Curtis Stone shares a flavorful recipe that can channel your inner Aussie

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
(Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images) /

Curtis Stone offers a simple recipe that can bring your inner Aussie to the table.

The family table is more than just a gathering place. For Curtis Stone, the celebrated chef and restaurateur knows that food is a connection to family, culture and heritage. While not everyone is a celebrity chef, more home cooks can channel those food ideas and replicate some of those special recipes at home. With a little creativity and inspiration, the kitchen can become a window to the world.

Recently, Wallaby Organic partnered with Curtis Stone and other Australian chefs to help support the restaurant community that has been hard hit by the current climate. While restaurant spending was on pace to set new highs, the current situation has seen everyone turning to cooking at home. Today, many of those bustling restaurants have empty tables waiting for guests to enjoy a meal.

During these difficult times, Wallaby Organic created the Walla-Be an Aussie program. The premium yogurt brand was born out of a trip to Australia. The founders fell in love with the distinctively Australian yogurt. While it might not be a container of Vegemite, the Australian style yogurt is smooth, tart yogurt that is part of the Aussie heritage.

As part of the Walla-Be an Aussie program, Wallaby Organic asked Chef Stone of Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant (Los Angeles) as well as chefs from Bondi Harvest (Los Angeles), Banter (New York), and Red Perch (Nashville) to create some family friendly recipes as part of the program. Each recipe is easy for families to make at home and gives foodies a little insight into the Australian food culture.

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Chef Curtis Stone about this program as well as his thoughts on the Australian food culture. While many people feel a connection to his welcoming personality, his insight on food, creative recipes and families cooking together is quite timely. Although I haven’t joined his love of Vegemite on toast with butter, he has inspired some more culinary creativity in my kitchen.

For Chef Stone, his cooking inspiration has humble beginnings, the ingredients themselves. Stone said, “I always approach cooking by starting with the best ingredients, using simple, quality products that do the work for you.”

For him, “Wallaby Organic offers a truly smooth, delicious tasting yogurt made with quality ingredients. Inspired by its Aussie heritage, it packs a world of flavor and rich texture, and helps home cooks find confidence in the kitchen and inspire their ‘inner Aussie’.”

When thinking about Australian food, a specific genre doesn’t necessarily come to mind. There is a reason behind that concept. According to Chef Stone, “Australian inspired recipes are very diverse, as we take inspiration from all over the world. We have Southeast Asian cooking, a large Greek population, as well as interesting ingredients you can’t grow anywhere else. As such, the food has really evolved over the years, and the outdoor lifestyle influence has had an impact on menus across the country.”

Curtis Stone Recipe for Wallaby Organic,
Curtis Stone Recipe for Wallaby Organic, photo provided by Curtis Stone /

Looking at the recipe that he created for Wallaby Organic, the dish seems to embrace that diversity. Chef Stone’s recipe is a Veggie Flatbread Sandwich featuring a Feta Wallaby Yogurt Spread. He described the flatbread having “cool flavors of cucumber, lemon, and mint make this sandwich a great choice for a light lunch, and the tangy feta-yogurt mixture provides a nice bite.” And, he commented that “for added protein, I throw in a sliced hard- boiled egg or leftover grilled chicken.”

Thinking about this recipe, it is quite versatile and easy for families to make at home. To get families inspired to eat healthier Chef Stone had a very straight forward response.

He said, “Cook with them. It’s a great way to get kids interested and excited about food. Each morning I like to put some berries in a bowl and the kids mash them, then eat them with the yogurt. The more you get them interested in the process, the more they’re willing to eat heathier meals.”

That willingness to get into the kitchen and cook is something that resonated with Chef Stone. He said, “My mum and granny taught me everything I know about food and cooking. I would watch their every move while they’d get busy in the kitchen. I just couldn’t get enough of it.”

As a father, he said, that he is “really enjoying cooking with my boys and getting them interested in foods, whether it’s making home-cooked pizza together on Sundays or teaching them how the fresh veggies served on the pizza comes from the garden. They have these incredible imaginations and we have come up with some very tasty recipes together.”

That type of cooking creativity isn’t limited to just families. Everyone can find a path to finding a joy of cooking. Still, his advice is clear.

Chef Stone said, “keep it simple and cook with local, seasonal ingredients. Food that is in season just tastes better and you really don’t have to do a whole lot to it to make it taste great! It is less expensive and allows you to get creative with ingredients.”

With all the delicous fall flavors around, it is a great time to explore cooking. Chef Stone believes, “Autumn is a great time for a roast, and some earthy and sweet root vegetables, like beetroot and parsnip, start to come into their own. Apples and pears are in their prime too, so it’s all about tarts, puddings and pies.”

Based on the comments from Curtis Stone, it has never been easier to get into the kitchen and start exploring flavors and recipes. From his Veggie Flatbread Sandwich featuring a Feta Wallaby Yogurt Spread to creating a recipe of your own, quality ingredients will lead everyone toward a delicious path.

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Have you tried Wallaby Organic? What recipes have you created using this product?