Annabel Crabb’s show, Kitchen Cabinet, takes viewers on a journey as she interviews politicians in their own homes. But what many may not realize is the logistical challenge she faces in ensuring that her signature dessert, specially crafted for each guest, survives the journey from her kitchen to the dinner table.
Crabb spends a significant amount of time coming up with a dessert that is fitting for each politician she interviews. She consults with her friend and co-author, Wendy Sharpe, to create recipes that reflect the guest’s background and preferences. For example, Peter Dutton, former Home Affairs minister, expressed his love for custard, so Crabb made him a custard slice with a unique twist of rum and coffee.
Once the recipe is perfected, Crabb faces the challenge of transporting the dessert. She carries it in her signature wicker basket, which conveniently fits in the overhead compartment during flights. However, traveling to certain destinations, like Perth, can be tricky due to strict regulations on what food items are allowed. Crabb has even been stopped at Perth airport for trying to bring cake forks on board.
Despite her careful preparations, there have been instances when the dessert didn’t survive the journey. Crabb recalls a disaster with brandy snap baskets that became flat and flabby due to the Brisbane humidity. Yet, these mishaps don’t deter her from continuing to create desserts that enhance the relaxed conversations she has with politicians in their kitchens.
For Crabb, the food is a device that allows the interviewees to feel comfortable and open up. It serves as a conversation starter and a distraction if the discussion becomes too personal. The relaxed atmosphere created by the food helps politicians forget that they are being interviewed on television, prompting them to share more about their personal and political lives.
Through Kitchen Cabinet, Crabb aims to provide viewers with a unique insight into their elected representatives. Each season showcases a diverse range of politicians, highlighting their individual life stories and paths into politics. The show reveals the human side of politicians and explores the factors that drive their decisions and actions.
Kitchen Cabinet may not be a substitute for traditional political coverage, but it offers a fresh perspective by delving into the personal lives of politicians. It allows viewers to see beyond the scripted talking points and understand the motivations behind their actions. So, the next time you watch Kitchen Cabinet, appreciate the effort and creativity that goes into ensuring that the dessert reaches the dinner table.