COOK UP! Ipswich set for Ben Ungermann feast
EVER wanted to taste the food that you've seen on TV's MasterChef?
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Well this Saturday you can get your chance Ipswich, as the runner-up of MasterChef 2017 Ben Ungermann will be cooking up a storm to raise money for a local club that is close to his heart.
From 4pm onwards Ben will be at the Ipswich City Football Club in Brassall (opposite Brassall Shopping Centre) making three delicious treats to help the club raise money for new equipment.
Ben will be making three dishes, inspired by his Dutch heritage.
"I'll be cooking some Bitterballen which is also known as a Dutch Croquette," Ben said. "It is slow cooked beef, parsley, nutmeg, and mustard then make it into a French roux, then its coated and deep fried. Trust me, Ipswich is going to love them. It's a huge dish in Holland, they even sell them in vending machines to meet demand.
"I'll also be making two kinds of ice cream, one for the kids and one the adults. I'll be doing a Cookies and Cream of my own recipe, then a Dutch Spiced ice cream for the grown-ups.
"Dutch spice is an array of flavours like nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon...I guess the best way to describe it is that everyone who tastes it is reminded of Christmas. People are going to love it. I'm working on some amazing ice creams at the moment so watch this space."
To say that life has been a whirlwind for Ben has been an understatement, and since coming second in Australia's toughest cooking show (plus the fact that the QT office still believes he was ripped off and should have won), the former St Edmunds student is making plans for a career in food and catering.
"I actually found out that Monday morning of the Grand Final airing that I came second," Ben said, but still with a smile on his face. "I've quit my job in retail and my employers throughout the whole thing were amazing.
"Since the show ended I've been doing a bit of catering work here and there, but despite how busy I am its really all hands-on deck getting my business up and running.
"Lots of sifting through emails, messages, and offers. I want to align myself with something healthy, and I have a few things in the works.
"I've had meetings in Ipswich, I still have the dream of opening an ice cream parlour in my home town. There's a few things in the works," Ben said. "I want to put Ipswich on the map, it's an up and coming city.
"I was born and bred here, my kids go to school here, my parents live here.... I want people in Ipswich to have that experience in my ice cream parlour."
Ben has been a soccer nut his whole life, and grew up in a soccer-mad family that all began with his grandfather who was a professional in Europe.
"My grandfather played for Feyenoord (one of Holland's biggest clubs) before he emigrated to Australia. I've been at this club since I was seven years old and I've played every year since, right up until I went on Masterchef when I officially 'retired'.
"This club looked after a lot of players at a high level, and this is my way to say thank you. It's a great club, and if I'm in a position to give something back, it's the least I can do. I'll be here from 4pm meeting people, having a chat, working in the kitchen and people can sample my food while helping the club.
Ben's father Roland Ungermann says that the show has made Ben a better person, and added to his knowledge of food.
"I was often watching soccer during the night with Ben, we've always been a soccer-mad family. The Bulls have been with us for a long time, my son has grown up with them through school, and still when he was working. I'm really proud of what he's achieved," Roland said.
"Before he went on TV he would cook for us, but each time he served it he would use his own plates, which made it feel like we were going out for dinner. What he knows now compared to when he started on the show is way above my head.
"No matter where Ben is, he's always Ben, but when he's cooking he has all this knowledge in his head. It's amazing."