Turnip CheckIn #72 is Zackary Furst, head chef, Bar Liberty and winner of Good Food, Young Chef of the Year Award Victoria 2022.
1. What have you found comforting in times like these?
In these times, I’ve not so much found some comfort but more rediscovered the comfort I have, more or less, always had in a few things.
First and foremost, that would be my family but also in cooking itself.
My family has had a pretty tough run over the past year, and in that time it allowed me to see new sides of them, but also be reminded about sides that may have been forgotten slightly. It was tough on all of us, but it would have been a hell of a lot tougher without them. I’ve been reminded of how comforting it is to have my family and partner’s support, no matter if they are near or far.
Having the extra time on my hands over lockdown allowed me to deep dive into more cooking projects. like researching new techniques, attempting different cuisines, takeaway options and generally, new approaches to offerings. It worked as a sort of reset or refreshing change to my generally busy work week, and in a way, added more fuel to the creative side of my cooking.
Cooking has always been something I’ve loved from the get-go, and it’s nice to be reminded about how a simple, or sometimes not simple, task of cooking can really spark a joy and excitement for me. It’s comforting to know, after all this time I’ve spent in kitchens, that it still excites me, and is something I’ll have forever.
2. Has the award given you more impetus to do something that you may not have considered before?
I think it’s reinforced me in a way to continue working towards my future goal of being am owner-operator in my own venue. It has also reinforced my thankfulness for the people I’ve been fortunate to work with in my career to date, as well as the team that currently surrounds me. I’m a strong believer of being a product of your environment, and I’ve been fortunate enough to been in some incredible work environments, as well as being able to help create some incredible ones also.