Dani Valent – Writer. Eater. Traveller. Cook.




Friday Pie Day

Every week of the footy finals, Friday Pie Day is bringing Melbourne’s best pies to your door to ensure a tasty and enjoyable footy-watching experience. We don’t care which team you barrack…because we’re all on Team Pie!



Truffle Hunting

I’m always on the hunt for my next food adventure so when I had the opportunity to go truffle hunting, I jumped at it with careful hands and an excited heart.


Beef Rotolo

Beef Rotolo

This rolled beef dish is easy enough to serve for a mid-week meal and pretty enough to present at a dinner party. Steak is rolled with pesto and steamed in the Varoma over stock, which is then the base for a mustard sauce.

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THE PRODUCERS - a new podcast from Deep in the Weeds Productions.

Since 1999, Ann-Marie Monda and Carla Meurs have been nurturing, creating and crafting at Sutton Grange Farm on Dja Dja Wurrung Country near Castlemaine in Victoria. The goats they milk to make their revered farmhouse cheese are central to the rhythm of their days. It was an absolute (between lockdown) pleasure and honour to pat goats, drink tea, throw a stick a million times for their kelpie, and have a chat.

Link in bio.

@producerspodcast @holy.goat.cheese @dirtylinenpodcast @foodwinedine @huckstergram @deepintheweedspodcast @dirtylinenpodcast

@producerspodcast is a food podcast telling the stories of producers, farmers, growers and makers.

Reposted from @dirtylinenpodcast

SHORT VERSION: If you're vaxxed you can sit in a beer garden around Oct 26.


Reopening depends entirely on vaccination and pressure on hospitals. We are getting out, not quickly, but it will happen...

💉Staff & customers need to be fully vaccinated💉
✅ Customers will need 'vaccine passport' ✅

At 70% 16+ double vaccinated (predicted Oct 26), hospo is permitted to open outdoor dining for 50 fully vaccinated diners, density 1 person / 4 sq m (DQ4).

At 80% 16+ fully vaccinated (predicted Nov 5), indoor dining returns with the following rules:
- Seated service only
- 150 indoors (DQ4), 500 outdoors (DQ2).
- Small venues - up to 25 fully vaccinated people before DQ applies.

Next easing: 80% 12+ fully vaccinated.

Regional is a bit ahead.
Link to all roadmaps in bio.

**Premier said staff will need to be vaccinated, it's not in the roadmap.

Hospitality and tourism workers have learnt to think of themselves as frontline workers over the course of the pandemic – dealing with the mask-averse and QR-code resistant, for example – but the vaccine rollout has made the battle lines even more fraught.

On one side are service staff and business owners who believe vaccines offer a safe path to the certainty they crave. On the other are those opposed to COVID-19 vaccination in general or the "segregation" enforced by vaccine passports.

My story in @theageaustralia @sydneymorningherald @goodfoodau. Link in bio.

Featuring @burgertory.au @cuckoocallay @ladro_restaurant @hardwaresociete @ariarestaurant @mattmoran @the.montague.hotel @bangalayluxuryvillas

Have you got your order in for Friday Pie Day?

Our epic Grand Final menu includes all your fave bakers, makers, movers and shakers from the first 3 weeks plus a few exciting new additions.

Look at all the fine folk tagged on this pic: your orders keep these small businesses powering along and let us gather together in love of pie at a time we can't meet at the MCG, at backyard BBQs, in pubs and parks.

I'm really proud to bring this great gang together. Melbourne is really the best! And I mean Melbourne the city, not Melbourne the team - the latter will be revealed on September 25.

Order asap for delivery next Friday, ready for heating and eating on the big day.

Check out the menu via cookaborough.com or see link in bio.

This lockdown is a tough one. I'm hearing from a lot of people that my Daily Pepi stories are helping them get through.

I get it - I wouldn't want to be doing this without her. Dogs are so good at being in the moment, staying optimistic and kind, and always being ready for love and hugs.

Pepi is here for all of us. If you need an extra dose, she's in my Highlights too. Hang in there, everyone. We are getting there ❤️💪💉

Epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws is a leading scientific and policy voice in the pandemic.

We talk about:

- the importance of vaccinating younger Australians who make up such a large portion of the hospitality industry
- the community impacts of deciding not to get vaccinated
- what rate of vaccination will avoid the need for lockdowns
- rapid testing
- ventilation and whether it should be a focus
- the burden of compliance on hospitality that may be extended to monitoring vaccination status.

It's a privilege to have such an accomplished and respected scientist answer some of the burning pandemic questions in the food world.

Link in bio 🎧

@danivalent @dirtylinenpodcast @foodwinedine @huckstergram @deepintheweedspodcast #DirtyLinenPodcast #getvaccinated

Orders for weeks 3 and 4 of Friday Pie Day are now open! Support local bakers and makers and sort yourselves out for couch footy-watching at the same time.

This is the Big Thief Burger Pie from @piethiefpies, a playful take on something you might find under golden arches: ground beef, pickles, onions, American cheese and special burger sauce.

We're also featuring incredible wheat beer from @braerestaurant X @pricklymoses. Support the regions!

