Chef Gary Mehigan.
Chef Gary Mehigan.

Chef Gary Mehigan shares appetite for Euro appeal

THIS maestro of the kitchen likes his cars with a European flavour.

What's your current drive?

I've been driving BMWs for about 10 years now and love them. Anyone who tells you they buy a luxury car for practical reasons is quite obviously telling porkie pies. Sure they drive well, are packed full of the latest technology but, first and foremost, it has to look the business. I bought a BMW because I'd worked hard, a reward for surviving three years in our first restaurant.

I've had a couple of 3 Series, including a 320 coupe and 330 and now the family car is an X5 turbo diesel. I'm lucky enough to be spinning around in a M3 at the moment, which is an incredible car.

What do you like and hate about your car?

The X5 is supremely practical for my family, dog in the back, kids, lounging around on the back seat and the comfort and height a four-wheel drive gives us from the front.

It has loads of power, it's fast, a grunty diesel ready to go but I don't drive it like that ... I prefer to trundle around, it's an easy drive. I love the reversing camera, sensors, fat wheels and Bluetooth, the only thing I'm missing, now that our cold Melbourne winter has kicked in, are heated front seats.

What was your first car and what happened to it?

My first car was a fluorescent yellow/green Morris Marina. It had a beige interior and was anything but a magnet for the girls. This was contrary to what I thought at the time. How could they resist the pure luxury of four wheels, fluffy seat covers, heating and windscreen wipers?

The stereo was a cracker, graphic equaliser, big speakers on the back shelf, it took dad and I a full day to install. Amazing what you can do with a hack saw and a couple of brackets. Unfortunately it was the same stereo that was the cause of my Marina's untimely demise. Don't fine tune the bass or treble while driving!

A spectacular and almost instantaneous stop using the car in front instead of my brakes. At least I'll remember the song I crashed to forever, New Gold Dream, Simple Minds.

During your childhood, what car did your family have?

Dad had a couple of cars, all of which were practical family cars, which is what we could afford, a Vauxhill Victor, yellow. I was four years old, dad was my hero, it didn't matter what he drove.

A 1969 Ford Zodiac was my favourite, bench seats front and back, column shift, very cool. Then a white Leyland Princess, I was 13 years old. Embarrassing dad, why would you?

What is your dream car?

I always wanted an E-Type Jag, I love certain classic and new cars will always tick the boxes, AC Cobra, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, 65 Mustang Hardtop, Bugatti Veyron. But the Jag has class, it is after all the "most beautiful car in the world" sleek, feminine and fast.

VITAL STATISTICS

Who: Gary Mehigan

Born: February 12, 1967

Background: Mehigan trained at The Connaught and Le Souffle in London before moving to Melbourne in 2001. He has headed kitchens in some of Melbourne's most prominent restaurants.

Current job: See Gary on MasterChef, Sunday-Thursday at 7.30pm on Channel 10.



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