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Home Cook: Mick Sanders, founder MOO Premium Foods

Eat | Drink | Explore

Former chef Mick Sanders now heads up one of the state’s largest dairy dessert manufacturers, but he is not too busy to share a favourite recipe from his days in the kitchen at Bridgewater Mill.

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Noticing a gap in the market for premium Australian-made yoghurt, Mick Sanders and his partner Sally were inspired by the little glass jars of high-quality yoghurt they discovered on a trip to France.

In 2005, the couple launched MOO Premium Foods. Their range of natural and flavoured yoghurts and rice pudding desserts are now stocked in more than 300 supermarkets, independent retailers and catering outlets across the state.

Mick says he has always had a passion for food and the food industry, training as a chef at the age of 16 and receiving the Commercial Cookery Certificate through TafeSA.

While he now spends much of his time in the office, having four young daughters regularly brings him back into the kitchen at home to cook.

In the kitchen I am …
Content and happy!

The fridge is nearly empty – what do you cook for dinner?
We always keep a block of haloumi in the fridge and a tin of lentils in the pantry, so when things are looking a bit light-on we have grilled haloumi with a salad of tomato, cucumber and lentils with a squeeze of lemon and some olive oil and we are done.

Most useful cooking tool?
Definitely my box of chef’s knives – I still remember buying them as a 16-year-old apprentice chef.

Three essential grocery items?
We always have Milano olive oil from our friend’s orchard in Gumeracha, Maldon sea salt and fresh herbs.

How did you learn to cook?
I always loved cooking and knew I wanted to be a chef from Year 7 at school. I did work experience at a local hotel as a kitchen hand and I absolutely loved the vibe of the busy kitchen. Seeing a well-run kitchen is exciting and it confirmed to me that I wanted to be part of it. I was very fortunate to be offered an apprenticeship and my learning really commenced on the job.

Favourite restaurant?
It’s so hard to narrow it down to only one. I love The Lane Vineyard at Hahndorf, Chianti Classico is amazingly consistent and always so welcoming, and I’m really keen to try Hentley Farm, which I know will be fantastic.

Favourite recipe?
This is also hard to choose! When I was working at Petaluma’s Bridgewater Mill, we used to make a beautiful Botrytis Cream Caramel served with a poached tamarillo. The textures and flavour combinations were perfect and the head chef at the time, Libby Tinsley, was exceptionally talented with desserts and I was lucky to learn a lot from her.

Botrytis Cream Caramel

Ingredients

200ml Botrytis wine
875ml rich cream
9 egg yolks
3 whole eggs
150g sugar

Caramel
680g sugar
12 tbsp water

Method

First make caramel by mixing water and sugar in a saucepan and boiling rapidly to form a light caramel. Place 12 metal ramekins on a tray and pour a small amount of the caramel into the base of each ramekin.

Next, mix the whole eggs and yolks with sugar in a mixing bowl.

In a saucepan, heat cream to boiling point and pour into egg mixture.

In a clean saucepan, heat Botrytis wine to boiling point and pour into egg mixture. Mix lightly and strain.

Pour equal amounts of cream mixture into metal moulds previously lined with caramel.

Bake for 40 minutes at 150°C (not fan-forced).

Leave to set overnight.

Serves 12

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