Hello and welcome! I can’t wait to share great stories, recipes, videos and events with you!
Everything I do is linked by a simple idea: leading people to great food experiences.
I’m always looking for my next food adventure and I love sharing everything that I learn. My win is when other people – you! – get excited, empowered and inspired to embark on their own tasty food adventures, confidently, successfully and deliciously.
I do it with great recipes, cookbooks, restaurant reviews and interviews with farmers, chefs and provedores. I do it in fun cooking classes, TV & radio spots and exciting (and glam!) restaurant events.
I’m passionate about food because I love connecting with people – that means you!
The way I see it, good food is central to a life well-lived. It’s nourishment and energy. It’s a way to gather – in the field, the market, in the kitchen and at the table. It’s culture, ritual, history and future. It’s art, craft and science. It’s sensual and – believe me – it can get emotional. Let me tell you about the time I wept with joy over some beautiful cheesecake…
Of course, it’s also just breakfast, lunch and dinner, simply getting yourself and those around you fed, fuelled and satisfied in a practical no-nonsense way. I get it! I put dinner on the table every night.
I have more than 20 years’ experience as a food journalist, travel author, recipe developer and authorised Thermomix cookbook writer. I love drawing on all my various experiences to share stories, recipes, insights and excitement in all their tasty glory. Join me!
Have an awesome project you’d like to collaborate on? Download my Media Kit here.
What’s the site all about?
This is where I share all my best bits of writing, recipes and videos. There are free areas of the site where you can stay up to date with my journalism and get a taste of my cooking adventures. Sign up as a member and you’ll get access to my awesome library of videos and recipes, focused on Thermomix. It’s a place for inspiration, chefs’ secrets, practical tuition and happy creativity. If you like cooking and eating delicious food, easy food hacks, and basking in the compliments of family and friends, this site is for you.
I use my international connections in the food world to nose out the best recipes and cool cheffy tricks which I love sharing with you. I’m a friendly and encouraging guide, coach and teacher and I’ve had lots of experience in decoding chefs’ recipes for home cooks. You’ll be amazed what you can create with my recipes and videos as your guide.
I love to welcome special guest chefs into my kitchen, where they share professional tips and tricks to make your Thermomix experience even more rewarding. There’s no other place to gain access to the secrets and insights of the world’s best chefs. Almost 20 years in the food world has given me great access to top talent – and if I’m there, you’re there too!
More about me…
My professional writing career started with travel publisher Lonely Planet. I was what they called a ‘parachutist’, which meant I’d go anywhere. That’s how I ended up writing about Bulgaria, Bonaire, Corsica, New York and Hong Kong.
One day my Lonely Planet boss said, “We need someone to go to Turkey to eat.” “That sounds like me,” I said. World Food Turkey was the result, a social, cultural and culinary investigation of Turkey which really turned me on to the rich possibilities of telling stories through food. Food is culture, history, family, life!
I’ve continued to thread food and travel through a writing career that’s included interviews with actors, politicians and even an astronaut. These days, I’m focusing on chefs, restaurants and cooking. My passion is connecting home cooks and eaters with great dishes and cuisines: if it’s tasty, I want to know about it, and I want you to know too.
I’m also a mum so I know all about getting food on the table for the family. I’ve got three kids (a step-son and two daughters) and a journalist husband. He’s great. I’ve also got a dog, a cat, four fish and three snails. I’ve probably got a load of washing waiting to be hung out too.
What’s your food philosophy?
I am all about eating and enjoying: food is at the heart of culture, both broadly and within each person, and I never stop learning. As a cook, I love experimenting and sharing my discoveries. As an eater, I explore avidly and enthusiastically. As a woman, I want to feed my body the fuel it needs to stay healthy and energised and, as a mum, I want to have healthy, happy, engaged kids who are confident in the kitchen and around a dining table.
My mum is a great cook, my Jewish grandmother was a lovely, generous feeder of family and I truly love sitting around a table eating with family and friends. I’m glad to do anything I can do to help create those happy eating occasions.
I believe that healthy eating is about balance and that, if your body agrees, there’s no problem with fat, gluten, sugar, carbs and WINE as part of a broad-ranging diet that’s based around real food; #jerf (just eat real food) is about as hashtaggy as I get with this stuff! Of course, I know that not all bodies do agree and that people are on their own eating journeys. I incorporate lots of different eating styles in my recipes and I love to share variations.
When it comes to eating meat, I try to do it consciously. That means choosing free range, enjoying secondary cuts and generally eating less meat but better meat. It’s about ethical treatment of animals and also about the environment. Meat is resource hungry; one of the most powerful sustainable actions we can take is to eat less of it. We often eat vegetarian at home: I was vegetarian for some years, and one of my daughters is vegetarian. My sister became vegetarian when she was 10 and I partly credit her action with my current love of food. Our mum was forced to cook more creatively and to expand her horizons to feed a young vegetarian and our lives were all the richer for it.
My charity partner
I don’t think it’s right that some people don’t have access to nutritious food. I’m also concerned about food waste. And I love community. For all these reasons, I am honoured to be an ambassador for FareShare, a food charity that rescues, grows and cooks food then shares it with those who are doing it tough. It’s a brilliant organisation with incredible kitchens in Melbourne and Brisbane, staffed by a mostly volunteer workforce. See my soup-making adventure at FareShare.
So you made this all by yourself?
Haha, of course not! I work with amazing and talented people. See some of them on my Friends page.
Do you work for Thermomix?
No, I don’t sell Thermomix and never have. Thermomix in Australia (and New Zealand, and elsewhere) sell my books and we work together on cooking classes and events. I love having a Thermomix in the kitchen – I’m always learning new tricks and recipes and I love sharing my knowledge. I am absolutely delighted to help home cooks make the most of the coolest tool in their kitchen. See my Thermomythbusting story for more.
About my book, ‘Entertaining with Dani Valent’
Easy, achievable and fun occasions at home
My new book is full of delicious recipes packaged into themed menus that will allow you to gracefully create stunning dinner parties, celebrations and occasions.The aim is simple but I think it’s exciting: it’s to make it easy, fun, satisfying and – of course! – delicious to entertain at home.
I’ve crafted these 13 menus by cuisine and occasion. They’re inspired by years of work as a travel writer, food writer, cook and seriously dedicated eater, all around the world! Some menus are gleaned from my travels, taking regional classics and reworking them for home cooks with a Thermomix. Others are inspired by chefs’ creations I’ve encountered along the way. All are achievable, and form part of my sneaky campaign to prove that we can all cook like great chefs because we’ve got a Thermomix and the recipes to show the way.