The Australian eater: roasts, Thai, Masterchef and Margaret Fulton

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 24th May 2011

restaurant mealA new survey by the Good Food & Wine Show has revealed some interesting truths about Australian eaters: our most influential culinary icon is Margaret Fulton, but we wish we were Nigella or Jamie; we’re nostalgic for dishes like Beef Stroganoff and prawn cocktail; more than half of us eat take-away more than once a week (with Thai food the most popular); we claim not to like KFC or McDonalds when eating out; we eat chocolate and mashed potato for comfort food; and Cab Sav and Sav Blanc are our wines of choice.

According to the survey results, celebrity chef Margaret Fulton was by far the most influential on our home cooking habits – some 43 years after her Margaret Fulton Cookbook was first published. Just behind, Curtis Stone commanded second place while the acclaimed MasterChef series garnered the majority of votes for being most influential on Australian cooking habits.

However, when asked which chef they would most like to be, Aussies went abroad and out of a host of famed celebrity chefs, foodies idolise Jamie Oliver with more than one in five selecting the English Naked Chef, closely followed by domestic goddess Nigella Lawson.

When it came to our favourite dish, the Aussie BBQ is Australia’s most iconic dish with the meat pie and sauce taking second place, followed by the family roast.

Aussies are very habitual when it comes to simple cooking at dinner time, with the roast dinner, stir-fry and pasta coming in as the most cooked dinners in the family home. But appetites are yearning for a return of the classic Beef Stroganoff. According to the survey, nearly a third of Aussies think that the retro-Russian inspired dish should be back on the menu.

The dish was made famous once again in last year’s series of MasterChef after Brisbane contestant Sharnee Rawson was sent home for not including the vital spice paprika in her Stroganoff.

One in five respondents also thought the Prawn Cocktail was due to make a reappearance while there was also a push for the traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue.

And as much as we love our home cooking, more than half of Aussies surveyed are ordering in take-away meals once a week with Thai presenting itself as the most popular cuisine to order in.


More than half of Aussies buy take-away meals at least once a week
When eating out, fast food (McDonalds and KFC) were voted as the least favourite options
Almost half of Aussies favour a Sauvignon Blanc when it comes to white wine
Cabernet Sauvignon is our favourite variety of red wine
Chocolate is the best comfort food according to 28.5% of Aussies while mashed potatoes came off second with 12.1% of votes.