Gooding serves up secrets to onion growers

Chef Scott Gooding serves up secrets to onion growers

Horticulture
COOK UP: Chef and healthy-food advocate, Scott Gooding, has become a Secret Serve ambassador for Onions Australia in order to help lift consumption.

COOK UP: Chef and healthy-food advocate, Scott Gooding, has become a Secret Serve ambassador for Onions Australia in order to help lift consumption.

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My Kitchen Rules finalist and chef Scott Gooding has backed Onions Australia's "Secret Serve" campaign to lift onion consumption.

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A NEW talent has gotten behind the Australian Onions’ “Secret Serve” campaign which aims to get mums of four to 12-year-old children to include more onions into their meals.

My Kitchen Rules finalist and wholesome, healthy cooking advocate Scott Gooding has thrown his support behind the campaign in order to get an extra serve of vegetables into Aussie kids’ diets.  

He attended the Onions Australia Conference in Sydney this month to introduce himself as a brand advocate to Aussie growers and share his story.  

He took the audience through his humble beginnings where he learned the ropes himself by cooking up a storm in his parents’ pub kitchen after school while they prepared for the night shift.  

FREE TASTES: The Secret Serve ebook is free to download and contains recipes to help reduce the stress of meal times for mums.

FREE TASTES: The Secret Serve ebook is free to download and contains recipes to help reduce the stress of meal times for mums.

After studying Sports Science at uni, he then went on to be a personal trainer where he met his friend Luke Hines who became his partner in My Kitchen Rules and following that, his co-author in a range of cook books aimed at eating clean and healthy.  

They took traditional junk food recipes and with their knowledge provided the same meal with an amazing taste yet healthier make up, to get more people eating better and taking control of their health.  

He bought all this and more with a highly entertaining and relaxed talk, sharing his passions, lifestyle and wit. 

He also showed-off the e-book of recipes he helped develop in collaboration with the onion industry. 

Free cookbook

THE e-book of “multi-meals” details three family home-cooked meals a week (all with a hidden onion or two), from just one shopping list, one recipe and one 1-2hr cooking session, ideally done on a weekend for the week ahead.

The campaign not only highlights the health reasons as to why it’s important to keep onions on the shopping list for families with kids but also gives practical hints and tips on the right preparation and cooking techniques to hide them from expert eyes and fingers.  

Researchers recognised that the biggest challenge for mums was just how busy they were and how cooking dinner for the family, after work and school picks ups/after school activities had become a dreaded chore.  

Opportunity knocks

MR GOODING jumped at the chance to work with Onions Australia and Horticulture Innovation Australia as most of his recipes are formed with the base of onions and garlic, both incredibly important for gut health and immunity, two of the most crucial health benefits for children.  

With his recipes, his engaging personality and charm, this was a winning formula for mums and something very different to the plethora of mummy bloggers out there providing daily recipes for family food and kid wrangling.

Mr Gooding was filmed cooking up two of the multi-meal recipes and all the resultant dishes were photographed to create a Facebook campaign targeted at main grocery buying mums 30-45, driving them to a landing page on our website to download the book for free.  

Just halfway into the campaign, his videos and recipe images have engaged mums enough to surpass all targets for the downloads, and the campaign continues to get the information into the hands of mums, to give them a helping hand and ultimately, get them buying and using more onions.

Conference gives update

THE Onions Australia Conference in Sydney attracted 40 industry representatives.

The conference spanned two days and included a meeting of the Onions Australia executive committee, a delegates dinner, tour of the Sydney Markets, AGM and levy payers’ meeting.

The event kicked off with a meeting of the OA executive committee on the Thursday afternoon, before a delegates’ dinner at the Rydges Sydney Central Hotel that night.

Horticulture Innovation Australia relationship manager Brad Mills gave a detailed summary of the Australian onion industry levy investment, before newly appointed Secret Serve advocate Scott Gooding took the floor.

EVENT SUCCESS: Onions Australia chairman Peter Shadbolt said the annual conference delivered information about the latest industry developments direct to growers while also allowing for networking and information sharing.

EVENT SUCCESS: Onions Australia chairman Peter Shadbolt said the annual conference delivered information about the latest industry developments direct to growers while also allowing for networking and information sharing.

The following morning, delegates visited the Sydney Markets for a tour before the OA annual general meeting, with the day finishing with a levy payers’ meeting.

A wide range of presentations were delivered during the levy payers’ meeting, including HIA marketing manager Craig Perring; an update about Minor Use Permits from the APVMA’s Peter MacLeod; Austrade’s Jenny Van de Meeberg speaking about export target markets; news of onion smut area freedom in SA from PIRSA’s Nick Secomb; details about Monsanto Seminis’ NZ research station from Anthony Julian; and sponsor presentations from AgNova, DuPont and Bayer.

Onions Australia chairman Peter Shadbolt said the conference successfully delivered information about the latest industry developments direct to growers.

“We pride ourselves on bringing the highest calibre speakers to our conferences to give our growers the latest information available,” he said.

“Once again we lived up to those expectations with outstanding information provided. Those attending also made the most of the many networking opportunities available, with plenty of information sharing taking place.”

Mr Shadbolt also welcomed two new members to the OA executive committee, with Dobmac Machinery’s Mark Dobson and SA grower Jason Daniell appointed, joining Mr Shadbolt (chair), Alan Thierry (deputy chair), Andrew Moon, Kees Versteeg, Darren Wood, Dean Metcalf, Greg Bragg, Darren Rathjen, Michael Williams, Chris Eastwood, Rohan Shadbolt and Lewis Lydon.

“Our OA Executive Committee members bring vast industry knowledge to the table,” he said.

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