He has had no formal training, grew up with parents of the ‘cook it ’til it’s grey’ school and had no exposure to ‘real food’ until he began working in advertising. He quickly caught on to the ‘hot lunch’ idea, and has had lunch in a restaurant nearly every working day for the past twenty five years, in the early days going home to replicate what he’d eaten at lunch.
Then, like many things in his life, food became somewhat of an obsession, cooking dinners of a dozen courses for friends, persuading his girlfriend and her mates to wear lingerie to dinner in exchange for his cooking (a stroke of genius), trips to France and Italy, clocking up over thirty Michelin stars in one adventure alone.
And the travel gave birth to the food writing, which has been his ‘professional hobby’ since the late eighties, having written for Australian Gourmet Traveller,Vogue Entertaining, BRW, the Sun Herald, SMH Good Living and the SMH Good Food Guide.
He has written the Great Aussie Barbeque Cookbook and The Great Aussie Bloke book and has two more in the pipeline. He is still cooking more than ever and teaching his 9 year old daughter.
In his early teens he did deals with the school rugby coaches to play prop in the Cs if he could play 5\8 in the Ds, Es and\or Fs.
He captain coached Macquarie Uni colts at the age of 18 because there was no one else to do it (and because the captain coach got to choose his position), and 4th grade the next year for the same reasons. He went on to play 208 games for Macquarie, without ever making 1st grade – a club record. He scored less than a dozen tries in all those games, a number which still topped his tackle count. He also won three best on-field actor awards – another record.
In Melbourne, he played two seasons of over 35s, being made captain after only two games because it was easier than trying to shut him up.
He played his last game aged 37, at the fleet footed weight of 17 stone four in the old money, a terrifying sight at 5\8 in more ways than one.
He now plays from the relative safety of a leather lounge, metres from a very large TV.
Kim Terakes is not a professional chef, but he is a much better cook than he was a rugby player.