Fusion cooking started before the 1990s (Tetsuya’s, for example) but in this decade became more widespread. Chefs combined eastern and western influences. Chefs like Adelaide’s Cheong Liew combined cuisines with a deft touch but lesser mortals often produced “confusion cuisine”. Fusion cuisine worked best in countries like Australia, Canada, the US and New Zealand with their fresh produce, fewer historical food traditions and foodies with adventurous palates.
The term ‘fusion cooking’ has fallen out of favour. Celebrity chef Celebrity chef and former MasterChef winner Adam Liaw comments on why the term has fallen out of favour. He says it “reminds us of our rebellious and awkward teenage years, when Australian food was in the process of throwing off the rules of its European parents and opening itself to new ideas”.
Liaw argues that we no longer focus on the origins of the various ingredients, simply taking advantage of the many ingredients and techniques available to us. Now we talk about “modern Australian” or “mod oz” with confidence and take it for granted that there will be hints of many different cuisines in what comes out of the kitchen.