Sandra Lee

How Masterchef Julie Goodwin cooks up a recipe

August 19, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Masterchef winner Julie Goodwin (r) and fellow finalist Justine Schofield at the opening of Victor Churchill butcher shop in Sydney

Masterchef winner Julie Goodwin (r) and fellow finalist Justine Schofield at the opening of Victor Churchill butcher shop in Sydney (picture Sandra Lee)

Masterchef victor Julie Goodwin is racing against a tight deadline to finish her cookbook by September.

The Central Coast mother-of-three told me last night she had almost finished gathering her recipes, all of which had to be tested before making the final cut.

The publishing deal with Random House was on top of her $100,000 Masterchef prize and is currently consuming a huge slice (sorry!) of the television cooking star’s busy schedule.

She is also spending two days a week working on her contract as in-magazine cook for Australian Women’s Weekly, the flagship ACP property that took a massive dive in sales and circulation in the last magazine audit figures.

Here’s how Goodwin comes up with her recipes, which make their debut in the next edition of The Weekly.

The mag’s food team give the 38-year-old a running brief and Julie pulls it together in her kitchen at home, taste testing as she goes. The hardest thing, she confessed, was remembering to write down all the ingredients because she invents the recipe as a work in progress.

“It’s how I cook,” she told me at the opening of Victor Churchill, Sydney’s newest and arguably most flash butcher shop in Woollahra. “The good thing is if I stuff it up, I turf it and start again.”

Victor Churchill's butchers Danny Woodward (left) and Pete Shaw  (picture Sandra Lee)

Victor Churchill's butchers Danny Woodward (left) and Pete Shaw (picture Sandra Lee)

Goodwin, who won the hearts of Australians when taking out the Masterchef title over South Australian Poh Ling Yeow, was at the opening with fellow finalist, Justine Schofield.

The pretty 23-year-old didn’t make the grand final, but so impressed Aria chef, Matt Moran, that he offered her a role in his kitchen.  But, like Goodwin, Masterchef has proved so successful for her that Schofield has only managed to work four Fridays at the award-winning eatery.

As well, she’s been doing promotional work and cooking for private clients at their homes, teaching them her culinary tricks.

Meanwhile, back in the Parisienne-styled butchery Victor Churchill, guests enjoyed food by another award-winning chef, Peter Gilmore from Quay, and knocked back a seriously good chardonnay and big-bodied red by Chandon.

Owner Anthony Puharich made a heartfelt speech thanking his family, in particular his beloved father, Victor, who he called “my father, my best friend and business partner all rolled into one”.

The proud father, who opened Vic’s Premium Quality Meat, on Oxford Street, Paddington more than a decade ago, stood beaming in the audience. Among guests were Vega 95.3 breakfast presenter Tony Squires and his new bride, Kate Pascoe-Squires, Sydney businesswoman socialite Glen-Marie Frost, and hotelier Justin Hemmes.

Last night’s event was the second opening of the butchery which can lay claim to being the longest, continuous butcher shop in Australia. Previously called Churchill’s, it has been closed most of this year undergoing a $1.5 million fit-out.

Victor Churchill owner, Anthony Puharich with Masterchef winner Julie Goodwin and Justine Schofield (picture Sandra Lee)

Victor Churchill owner Anthony Puharich with Masterchef winner Julie Goodwin and fellow finalist Justine Schofield (picture Sandra Lee)

The back wall of the visible meat locker – which has carcasses running along on a motorised overhead pulley track – is made of salt bricks  that help reduce humidity. Other features of the beautiful shop are the three cylindrical chopping blocks, an old Berkel bacon slicer in fire engine red enamel and chrome that was restored in Italy at a cost of $150,000 and which is for looks only, and the laser-cut marble floor.

A third opening will be held tonight and the shop finally opens doors to customers tomorrow.

Yup, I know. But trust me, it’s no ordinary butcher shop. It’s a statement.

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