In my fridge: Javier Carmona

19:33, Dec 09 2013
JAVIER CARMONA: He loves cheese, seafood and making pizza. Our kind of man.

He's the head chef of one of Auckland's hottest eateries, Mexico Britomart; he's the former culinary master at top Sydney seafood restaurant The Codfather and he's also an all-round fan of cheese (who isn't?). 

Javier Carmona will be one of the showcase chefs at Big Day Out's Chow Town, and to celebrate that, we've also got tickets to the music fest to give away ... but first, let's talk grub with the creative chef: 

WHAT FIVE THINGS ARE ALWAYS IN YOUR FRIDGE? Cheese of all varieties probably top the list: I cannot get enough of it and it covers most occasions in some way or form. Having kids renders your fridge limp and lifeless and as such means we have Vogels bread on hand along with broccoli as our preferred vegetable of choice. A decent mayonnaise tickles my fancy and a cheeky bottle of wine loiters in there on most occasions.

DO YOU HAVE A STANDBY, NEVER FAIL RECIPE THAT USES ALL, OR SOME OF THESE INGREDIENTS? Again, having children means you often desperately have to create something quickly, whether it's because you are absolutely knackered or are running late and need to produce a meal to satisfy their insatiable demands. More often than not it may be a cheese toastie or whipping up a simple pizza to order. I have this incredibly easy and quick recipe that works a treat. Add some decent tomatoes and cheese or some leaves and fresh Jamon. Saved.

WHAT'S THE MOST EXOTIC THING IN YOUR FRIDGE? At the moment I have some squid ink paste left over from a Paella I made for my parents who were visiting from Australia. I have this giant Paella pan and a custommade tripod for outdoor use. The Paella pan can feed upwards of 16 people and is great fun to cook as it's very theatrical and visually interesting to see being made. I can cook and chat and it's incredibly sociable. The squid ink version is my favourite: a few clams, cuttlefish and it's that simple.

WHAT DO YOU NEVER STORE IN THE FRIDGE? My children. Although they fit, apparently that sort of thing doesn't go on any more. Oh, and Jamon or proscuitto. The fat content congeals and it loses that wonderful heady flavour that can only happen when left out. Try leaving even cheap and cheerful proscuitto out and you will find a markably better product and subsequently a kick arse bocadillo. 

WHAT DO YOU DREAM OF FINDING IN THE FRIDGE? I love seafood and would marvel at finding one of those giant King Crabs stuck in my fridge. It feels like it could be a recurring nightmare that would give me the sweats at 2am in the morning, Imagine that, feeding off this giant crab that has spent 24 hours dining on my Jamon Serrano, working his way through my cheese and basting itself in fresh lemon. Mmmmmmm... very helpful of the old chap. 


Plus, win!

Javeir Carmona is going to be one of the rock star chefs at the 2014 Big Day Out's Chow Town. He'll be cooking up menus created especially for the event alongside other top chefs, including Ben Bayly from Baduzzi, Kyle Street from Federal Delicatessen and Nic Watt from Masu.  

To celebrate this foodie fiesta we've got a double pass to the Big Day Out on January 17 to give away ... just fill out the form below to be in to win: