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Fast Ed bids farewell to Better Homes and Gardens, reveals sausage roll secret

The chef shares his top cooking tips before he goes.
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He’s been sharing his recipes with us every Friday night for the last two decades on Better Homes and Gardens, but Ed Halmagyi, AKA Fast Ed, has announced he’ll leave the show at the end of the year.

WATCH: Fast Ed’s Christmas rocky road

Sad to be hanging up his apron, Ed says; other than his cast mates and crew, what he’ll truly miss is sharing his recipes with the families who tune in to watch the show every week.

“Children aren’t allowed to stay up during the week because they have school the next day, but on Friday night, they can stay up. And watching Better Homes and Gardens is something they can do as a family.

“Being part of making that family time possible for people, that’s pretty much my favourite part of the show.”

The secret to the perfect sausage roll

Looking back at his recipe collection, Ed says he’s written over six and a half thousand recipes, two and a half thousand appearing on the Better Homes and Gardens TV show and in the magazine.  

“That’s a lot of content, and it’s exhausting. You spend at least two days a week just writing and testing, so a break from that would be lovely.”

Out of all of those recipes, Ed says there’s one that has stood out. 

“It’s not my favourite recipe to eat, but it’s the recipe that had more feedback over 20 years than anything else I’ve done,” he says. 

“We showed people the secret to making a perfect sausage roll.”

Ed explains: “There’s one secret at the heart of it. Lining the inside of the pastry with just the right sort of breadcrumbs and absorbing all the liquid that comes out of the meat so you get a perfect crispy pastry.”

fast ed

What’s next for Ed?

While you won’t see Ed on Channel 7 on a Friday night anymore, you can catch him (or his baked goods) at his new bakery, Avner’s, opening in Surry Hills later this year.  

“Avner is my Hebrew name, and Avner’s allows it to be mine without being too much if we want to franchise down the track,” says Ed.  

“My argument for opening Avner’s is that, with respect to my colleagues, there is not a single decent bagel to be had in Australia.” Although he says, Zelda’s in Melbourne is pretty good.

Curious about what Avner’s has in store for us? According to Ed, get ready for a delightful array of Jewish classics, with a particular emphasis on the beloved bagel.

“Bagel and challah and rugelach – all the classics, but mostly bagels,” says Ed. 

“We’ll also make lox, the salmon you get in a classic bagel.”

But that’s not all; Ed promises they will make pastrami too, aiming to recreate the authentic bagel experience reminiscent of a New York deli circa 1970. The goal is to capture that era “when people had the time and the interest to do things by hand.”

better homes and gardens cast

Ed’s parting tips for home cooks

As Ed bids farewell from our screens, he graciously shares some of his favourite cooking tips.

Relax: Ed’s number one rule is simple – relax. “It’s just food, relax. You burn it, make another one. Stop giving yourself a hard time.”

Trial and error: Never attempt a new recipe when people come over. It’s a recipe for disaster. Save experimentation for solo cooking adventures or family members. Share the successes with friends.

Seasoning wisdom: Exercise restraint with seasoning until the dish is cooked. Ed advises against over-seasoning at the start, as flavours tend to concentrate during cooking. A little at the beginning and a finishing touch at the end will ensure a perfectly balanced dish.

Invest in a good knife: “I would say that 99% of the homes I’ve been into don’t own a decent knife,” says Ed. A good knife doesn’t have to break the bank – you can find one for as little as $50 or $100. Ed recommends sharpening your knife twice a year.

Orange peeling hack: Ed has a game-changing tip for orange lovers – stop peeling and start cutting. Slice the orange in half across the equator, push from the hole, and watch as each segment pops up perfectly, sans peel and connective tissue. A quick and mess-free way to enjoy your oranges.

Who will replace Fast Ed on Better Homes and Gardens?

If you’re wondering who will replace Fast Ed, stay tuned for news about our new presenter for 2024. Ed’s last show will air on December 1, 2023.

You might also like:

Ed’s two-step beef and vegetable bake

Ed’s foolproof brown butter porridge damper recipe

Ed’s traditional Christmas pudding

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