Dani Valent – Writer. Eater. Traveller. Cook.





Is there anything better than soup? I could live on it. Soup is a sustaining staple in every culture, versatile, economical, nourishing and – when done well – very delicious. Here are some of my favourites.


Christmas in July Image

Christmas In July

Australia’s Christmas is in summer so stories of Santa’s sleigh zooming through snowy forests are a faraway fantasy. Many Australians still pine for a white, wintry Christmas though, so the concept of ‘Christmas in July’ is quite popular. I’ve put together a warming and festive menu to suit. Make merry and enjoy!



Turkish Yoghurt and Rice Soup

In its most simple form, this is a yoghurt soup that’s thickened with rice. In the traditional version, chickpeas are incorporated into the soup – I’ve turned them into a golden topping instead, brightened with kale and chilli. I get really excited about reworking simple ingredients for new pleasures. The components of this dish are humble and modest but each finds new potential in this recipe, and thus new opportunity for diner pleasure.

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"I love leading people to great food experiences whether it's at home, a restaurant or on the road. My recipes, videos, events, restaurant reviews and journalism are all about sparking tasty adventures."

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This is one mushroom, four ways. It's dinner.

Went to @futurefoodsystem to interview @jobarrett for @goodweekendmag. Came away with many great stories and a large coral mushroom. Prepared the fungi 4 ways for tonight's dinner. More in my story...

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Easing of Vic lockdown #5 11.59pm Tues 27 July:

- hospitality: 100 pax venue total, 1 person per 4 sq m **premier misspoke in presser - it's not 300 outdoors, it's 100 total**

- venues smaller than 100sqm can have up to 25 people per venue before density quotient

- seated service only

- COVID Check-in Marshals must ensure attendees check-in

- group limit 10

- 5k limit gone - no distance limits

- accommodation - 1 household only

- masks remain inside and outside for all in all circumstances

- offices 25% capacity but recommendation is to continue to work from home.

- need a negative COVID test to visit ski resorts.

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Restaurateur @jason_chang_calia is caught between a tech giant and hangry customers and his staff are copping abuse as a result.

The owner of @caliacollective says "pandemic rage" is exacerbated by online platforms and causing hungry customers to vent their frustrations while oblivious to the human impact.

Story via link in bio. #savehospo

@lasvoltamelbourne @figo_pizza @ganzo_cucina @mumsburgerkitchen @chicken.central @offtheboat_pizzeria @broadwayfishnchips @noi.pizzeria @olliespizzaparlour @burgerburgerau @prefisso3088 3088 @hellojose_au @cokfecialper

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After the devastating news that @prahranmarket was a tier one exposure site, there was much concern among traders about produce they couldn't sell. Through a bunch of community connections, good things happen!

Heaps of produce has gone to @fareshare_australia @secondbiteorg and @ozharvest from traders including @sweetgreekshop @claringboldsseafood
@kooks_kitchen @cleosdeli and Periwinkle. This will feed people doing it extra tough in Victoria.

This is one of @salvatore.malatesta's @st_ali vans picking up more produce from @reliable.fruit @paddlewheelprahran and @makerandmonger to donate to @asrc1 where it will help refugees and people seeking asylum. Thanks @halloumitracksuit 💝

Thanks to @leannebaker54 for swinging into action 💖 #community #melbournelockdown5

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Let me know how you go. See earlier post for more deets.💝 ...

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Shoutout to @societyrestaurant which was supposed to open tonight. This was last Tuesday, the second night of soft opening. Feels like a different age.

I was standing against the wall, watching, writing in my notebook, feeling consciously grateful for the act and art of restaurants. And then this.

We will be back. It will open. The tweezers and the tuile and the martinis and the drama and the glamour, all of the heart and hope that goes into a restaurant.

Melbourne ❤️

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A little update on COVID Disaster Payment for Vic's current lockdown.

- It's now available for the first week of a lockdown ie. eligible workers will receive it for this lockdown.

- Visa holders with working rights are eligible.

- It's available statewide (Commonwealth funds Melb, State gov funds regional, application process is the same for whole state).

- Payments will be made in arrears; applications can be made 7 days after lockdown commencement (ie Friday 23 July).

