Filipino chef Tim Talam is clear on why he joined Season 10 of “MasterChef Australia.”
“Cooking is always one of those interesting things that I really enjoy. And I’m kinda at the age now where I want to make a successful career for myself and I figure that for me to do that and make a mark in the industry, ‘MasterChef’ is the right way to go,” he said in an exclusive interview with Bulletin Entertainment.
He revealed what making it to the show means to him.
“I’ve always really wanted to do ‘MasterChef.’ 10 years of being on air, it’s special for me to be part of that because it’s such an institution in Australia. It’s an overwhelming moment and it’s one that I will never forget.”
He believes being a butcher shop assistant before becoming a chef is proving to be pivotal to his success on the show.
“Because my strength is in me and I learned a lot about how to prepare meat, basically how to cook meat from the butcher and just all those different cuts and stuff. So, for me, it’s really an advantage that I was able to learn from real butchers and that’s something really special because I know all the hidden cuts, mystery cut.”
Tim also sees his temperament as asset as he is able to calmly handle all the pressures in the kitchen.
What’s his plan after joining the contest? Pursue another career or focus on becoming a well-known chef, we asked.
“We’re going on to the show and of course, I have aspirations to open up my own place and potentially become a chef. So, let’s just focus on probably have my little barbecue place in Sydney and that’s basically cooking food that I really love to eat,” he answered.
For Tim, cooking is really a special thing. He enjoys eating and loves to see people being satisfied after his creation.
“I love to eat. And for me, cooking is one of those things that I can do every day and show to friends and family. Basically, to make them happy and you know, at the end of the day, it’s what we need more in this world – happiness. I’m willing to make sure that my friends and family are both happy and full. It’s just really a satisfying thing for me,” he shared.
Though without formal education or culinary arts background, Tim doesn’t see that as hindrance to success.
“Personally, I am a very intuitive cook and I really love to eat. Basically, I like to learn things that I want to learn,” he pointed out.
On what kind of kitchen expert he is, he said his forte lies in the preparation of meat and experimenting different ways of cooking it.
How does he handle difficulties in the kitchen, we asked.
“For me, I make sure that I am really calm and collected. Because if you crack under the pressure that could be the end of your work,” he answered.
Anyway, he is confident whenever he is at work. Also he is happiest whenever he’s eating something that he really craves.
“I don’t know why but I really have a great satisfaction when it comes to eating. If it’s good then I’m certainly happy, if it’s average then I’m not really happy. I’m really a fancy eater. Even though I eat everything, I want to make sure that what I eat is really up to standard,” he revealed.
In fact, among chefs he looks up to is Christian Puglisi. Tim even reads his cook books.
“For me, it’s not really the recipes from that book, it’s about the memory, the times, and quality that makes sense. For me, cooking isn’t just about recipes; it’s just about how dish came to be a joy. That’s what I really, really love about the book,” he enthused.
But in terms of cooking, what’s his favorite cuisine to cook, we asked.
“I don’t really have but if I was to say I’d say American barbecue because I experimented so much in the seven or eight years in that particular food so that’s something I learned so much about,” he said.
How about his favorite dishes?
“That’s a tough one. Basically, I’m a Filipino. I 100% love Filipino food because it’s something that I grew up with but since I’ve been traveling so I just grew close with American barbecue like smoked ribs, smoked beef, and brisket. For me, long-style cooking meat is just so satisfying to eat,” he explained.
However, he noted that his burning passion for cooking and eating came from his being Filipino.
“I guess, for me, and the rest of the Filipinos, we have such a rich culture and food. I got to learn that from my lola back in the days when she used to cook for us and it has just kind of transpired with food nowadays I really enjoy and try to learn as much as I can,” he shared.
The 28-year-old Australian-born Filipino said he has a list of Filipino dishes he wants to do.
“I love everything basically, so, you’ve got kare-kare and binagoongan. You name it. I would basically eat everything. I actually really love dinuguan surprisingly. Also, pinakbet, I really enjoy,” he said.
“Master Chef Australia Season 10” premieres in Singapore and Hong Kong starting June 18, Mondays to Fridays from 8 p.m. to 10:55 p.m.