best bottle of Pinot in your cellar, which three historical figures would you invite to share it with you?
Bono, Michael Hutchence and Fergus Henderson, who founded St. John restaurant in London, which specialises in “nose to tail” eating.