Andy Allen was an apprentice electrician and amateur basketball player when he signed up as a contestant on the 2012 season of MasterChef Australia. He was crowned the winner and is now a popular MasterChef judge as well as co-owner of the Three Blue Ducks restaurants. Here he reveals a passion for anchovies, Vegemite sandwiches and chilli chips as he tells us what’s in his shopping trolley each week.
How I Shop: Andy Allen
In Andy’s trolley:
Kettle Chilli chips
My fave chips of all time. Imagine this: a rare day off during MasterChef filming, and when it calls for a day of being a couch potato I get the slouchy clothes on and head to the pantry for these bad boys while I watch NBA (US professional basketball league). It’s the crunch, the bite and the chilli hit. They are the binge factor I can never say no to.
Coles Finest Cantabrian Anchovies
I stand by my statement that my last meal would be as simple as a tin or two of anchovies and some good-quality sourdough toasted over coals. With wine, of course. Anchovies provide a flavour edge that makes so many different dishes pop. Can’t stop, won’t stop…
Old El Paso hard shell tacos
Like many Aussie households, for special occasions it was taco night when I was growing up. It wasn’t an authentic recipe back then - our feast consisted of hard-shell tacos, packet spiced beef mince, shredded iceberg lettuce, pre-grated cheese, sour cream and tomatoes. I haven't delved back into this family favourite for a while but I’m getting a craving just thinking about it.
Pana Organic Salted Chocolate & Caramel ice cream
I love ice cream, so you might wonder why I wouldn’t choose one of the full-cream, full-fat versions I enjoy so much. The reason is that my fiancé does not eat dairy. So to compromise and still get my fix we started to make our way through the ever-growing selection of dairy-free ice creams. The search stopped when we found this one: it’s 100% Australian organic and vegan from the guys at Pana.
Ayam Thai Green Curry Paste
Growing up, my dad did lots of the cooking and our fridge was always stocked with jars of curry paste. I didn’t know you could make a curry paste from scratch until I was about 18, but I still buy
pre-made paste for flavoursome curries in a flash.
Growing up I was addicted to being outside. Whether it was playing sports, riding my skateboard, BMX bike or even scooter at one stage, I was constantly coming home with bark off my body. That meant I would go through packets of Band-Aids like they were going out of fashion. Every time I see a pack it takes me straight back to being a careless teenager.
I can’t get enough of the good stuff. It takes me back to the school playground – 99 times out of 100 my lunch would consist of Vegemite sandwiches.
Barilla penne pasta
Playing sports growing up, I’d eat packets of dried pasta by the truckload. I used to think penne was a bit more fancy than spaghetti, but now I realise that I picked it because I could stuff it in my mouth faster. It’s remained a must-have in my pantry to this day.
Sodastream Gas Cylinder refills
I’ll say it, I've become a water snob and there’s nothing better than an overload of bubble in your H2O to quench the thirst. That first mouthful gets you kicking again. But here’s a hot tip: always have refills up your sleeve, because running out when you’re ready to scull a giant cold glass of soda is the worst! I also like a little bubbled water sitting next to my long black most days.