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Laura Masia

Matt Preston Feels Disgusting…ly Good About Being A Gen Z Icon

You know him as the man with the cravat who likes to eat good food. The man who frightened the living daylights out of MasterChef contestants who cooked risotto for a mystery box challenge. The man who isn’t afraid of a fun pair of pants and dropping the c-bomb.

But Matt Preston is more than that.

In recent years, the former MasterChef judge has become a bonafide Gen Z icon in ways that no one could have anticipated. And after chatting to the professional foodie, it turns out he’s pretty stoked by his unlikely fans.

“It’s brilliant,” he said during Zoom chat, where he is sitting outside of a cafe and holding the phone at an angle reserved for parents.

Matt Preston Gen-Z
Papi Preston wearing the hat of my dreams. (Image Source: Instagram / Matt Preston @mattscravat)

Matt first realised that he’d caught the fancy of the younger generation when he did a cheese show in Adelaide with his MasterChef mate Gary Mehigan. While these kinds of shows are usually a pretty chill affair with a bunch of middle-aged produce enthusiasts, this time was different.

“Gary came over to me backstage and had no clue why there was all this noise coming from the crowd,” Matt explained.

“We look out to see all these kids, they would have been 18 to 25 years old, great mobs of them wearing handmade Matt Preston t-shirts. They were all loving it. They were laughing at my terrible jokes. And I was sitting there thinking, ‘These are the people that were in the playground watching MasterChef when they were seven, eight, nine or 10′.

“I had this realisation that I’d become the Humphrey B. Bear of your generation,” he said, simultaneously stoked and mystified.

His favourite example of Gen Z fondness was when his daughter’s friend sent him a picture of his head on a doof stick from the Beyond The Valley music festival.

“I love this so much because I freaking love festivals. I still love going to them because I’m an old man who still believes that music’s really good,” he explained.

“But I also love it because I know my son will be there, four in the morning, off his chops probably and he’s gonna look up and maybe his dad is there, floating above the crowd on a doof stick.”

Can you imagine being off your bloody rocker at a festy to see your father hovering above the crowd? I’d lose my shit. My father is a big Italian man. No one wants to see that after a big night and a few too many bevvies.

An enthusiasm for Matt and his silk cravat isn’t just reserved for wayward Aussie youth. It turns out that his MasterChef fame made its way over the English Channel and to the Aisle of Wight, where indie-rock band Wet Leg grew up.

“I love the band Wet Leg and I said I really wanted to interview them,” he said, speaking about his radio show, Mornings With Matt Preston on ABC radio.

“When I interviewed them, the guitarist and singer Hester [Chambers] was so nervous she couldn’t speak. And then she finally said, ‘I’m really nervous because I love MasterChef and I love the show, and you’.

“I was like, ‘Oh my god this is one of the hottest bands in the world’. You knew instantly with Wet Leg they were going to be massive. And it was like, how brilliant is this that I get to interview people I really like, and I’ve had a role in their life?

“So now when I go see Wet Leg play in a grubby club in Brunswick, I can go backstage and hang out with the band even though I’m old enough to be their grandfather,” he said with a chuckle.

Most recently though, Matt has been stepping outside his comfort zone on a show that actually has nothing to do with food at all. He’s been having a fancy boogie on Channel Seven’s Dancing With The Stars which, he tells me, is nothing like popping your pussy on a club dance floor.

“It seemed like such a ridiculous idea, it seemed so stupid. But I kind of like this idea of being confronted with ideas that are so bad, so irresponsibly stupid that you go ‘yeah, I’ve gotta do that’,” he explained.

“I love to dance. I’m usually one of the last people on the dance floor. I’m the one going ‘Come on, one more song!’

“But this was the biggest shock. You can love dancing at a club or a wedding but this is really different. It’s far away from waving your hands in the air like you just don’t care, it’s precision and there are rules,” he said, comparing it to netball rules. True, king, true.

Although he describes the training for the series as “relentless”, Matt isn’t too worried about how well he’ll score on the show. Apparently, he’s not even worried that one of the judges will pull a “that was disgusting…ly good” line on him.

God, if I said an iconic line like that on national television, I’d be expecting it everywhere I bloody go.

“I think they’re more likely to say that’s disgusting and just leave it at that. That was disgusting,” he said with a laugh.

Plus, Papa Preston is stoked to be representing the charity Second Bite, which he’s been supporting for more than 10 years. Second Bite is dedicated to rescuing fresh, delicious food and produce from growers and retailers and distributing it to people in need. In a time where cozzie-livs is hitting Aussies harder than ever and more people are experiencing food insecurity every day, charities like Second Bite are incredibly important.

“We live in a time when we have people starving all over the world but we have more than enough food to feed them. We need to try and address that inequality,” he said.

Ultimately, while he’s an unlikely favourite for Gen Z to latch on to, I think he’s a disgusting…ly good fit. After all, if there’s one thing Gen Z love it’s being socially conscious, giving things a crack and getting munted at music festivals.

You can watch Dancing With The Stars now on 7Plus.

(Image Source: Instagram / Channel 7 @dancingwiththestarsau , Matt Preston @mattscravat)

The post Matt Preston Feels Disgusting…ly Good About Being A Gen Z Icon appeared first on PEDESTRIAN.TV .

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