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Romantic Montage

Food is Love

Valentine’s Day is just one day a year but any day is a good day for romance. I’ve gathered together some of my favourite seductive, saucy, huggable dishes for delicious wooing and canoodling


MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 12: Curtis Stone, Alice & Josh, Stephanie Alexander on February 12, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Coles and the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation are partnering to help children access food education programs run in schools and early learning centres around Australia. (Photo by Kim Landy/Getty Images for Coles)

Chatting Healthy Eating with Stephanie Alexander & Curtis Stone

When you’re invited to morning tea with cooking legend Stephanie Alexander and chef Curtis Stone, you say ‘Yes!’ The purpose of the event was to launch a partnership between Coles and Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden program but I grabbed Curtis and Stephanie for a broader chat about healthy and diverse eating. I hope you enjoy my little video above! One of my main takeaways is that good cooking doesn’t need to be complicated, and it’s fine to rely on great ingredients to make a meal satisfying. I plundered my own recipe archives to find some recipes that reinforce these messages.


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Exploring Hong Kong

Hong Kong is thronging, noisy, tasty – and troubled, as protests continue to up-end life in this most engrossing of cities. In the meantime, and in amongst it, street life and market life persist. Join me as I eat my way along the streets of Mong Kok.



Pesto alla Trapanese – Joseph Vargetto

We all love pesto, right? But have you heard of the Sicilian version of pesto from the town of Trapani? It’s made with almonds and tomatoes, as well as basil and hard cheese. It’s easy and perfect, especially for those long weeks when tomatoes are at their juiciest.

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Veronica, Kon and Genet at last night's #feastforfreedom launch at the @asrc1. It's a great concept. 1. Register via @feast_for_freedom 2. Choose from provided recipes - Veronica, Genet and @hamedsfood have shared recipes from PNG, Ethiopia and Iran, respectively) 3. Host your feast at home or work (even a restaurant can do it - @drmorsebar is!). 4. Fundraise to assist people seeking asylum.

Veronica is holding her sweet potato and plantain balls. Genet is holding injera, Ethiopian bread made with teff flour. Kon Karapanagiotidis is the inspiring, unstoppable CEO of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

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Important Friday questions. Is there a wrong time to eat cookies? Does anyone ever get the peanut butter and miso cookie from @falcobakery home in one piece? Is there anything better than breaking a little nibble from a biscuit and sneaking it into your mouth? What is the correct drink for cookies - tea or milk? ...

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Fermented relish coming soon. I'll be making this dish on @everydaygourmettv - will let you know when! ...

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New @goodfoodau mag out in today's @theageaustralia @sydneymorningherald. My cover story is a sensible chat about healthy eating. What do you really need to eat to give yourself the best chance of good health? Qualified experts, fad free zone, no silver bullets, just science-based good sense. Thanks to @emmie_101 and @doctimcrowe for being part of this story. #healthylifestyle #healthyeating #healthyhabits #goodhealth #eattherainbow Stunning cover by @william_meppem @meppemh ...

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Hurt. Hope. This bit of burnt out road is between Sarsfield and Bruthen.
I've been eating my way around #eastgippsland for the past three days, gathering material for a food itinerary story. The idea is to encourage people back into regional Australia to help businesses that have been hit hard by the bushfires. Even places that haven't been burnt have suffered due to a lack of custom - their fat time of year was suddenly very skinny. And there's so much good stuff here: dogged producers, committed chefs, passionate winemakers, inspiring advocates for fine food. As well as soaking up all the good things (you know me, I'm always thinking of the next meal!), I've been overwhelmed by emotion again and again. It's because I'm closer to the news. It's because bewilderment and sadness is evident, in among optimism and activity. It's because some of the forest is so, so black and bare. It's also because the place I go camping every summer, Cape Conran, was badly burnt a few days ago and I feel like I've been punched in the heart. My loss is tiny compared to many - Conran is a sometimes place for me, I didn't lose a house, no-one was hurt and yet I'm feeling it keenly. This patch of coastal bush is something of a spiritual home, an annual wilderness retreat which anchored me and my family and our friends and spun me happy into each year. The campground has been closed since the fires came near so we couldn't go this summer, but when I was planning this trip, the culmination was to be a swim in the ocean there. I could almost feel my head duck into the crisp, cool waves. But it was not to be. The road is closed, the fire is not yet extinguished, I'm blocked off from a place and a feeling that is part of me. And I keep thinking, if I feel this bad, how bad does it feel when it's worse? I know I'm far from the only person around here who's found themselves crying with strangers about unfathomable loss. But you know the funny thing about crying with strangers? They stop being strangers and turn into companions on the human journey. More than ever, I feel like we're all in this together, and together we can build good things out of hard times 🖤

