Lily Serna Destination Flavour Interview

Lily Serna Destination Flavour Interview

Lily Serna Destination Flavour Interview

The ultimate weekly food journey around Australia.
New ten-part series premieres 8pm Thursday 16th of August on SBS ONE

Masterchef winner Adam Liaw, Renee Lim (SBS's Food Investigators and East West 101) and Lily Serna (SBS's Letters and Numbers) are set to host Destination Flavour, SBS's brand new weekly food and travel series.

This exciting new program will be a culinary compass pointing to all things fascinating in the Australian food world.

SBS has commissioned the weekly series which sees the three enthusiastic foodie travellers - Liaw, Lim and Serna - journey across the country seeking out and capturing wonderful tales and characters from the vast domain of food production and preparation. It will also provide tips and hints for viewers on where to find leading food professionals and avant-garde restaurants in their neighbourhoods.

Produced in-house at SBS, the series will profile Australia's renowned chefs, top providores and food producers, cutting-edge city restaurants and much loved family-run suburban eateries. It will also profile Australia's rich culinary regions that provide the best 'paddock to plate' food.

In addition, each episode will feature the step-by-step recipe preparation of numerous dishes, which is something SBS's foodie viewers have come to expect and enjoy.

Destination Flavour will always feel like it's on the move as it attempts to quench anever-ending thirst to meet wonderfully interesting food heroes, celebrate fabulous produce and explore the various cultures and cuisines Australians are so fortunate to have on their doorstep.

Buffalo Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomatoes, Zucchini, Lemon Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil Sorbet

Dietmar Sawyere gives us his version of the famous Caprese Salad, with flavours that are beautiful, clean and refreshing on the palate.

Serves 4
Prep Time 15 minutes

For the sorbet:
75 mls water
75 gms caster sugar
50 mls lemon juice
100 mls lemon infused extra virgin olive oil

2 zucchini
Pinch black sea salt (or ordinary sea salt )
ΒΌ tsp dijon mustard
5mls white balsamic vinegar
30mls extra virgin olive oil

100mls extra virgin olive oil
6 basil leaves
2 piece garlic clove
8 pieces baby heirloom tomatoes, blanched and peeled
30 mls lemon infused extra virgin olive oil

2 buffalo mozzarella balls
Pinch sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil

3 zucchini flowers
Your favourite batter recipe

20 mls beetroot vinegar
8 fresh nasturtium leaves

Micro basil leaves
2 tbsp bread croutons fried in butter until golden brown

To make the sorbet, place the water, sugar and lemon juice in a blender and blend well until sugar is dissolved. Slow down blender and add oil in a steady stream until all of it is incorporated. Pour into an ice cream machine and churn until set, remove from machine and store in freezer until required.
To prepare zucchini, slice them lengthwise and lay in a bowl, season with sea salt. Whisk together the mustard and vinegar and then add the oil in a steady stream to make a vinaigrette. Pour over the zucchini strips and marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Heat the olive oil with the basil and garlic on a low heat, season the heirloom tomatoes with sea salt and lower into warm oil to warm them through.
Slice the buffalo mozzarella and season with sea salt, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Fry the zucchini flowers in batter until crisp.
Dress all the items on the plate attractively and drizzle with the beetroot vinegar and nasturium leaves. Garnish with micro basil leaves and fried croutons.

Interview with Lily Serna

Lily Serna, born in Jerusalem in 1986, is a mathematician with an unrivalled passion for education. In 2009 she completed a Bachelor of Mathematics and Finance and a Bachelor of International Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), and recently completed an Honours year with a thesis in mathematics with applications in biology. Lily also speaks French and some Arabic.

Lily is co-host and resident numbers expert on SBS's phenomenally popular Letters and Numbers with David Astle and Richard Morecroft. She hopes that Letters and Numbers will redress the stereotype of the maths geek, believing that "maths is applicable to so many different areas of life; it's not just about sums and algebra".

As part of her International Studies degree, she learnt French and spent a year studying at the University of Bordeaux, France. Lily is passionate about mathematics and hopes to one day specialise in mathematical modelling in environmental applications. Lily loves the outdoors and enjoys surfing, swimming and travelling.

Question: What is Destination Flavour?

Lily Serna: Destination Flavour is a new food and travel show that I'm involved in. It will be premiering Thursday the 16th at 8pm. Adam Liaw, Renee Lim and I travel around Australia in search of the best food produced by some very interesting characters and this country's top food heroes.

Question: What inspired you to become a host on Destination Flavour?

Lily Serna: First and foremost the opportunity to travel and find some of the best food Australia has to offer! But also the chance to get to know the people behind produce. I'm very much a 'people-person', I really loved listening to the stories of our food heroes and understanding what drives their passions.

Question: What did you learn that surprised you, the most in regards to food whilst travelling around Australia?

Lily Serna: I think I could write a whole essay about what I've learned! It's actually been quite a personal journey for me. Amongst other things, I've learned so much about the process of how the meats that we eat end up on our plate and the importance of choosing good quality produce. I've learned what milt is (yuck!), as well as all about sustainable seafood. The biggest lesson I took with me though, is that so often great food is simple and uncomplicated and tastes better when you're sharing it with good company.

Question: Where in Australia did you visit, for Destination Flavour, that you hadn't been previously?

Lily Serna: I'd never been to Brisbane or the Hinterlands. It's an amazing part of the world. I'd love to go back and do more travelling around there.

Question: How does Destination Flavour differ from other food shows?

Lily Serna: I think Destination Flavour takes a holistic approach to gastronomy. Adam, Renee and I discover all about the produce from "paddock to plate" and take the time to get to know the people producing it. I think it's really important to understand the journey our food takes so that we can make informed decisions on what to buy.

Question: Do you have a favourite recipes from the series that you've already cooked again, at home?

Lily Serna: I loved John Piconne's baked fish. It's quite simple in its concept and easy to make but it's absolutely delicious!

Question: Are you able to share with us one cooking tip that you learnt whilst travelling around Australia for Destination Flavour?

Lily Serna: I learned that when you're making pastry the kind of butter you use makes a big difference. Tracy Nickl from Gumnut Patisserie sources the absolute best butter so he can to make the most delicious pastries.

Question: Can you share with us one of the avant-garde restaurants featured in the show and why it's the best in that part of Australia?

Lily Serna: I really enjoyed Esquires in Brisbane. Not only did it have mouth-watering sophisticated food but Ryan Squires the owner takes great pride in sourcing ethical produce, in particular sustainable seafood.

Question: Do you have a childhood memory of the first time that you were really interested in food and cooking?

Lily Serna: I grew up in a very food orientated household. When I was about 10 years old I started to enjoy baking. I'd make muffins and cupcakes for my family. That was the first time I remember getting that satisfying feeling you get when other people enjoy something you've made for them.

Interview by Brooke Hunter