Exclusive! Hot Aussie Chef, Curtis Stone, On What He'd Make You For Breakfast

The star of America's Next Great Restaurant and Top Chef Masters is on a mission to make you eat more whole foods! Can you argue with a guy who looks like this?
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Curtis Stone

What’s your guilty pleasure food?
“I really like Mexican food. I love chips and salsa, and guacamole, too. They don’t have it in Australia. Sometimes, when it’s late and I’m in Los Angeles, I’ll go to the Mexican food trucks that are open. It’s a bad habit!”

Do you actually eat all the food on America’s Next Great Restaurant and Top Chef Masters?
“I do! I know some people who ask for spit buckets and they don’t actually eat it, but I’m like c’mon! I actually do eat it all on those shows.”

Say you were on a date – what kind of breakfast would you make to really impress her?
“Well, she’d be a really nice date if she stayed over for breakfast! Um, I’ve never been asked that before. Hmmm… well, I think when you’re trying to impress a date with food, you get nervous that you’re going to be spending all this time in the kitchen. So, I don’t think it’s necessarily what you make, it’s that it’s quick and you can enjoy sharing it. The best date food is something you can share. So, I’d probably cook with something that’s in season – since it’s spring and grilling season, maybe I’d grill asparagus and make a nice fritatta with cheese and tomatoes. I’d just layer the ingredients on the bottom, pour the egg over it, bake it, and then you’re done!”

And this gem, Bettys, Curtis offered up on his own…
“We live our lives around food – we have holidays, birthdays, reunions, engagements, weddings… it’s a very important part of our lives. So, I think when people are asked, ‘what’s your favorite food?’ and they say, ‘my mom’s this,’ or ‘my grandma’s that,’ they describe it as the ‘the best’ and being really good. I don’t think it’s necessarily because it’s the best, but it’s because it was made with love and the experience they had. The moment they enjoyed as they ate it made it seem like it was ‘the best’ they’d ever had.”

RECIPE: Post Great Grains Crunchy Pecan-Banana Coffee Cake Muffins
(Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 25 minutes, Makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients for Streusel:
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
3/4 cup Post’s Great Grains
Crunchy Pecan cereal

Ingredients for Batter:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 ripe bananas (14 ounces total), peeled
1 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg white
1 1/4 cups Post Great Grains
Crunchy Pecan cereal


For the streusel:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Toss the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl to blend.
3. Stir in the oil and maple syrup. Stir in the cereal. Set the streusel aside.

For the Batter:
1. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl to blend.
2. Using a fork, coarsely mash the bananas in a large bowl.
3. Stir in the yogurt, oil and egg white.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the yogurt mixture and stir just until blended.
5. Stir in the cereal. The batter will be thick.
6. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups.
7. Sprinkle the streusel over, gently pressing it into the top of the batter.
8. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
9. Cool 5 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack.
10. Remove the muffins frm the pan and cool completely on the rack.
11. The muffins can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Faye Brennan is assistant editor at BettyConfidential.

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