Geoff Jansz - February 2006

Geoff Jansz – February 2006


Q: What first sparked your love of food and cooking?
A: An onion. Not meaning to be flip but, quite simply, when I started cooking for myself, I connected (whatever that means) with something I knew I enjoyed. I became intensely interested in achieving results so the cooking process, with fabulous ingredients, sparked my love of food and my career itself.

Q: How do you feel cuisine and cooking have changed in Australia over the years?
A: We are the most versatile cooks in the world, happy to attempt any technique or ingredient from any country. Therefore our kitchens and our entertaining areas need to be designed to allow for this.

Q: What is the one item in your kitchen that you wouldn’t be without?
A: A helper. Apart from that, bench space is the most vital requirement for an organised event around food — things laid out in order, room to work and allocating space to helpers are all important things. This, incidentally, is why
I work closely with Corian as a company to help tell the story about appropriate kitchen surfaces.

Q: You have been part of the kitchen industry for such a long time. How do you stay fresh and invigorated?
A: I always feel that there is so much yet to be discovered and enjoyed in the food world; it’s all about the road ahead, not the road behind. So I wake up every day with some marvellous expectations and I guess that’s the enthusiasm that people connect with me.

Q: Your cooking school and various television presenting roles must keep you very busy. What do you do to relax?
A: We are a family of laughers. Angela and the four children and I spend a lot of quality fun time together (usually in the kitchen) helping, catching up with each other’s days, laughing and joking. We’re very social. Outside of that, I’m a very keen golfer
and astronaut.

Geoff runs arguably the most informative, dynamic and interesting cooking classes in the country. They are held very occasionally on his Bowral property amidst the wonderful organic vegetable garden and flourishing small orchard. Places are highly sought after and everybody leaves with renewed enthusiasm for cooking. If you’d like to know more, visit Lessons from the Farm on Geoff’s website:

Dutch Baby with Caramelised Peaches
The name of this recipe may conjure up bizarre images, but I can assure you that Dutch children come to no harm in the process! This is a traditional Dutch dessert that tastes much like a giant Yorkshire pudding.
(Serves 4)

1 cup plain flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
30g butter
pinch of salt
Caramelised Peaches:
50g butter
3 ripe peaches, stoned, halved and sliced thickly
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp fruit liqueur, such as Cointreau or kirsch (optional)

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk in the beaten eggs, milk and vanilla.
Over medium heat warm a large, deep frying pan and add butter. Once the butter is melted and starts to bubble, add the mixture and transfer to the oven.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden. After the first 10 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees C so the crust doesn’t burn while the centre is cooking. Remove from the oven and place on a large serving plate.

To caramelise the peaches, heat a large pan and melt the butter. Add the peaches and sugar and toss to coat. Cover over a medium heat until the peaches have warmed through without collapsing (about 4 minutes). Fill the centre of the crust with the peaches and dust with icing sugar. Add fruit liqueur, stir through and serve hot with whipped cream or ice cream.