Renowned celebrity chef, Adam Liaw will headline Cellar Door Fest’s 10th anniversary celebrations at the Adelaide Convention Centre next month (7-9 February).

Born in Malaysia to an English-Singaporean mother and Hainanese Chinese father, Adam’s family lived in several countries through his youth before settling in the Adelaide Hills. He was an active cook from an early age, regularly cooking for his parents and seven brothers and sisters since he was eight years old. His love affair with food and cooking blossomed during his time working in Japan, returning to Australia in 2009 to compete in MasterChef. In July 2010, more than five million people tuned in to watch Adam win the hit television series’ second season.

Adam’s award-winning SBS Australia television series, Destination Flavour is now in its sixth season, exploring the ways in which food and culture relate around the world.  In 2016 the Japanese government appointed Adam as an official Goodwill Ambassador for Japanese Cuisine and he is Unicef Ambassador for Nutrition.

Adam will have a star role at Cellar Door Fest’s 2020 Long Table Dining series, specifically the exclusive ‘Cellar Door Feast’ degustation dinner on Friday, 7 February and ‘Best of SA’ long table lunch on Saturday, 8 February, as well as offering free cooking demos in Jessie’s Kitchen.

Ahead of our 10th anniversary celebrations next month, we sat down with Adam to learn more about him and his passion for SA’s vibrant foodie scene.

What do you love most about SA’s food (and drink) scene?

I love that eating in SA is social. It’s just about good food and good company.

What are five ingredients you can’t live without?

Salt, sugar, vinegar, onion and wine. These allow you to turn any ingredient into a great meal.

What’s your favourite, food, drink, and food and drink pairing?

In order – Hainanese chicken rice. Adelaide Hills reds. Steak and shiraz.

What’s your favourite SA region (and why)?

I grew up in the Hills so that region is always closest to me.

Home cooked or restaurant?

Definitely home cooked. In a restaurant you’re constrained by service, costings, time, marketing and a lot of other things that have little to do with food, but at home you are a lot more free to create something amazing.

What do you see as the next big dining trend?

Homestyle meals at restaurants. Good, simple food will always resonate more with people than a chef trying to be clever.

What are you most looking forward to at Cellar Door Fest?

I think the Cellar Door Feast is going to be an incredible event.