- $600 if you've lost 20 hours or more of work.

- $375 if lost 8-20 hours of work.

- No liquid assets test.

- Sick/holiday leave not taken into consideration but you can't be receiving any other govt benefits such as Austudy.

- Applications via servicesaustralia.gov.au if you have MyGov & Centrelink ref. Otherwise call 180 22 66. Please note the website isn't up to date as of July 18.

- Originally, this payment had to be applied for each week. NSW has now made it a rolling payment. If Vic lockdown is extended, we can assume the same here & payments will be made weekly.

If you have questions, please ask & I'll try to help. I have my head around the NSW rules too if anyone is confused.

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WOW SOLD OUT 🔥💯❤️ We really are all in this together & here's the collab to prove it. Jersey milk cheese for grilling at home, made in Sydney by Colin Wood, trucked in COVIDsafe manner to Melbourne by Gelato Messina & packed at Al Dente for your Carlton pick-up pleasure. We also have bread from our Falco friends & HomeGrown batched spritzes to keep lockdown lively.

Everyone is donating to make this happen. Profits go to Welcome Merchant to help refugee businesses. If we sell out, we will be able to donate over $1500 to help people doing it extremely tough. LINK IN BIO

*** REPOST @colejwood
Ok Melbourne… you asked, we answered.

On Tuesday 20th July, a limited run of my Jersey cheese will be available for you to pick up in North Carlton at the Melbourne lockdown success story of 2020, @al_dente_enoteca

Joining me on this crazy run are my friends @falcobakery bringing their country loaf to the cheese party along with the team @homegrowndrinks and their new range of all-Australian cocktails. A big thank you to @gelatomessina @donatotoce who supply the beautiful Jersey milk along with getting this batch to Melbourne for you all.

Through the amazing support, friendship, and kindness of so many people, this has crazy idea has grown and grown and it’s time to give a little back. With profits going to Welcome Merchant (@welcomemerchant)to help refugee businesses struggling through lockdown, your purchase will help others in need as well as put a smile on your dial.

Three weeks ago, @danivalent connected me with the team @cookaborough to see how they could help with this crazy idea I had. Lyndon and his team have been with me this whole ride behind the scenes in Melbourne, plugging the orders, processing the excel docs and planning the hectic delivery routes every day for Sydney to get their cheese, bread, pasta and wine. If you are a hospitality worker or business, looking to mobilise and get something like this off the ground, I strongly encourage you to contact them.

You can now click the link in my profile and order this limited run of cheese for you to enjoy in Melbourne. ❤️🙏🧀

#thelittlecheesethatcould #housemade
Reposted from @colejwood

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Gonna go out in style then.

@restaurant_lume 🍸

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Statewide five-day lockdown from 11.59pm tonight until 11.59pm Tuesday.

Same rules as the last one ie. takeaway fine.

Regional communities will be released from lockdown early if health advice suggests it's safe.

Business support announced tomorrow but expect it to be similar to NSW packages announced on Tuesday.

Not sure about COVID Disaster Payment - Premier suggests there might be a pro rata payment ie. 5/7 of $600 for eg, and PM suggested waiting period would be waived. Announcement tomorrow.

Feeling for you all immensely. This sucks. But short & sharp is better than long & draggy. We know why we're doing this.

Thanks to the 6000 people who are isolating for 14 days to keep us safe.

Mask up. Get tested. Get vaccinated. Check in. Look after one another. Be kind.❣️ There's enough toilet paper 💩

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Just making sure everyone knows that
visa holders *are* eligible for the
Federal COVID Disaster Payment, subject to other eligibility requirements eg you must have lost hours.

Don't try to do it online and don't try to set up a Centrelink account first.

Just call 180 22 66 ☎️ (yes that weird number is correct). Need an interpreter? Call 131 202 🤗

Have all your docs handy - eg ImmiCard

If the person on the phone says you're not
eligible due to visa status, they're wrong. Call again.

Link in bio & a bit of info from Vic visa holders in my highlights. At the moment you have to claim the payment each week ***update 13.7.21 payment is now recurring which is great***. Good luck! Message me if I can help.

#sydney #sydneylockdown2021 #sydneyrestaurants

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