Ingredients – Dani Valent

What’s Cooking?

Good food relies on great ingredients and the more we know about our ingredients the better equipped we are as cooks. I’m passionate about learning more and sharing what I learn. Dive in here to understand more about ingredients: where they come from, what their special qualities are and, crucially, how to use them.  I find that the more I know about an ingredient, the better equipped I am to get the most from them. It allows me to be nimble, to improvise and to cook more delicious food.

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Check out my ever growing library of delicious ingredients here.



Saffron is one of those mystical, almost mythical ingredients, a prestige product that lends an exotic note to sweet and savoury dishes. But what is it, why is it so expensive and how do you use it anyway? Oh, and what do monkeys have to do with anything? Read on…

Vadouvan Curry Powder

Having great homemade condiments and flavour bursts on hand is the easiest way to turn your cooking from ho-hum to ‘wow, what have you done?!’ One of my absolute favourite must-have pantry essentials is Vadouvan curry powder. Read on…



If you think about it at all, it’s easy to dismiss flour as white stuff that comes in bags, nothing more than the powder that gives body to our bread and cakes. But it’s so much more than that – or it can be, if you farm and mill wheat like Jason Cotter and Emma Hicks at Tuerong Farm on the Mornington Peninsula. I’ve got the full story over here.

Matcha Green Tea

Matcha is an ingredient that’s popped up a lot recently: we’re seeing it in tea shops, patisseries and Japanese stores, turning everything it touches a cheery and vibrant shade of green. I’ve got plenty more to share with you about Matcha over here.


There are a lot of potatoes out there and it can be confusing to know which ones are best for all the different things you can do with them. I thought it was a good idea to ask an expert which potatoes work in what circumstances… listen here.


I have a massive crush on tomatoes. I love them fresh, warm from the vine, when picking them means brushing against their fragrant, furry leaves. I love them in crates from the market: plump and juicy and full of promise. I love them racked up at my local grocer, different varieties in colourful piles.


The cacao tree – source of the beans which give us chocolate – is from the genus ‘Theobroma’, or ‘food of the gods’. So there’s a signal to the marvellous and mystical properties of chocolate in its very name. Chocolate is a treat, a food of ceremony, celebration and special occasions. And there’s even more to learn about chocolate over here.



When I first started cooking with Thermomix, I didn’t dive straight into cooking beef, or meat at all. In fact, it took me a while to work out the best ways to do it. Once I did, I’ve fallen in love… read more


I am all about the cheese! I love eating it by itself or as part of a cheese platter, I love cooking with it and adding it to salads or sandwiches, and I love the way it intersects with culture all around the world. Cheese actually helped me fall in love with the very idea of food writing… read more

Chicken & Turkey

Chicken is such a frequent addition to our weekly meal roster, loved for its versatility, nutritional qualities and ease of preparation. Learn more about this ubiquitous meat, including how to carve it, and check out my little turkey primer too.


Once you’ve learnt more about lamb, you’ll want some recipes, am I right? Got you covered! Check out these delicious lamb recipes.

I love my Elk top & Obus pants

What’s this site all about?

My business card says ‘Writer. Eater. Traveller. Cook.’ I do all these things with equal passion, which is why I’m sometimes sitting at my laptop with an apron on! 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 and ever-growing library of cooking videos and recipes, focusing on Thermomix.

This is a place for inspiration, chefs’ secrets, practical tuition and happy creativity. If you like cooking and eating delicious food and basking in the compliments of family and friends, this site is for you. You’ll be amazed what you can create with my recipes and videos as your guide.

See what recipes are available here.

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© Dani Valent 2023