Viewpoints from Aussie Cuisine
Pamela Melocco believes that the primary influences behind the evolution of Australian cuisine are the introduction of new dishes, new produce, new flavours and new cooking techniques brought by immigrants to Australia. She also believes the large numbers of Australians who have the opportunity to travel overseas and who are exposed to new cultures have the opportunity to absorb other cuisines, and to bring those tastes home when they return.
According to Melocco, TV cooking shows encourage their viewers to believe ‘the average cook can become superstars in the kitchen, and they’ll have a go! My grandchildren love watching cooking shows and in turn love to learn to cook. An absolute positive influence.’
We ask Pamela Melocco, the former Co-Principal of Caleula School of Cooking & Etiquette, her thoughts on the state of Aussie Cuisine.
Pamela Melocco is a home cook and former Co-Principal of Caleula School of Cooking & Etiquette, who together with Judy White, spent years educating Australians in the art of cookery.
“[TV cooking shows] makes the average cook think they can be superstars, and they’ll have a go! My grandchildren love watching cooking shows and in turn love to learn to cook. An absolute positive influence… some shows better than others, however!”
Aussie Cuisine: How would you define Australian cuisine? What distinguishes it from other cuisines?
Pamela Melocco: Quite contemporary. Superb seasonal produce. Outstanding Australian Chefs who source, and encourage the growth of exceptional produce e.g. mini veggies; cheeses.
AC: In your opinion what is a truly “Aussie” dish?
PM: Slow cooked – 8hr. lamb
AC: How has Australian cuisine changed in your lifetime?
PM: From meat and three vegs (very English) in the 1940s and 50s, to exciting, innovative textures, flavours and ingredients.
AC: What do you think were the primary influences behind its evolution?
PM: Migrants… plus travel overseas by Australians.
AC: How important a role do you believe TV cooking shows play in influencing Australian cuisine? Do you believe overall they are a positive or negative influence?
PM: A hugely important role. Makes the average cook think they can be superstars, and they’ll have a go! My grandchildren love watching cooking shows and in turn love to learn to cook. An absolute positive influence… some shows better than others, however!
AC: Which cuisine – besides contemporary Australian – is your favourite?
PM: French – with Italian a close second! (With a name like Melocco, Italian cuisine has to be right up there!)
AC: When you travel, is food a consideration in your travel plans?
PM: Definitely! I book the accommodation around the restaurants!
Spring tulip garden. (19 September 2015). The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved from https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/north-shore/spring-tulip-garden/image-gallery/06de73f080c606e05ce5b29e0b00d84d