Former Wests Tiger Beau Ryan launches cook book

He is the former rugby league player turned TV and radio presenter, best known for his long career on The Footy Show and now host of The Amazing Race Australia.

But when Beau Ryan is not working, you will most likely find him at his Cronulla home with wife of eight years Kara and their children, daughter Remi, 7, and son Jesse, 3, often entertaining extended family and friends.

Despite his reputation for being somewhat of a larrikin, thanks to his comedy sketches during his days on The Footy Show, the former Wests Tigers player says he is happiest at home, where you may find him either in the kitchen or out at the barbecue whipping up a feast.

And it was this propensity to lay on a spread that resulted in his latest venture - his own cookbook.

"About a year ago, when The Amazing Race Australia came out, Australian Women's Weekly came over to do a photo shoot. So we got some friends around and we did a big barbecue because that's what we like to do. We had all this food and got these really beautiful photos," the Menangle farm owner said.

"Then afterwards they asked if they could have a couple of recipes to go with the story. Then they asked for 10.

"Next thing they are saying, can you give me 70, which is how the idea for the cookbook came about."

The result is Beau's Kitchen, which contains more than 80 recipes, including many family favourites.

Kids in the kitchen: An image from the book featuring Beau Ryan with daughter Remi, wife Kara and son Jesse. Picture: Supplied

Kids in the kitchen: An image from the book featuring Beau Ryan with daughter Remi, wife Kara and son Jesse. Picture: Supplied

There are Ryan's signature dishes, such as his pork ribs, alongside his wife's Shepherd's Pie, and even some of his mum's much-loved family recipes.

"One of the things I love most about cooking is the chance to spend time with family and friends," Ryan said.

"I love lots of different food but my favourite is definitely the barbecue," he said, adding it is rare to find a snag on there.

"Chicken skewers, lamb and pork are all good but a nice eye fillet cooked medium is the top of my list."

As well as easy recipes for grilled meats and seafood, there are plenty of vegetable dishes - including a simple barbecue corn on the cob - and salads, as well as delicious desserts.

All feature alongside beautiful family photos - the majority of which were taken at home during that first photo shoot, before the idea for the cookbook even came about.

It is only fitting that the book features Ryan's two great loves - his home and his family.

Having travelled so much over the years, he is happiest at home.

"Weekends we have people over after school on Friday. Every Sunday we have a barbecue. Whether it is summer or winter when the footy is on or Origin. We love it," he said.

"Being away for so long, I really value being at home."

Ryan said living with league stalwart Robbie Farah at the start of his career and experiencing the Lebanese culture and love of food and entertaining also stuck with him.

"You don't just cook one thing. You put on a spread," he said.

Cooking is also a family affair, with Kara often in charge in the kitchen.

"Remi is quite hands on. She is like her mum and they go well together in the kitchen," he said.

"My dad just got Jesse his own apron and he loves to help me," he said, adding the kids' favourite recipes include Loaded Veg Mac 'n' Cheese, and Pork and Fennel Sausage Rolls.

The family even has a vegetable garden, where Jesse picks fresh produce.

Ryan is about to embark on an eight-week trip around the country to film the latest season of The Amazing Race Australia, and admits it will be tough to leave his family and Cronulla.

But with filming put on hold twice already this year due to coronavirus, he is thrilled it will finally get under way. And it will allow him to be back at home in Cronulla in time for summer.

Details: Beau's Kitchen by Beau Ryan, rrp:$29.99 (Bauer Books) is out now. Click here.