MasterChef’s Emma Dean joins local World Environment Day 2018

MasterChef star Emma Dean taste testing in the kitchen. (Emile Henry)

MasterChef star Emma Dean will help Hobsons Bay celebrate World Environment Day 2018, joining a host of special guests, inspiring speakers and local environment heroes for a free community festival at Williamstown Town Hall on June 3.

The Channel Ten reality television show contestant and sustainable cooking ambassador will be making a presentation on food waste avoidance and the importance of sourcing food from sustainable suppliers.

Emma Dean is well versed in the subject matter, having grown up on a farm where she learned to cook produce that her family had grown, cementing from an early age how the MasterChef star views food wastage and the environment.

“We grew most of our veggies and that is the only way we knew. We would grow enough pumpkins for the year and I loved helping stack the pumpkins into the dark part of the shed, being careful so they do not touch to allow for air circulation,” said Ms Dean.

“If the pumpkins touched and there was one bad (as in rotting) pumpkin, the rot would spread and ruin our whole years worth. This would be devastating, so it was very important that the pumpkins had good air flow.”

MasterChef star Emma Dean stirring the pot in the kitchen. (Emile Henry)

“My Dad would stand back and look proudly at the fruits of our labour. From a very early age we planted our veggies by hand. Sometimes curiosity took over me and I would dig up the seed to see if it was growing yet.”

Preserving food is also something that Emma Dean learned from an early age, recalling one of her earliest memories of going into the workshop to select a fowlers jar of preserved fruit for dessert.

“Mum and Dad would preserve the seasons bounty in gorgeous fowlers jars. Again, this was my normal. The preserving urge is still strong, and I love nothing more than making a few batches of kasundi,” said Ms Dean.

“I think I still have some plums from about 7 years ago up the back of my pantry. Preserving your own food really makes it special and creates memories (in the act of doing), which I really appreciate as well.”

Encouraging people to grow their own produce and seasonally will always be her preference, but Emma Dean said for those who opt for the supermarket, there are ways they can be more mindful of the environment.

MasterChef star Emma Dean having spoonfuls of fun. (Emile Henry)

“Bring your own bags, try and keep to the outer aisles. I find places are becoming more and more acceptable of the concept of bringing your own container and light cotton bags, instead of the veggie bags,” said Ms Dean.

“Try and make a few more things – they taste better and save you a heap of money and packaging. For example making your own muffins and muesli bars will save you a heap on both fronts!”

Emma Dean will help Hobsons Bay celebrate World Environment 2018, joining other guests including RMIT University Professor Mark Osborn and Port Phillip Baykeeper Neil Blake. Celebrations will also include workshops, community group stalls and children’s activities.

World Environment Day is the UN’s most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global event that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

Each World Environment Day is organised around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2018 is beating plastic pollution.

Hobsons Bay celebrates World Environment Day 2018
Sunday 3 June
Williamstown Town Hall
104 Ferguson Street, Williamstown

For more information on the worldwide environmental awareness and action campaign, visit the World Environment Day website. You can also follow the cause on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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