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iEat with Josh Emett

MasterChef judge Josh Emett talks juggling a busy professional life and family, his favourite kitchen tool, and his idea of food hell.

MasterChef judge Josh Emett is a Michelin-starred chef. But he’s equally happy tucking into the Malaysian hawker-style food found at his Madam Woo restaurants in Queenstown, Takapuna and Dunedin.

Josh EmettWhat happens when you dine at other people’s houses? They panic, generally, unless they know me well – that I’m happy with anything and, like most people, just love to be cooked for.

What’s your idea of food hell? A dozen oysters – I can handle one or two.

I try to eat … a well-balanced diet: lots of lean protein, vegetables, a little fruit, not too many carbs and as little sugar as possible, which is the hard part for me.

How do you prioritise your health when juggling a busy professional life and family? Listen to your body is the main thing. I exercise quite a lot, so it is about eating consistently and eating enough.

My typical breakfast is … two eggs on Vogel’s with avocado and a coffee.

My workday lunch is … salad or sushi, generally –always on the run and often missed.

My favourite family dinner is … [wife] Helen’s roast. She is English and makes amazing Yorkies ­[Yorkshire puddings] and roast potatoes.

A great last-minute healthy dinner idea is … Japanese-style pancakes with vegetables and bound with egg.

How often do you snack and on what types of foods? Lots. I snack in the restaurants – I’m always tasting things. At Madam Woo, I can’t resist getting them to knock me up a hawker roll or honey and soy squid. Otherwise, almonds or nuts and fruit.

A favourite kitchen tool is a … microplane, because it sorts out garlic, ginger and all those things that are hard to chop and grates things extra fine.

What is your advice to parents trying to expand their children’s gastronomic horizons? Don’t panic or worry about it too much. If you make a big deal of it, it just gets worse … or just bribe them with toys. The microplane is great for grating veges nice and fine so they never see them.

What dish are you most likely to serve your children? Prawn risotto.

What nutritional advice have you found most helpful? Lots of lean protein, a nice amount of veges and some fruit sums it up.

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