Epic pies also from

@cobblanebakery X @romanee_yarraville
English pork pies from @wildflourbakerymelb
Vegan magnificence from @smithanddeli

Victorian cheese from @makerandmonger

Donuts from @st_gerrys

Spritzes from @homegrowndrinks

Legendary logistics from @cookaborough and @coopersinnmelbourne

Link in bio or cookaborough.com/friday-pie-day

#clickforvic #fridaypieday #pricklymoses #aflfinals #melbournefood

It's Father's Day!

My dad, Dr Paul Valent, is a Holocaust survivor who fled Bratislava to live in open hiding in Budapest as a small boy during World War Two. Many in his extended family were killed.

While living in peril, he decided he wanted to be a writer, to solve the problem of people wanting to hurt one another.

He moved to Australia as a child, not speaking English. As a good Jewish boy, he became a doctor, and then a psychiatrist. Later in life, he started writing, and he is still writing today, solving problems, helping people.

I don't remember deciding I wanted to be a writer but I always knew I did. And dad always encouraged me to do it. Even today, he and my mum are the first to let me know they've read my stories. There are scrapbooks!

Dad hasn't only been a cheerleader, he's been a life-shaping example of integrity and kindness.

Lest this sound too rosy, let it be known that we fought - a lot - when I was a teenager, those fierce years when I was hot-powered by knowing everything. But I think I always knew I could rage and not be utterly rejected. Even glowing in my hate, I had to acknowledge the care.

I dropped a Father's Day meal to my parents for the second year in a row this weekend. It's not ideal. I also know I'm lucky to have them in my 5K, lucky to have them at all.

Last year dad mused on this whole lockdown situation in the context of the Holocaust. He knew as a six year old that death stalked every corner. His friend lived in a ditch. His parents were marched onto a train for Auschwitz.

This photograph was taken in Switzerland at the beginning of a trip we took together to retrace dad's family's wartime paths: escape, hiding, capture, murder, survival.

Perspective isn't a fix but it's useful. Gratitude isn't a solution but it can help. I'm thankful for lots of things today but I'll start with my dad and the fact that, even in our hard times, I'm not scared to be me.


"First she reared the trout. Then she became fond of the trout. Now she's about to scoop the trout out of its tank and whack it on the head with a rolling pin."

I loved writing this profile about @jobarrett for @goodweekendmag. Jo has impressed me for years as a chef and creator. Her current residency at @futurefoodsystem with @chefmattstone and @joostbakker is utterly inspiring and surely also world-changing.

It's always a privilege to have a juicy 4000 words to tell a tale. Thanks @katrinastrick @goodweekendmag for the commission. Shoutout also to the @ninecomau subs: freelancing is solo but the GW editing process is total A-team.

📷 @joshrobenstone 💯

Link in bio or grab today's @theageaustralia @sydneymorningherald

I’m super excited to launch a new food delivery event today. Link in bio or cookaborough.com/friday-pie-day

Every week of the footy finals, Friday Pie Day is bringing Melbourne's best pies to your place. I’m collaborating with favourite independent bakers: think great flavours, buttery pastry (vegan too!), extra treats, quaffable drinks and a fun footy-watching experience at home.

It doesn’t look like we’ll be cheering on our teams at stadiums any time soon but we can all have the best seat in the house (your couch) and the best pies in the land (via Friday Pie Day)...plus donuts, cheese and drinks. 

It doesn’t matter which team you barrack for because we're all on Team Pie!

Menus for weeks one and two are live now. They will close Wednesday nights for Friday delivery or pickup. Thanks logistics angels @cookes_food & @cookaborough!

Week one features pies from Collingwood artisan baker @falcobakery, Mornington Peninsula favourite @JohnnyRipe and start-up pie provedore @Magnum.pie. The range is rad, the pies are perfect and they all freeze well too.

Week two stars pies from pan-Melbourne wizards Wonder Pies and inner-west’s @CobbLanebakery which has collaborated with local mates at @romanee_yarraville to create an exclusive Westside Pie! It’s like French onion soup but In. A. Pie!

We’ve also got Greek donuts from loukoumades lord @St_gerrys (different flavours each week) and an extraordinary cheese board from @MakerandMonger. 

Drinks are by @HomeGrowndrinks which has just launched a gorgeous range of Aussie spritzes, @SailorsGravebrewing beer plus local Vic wines.

Stand by for weeks three and four as soon as the AFL has confirmed the dates. Collaborators include Footscray West’s super cool @PieThiefpies West Melbourne’s Thai hideaway @UdomHouse and English pork pie specialists @wildflourbakerymelb. It’s going to be SO FUN!  

Yours in pie and footy fandom!
Link in bio!

Lockdown 6 Extension 2 Melbourne

- Lockdown extended to September 2.

- From 11.59 tonight Monday: 9pm-5am curfew.

- Pub crawls & park gatherings called out, as well as illegal indoor gatherings.

- No removal of masks to drink alcohol. VCGLR is looking at license breaches over the weekend.

- Takeaway means take it away.

- Premier gave a shoutout to hospo community, acknowledging that it is tough and that the vast majority are doing the right thing.

- If you can work from home, you must work from home.

- Permits for authorised workers are reintroduced from 11.59pm Tuesday.

- So. Much. Love. 🖤💓❤️💗💞

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