4 Ingredients Chef Kim McCosker Talks Family Cruises, Chocolate Mousse and The Sunshine Coast

18 February 2013

Kim McCosker, the brainchild behind the 4 Ingredients brand, loves taking her three boys on a family holiday.

"Family holidays are a great experience for everyone, where you can bond as a family unit. It's where you build fantastic memories that are just gold," said Kim.

"Tomorrow I'm flying to Sydney with the family to board a cruise around the South Pacific - to Fiji and Nouméa. I'm especially looking forward to the holiday because I don't have to cook anything for 11 days. I don't have to wash anything! I don't have to make a bed! Even my four-year old commented yesterday that he's very excited about going on a 'big ship'. Cruising is really good value for money and in my mind makes for the perfect family holiday - there really is something for everyone on board."

Kim McCosker Kim McCosker

While this cruise will offer the McCosker's a relaxing family getaway, Kim and her husband took their kids to America last year for an action-packed vacation.

"I would never let a long haul flight inhibit the opportunity of exploring different countries with the family. The way we made sure the kids enjoyed the 12-hour flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles was we let them pack their own hand luggage. I said to the boys, 'think of things you will want to keep you amused if you get tired of the in-flight entertainment' and they all packed different things - my seven year old packed painting equipment, while the ten year old took his own iPad and iPod to listen to his own selection of music. I just had to make sure the devices were fully charged," she said.

"I love travelling from a foodies perspective. New York just blew my mind with the incredible variety of cuisines available. The Korean restaurants, the Italian kitchens, with restaurant after restaurant all doing different things from vodka-infused sauces to interesting meals with squid ink. I had never tried catfish so tasty until I was served it in Harlem. You can taste the whole world in Manhattan. It's just so exciting!"

The past five years have been especially busy for Kim. The 4 Ingredients cooking juggernaut gained momentum around the world after the incredibly successful launch of the first book which sold over 2,500,000 copies in 2008.

"The 4 Ingredients concept really grew out of desperation - I wanted to prepare good food for dinner but I was a corporate mum and the reality was I'd get home late at night after picking up the kids from their afternoon activity. They were tired and I wanted inspiration in a recipe book that wasn't a spatchcock or something else that was completely impractical to prepare. I wanted to un-complicate my busy life. I wanted to know how to cook healthy food with a minimum of ingredients," she said.

"So I thought back to what I did when I first moved out of home. I'd think back to the food my Mum prepared and remember, for example, an apricot chicken that was really flavourful and delish. I then wondered how she did it? And my Mum would say, 'It's really easy you just need four ingredients - chicken, apricot nectar, onion and French onion soup.' And that's how 4 Ingredients was born - out of practicality."

 Kim with her Family in America

Kim is particularly excited about the upcoming release of 4 Ingredients Gluten Free Lactose Free, the first publication in her Wellness Trilogy - a series of books that show how to prepare delicious meals free of allergens.

"I have a recipe for gluten-free and lactose-free chocolate mousse that is absolutely to die for. It's amazing. The ingredients are raw, so surprising and so beautiful - they are avocado, banana, cacao power and maple syrup. It's so velvety but super healthy. If you turn the page I have a chocolate, quinoa and pecan mud cake and then there's a gluten-free cheesecake base - rather than biscuits, I blend together almonds, date and coconut."

When asked about her favourite place around the world to relax, Kim speaks glowingly of the Sunshine Coast.

"Caloundra is just fantastic, especially with Kings Beach and the water park. It's just so relaxed. The weather is beautiful all the time. It's an easy lifestyle - in peak hour you might pass four cars. The sunshine coast is conducive to a relaxed holiday," said Kim.

Visit 4 Ingredients for great recipes that are easy to prepare.

Lyndon Barnett

Guided by curiosity and a sense of adventure, Lyndon travelled independently to 69 countries on six continents. As such, travel is Lyndon's only addiction. He enjoys with equal measure - scaling the peaks of a South American mountain at altitude, attending opera in a European Opera House or hunting for a bargain in an Asian market.