Dani Valent – Writer. Eater. Traveller. Cook.


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Hospo Resources for COVID-19

This page is to assist hospo businesses and workers with resources that might be useful as we all try to navigate a COVID-19 worldscape. Inclusion does not necessarily equal endorsement. If you are looking for something that’s not here, please ask.


Nicole from Mangan Yuk :)

Visa Holder Hustles

Everyone is doing it tough in hospo but temporary visa holders have a particularly hard road because they have no access to JobKeeper or JobSeeker, and many of them are restricted in the kind of work they can do. Basically, it sucks.
However, some of them (like Nicole from Mangan Yuk) have started micro-businesses to get them through to COVID-normal. If you can, support them!


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OS Workers Resources

This page is to assist overseas workers in Australia on working visas who have lost jobs or reduced hours due to COVID-19. I am a food writer who cares about your plight. I am not qualified to give you legal advice. Please use this page as a starting place. I can take no responsibility for your actions or the consequences that may arise from them. I wish you all the best and I want you to know that many people care about your situation!


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New Bigilla Broad Bean Dip – Julia Busuttil Nishimura

This delightful recipe is from Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s book, A Year of Simple Family Food. It’s her spin on a Maltese dip that’s made with dried broad beans. Using fresh seasonal pods makes for a bright, green burst of spring on a cracker.

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Today's press conference. (Link to detailed doc in my story.)

137 active cases
2 new cases
18,500 tests yesterday - that's good!

Rolling average metro 7.5.
Mystery cases 14 days = 15

Premier Dan Andrews (slightly paraphrased):

Victorians have done an amazing job. As so many cities head into a deadly winter we are well placed to have a COVIDsafe summer and a COVIDnormal 2021.

Yes there's pain and damage but this strategy is working.

We have a little longer to go in order to beat this second wave and then to find this normal and begin rebuilding, repairing this state.

You've got to fix the health problem first then you do the other important work.

- no time limit on leaving home
- travel distance to 25KM
- outdoor gathering increase to 10 people from 2 households
- open: tennis, skate parks, golf, hairdressers, auctions, outdoor pools 30 swimmers, indoor pools for hydrotherapy
- non essential home maintenance
- outdoor photography
- full return of allied health

Sunday Nov 1, 11.59pm

- four reasons to leave home removed
- 2 people plus dependents can visit homes once a day
- retail open
- hospitality 20 people inside, 50 outside
- beauty & personal services open
- junior sport
- 20 people outdoor religious gatherings
- 10 people weddings
- 20 funerals

tonight: home visits 2 people + dependents allowed once a day
- hospitality - increase capacity to 70 inside, 40 inside (4 x 10)

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Pubs and Grand Finals go together like pie and sauce...unless it's 2020.

In @goodfoodau this morning, I chat to regional and metro publicans about postcode checks, time limits, outdoor TVs and when opening becomes worthwhile.

This is Omeo pub owner Hannah Richards with her grandpa Bob.

The Grand Final is usually a great day at her pub but this year is a bit of a pain...

Compliance is a burden, with Richards employing a staff member just to check postcodes and ensure diners are not from metro Melbourne, or risk a $10,000 fine. A nighttime grand final makes things tricky too. 

"I have people booked for dinner in the restaurant," she says. "But, I don't know that they want the footy on while they eat." 

Richards has a beer garden, but alpine temperatures can drop to eight degrees by 4pm. "I'm tossing up putting a projector outside but that's weather dependent," she says. "It's all up in the air at the moment."


Link in bio.

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GUESS WHAT! My next Cooks and Chefs Series event is with @hettymckinnon 😃 We are cooking dishes from her new book 💗To Asia, With Love💗 and delivering them to your place - Melbourne and Sydney, one day only.

I am so excited! The book is brilliant, personal, relatable and absolutely eatable!

We've designed three menus - brunch, a salady picnic and a ricey banquet. Menu opens October 20. Deliveries ONE DAY ONLY Nov 6 in Sydders and Nov 7 in Melbs.

Hetty first took her food to the world as a salad delivery service so this all feels kind of perfect. Thanks, Hetty, so happy to be doing this with you.

🌞Sign up to my Cooks & Chefs list via link in bio to get the menu as soon as we launch.🌞

My Cooks and Chefs Series brings cookbooks to life via home-delivered meals.

Collab legends: @cookes_food @cookaborough + Vic producers #toasiawithlove

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For today's @goodfoodau cover story on restaurants and reopening, I wanted to canvas a wide range of views and talk to experts and those with skin (& heart & soul) in the game.

I interviewed @rae.bonney, a specialist in workplace mental health who speaks about the 5 stages of grief that hospo workers may experience or witness. Epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws lays out the facts about indoor dining. I asked the @bureauofmeteorology
to analyse Melbourne's weather with an al fresco lens.

