When the pandemic hit New York hard last year, Australian-born, US-based chef Dan Churchill decided to stick around… not only for the sake of his friends but also because of the café he co-founded in 2018 in the upscale borough of Nolita. “We were, of course, shut down for part of the year, and we saw quite a few people leave the city to return to Australia or their home countries,” he remembers. “That said, so many folks stuck around and became even more of a family to us, so we’re tighter knit as a result.”
Churchill, who is a regular now on Good Morning America, on ABC’s The Chew and on The Food Network, first came to New York to grow the “Dan Churchill brand” after his successes on Masterchef Australia, YouTube and on Australian television shows. He was already the author of several popular health cookbooks, had a decent following on social media and also had managed to squeeze in a Bachelor Degree in Sport and Exercise Management, and a Masters in Exercise Science, somewhere along the line.
What he found was a city filled with “resilient and strong New Yorkers” with a strong history of customer relations and service, which impressed him. Though, if truth be told, he found it hard to get a good cup of coffee. “New York’s coffee is getting better, but our cafe culture in Australia is definitely something lacking in New York,” he says. That’s partly the reason for his venture into bricks and mortar with his café Charlie St. “I wanted to create a space where all of the inspiration I’d had living and working in Australia could find a home in New York,” he explains. “My vision was based on the notion of colourful ingredients, great coffee, and a sense of community.”
His food philosophy, he says, is to encourage people to eat more plants and introduce as much colour and vibrancy as possible into their diet. In that vein, here he shares his favourite dessert recipe, just in time for the weekend. “Why over complicate things in life,” he says. “This is one way you can reuse a premade granola or use this as an excuse to simply mix some yourself. Plus, it’s one of the easiest desserts you can make and is perfect for a dinner party.”
Super Easy Blueberry One-Pan Crumble
500g frozen blueberries
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp your favourite oil
1 ½ cups oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp honey
¼ cup coconut, shredded
Pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
- For the crumble, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and spread out evenly onto a lined baking tray.
- Cook in the oven for 18-22 minutes, mixing every 7 minutes, until golden.
- For the filling add your blueberries, honey and oil into a pan on medium heat and cook until juices are flowing and its getting bubbly and jammy (about 7-9 minutes).
- Sprinkle the topping mixture over the filling and if you’re feeling super epic, spoon over some vanilla ice cream, or natural or coconut yoghurt.