Adam Liaw and Poh Ling Yeow are on the hunt for the best meals on Great Australian Bites

These besties are hitting the road.
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What better way to see Australia and taste the cuisine it has to offer than by taking a good old fashioned road trip?

That’s exactly what two of our favourite chefs, Adam Liaw and Poh Ling Yeow, are doing in their new culinary series, Adam & Poh’s Great Australian Bites. The food-loving pals take on the cities and coastlines, cooking with locals and catching up with some famous faces along the way.

Ahead of the TV premiere, New Idea sat down with the pair, who became household names after appearing on MasterChef.

(Credit: SBS)

During our chat Poh assures us the show has a “community vibe” and is most definitely “not a snobbish cooking show at all”.

Adam echoes Poh’s sentiment, explaining that it “focuses on what we cook and eat at home”.

As seasoned travellers, both Adam and Poh agree that they discovered an abundance of variety while exploring their own backyard. They kicked off their epic trip in the Northern Territory at Uluru, then made their way up to Darwin. From there it was on to Tasmania, regional Victoria and South Australia, before finishing up in Canberra.

“Adam and I were left to get to know each other really well,” says Poh with a hearty laugh. “Telling lots of childhood stories, learning things that get on our nerves … we covered the whole gamut!”

Adam adds that driving together for several hours on end wasn’t ever an issue for the co-hosts who are already “good friends, so it was genuinely good fun hanging out in the car!”

(Credit: SBS)

While they met many incredible people on their travels, the pair say it was a “privilege” to learn from painter Ken Done. 

“Poh is a fantastic artist, so watching them connect on the artistic process on the cake we were making was great to see. I loved that,” Adam tells us.

Poh chimes in that she was “in heaven” while looking around Ken’s studio.

Spending quality time with Elizabeth Chong was also a favourite moment of Poh’s. She says the Chinese-born Australian chef “paved the way for people like me and Adam”.

(Credit: SBS)

“She is in her nineties and still fabulous. I love her zest for life,” gushes Poh. “She’s also really humble about what she trailblazed in Australia in regard to Cantonese cooking.”

From making sweet and sour schnitzels to sampling laksa in Darwin, Adam says he learnt a lot during filming.

“Poh and I have very different skill sets,” he explains. “We’ve cooked together before but not as much as we did on this show. I learnt a lot about baking and areas in which I’m probably not as strong as she is.”

“I learnt something at one bakery we went to,” shares Poh. “They always use the pastry scraps for the bottoms – it’s a tradition from way back. That was interesting.”

Adam and Poh both grew up in South Australia and especially enjoyed that leg of the trip. Poh is still based in the Adelaide foothills, while Adam lives in Sydney.  

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“I highly doubt I will live anywhere else but here,” Poh declares. “I love going cycling through the seasons every year, it’s good for my mental health and gives you something to look forward to when you’re eating seasonally.”

Even though he no longer lives in the state, Adam says anyone who’s visited “has been blown away by how amazing it is. Food, lifestyle, nature … it’s got it all.”

As they await their next culinary adventure, Poh and Adam are back to enjoying their normal lives. 

“I like to cook, spend time with my dog, and family has become a big deal as I’ve gotten older,” reveals Poh. “Weekends are taken up with my farmers market which I really love. It’s my community.

For Adam, it’s all about spending time with his three kids. He says, “I help coach my son’s soccer team from time to time – it’s a lot of fun.”

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