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Couch food for watching the tennis. Tempeh, eggplant, bok choi and lime leaf stir fry. Actually used some of the toum (Lebanese garlic paste) from @tomsarafian's hummus recipe - hope that is OK, Tom 😅 Bit cross-cultural but #thisisaustralia and home cooking is often about what you've got on hand, using bits up, mashing ideas together and not worrying too much. I fried the tempeh first till it was crispy, then set it aside. Then I fried the eggplant till it was soft and set it aside. Then I sizzled up the toum with ginger and spring onion, added the other bits back in, then the bok with a bit of rice wine, sweet soy and water to lube it all up. Oh yeah, it's vegan. And Kyrgios just broke Rafa! ...

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See my Insta story for how to make this epic hummus-bagel-fried-egg situation. #Brunchgoals yes, but pretty much #lifegoals 🤩 ...

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Hummus with Crab & Prawn at @barsaracen is a Key Melbourne Dish & I have the recipe at!! Chef @tomsarafian spent more than a year working on the perfect hummus, travelling the Middle East, then adjusting proportions and process in steady, respectful refinement. He knew he'd finally nailed it when his girlfriend's Lebanese mum gave it a tick. Tom's hummus is fluffy, creamy, flavourful and pretty much transcendent when served with buttery shellfish. Eat it at the restaurant and know that all proceeds are going to bushfire relief or make it at home and know that everyone will love you. Thanks for sharing the recipe Tom. It's a cracker! Pic @kristofferpaulsen ❣️ ...

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Prawn Wontons with Peanut Sauce and Chilli Oil for Lunar New Year? Yes! Dumplings are one thing (a very good thing!) but dumplings with two sauces are even better. Serving wontons with peanut sauce and chilli oil turns a snack into a meal with layers of flavour. I cannot recommend these little beauties highly enough!
If you think you’re not the kind of person who makes dumplings, please take it from me: you are! For a start, you can take a short-cut and buy wonton wrappers – they’re available in supermarkets. And if you’re nervous about forming the shapes, take the pressure off by not expecting them to be perfect. So long as you have a decent seal so the filling doesn’t ooze out, I reckon you can consider your handiwork a success. Let me know how you go! Pic @gregelmsphoto Styling @carolinevelik #thermomix #dumplings #lunarnewyear #chinesenewyear #prawndumplings

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It's always a good time of day to eat fresh sardines. These fillets are cooked by running a blowtorch over the skin, and laid over sourdough with sweet roasted peppers and sheep's milk curd. They're at @grubfitzroy. There's nowhere like Grub. How could there be? The restaurant started eight years ago as a coffee van in Tim Mann and Mark Murphy's front yard, then it crept into the home out the back, sprouted a kitchen, and eventually evicted its owners. The chef is @arepresser: his every dish turns one ingredient into an accomplished soloist, then builds a chorus around it: zest, crunch, sweetness, pucker, an easy stretch to harmony. Dog friendly. Community minded. Recommended. Full @goodfoodau review via link in bio. ...

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These are Womboyn oysters from @johntheoysterbloke, from a fire-affected part of the south coast of New South Wales. I bought them in Melbourne a few days ago when @foodcornish made a callout - the guys were stuck in Melbourne, couldn't get home, and needed to move some oysters pronto. I've never felt happier about handing over cash for something. At this time of year I'm normally camping in East Gippsland... We either collect oysters ourselves from Wingan or head up the south coast and buy some - they are beautiful oysters. We keep them in a damp sack under a trailer and get the kids to shuck them every evening. It is a golden family tradition. Obviously, because of #ausfires, we are not doing that this year. It is a miniscule disruption in the context of huge horror, destruction, displacement, uncertainty, fear and frustration. I am so lucky and I still feel paralysed and traumatised. So, what now? I pledge the following. 1. Giving: financial support (there are lots of great organisations; I am focusing on @redcrossau, Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, Goongerah Environment Centre). 2. Acting: writing letters & stories, spending money in affected areas, campaigning for #climateaction, giving blood, there will be more... 3. Being: looking out not in, creating connection, building bridges, #lovenotfear. I work with words and food and I feel like there's a lot I can do. I am essentially an optimist. Though I am shaken, rocked, sad and scared, I'm also feeling a massive groundswell. We're going to make good from this, aren't we people? 💟 ...

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