And there are the hospo players big and small including
@katebartholomew @thaiangelsrestaurant
@restaurantnavi @juleschef @cookes_food
Springvale Asian Business Association
Visa holder @manganyuk.au
Glen Waverley Traders Association

As you'd expect in such a wonderfully diverse city, not everyone feels the same or thinks the same or wants the same road forward. However, all can agree it's tough and draining and looooong. Everyone thinks health is important and that we need to look after one another. And everyone reckons our Melbourne will get there, somehow, sometime, even though the path is muddy and the outlook murky. I believe that too. It's who we are.


Thanks for giving me the space to air all these different voices @ardynbernoth
@theageaustralia @goodfoodau


Meanwhile in Victoria, it's time for The Great Restaurant Reopening Round-up. @danivalent covers the big topics with a panel of hospitality industry experts, an epidemiologist and even the @bureauofmeteorology. How are restaurants coping with the pandemic and what does the future hold once lockdown eases? Hit the link in our bio to see what they all had to say. pic: @atticamelbourne by @kristofferpaulsen
Reposted from @goodfoodau

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Mary-Louise McLaws is a Professor of Epidemiology, Hospital Infection and Infection Diseases Control at the University of NSW. She's also a Member of the World Health Organisation ad hoc Infection Prevention and Control for COVID-19. Basically, she's an expert.

We talk case numbers, indoor vs outdoor and how we can all improve safety for diners and staff. Mary-Louise also features in a cover story about reopening that I have coming up in tomorrow's @goodfoodau
@dirtylinenpodcast @foodwinedine @huckstergram @deepintheweedspodcast

Listen via link in bio or bit.ly/dirtylinenpodcast

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Premier Daniel Andrews has cautioned Melbourne's hospitality industry it will be given little advance notice about changes in operating restrictions. When the data shows it's safe, the rules for business will change swiftly.

How easy is it for restaurants to reopen in a rush? Not very...

But not all business owners have the same approach. Some are gearing up & taking bookings, others are waiting for more information, some will stick to takeaway no matter what.

My article in today's @theageaustralia @goodfoodau feat. @omniabistro @chefstevenairn @thelefthandedchef @migrantcoffee @fancyhanksbbq @mikejpatrick Pic @simonschluter


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Every Melbourne cafe should be getting onto uttapam. Chances are you have/are someone on deck who knows south Indian food anyway. Uttapam is made from a fermented batter of rice and lentils (ie. gluten-free, not expensive). It's the same batter as dosa, but thicker. Stay trad (tomato, onion, chilli, coriander...) or go rogue like me (egg, cheese, tomato, tempered curry leaves, mustard seeds). I am getting my Sunday Age column back soon (yay) and I will give every cafe an extra point if they have uttapam. No, I won't really. Well, actually I really might. Nah. But then. Anyway, regardless, there should be way more Indian food in Australian cafes and a lot more respect for the incredible skills, knowledge, subtlety, creativity and economy Indian cooks have. I am having so much fun hacking away with this batter. Thanks for all the tips and scolding, guys! 🇮🇳❣️🇮🇳❣️

More in my Dosa Daze highlight 😋

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This is Khyati with her new bike! 🚲 I've started a little project getting bikes to visa holders because Mykis are expensive and cos it's fun to ride around your 5K. Also bikes make people happy 😃 So if you have a bike you're not using, or you're a visa holder and you would like a bike, let me know and I'll try to match you up. Khyati is from India, she's studying for her cert 4 at Cordon Bleu and it's been my privilege to see her at #atticasoupproject these past months. Because Khyati is an international student she's been left out in the cold during this global pandemic. When you're sidelined and othered like visa holders have been, it's easy to not see that people are mostly good and kind. *That is an act of damage by government.* Bikes and food are helpful but they are also a way to remind those who are marginalised that kindness will win. Or it should, anyway ❤️ We actually *are* all in this together 🌏 @back2bikes fixed up this treadlie - thanks guys! ...

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Last chance! We are closing Melbourne orders for our celebration of @juliaostro's #ayearofsimplefamilyfood tonight at 8pm.

We will be peeling a million broad beans* to make these vibrant spring crostini for you (they're part of the Vegetarian menu). Deliveries this Saturday. Generous and delicious.

Collab with @cookes_food
@cookaborough @breadclubofficial + more lovely Vic legends 👏🙌😘 LINK IN BIO

This event is part of my Cooks & Chefs Series, bringing cookbooks to life in home-delivered meals☺️

*exact number may vary

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Keep going, hang in there, remember how great Melbourne is and can be again, we have got this, it's working, look forward, stay hopeful, look for opportunities, have a picnic, support local, be kind 💖 ...

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Cook With Me. Join Today.

I want you to cook with confidence and joy and banish the what's-for-dinner blahs.

Members have immediate access to my complete recipe and video library, plus access to new content each week. Join for Thermomix recipes (and lots of others!), tips, info and behind-the-scenes access to some of the world’s best chefs.

Really? Yep! See what members say. Wondering what you’ll get? See what’s in the library and check out the free videos to get a taste.


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© Dani Valent 2020