‘They Don’t Want to Watch Me Cook’: How Adam Liaw Encourages His Own Kids in the Kitchen

Adam Liaw

MasterChef Australia fan favourite, Adam Liaw, knows a thing or two about creating a masterpiece out of only a few ingredients.

The father-of-three lives a busy life, raising his children with his wife Asami while juggling filming his brand-new series — The Cook-Up — being the biggest commission in SBS’ history with 200 episodes being made.

Premiering on April 19 at 7.00pm, the series will be full of easy to follow recipes and tips for viewers to follow at home in time for dinner while serving up inspiration for foodies and non-foodies alike.

While it is set to inspire even a novice in the kitchen, his own children Christopher, 6, Anna, 4, and Benji, one, are already pros and share a love of food with their dad.

“They’re still at a very basic stage,” Liaw admitted in an interview with The Latch, however, his two eldest kids are already making lemonade out of lemons. Literally.

“When we were camping on the weekend and they wanted a sweet drink — and we don’t have many sweet drinks while we’re camping — we said, ‘why don’t you make one yourselves.

“We’ve got sugar, we’ve got fruit. So, they’re all just on an esky with a chopping board, chopping up grapes and then mashing them with sugar and then pouring the juice through a sieve and mixing it with sparkling water.”

Alongside the Liaw’s, were a whole group of other families, which the famed chef called “the best parental activity”.

“They’re old enough where you can say, ‘now go get a sieve’ and they go and get a sieve. They lined up the cups and poured a little bit of the grape cordial in there and put ice in it,” he said.

Camping of course is not an everyday occurrence, but cooking inside the kitchen is and Liaw said that the kids “very much like when we cook together”.

“They want to do it,” he explained. They don’t want to watch me cooking or to teach them. They want to physically chop up the onions which they’re very capable of doing. The interactive stuff and they do a good job of it.”

While not all of our parents are a whiz in the kitchen like Liaw, he does think that some people are “scared” of having their kids in there with them in case they’re going to hurt themselves.

“As long as you don’t leave them unsupervised and don’t do too much with boiling water or oil, it’s really quite safe. They’re not strong enough to cause themselves any permanent damage but if they’re strong enough to learn, then we should let them.”

As for the actual recipes on the series and in his cookbooks, Liaw ensures that he includes recipes he thinks “people like to actually make”.

“I always try and make them meet in the middle so that people will like the look of it and think it’s quite impressive and then they also are able to make it. Every recipe has to be practical. They have the be cooked in less than 10 minutes.”

The Cook Up with Adam Liaw airs weeknights on SBS Food from Monday, April 19 at 7.00 pm and 10.00 pm.

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