Rising chef Dan Churchill visits Bay Ridge’s BookMark Shoppe

A rising Aussie chef invades Bay Ridge.

A former contestant on the hit show “MasterChef Australia,” Dan Churchill made his way to Bay Ridge’s the BookMark Shoppe on Wednesday, April 22. Fans enjoyed Churchill discussing his life and his newest book DudeFood. He also showed up at the local shop bearing snacks, such as chocolate, nuts and wine.

The 25-year-old explained how he had developed his passion. “I started cooking when I was 12 years old, based on the fact that my family and I used to watch Jamie Oliver on TV,” he said. “Once a week, we’d sit down together and really get to see him do his thing.”

Growing up, Churchill recalled, his father would write up a schedule and once a week Churchill and his family would take turns cooking for each other. “After a few years, I went from doing average meals to somewhat acceptable ones for family,” he said. “It kind of grew from there and I realized how much I loved cooking.”

When discussing DudeFood, which was just released on April 22, Churchill stated he wanted to write something that was accessible to everyone, not just men. “The book is for the introductory cook. It’s not just for guys,” he said. “It’s got that title, but it’s about exposing people who have never been in the kitchen before to getting behind the pots and pans, and showing how they can love cooking and how simple it can be.”

A key virtue of the volume is simplicity, so, said Churchill, “Someone could pick it up and see that they could do those things.”

Churchill came up with the idea for the book because his friends kept asking him for advice. “My mates realized how much their girlfriends loved it and hated how much attention I was getting,” he recalled. “So I started writing recipes for them and then I realized these were recipes I wanted to provide for the world.”

Chapters include one on how a guy can get out of the dog house by cooking the perfect meal, one on a hangover cure and more.

Churchill mingled with fans, asking their favorite dishes, whether they’ve traveled outside the country and mentioned some of his favorite local restaurants. “Brooklyn is awesome. I love it,” he enthused.

He concluded by discussing the importance of food and how it unites people. “Cooking is something we should learn to do anyway because it’s awesome when everyone sits down to eat with each other,” he said. “With social media and technology overwhelming everyone, it’s nice to eat and talk. The one thing we have in common in this world is that we all eat. “

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