Julie Goodwin says she’ll never forget the fairytale waterfall picnic she had with her then boyfriend, now husband, Michael as love-struck teens.
Although dirt poor at the time, she’d splurged on just a few extra special things like a few expensive cheeses and breads, washed down with Michael’s favourite brand of beer and slices of lime.
“It was just that act of bringing a simple meal together and going to enjoy it as a young couple; it was beautiful,” says Julie in an exclusive video interview with The Carousel.
“I think it was the best tasting thing I’ve ever had.”
Australia’s first MasterChef champ has carried that ‘cooking from the heart’ mantra into her latest book too, Julie Goodwin’s Essential Cookbook – a mouth-watering collation of more than 300 recipes from our favourite home cook.
Julie says nothing beats cooking with love for your nearest and dearest, a trait installed in her at a young age by her dear mum.
My mum was an entertainer and still is actually,” laughs Julie.
“She loves nothing more than to have a bunch of people over and to put on a spread. Of course, I grew up in the 70s and 80s so those spreads would always have a fruit upside down flan, strawberry shortcake, sherry log, and glazed ham.
“She really just loved to cook for people and really have people around and party, and I’ve taken that from her.
“Nothing makes me happier than to have a group of people around at my house and putting on a feast.”
Even so, Julie admits that it does take some organising to get her own family around the same table.
“We have a white board and they have to write down if they’re going to be home for dinner that day. If I see one we’re all there, then boom! I lock them in and say be home because I’m cooking up a feast.”
If you’re looking to impress your own special someone(s), Julie reckons you can’t go wrong with her Essential Cookbook as your go-to accompaniment.
The 300-plus road-tested gems inside are a culmination of 25 years of practice by Julie honing her family favourites.
“Whatever ingredients you have in the house, no matter the season or occasion, you can put together a tasty feast that will please everyone, every time,” she says.
With over 30 years experience as a journalist and TV producer, Robyn Foyster is the owner and publisher of the lifestyle websites TheCarousel.com, GameChangers.com.au and WomenLoveTech.com.
Robyn was voted one of the 30 most powerful women in media at the 2015 B&T Women In Media Awards.
Previously, Robyn was the Publisher and Editor of Australia's three biggest flagship magazine brands - The Australian Women's Weekly, Woman's Day and New Idea.
Robyn won Editor of the Year at the 2007 Magazine of the Year Award and under her helm The Australian Women's Weekly won the inaugural 2008 Australian Magazine Award for Australia's best mass market magazine and New Idea won the MPA's coveted Magazine of the Year award.