Adam Liaw explores the flavours of Europe for Eurovision.
Adam Liaw explores the flavours of Europe for Eurovision. Lucy Alcorn

MasterChef favourite matches cuisines to music

THE colour and excitement of the Eurovision Song Contest isn't just limited to the music.

The annual event, which Australia has competed in for the past three years, is also an excuse to indulge in Europe's many wonderful cuisines.

Destination Flavour host Adam Liaw travels the country to find passionate home cooks, bakers and chefs to research and plan a feast for his own viewing party.

He even learns a Eurovision song to perform for his guests, revealing yet another talent.

Liaw is one of MasterChef Australia's most successful winners and in Monday's season 10 premiere he returned to the show's Melbourne studios to cheer on the next generation of hopefuls.

In this Q&A, he talks about discovering Russian and Serbian food, and what dish he would cook to represent Australia.

Adam Liaw in a scene from Destination Flavour Eurovision.
Adam Liaw in a scene from Destination Flavour Eurovision. SBS-TV

Q: Were you a Eurovision fan before filming this special episode?

A: I've been a huge Eurovision fan for years. It's fantastically fun, but beyond that the music is great, the culture is great and there's just enough politics thrown in to give it an edge.

Q: Were any of the cuisines new to you? What were your highlights food-wise?

A: Quite a few. I hadn't eaten a lot of Serbian food before, or even Russian food. I have to say the Russian food was really surprising. Delicate pickled herrings perfectly matched with vodka, a few cold cuts, and a real Russian salad (called "olivier" in Russia). I absolutely loved it.

Q: What are your top tips for someone hosting a party, especially considering the early morning broadcast time here in Australia for those watching live?

A: I think the live broadcast is best watched at home, so you can really pay attention to it. It's on at 4am after all. I usually try to watch the performances live, and then try to avoid finding out the result so that I can experience that part at a Eurovision party later. The key to a good Eurovision party is planning, you have to assign people different countries both for food and costumes, otherwise you might end up with everyone turning up in Lederhosen!

Q: If you had a table of dishes representing different countries, what dish/flavours do you think best represent Australia?

A: If I was hosting a party at home and putting the table together myself I'd probably make something like salt and pepper squid. It's a really Australian dish and everyone loves it. If I was bringing a plate to someone else's party, then I think some good party-size sausage rolls. I always think that food representing countries should be what the people actually eat, rather than some special occasion delicacies.

Q: You're filming for the next series of Destination Flavour at the moment. Anything you can tell me about what you've been working on so far?

A: The next season of Destination Flavour is in China. We're travelling around the whole country for about 3 months to show a lot of different aspects of Chinese food. It's completely different wherever you go - from spicy and numbing food in Sichuan, to wild mountain food in Anhui, and delicate refined dishes in Zhejiang. Honestly, Chinese food is absolutely fascinating and the more I find out about it the more exciting it gets. It will be on air on SBS later in the year and I can't wait to show everyone.

Destination Flavour Eurovision airs tonight at 7.30pm on SBS.



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