When Andy Allen was announced the winner of the fourth season of Masterchef in 2012, he became the youngest winner ever (Larissa Takchi is the new recordholder as of 2019). While on the show, he met Darren Robertson and Mark LaBrooy of well-respected Sydney cafe Three Blue Ducks, who then gave him a job. He eventually became a co-owner and then head chef of Three Blue Ducks Rosebery.
Masterchef has continued to shape Allen’s life – he’s now a judge on the show, alongside chef Jock Zonfrillo and food writer and broadcaster Melissa Leong.
Allen’s cooking style is simple – it’s all about letting the produce be the star. The summer recipe he chose for Broadsheet nails that brief – it has just six ingredients and a straightforward preparation method, which means more time for chatting with your guests.
Andy Allen’s barbeque whole snapper with lemongrass, ginger and kaffir lime
Takes 25 minutes to prepare, plus one hour to marinade
One plate-size snapper
1 thumb-size piece of ginger
6 kaffir lime leaves
1 stick lemongrass, white part only, roughly chopped
Stems and root of 1 bunch of coriander, washed
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Place all of the ingredients for the marinade into a blender and blitz on high until the marinade resembles a smooth paste. Rub the paste on the whole fish and leave to marinate for an hour.
Put your barbeque on a medium-to-high heat.
Transfer the fish onto the grill part of the barbeque. Let the fish sit and don’t touch it until you’re ready to turn. Depending on the size of the fish, this should take around 6 minutes. Carefully flip the fish and continue to cook on the other side for another 5 or 6 minutes. To check if the fish is cooked, peel back some of the flesh from the backbone closest to the head.
Serve with a wedge of lime, coriander and some freshly sliced chilli.