After a whirlwind appearance on the fourth season of MasterChef Australia, Kevin Perry proves he’s no flash in the pan as this affable Canadian launches his campaign to improve the food served at sporting arenas throughout Australia.
With maple syrup coursing through his veins, Kevin tells us why the Aussie punter deserves more when it comes to cheering on their favourite team.
Kevin, your cider can chicken looked absolutely delicious, despite the chipped tooth. Can you describe the moment you were picked as the first contestant for MasterChef Season 4?
It was genuinely a very surreal moment! There were so many talented people in the room, so many flavours and approaches to food, and so many pressures to contend with on the day. My focus was simply to put up a good dish that spoke to the types of food I enjoy. When I was called into the Top 13 on the day, I was satisfied I had accomplished that objective – I didn’t even consider the possibility I’d be first through to the Top 24! That’s something I’ll remember the rest of my life.
It was super sad that you were eliminated so soon, despite your meteoric rise in the early stages of the competition. Would you have done anything different and what were some of the biggest lessons you’ve taken from your brief, but productive, time in the MC kitchen?
The only thing I would have done differently on the day that I was eliminated would be to listen to my gut a little more. I impulsively grabbed the wrong pasta, allowing myself to be distracted by all that was going on around me, and it ultimately lead to my demise on the day. I’d say that was my biggest take-away from the competition: to listen to yourself, and trust your instincts.
You’ve declared through your online campaign that stadium food needs a major overhaul, where did you get such an ingenious idea and why is there a need for such a change?
The campaign comes from my own passions for both food and sport. I love going to the stadium on game day, and food forms a part of our stadium experience. It has the ability to make it even more memorable… or, unfortunately, rather horrible. The focus of the Stadium Grub campaign is to be positive and bring together sporting fans who also enjoy a reliable, tasty, convenient stadium feed and helps enhance their own game day experience. Once I left the Masterchef competition, I spent entire weekends camped out in front of stadiums speaking with fans – it confirmed that I wasn’t alone in wanting some areas of the stadium food experience to improve.
Are there countries other than Australia doing a better job when it comes to chow while cheering for your favourite sports team?
From a stadium perspective, some of the larger markets (e.g. America, the UK) have implemented services and strategies we could also benefit from in Australia. I think anytime you have bigger stadiums and bigger crowds, you’re naturally going to get more progressive strategies to handle peak game time food demand, and stadium services in general.
What sort of food changes do you envisage at stadiums across Australia?
The Stadium Grub campaign is focused on two aspects of the stadium food “experience”: the food, and the service side of food delivery. Certainly we’ll be discussing food selection and value with stadiums, but it’s also about having dialogue with them on ways to help get the average punter through the line-ups more conveniently so they can get back to their seat and enjoy the game!
Being a proud Canadian, is it at all possible that poutine will make a debut on Australian shores?
As proudly as maple syrup flows through my veins, I genuinely hope that will be the case. I look forward to being part of bringing that to the stadium food scene!
Finally, do you feel the Wallabies recent poor form is directly attributable to the fact that their supporters are not properly nourished when attending their games?
Without a doubt! I encourage anyone who agrees with me on this point to head to www.StadiumGrub.com.au, “like” our page and share it with their friends on Facebook… and maybe, just maybe, this will help the Wallabies return to form on the field!