Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chat with Bill Granger for 'Eat Real' initiative, by Bureaucrat

O.M.G.  I almost fell out of my chair when I read the invitation to interview Bill Granger, the chef behind the eponymous cafes in Sydney (scrambled eggs, anyone?).

Chef Bill Granger (photo supplied)

Bill's back in Australia to launch Jordans 'Eat Real' initiative that is encouraging people to get into community gardens in urban areas and to get Aussies to find out where their food comes from - from paddock to plate.

When I chatted to Bill, it was clear that he is so down-to-earth and enthusiastic about wanting people to eat well and reap the benefits of growing their food (whether it's a full blown veggie patch or just some herbs on your windowsill).

  • The reason why he is partnering up with Jordans is because "the older I get the more interested I am in knowing about what I eat and put into my body."  Cooking has to be simple so that people actually cook. He believes his role is to find "achievable foodie short cuts" to get people cooking healthy meals.
  • In the UK (where Bill currently lives), the Brits are really into allotments (community gardens).  "When I was growing up, only my Greek and Italian friends used their gardens to grow vegetables, and I used to think it was the weirdest thing.  I've now come full circle - I'm growing and encouraging others to grow some veggies in their gardens." 
  • Bill reckons it's only a matter of time that Aussies will get on board with the benefits of community gardening.  He cites New York and London as prime examples of densely populated areas that have found ways to create gardens for themselves in the form of rooftop gardens.
  • "My favourite plant to grow in the garden is the tomato.  It's best bang for buck - a supermarket tomato does not compare to the flavour you get from a homegrown tomato."  Bill also loves growing rocket and herbs as they're easy to grow ("it so simple to grill a piece of meat and then toss through some rocket and herbs for a healthy meal").  However, he does confess that he's not the best gardener, despite all his efforts he still hasn't been able to grow basil.
  • His kids' favourite Jordans Crispy Oat Granola is Bursting with Berries, while Bill's favourite is the Crispy Oat Clusters in Chunky Nut as he "loves the crunchy textures" and eats it with "fruit and a dollop of yoghurt on top" as it's "such an easy breakfast".
  • Running a restaurant is no small thing (and especially so when you've got two restaurants in Sydney, four in Japan, two in London and one in Hawaii), but Bill's got his eyes set on South Korea as his next place to explore.  "I plan to spend several months in South Korea - working, travelling and eating with the locals."
Check out Jordans 'Eat Real' initiative to find out more information on creating your own community garden.

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