Thursday, November 26, 2009

Meeting Matt Preston

Cue MasterChef music.
It's official. I'm in love. I'm leaving Patience to run away with food writer extraordinaire and TV personality Matt Preston.
Or more correctly, I'm leaving Patience to run away not just with Mr. Preston, but to carry on a torrid and florid affair with his cravats.
After all- the man and his neck-ware of choice are synonymous. You simply can't have one without the other. Thank goodness.

But there is much more to this bear of a man than his cravats and TV personality. And I would be telling a lie if I said that I didn't have a writers crush on this man long before he appeared on TV rolling chocolate over his tongue whilst staring into the middle distance.

My crush began several years ago reading his wondrous and transporting accounts of food and dinning that appear regularly in The Age's Epicure and weekend supplements. It was only reinforced by seeing his passion for food moved from the page to the screen. Though that tiny box is sadly ill equipped to hold his enthusiasm for flavour and food history.

I went weak at the knees recently when I was asked to read his book 'Cravat-a-licious' and interview the man.
(You can check the interview out here on the wonderful Sassi Sam website)
Sassi sent me the book along with the details of the publicist 'should I be available' to set up an interview.
Available? .... Whose gonna stop me?!

I was thrilled to be granted 20-minutes in between radio and TV appearances- and was determined to bridle my enthusiasm and maintain my dignity during the process.

I should confess right now that about two months ago I spotted Preston dinning at Sydney's Bodega with Chef extraordinaire (and Melbourne's favourite son) Andrew McConnell.
I tried to work up the courage to say hello and express my love of his work.
I told myself to wait till the meal (mine and his) was over and try and catch him outside, but after several glasses of sherry my confidence failed me and I simply smiled on the way out- telling myself that no-one wants to harangued by ditzy fans while sharing a meal with friends.

He assures me that he would have been delighted if I'd said hello.
I'll know for next time...

In a candid moment during our interview- a moment that I was NOT prepared for- he did the unthinkable and .... removed hi cravats!
I almost stopped breathing- what was wrong with this picture?

Then, he offered them to me to examine. When I told my sister this, she asked if I had managed to steal one or tried to trade them for my underpants. Sadly, I did neither- where's a sister when you need her!

Still, despite failing to make off with a cravat (and forgetting to ask for an autograph on the book)- the interview was thoroughly enjoyable. It's hard not to love a man so clearly passionate about what he does. Luckily what he does is write about food... and we love to read it.

Note: I have no doubt that Patience is tired of hearing my declarations that I am leaving him for this or that chef/food writer/insert other ridiculous idol here.
It must be said that he is called Patience for a very valid reason and that indeed, I have no intention of ever leaving him- unless I meet Ferran Adria, Heston Blumenthal... and maybe Fergus Henderson.
What!? A girl can dream can't she...?

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