Alice Zaslavsky
Masterchef Series 4 contestant
Host of Channel 9 and GO’s! ‘Kitchen Whiz’

"Food is a great equaliser - we all eat it, and can all appreciate deliciousness in all its incarnations"

See Alice's delicious Bardi Jani (grilled eggpland) here

What is your cultural background?

My Soviet birth-certificate gives my nationality as “Jewish”, which, I suppose, is part of the reason we migrated from Georgia to Australia in the early 90s. 

How has Australia’s diverse culture impacted on the foods you cook?

Living in such a melting-pot (pun!) of cultures has really helped me to expand my culinary horizons, and to keep things fresh and interesting in the kitchen (it also means I’m never short of a new kitchen gadget to covet - did you know there’s a special contraption for scooping out coconut flesh?). 

What role does food play in bringing cultures together?

Food is a great equaliser - we all eat it, and can all appreciate deliciousness in all its incarnations. It teaches people that we’re not so different after all - a dumpling by any other name, per se - and that we should judge on filling, rather than the dough. 

Why do you think it’s important to learn about and understand the different cultures of the people you work with?

There are plenty of reasons to dislike your coworkers, but cultural background shouldn’t be one of them. Adding an open mind policy to an open door one will always lead to a more fruitful and cohesive workplace.

Why should Australians get involved with A Taste of Harmony?

They say you can never know a person until you walk a mile in their shoes. But “they” seem to have forgotten the basic laws of foot hygiene. Sharing a meal is a far more enticing method of getting to know each other, appreciating each other’s differences, and even simpler, being able to consciously show gratitude to the people we spend so much of our lives with in an entirely non-fungal way.  

Alice's first book Alice's Food A-Z will be in stores this April.

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