Resilient, creative and connected to place are just a few words that come to mind when thinking of Homage and head chef Ash Martin. Just 12 months ago Homage Restaurant was burnt to the ground but that didn’t stop him, the team was up and operating just 5 days later and here we are 12 months on sharing our story & piece of Queensland paradise on MasterChef.
Tune in tonight (Thursday 6th June) so see Homage and Spicers Hidden Vale take centre stage.
Tell us about working with the MasterChef crew & contestant, how was the experience?
The experience was amazing. The judges and the whole crew are very professional. They came in and made the whole retreat feel so welcome, not like we’re just another film set. It was really exciting to see everyone really enthusiastic about hospitality and what we do at Homage.
What are Matt, Gary and George like to work with?
They’re really cool, down to earth people and they loved what we’re doing. We did a nice dinner the night before filming and it was great to show the real Homage experience with the fires lit and the coal pits glowing, the smokehouse blaring and all the different ingredients that make it a more immersive experience.
Would you give any of the contestants a job?
After seeing how enthusiastic they all were – absolutely.
You chose to cook yabbies. Can you tell us about the producer & why you chose this?
Yabbies is something we’ve always had on the menu at Homage. We have a really great relationship with our local farmer, Rob. He’s been farming yabbies for over 20 years and is one of the most passionate people I’ve ever met so we really enjoy working with each other. The yabbies are an ingredient that really lend themselves to Homage. It’s an earthy flavour that’s almost like a picture of the country itself. It definitely reminds me of the country anyway.
What tips / flavours would you recommend for cooking with yabbies at home?
Anything with a little bit of acid, but not too much. They’re freshwater so I’d describe the flavour as being quite earthy, so they work well with something pickled or with a bit of acid – pickled onions or tomato – and they’re great with fresh herbs. And of course, everything needs butter.
What are your thoughts on MasterChef’s QLD week? How do you think it will benefit operators & tourism?
Absolutely! Queensland has some amazing places – some of the best produce and places in Australia and I think people who just think Sydney or Melbourne might miss some of these places. It’s really cool to be able to showcase Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and west of the cities out in the country. I’ve been saying if for a long time that this is an untapped area, almost like a bit of a secret place, and hopefully this will help get us out there on the map.
Do you have a message for the contestants on MasterChef?
Head down, work hard and keep up the enthusiasm. Skill is something you build over time but the best chefs are the one who maintain their enthusiasm for what they’re doing. The contestants I got to meet were really creative and that creative part is the hardest and the most important part to keep evolving as a good chef.
Experience Homage with a getaway to Spicers Hidden Vale. Homage is open 7 days for breakfast, lunch & dinner for visiting and staying guests.