He’s hot property in the United States. Among those keen to be seen with likeable Australian superchef Curtis Stone are talk-show royalty Oprah Winfrey and Conan O’Brien.
But despite carving out an impressive career in Hollywood, the Melbourne-born foodie and TV personality knows where his heart lies.
They say there’s no place like home. That’s certainly the case for Curtis.
“Australia will always be home – my heart is here, my family and friends,” he says. “I also want my sons Emerson [two] and Hudson [five] to feel like this is their home as well.”
He says he’d love to raise the boys down under.
“I would feel more comfortable bringing them up where I was brought up,” he says. “I love our school system, and the values and qualities we have as Aussies.”
But first, he has to convince his Californian-born wife, actress Lindsay Price.
“We haven’t had to have the hard conversations just yet,” Curtis reveals. “But who knows where we’ll end up in the future, because things change so quickly.”
When it comes to growing the Stone family, the devoted dad says he has enough on his plate.
“Lindsay and I are done with kids – that’s for sure,” he laughs. “Two is the magic number.”
Curtis is quick to point out having more children would make it harder to travel as a family.
“There are four of us, so we can still get just one cab – that’s all you need in life,” he jokes.
While the restaurateur and TV host has bunkered down in the US for the near future, he gets to enjoy an Aussie fix regularly.
In fact, he loves being here to film MasterChef Australia.
He always has a ball on set with good mates George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston.“I just love coming back for the show,” Curtis says.
“Especially early on in the season, because then I can come back later and see how far the contestants have come. So many talented people have come out of MasterChef, even as far back as Julie Goodwin and Poh Ling Yeow – they’ve done so well.”
Curtis has fond memories of his first big TV gig – hosting Surfing The Menu with fellow chef and best mate Ben O’Donoghue. The series ran for four seasons from 2003.
“They were the best days of my life,” he recalls. “We were so fresh, so curious, and we’d scored this dream job.”
He says it’s nice to see other young Aussie chefs, like Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn, following in his footsteps.“When I saw they were doing a new version of Surfing The Menu, I was so happy for them,” he says.
Despite regularly appearing on TV, Curtis, whose LA eatery, Gwen, is now a hot spot for stars, would much prefer to spend his time in the kitchen.
“The kitchen is still my favourite place,” the chef shares. “Nothing compares to a wild night of service and working in a team.”