Dani Valent – Writer. Eater. Traveller. Cook.


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Perfect Cheesecake’s Secret Ingredient

Life goes better with Basque cheesecake, a lockdown #2 love affair. I became obsessed with this cake about five years ago when I ate it in San Sebastian at La Viña pintxos bar. It was perilously wobbly and jiggly, somehow both light and rich, creamy white and custardy within but with a bitter edge from the dark, caramelised perimeter. I mumbled, “It’s a miracle,” and I meant it.


Mums Day Post Montage(3)

Mother’s Day Menu

Mother’s Day doesn’t have to mean burnt toast in bed and bad soap from school stalls. If you are a mum, you can steer the family towards these menu suggestions, and if you have a mum, please enjoy these suggestions for Mum-friendly dishes and tasty gifts that keep on giving.



Zhoug Salmon Salad(edited)

Zhoug & Salmon Salad

I love a big meal-sized salad! Flavoured with green chilli paste, this steamed salmon salad is healthy, flexible and easy to prepare

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  • Former Lune chef opens Holy Sugar cake business in Northcote
    Pastry chef Audrey Allard has refashioned her online cake box business, Holy Sugar, into a bricks-and-mortar destination in Northcote. Allard, previously at Pt Leo Estate and Lune, launched weekly treat menus during Melbourne's first lockdown. Her…
  • Tanaka Community Grocer duo open Fenton Food & Wine in Carlton
    Nesbert Kagonda and Ruby Clark, the team behind Carlton's Tanaka Community Grocer, have opened a neighbourhood bistro, Fenton Food & Wine, just up the road. Chef Lubna Bahashwan is cooking the food, most of which is sourced from a share farm in…
  • Moonhouse to bring updated Cantonese classics to Balaclava
    The dynamic team behind Tokyo Tina, Firebird, New Quarter and Hanoi Hannah has added Moonhouse in Balaclava to their collection. The art deco corner bank building, most recently housing Ilona Staller (from the Cicciolina crew), has been sensitively…
  • Richmond's hatted modern Vietnamese restaurant Anchovy to close
    Hatted modern Vietnamese restaurant Anchovy will close in mid-June, seven years after opening in Bridge Road, Richmond. Owners Jia-Yen Lee and Thi Le will relaunch the site as a Laotian restaurant some weeks later. "I am taking a break and Anchovy is…


Holding a hose

Celebrating amazing service!

It's not easy out there for restaurants - everyone is struggling to find enough staff with the right skills to deliver the experience they are striving for. That puts extra pressure on the people who are on deck - they're often covering more tables, territory and shifts, they might be upskilling at a rapid pace, and they are dealing with customers who aren't always leading with kindness and empathy.

With all that in mind HOW GOOD IS CHORNG 🤩😁💖 building a prawn cocktail tableside at @omniabistro. Such a great vibe here and the upscale, intentional bistro food from @chefstevenairn and @johndemetrios is on point. Love it.

@xiuchorng 👏👏👏

#melbourne #melbournerestaurants #melbournefoodie #melbournefood #southyarra

Old-school Chinese restaurants in country towns are treasures. Prawn toast is always compulsory. Went down well with a Crown lager too 🍤🍞🍺

I thought of @jenniferwongcomedian's great show #chopsticksorfork - check it out on @abctv.

#narooma #chineserestaurant #prawntoast #chinesefood

Anzac Crack.

Annual outing. Lifetime love.

Recipe Julia Taylor
Photo @gregelmsphoto
Inspo @christinatosi
Published in my 2nd cookbook, In the Mix 2

Link in bio.

Here's what's on my mind this Friday! I fill you in on where I've been eating and what it's made me ponder. I muse on the tendency for immigrant cuisine to be anchored in the time of migration and the fresh joy when it time travels. I talk about Cam Tay-Yap's Koi pop-up and the lift-me-up energy in the room. And I consider rule changes: masks and vax check-ins are gone but is it entirely good?

This episode of @dirtylinenpodcast is proudly supported by @squareau

Link in bio or search Dirty Linen in your podcast app 🎧

@danivalent @dirtylinenpodcast @foodwinedine @huckstergram @deepintheweedspodcast #DirtyLinenPodcast @cam_taysty @amaru_melbourne @tylersmilkbar @taitas.house1 @plaka_gyros @melbcomedyfestival

Pic credit: @baeofpigeons 👏

From Friday 22 April 11.59pm

Patrons will no longer have to show vaccination status at any venue.

