In a new 10-part web series, Dan Hong – the executive chef at Ms. G’s, El Loco and Mr. Wong – will visit the homes of Australians, teaching them how to cook restaurant-quality meals. To get the famed chef over to your place, upload an image of your fridge or pantry to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and add the hashtag “shelfie”.
“I’ve never had my own show before, and I thought this was another way I could challenge myself,” says Hong. “The whole chef-coming-to-your-house-and-cooking-whatever’s-there thing isn’t original at all, but I don’t think anyone’s done it based on social media.”
Drawing on his heritage, Hong is out to prove that incredible meals come from using everyday ingredients. “I’m a real big condiment guy. I like to see what type of sauces people have in their cupboard, and what I can combine with whatever’s in their fridge, whether it be kimchi and leftover roast chicken, or hot dogs and bacon,” he says. “I always go for the Asian stuff because I can add more flavour by using different ingredients, like Sriracha, Japanese mayo or chicken-broth powder.”
Hong’s decision to create a web series was driven by the way in which people consume media. “People’s attention spans are very short now, so I think 12 minutes once a week on a catch-up service like iview is perfect. And a web series is more raw than putting something up on prime-time TV.”
The chef acknowledges that recipes such as the mee goreng will probably be scoffed down at 3am after a big night of drinking, but regardless, if they’re going to whip up whatever’s in the cupboard, he wants to make sure, “it’s super delicious and something they never thought of putting together”.
Shelfie with Dan Hong will air weekly on ABC iview from April 21.