How I shop: Brent Draper

Coles ambassador Brent Draper shares some of his special food memories, as well as what’s on his weekly shopping list. Try his top tips for sustainable cooking and eating, too.

Shopping basket with Brent Draper's most used ingredients

Brent always has a bottle of soy sauce in his cupboard, adding that it can be used in almost any cuisine.

Former MasterChef Australia contestant Brent Draper’s passion for sustainable living began while growing up on a farm – now he nurtures his kitchen skills to help reduce his environmental impact. “Choosing whole foods that I can break down is better for me, better for the planet, and it tastes better too,” he says. Check out some of his favourite supermarket buys.

In Brent's trolley:

Free-range whole chicken

“My family’s Sunday roast dinner was usually chicken with roast veggies and a super-thick gravy that Dad made from scratch – makes my mouth water just thinking about it! I’ve taught myself how to break down a whole chicken to use across a few different dishes throughout the week – it’s amazing how many meals you can make from one chook. Plus, I use the carcass to make chicken stock.”

Tomatoes

“My mum has Italian heritage and her lasagne, loaded with fresh tomatoes, is a favourite – I still ask for it every time we visit. I also love to drizzle cherry tomatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast until they blister – delicious.”

Mince

“Mum’s porcupine meatballs (meatballs made with mince and rice) with beef mince are so tasty, I still smash as many as I can in one go. I tend to buy lean pork mince because it’s full of flavour without much fat. I use it to make san choy bao, one of our go-to meals.”

Coriander

“You either love coriander or you hate it – well, I can’t get enough. I use the leaves in salads or chop them and mix through yoghurt, and I save the stems and roots to create curry pastes.”

Soy sauce

“This is a staple in my pantry – it’s the little umami bomb you can add to almost any cuisine and any dish to give it a bit of extra flavour. Surprisingly, a touch of soy sauce in a tomato-based sauce really brings it to life.”

Flatbread

“I serve this with kofta, hommus and pickled red onion. The next day, any leftovers get wrapped in another flatbread and popped in the sandwich press for lunch – so easy!”

Red chillies

“If I have any leftover chillies at the end of the week, I dry them to store for later – I can use them to make my own chilli flakes or chilli oil. I pretty much add chilli to everything and enjoy it most when it’s fresh in a salad. ”

Kale

“I was never fussy about eating my greens as a kid – my dad used to give me boiled silverbeet with lemon juice and I loved it. Kale is so good for you, so I chuck it in whatever I can – roasted kale chips with salt, pepper and chilli flakes add crunch to any salad, plus they make a great snack.”

Dairy-free oat milk

“My go-to coffee is a double shot cappuccino. Recently I switched from using cow’s milk to oat milk – it’s delicious and so creamy. I also love it in a choc-banana smoothie.”

Provedore Free Range Chorizo

“I love the spice in chorizo. Having some on hand makes cooking quick meals so easy because there’s so much flavour jam-packed into the sausage already. My favourite way to use it has to be in baked eggs – chorizo and runny-yolk egg with a little bit of crumbled fetta sprinkled on top is a total game changer. ”