11 Things You Didn't Know About Curtis Stone

11 Things You Didn't Know About Curtis Stone
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11 Things You Didn't Know About Curtis Stone

Read on for fun facts you didn't know about Curtis Stone.

When Curtis Began Cooking

"I first became really interested in eating," says Curtis, who believes he began cooking at around four or five years old. His first food memories are trying to emulate his mom and grandma, and his attempts to cook their signature dishes.

"My granny was from Yorkshire, England and she used to make this incredible sugary fudge so I did that with her quite often and that was pretty delicious," says Curtis. "I have memories of sweets: Cookies, oatmeal, raisin cookies, my granny and all that good stuff."

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Favorite Guilty Pleasure Foods

"I have a bit of a problem with chocolate, I can’t help myself, " Curtis admits. "Whether it is the good stuff here in the restaurant or some nasty little candy bars, I still have trouble keeping my paws off of anything with chocolate in it. At home we tend to eat pretty healthfully. I’ll do some fruit and we’ll have that with ice cream or yogurt for dessert, but I’ll often take the time to bake pies and crumbles and crisps and that type of thing as well."

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His Biggest Kitchen Quirk

"I have a wood fire oven at home and I just can’t get organized in the morning to get it lit in time, so I'm constantly trying to cook stuff in it while it is too hot," Curtis reveals. "I also have a grill and I suffer from the same problem with that. I spend too much time in the kitchen without lighting the fire, and then I light it thinking it will be okay. Then, of course, you have to cook on it while it is too hot [when] you haven’t let the fire burn down to a slightly cooler temperature. I’ve burned a lot of stuff in that wood fire oven," Curtis admits.

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The Story Behind His Restaurant

Curtis's grandmother had such an influence on his life that he decided to name his restaurant, Maude, after her. He wanted to include some of the memories he made with her in the restaurant itself. "I wanted to bring some of those nice memorable things in, so I named [the restaurant] after her and I went around to all of the flea markets and bought a bunch of vintage china and silverware and stuff that she would never use. She would have put it in a cabinet, but I’m actually serving dinner on it. It is a bit of a juxtaposition, but the food should give you beautiful memories and feelings and I sort of wanted to pay that forward—what I was given as a young man—to the restaurant," Curtis explains.

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His Interest in Seasonality Comes From...

Curtis attributes his affinity for seasonality to his mother. "She is a gardener. She is actually the president of the Herb Society in Australia. It is a pretty bizarre title to hold! You can claim you have a bit of indigestion or that your circulation is not good and she always has a natural remedy for it, which is always diet-based and I grew up with that," Curtis explains. "I think of food as more than something that is pleasing to eat or to fill your belly. It is what fuels us and keeps us healthy. I have good relationships with great farmers. I have a veggie patch at home. It is nice to be more involved with the ingredients."

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Memories of Working with a Famed Chef

Curtis worked with British chef Marco Pierre White in London at the start of his career. "Marco [White] was an interesting character," says Curtis. "One thing that stands out to me about my time with Marco is the value of hard work and building a good culture within your dining room and within your kitchen. He always did that through leading. He was an incredible leader and an incredibly hard worker, more than anybody else I ever met. He worked from the second he woke up until the end of the night, and we all sort of followed suit. I think great love and passion only comes from caring so much and as much as he would scream and yell, we all were all very excited to be there. We felt lucky as opposed to unfortunate. I brought that with me throughout my life. It is a really nice quality to have."

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If Not A Chef Then...

Curtis admits that he's not sure what other career path he would have pursued if he hadn't been a chef. "I have no idea. I really don’t," he says. "I’ve been asked this question a few times. When I was young, I applied for a job with a gardener in the city near the beach in Australia. There is something that sort of still appeals to me about the simplicity of that. Being so close to nature and watching something go from a seedling to a plant to something that bares fruit. That would interest me. But it is hard to imagine my life as a gardener who gets up and gardens each day. I think I’d be lost without cooking! I’d be a stay at home dad. I’d find a rich sugar momma or Lindsey can go out and be an actress and I can be a stay-at-home dad, have dinner ready for her when she gets home and keep the house nice."

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How He Really Feels About Vegemite

Vegemite is an Australian food spread that Curtis admits is hard to articulate feelings toward. "It is really hard to explain Vegemite and the feelings you have around it as an Aussie," Curtis admits. "I introduced it to my son when he was six months and he loves it. He dives right in. If I’m being really honest with myself, I think if he hadn’t have liked it, I might have forced it on him. Because a part of our identity as Australians is that you have to enjoy Vegemite. That’s not true, but I love it and I have it at least once a week on my toast with breakfast. I think it is great."

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Favorite Current Food Trend

"It is not a new food trend, but I think a really good one is starting with a natural ingredient and juicing it. Diving further into a particular ingredient and discovering what is possible with it. Whether it is juicing it, separating that juice and concentrating the juice, or dehydrating the juice and turning that into a powder, slow juicers have given us such a better result. I have these gorgeous heirloom carrots that I juice each day and put into a soup. The juiced carrots gives the soup this beautiful color and flavor that you couldn’t have gotten that with a normal juicer. Slow juicing is my thing right now."

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His Most Beloved Gig

"I’ve had some pretty unbelievable experiences in my life like the show where I got to cook around Australia," Curtis says. "I’ve had some pretty wild, extravagant, fortunate situations, but I think truthfully the most exciting thing I get to do is come into my restaurant. There is something about practicing that skill that I learned as a young man. Whether that is opening fresh scallops, fileting fish or butchering meat, there is something really relaxing and something that I just love about it," Curtis reveals.

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Where Does His Nickname, Quiet Terminator, Come From?

"I really don’t know. I don’t think it is very accurate," Curtis admits. "My friends would say I am far from quiet. I’m quite boisterous and loud. I think it came from that show, Celebrity Apprentice. Maybe I slide under the radar a little bit and people that pissed me off along the way got fired, but I don’t know if that is me. I think I’m pretty straight down the line: Open and honest about who I am, what I want and what I expect. People either like working with me and stay with me for a long time or they don’t stay with me very long at all. It is one of those kind of businesses. You should work in an environment where you feel happy and enthusiastic," says Curtis.

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Australian chef Curtis Stone has been cooking since he was a young boy. He attributes his culinary interest to his grandma (he even named his restaurant, Maude, after her) and his affinity for seasonal food to his mother. But that doesn't mean the chef doesn't love sweets or anything covered in chocolate every now and then. He shared a few fun facts about himself, including his guilty pleasures and where his nickname comes from.

Check out the slideshow above to learn 11 things you didn't know about Curtis Stone.

Then, get great Curtis Stone recipes for summer, find out how the son of a top chef eats and his expert grilling secrets!

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