Existing worker vaccination mandates are still in place.

Check-ins will no longer be required at any venue.

Masks will no longer be required in hospitality.

COVID Marshals no longer required.

Close contacts will no longer have to quarantine but will have to wear a mask indoors, avoid sensitive settings and record at least 5 negative rapid tests over 7 days.

COVID cases must still isolate for 7 days.

People who have had COVID-19 will now be exempt from testing or quarantine for 12 weeks, up from 8 weeks.

My story in today's @theageaustralia @sydneymorningherald @goodweekendmag. Link in bio.

It’s a serious weekend for chocoholics – but there’s a dark side to how chocolate gets made. Cocoa farming is implicated in forced and child labour – a growing problem despite the giant corporations that control the market promising fixes.

In Saturday’s Good Weekend, Dani Valent discusses the “broken” nature of the cocoa supply chain – for example, in Ivory Coast, more than a third of children in agricultural households were found to be engaging in hazardous labour, much of it on cocoa farms – and what we can do about it.

“The more you find out about it, the more surreal it becomes,” says Deniz Karaca, the boss of artisan Melbourne bean-to-bar company Cuvée, who sources his beans from an agent who buys directly from farmers. It’s far more expensive – at least $9 a kilo, compared to the Australian commodity price of between $3.09 and $3.50 per kilogram over the past year – but this way, Karaca knows the mostly small-scale organic farmers supplying the heart of his business are being properly paid.

Fellow chocolate maker Birdsnake’s Fred Lullfitz also pays double the commodity price for cocoa beans: “I don’t know what ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ mean any more,” he says. “There’s no accountability. It’s just marketing. I say ‘traceably sourced’ or ‘transparently sourced’ and list the figures. The numbers don’t lie. I urge others to put their cards on the table."

The simple message, as noted by Karaca: “I would say it about anything - chicken, chocolate or shoes - if it seems too cheap, it is too cheap.

Read more in Saturday’s Good Weekend, or visit the link in our bio.

Photo by @petertarasiuk and @pauljeffers

#easter #chocolate #ethicalfood #foodie
@cuvee_chocolate @birdsnakechocolate @kokoakamili

Welcome to your new cult noodle, Melbourne. It's the "umami e pepe" at @parcs.melbourne, the fermento-fabulous 25-seat bar opening this weekend at 198 Little Collins.

Chef @furrmien uses odd bits, leftovers, parcs (geddit ⬅️) and the transformative powers of fermentation in his creative cuisine-hopping snacks.

This noodle dish is a riff on the famous cacio e pepe made with Hokkien noodles and red miso. It's witty and simple and OH SO TASTY.

Link in bio to my preview via @goodfoodau.

We've released 3 episodes so far in our series on seafood in Port Phillip Bay.

This one with recreational fishing lobbyist David Kramer is very, very frustrating.

David's Future Fish lobby group campaigned to have commercial fishing banned in Port Phillip Bay basically, as David explains, because they didn't like sharing.

The considerable collateral damage - to the commercial fishers, to Victorian seafood eaters who lose access to local fish - didn't occur to them. They simply didn't talk.

The people they did talk to - @fisheriesvic, @danielandrewsmp and fishing ministers Jaala Pulford and @melissaforwilliamstown - figured promised votes were more important than Victorians' access to local, sustainable food.

It's disheartening.

Victorian eaters who value sustainable, local food aren't a lobby group. Or are we?

Today @dirtylinenpodcast embarks on a special series focusing on fishing in Port Phillip Bay, the vast body of water that shapes Melbourne. Local food has never been so important - and Melbourne people love showing off their great food city. At the same time, supply chains are strained. Fuel is expensive. The pandemic, floods, droughts and fires have shown us that our stores are only a few days from being empty.

And yet Victorians are on the brink of losing access to sustainable, affordable, accessible seafood from our doorstep as a net fishing ban comes into effect. It's a decision that no one seems to really believe in and yet there's a lack of will to stop it.

We'll be staying on this topic for a couple of weeks, talking to all stakeholders as we try to tease this important issue out.

To kick us off, we chat to Phil McAdam, the last sardine fisher in Port Phillip Bay. Phil is passionate, knowledgeable and distressed: he believes in what he does and he loves catching healthy, abundant fish for all Victorians. He also doesn't know how to do anything else. Net fishing is banned on April 1 and Phil still has no plans for April 2 and beyond.

Link in bio or search Dirty Linen in your podcast app.

@deepintheweedspodcast @foodwinedine @huckstergram

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