Since 2012 Kitchen Cabinet has taken us into the homes of 20 politicians, from Prime Ministers to backbenchers, in every state of Australia, discovering varying degrees of culinary competence.
Julie Bishop, Joe Hockey, Penny Wong, Tanya Plibersek, Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd have all hosted veteran political journalist Annabel Crabb for lunch. Some politicians have caught and killed their ingredients. One MP offered dippity bix as an entree and another did not eat Annabel's dessert, for reasons that will forever be unknown.
In Series Four of Kitchen Cabinet – returning Tuesday, October 21 at 8pm - Annabel Crabb is back for more, knocking on the doors of politicians' homes around Australia, in search of a good meal and some answers.
Since Kitchen Cabinet was last on air there has been a change in government, a new Prime Minister, and an interesting crop of senators that never cease to surprise. So dinner conversation is not going to be a problem! Where to start?
"Various hard-bitten cynics and knockers speculated at the end of Series Three that Kitchen Cabinet had run out of interesting politicians who could cook," says Annabel.
"Well: in your eye, naysayers! I give you Bob Hawke's steamed Asian fish, Bill Shorten's -Labor' Ratatouille and -Mussels from Brussels', courtesy of Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. Not to mention the world's zaniest salad, delivered by Mary-Jo -Hokey Pokey' Fisher."
Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke opens the doors to his Sydney home and takes Annabel on a house tour that involves both an inclinator and an elevator. Annabel breaks bread with our Belgian-born, Perth-based Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. Leader of the opposition Bill Shorten whips up a ratatouille with some close supervision from his wife Chloe Shorten. Labor MP Anna Burke talks about her experiences as Speaker during the most unruly parliament in Australian history. Liberal MP and former crocodile hunter Warren Entsch invites Annabel to his farm near Cairns, to sample some local produce. And, in a special episode, Trade Minister Andrew Robb and former Liberal senator Mary Jo Fisher talk openly about their struggles with depression and how mental health can influence a political career, as they whip up that salad.
This series is filled with intelligent insights, surprising revelations and a ground-breaking piece of footage involving a former Prime Minister and an elaborate piece of gym equipment.
"I've laughed, I've cried, I've eaten marshmallow as a savoury. This series is full of great moments," Annabel says.
Join Annabel Crabb as she gets beyond the sound bite and helps us to understand the curious creature that is the Australian politician.
Produced by ABC TV. Series Producer is Madeleine Hawcroft. Executive Producer is Sophia Zachariou.
You can catch up on missed episodes, plus download some of the best recipes from past series at: