Hemp Foods Australia Ambassador Simon Toohey
Hemp Foods Australia Welcomes Simon Toohey!
Hemp Foods Australia are delighted to announce, that former MasterChef finalist Simon Toohey has joined the Hemp Foods Australia family as a brand ambassador.
Simon, who hosts Australia’s first fully plant-based show on Network Ten called Freshly Picked, will work with Hemp Foods Australia to spread the message about the health benefits of hemp and demonstrate how to use hemp food products to transform meals.
Simon aligns perfectly with the values of Hemp Foods Australia given his passion for plant-based, healthy cooking and his dedication to sustainable practices.
We caught up with Simon to have a quick chat:
Where did your passion for cooking come from?
My passion for food has always been around however, it just took me a long time to work out how to get there. My mother was a fantastic cook and so was her mum, so I was lucky enough to be growing up eating amazing Italian, Thai and Indian. I started in the drinks industry making cocktails and I felt there was something missing. So I left to study food science and the world of food began!
What inspired your journey into plant-based eating and sustainable farming?
This I have my partner to thank. She and her family are all plant based, so I kind of just fell into it and really was open to it. From there, the more I looked into the world of agriculture, I found a quite a large problem…. I was part of that problem and felt I needed to do something about it.
Have you had much experience with hemp and using hemp food products in your cooking?
I have indeed had plenty of experience with using hemp. It is a groundbreaking ingredient (if I do say so myself) and can be used in so many applications. From oils, to dressings, to salads, to sauces. From savoury to sweet and even a rub. My method with using hemp in food is this: I call it the 'rule of hand’. I reach into my hemp supply, grab a handful, and add it to whatever I’m cooking! Works every time.
What has been your proudest achievement as a chef so far?
My proudest achievement would be working at O.MY restaurant in Melbourne. It is my favourite restaurant in Australia at the moment. Working with an amazing team in a kitchen is just the most exciting thing. I will be opening my own restaurant this year, so maybe the answer will be changing in about 6 months!
What is your current favourite hemp product?
It really depends on the application. I will always fall back on hemp seeds as a fav as it is truly so versatile. However, the hemp protein on the bottom of a tomato tart to soak up all the juices and when it goes like fudge is heaven. Or an oil in a dressing. My idea is to give hemp products a lot of love in little amounts, often. It allows the product to last longer, yet you are still getting all those amazing health benefits and amazing results in your cooking.
You can follow Simons journey on Instagram: @simontoohey
Follow Hemp Foods Australia here: @hempfoodsaustralia
Feeling inspired? Shop hemp products here.