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Interview with Luke Hines

Luke Hines with his Charred Garlic and Chilli Squid (image supplied)

Summer is heating up and you know what that means? It’s BBQ time. Luke Hines, a chef, best-selling author, TV presenter and personal trainer recently released a new cookbook, Barbecue This! just in time to freshen up your BBQing skills. If you can’t get beyond a burnt sausage and grilled steak, Luke’s book will give you the inspiration to create quick, vibrant and flavour-packed dishes for your average weeknight din-dins or for full-blown entertaining. We caught up with Luke recently for a chat at Sanctuary 28’s multi award-winning Corner House on the Gold Coast to launch his highly-anticipated book and find out his best BBQ tips, his favourite dish and how to prepare a clean-eating Christmas.

What does a day in Luke Hines life looklike?
Well I am an early riser! Firstly I have always loved watching the sunrise, but my two dogs don’t give me any other choice. So the one guarantee is that everyday starts with a coffee on the beach with the dogs, then depending on my schedule I’ll either have a day in the inbox, flying interstate for work, shooting new recipe photos for books or filming episodes of The House of Wellness, the TV show I co-host. The awesome part about what I do is no day is exactly the same, so it never gets boring!

You wear many hats (chef, author, TV presenter, personal trainer, the list goes on), what do you love most about your work?
Probably the people I connect with. The main through line throughout all of my work is I get to work with and meet people from all walks of life! It could be a big name celebrity that I am interviewing for the show, or someone struggling with their health that I can guide in the right direction. Meeting new people and hearing about their life journey is never boring and more often than not, extremely inspiring.

With many best selling cookbooks under your belt, you’ve just released your newest book Barbeque This!, what can you tell us about it?
Well, you’d never believe it, but Barbecue This! is actually my 12th book. I even lose count myself! Barbecue This! really is the must have book for every Aussie who likes to eat delicious food thats also good for them! I’ve written this book to cater for people who already know their way around their barbecue but also for people who have no idea where to begin! It’s got an easy to follow guide of how to use most standard Aussie barbecues, how to cook meat and veg to perfection, a go-to list of sauces, marinades and sides and of course, more than 80+ full mouth-watering recipes that are easy and tasty.

Luke Hines with his Charred Pineapple Salad (image supplied)

How is your BBQ cookbook unique?
Well what’s strange is that there really aren’t many barbecue books in Australia that cater to Aussie barbecues or ingredients! They’re all very American using tools and techniques we just don’t really do here. So what I set out to do with this book is make it familiar to every backyard in Australia, so when you pick it up it feels like a no brainer to get stuck in and give each and every recipe a go!

What are your best BBQ tips?
Understanding what temperatures to cook with for optimal results and which area of the barbecue you are best to use between the flat plate and grill and whether to use the lid or not! Once you know how to use the heat only a barbecue can give you and work out which ingredient works best on the different zones, then you’ll be cooking like a pro in no time!

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
I am a sucker for skewers! You can load them up with some incredible ingredients and there’s bound to be a skewer that caters to everyone. You can make 100% plant based skewers or add your favourite protein such as chicken, fish or beef! They’re simple to cook and packed with so much flavour. You’ve got to try my butter chicken skewers from Barbecue This!! They’re next level!

Going into the festive season, how do you resist the many temptations on offer? 
Well, I think the important thing people should know going into the festive season is there will be temptations and you should allow yourself to relax and treat yourself, its just finding some balance amongst it. Balance a treat day with a clean eating day, and don’t let a few days off your usual healthy regime derail you altogether, meaning you don’t get back on track. Everything in moderation is key, and always be kind to yourself at this time of year.

Luke Hines with his Magnificent Mango and Macadamia Salad (image supplied)

What does a clean-eating Christmas feast look like?
– A few factors go into a clean eating Christmas… and here’s how I do it….
– Shop locally supporting our producers and choose organic if possible
– Cook fresh, light, summery foods
– Celebrate heaps of vegges to go with any meat you cook
– Fill up on the good stuff so there isn’t too much room left for the naughty stuff
– Cook on the Barbecue using my book! Haha

We have to ask for your favourite Gold Coast spots…
Café for breakfast: Brio Emporium
Coffee spot: Nook Espresso Burleigh 
Restaurant for dinner: Lupo
Bar for a drink: The Tropic
Beach: Tallebudgera Creek 
What do your weekends look like: Sun, Sand and Surf… Food, sleep and Netflix haha!

Interview by Carly Snodgrass

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