Kitchen spy - Teage Ezard

Teage Ezard at home with his family.
Teage Ezard at home with his family.

It was his unique take on Asian cuisine that brought Teage Ezard to prominence in his home town of Melbourne, where his eponymous restaurant, Ezard, and its more casual stablemate, Gingerboy, remain among the city's favourites. Sydneysiders have been treated to another side of the chef, with Black by Ezard opening at the Star last year. Ezard divides his time between the cities, but calls Melbourne's Elwood home. He lives with wife, Tina, and their children, Sienna, 5, and Kingston, 3.

My home kitchen...
Is actually my test kitchen. I'll wake up with a recipe idea, or we'll get a new supplier, and I'll do a test-run here. We built this kitchen one year ago. I can concentrate here. It's quiet and spacious.

First food memory Picking, cooking and eating from my grandfather's vegie patch. He had four hectares at Research and the vegie garden was the size of an average city block. My mother's recipes She kept this notebook for the last 20 years of her life, so it's about 30 years old. Her chilli con carne was a world-beater; so, too, her spaghetti bolognese.

The staples

Imported butter

My pantry Ortiz anchovies, Illy coffee, sourdough, tamari almonds, organic tomato sauce, Megachef oyster and fish sauces, Kara coconut cream, Delouis fils mustard, Callebaut chocolate, Hampstead teas. Top shelf Tina's friends in Umbria sent us their 2011-harvest extra-virgin olive oil (Dottor Alberto Cipolloni). My fridge Schulz milk, Manchego cheese (from Pete-N-Rosies Deli, Prahran Market), Meredith Dairy feta, Bullfrog Gully eggs, B.-d. Farm butter and Fever-Tree ginger beer. Wine fridge I'm loving American cabernets. But locally, Jasper Hill and Domaine A's pinot noir.

I'm cooking
Last home meal you cooked? Grilled scotch-fillet steak with chimichurri sauce made with the herbs in our home garden.
Best quick dinner? Pre-prepared chicken stock with sesame oil, soy sauce, coriander, ginger, garlic and chilli quickly boiled with egg noodles and vegetables.
For breakfast? Protein shake and an organic banana.

My local
Fruit and veg Ripe Organics at the Prahran Market. Meat Hagens Organic Butcher, Prahran Market. My daily bread Baker D. Chirico (St Kilda). Breakfast Miss Jackson in St Kilda; I'm a bacon-and-eggs man and they get it just right. Takeaway Bala's (Shakespeare Grove, St Kilda) for great Indian and Thai.

My tool kit

Knife set

My Benriner mandolin gets used nearly every day; my Gaggenau, 90-bottle wine fridge is set on 16C for reds and 5C for whites, and we've got a Gaggenau indoor barbecue and in-bench steamer; I first saw this Illy capsule espresso machine in Las Vegas and looked it up when I got home; my Le Thiers hand-forged chef knives — when they're sharp, I've never used knives like them.

Turning point
Hermann Schneider (Melbourne chef) changed my life. He taught me discipline, respect and kitchen work ethics. Best meal Iggy's restaurant in Singapore. Tina and I had a 14-course designer tasting menu from Ignatius [Chan], featuring foie gras, lobster and Kobe beef, all matched with his rare and amazing cellared wines.

Most-used cookbook
Before the internet, it was Larousse Gastronomique for writing menus (to check spelling and grammar). It was a lifesaver. These days it's Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking.

This story Kitchen spy - Teage Ezard first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.