Writer | Dani Valent

Writer

I’m a journalist, restaurant critic, cookbook author, travel writer and screenwriter. I love telling stories!

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.

Heavenly Hummus

Have you got an hour? Ask a Middle Eastern person about their favourite hummus and be ready to listen long and hard! Hummus is an everyday traditional food all the way from Yemen to Egypt, Israel, Lebanon and Turkey but there are as many variations as there are eaters! At its simplest, hummus combines chickpeas and tahini, then there's the potential addition of salt, pepper, spices, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and water. Plus, there's the question of texture. Should it be smooth or sturdy? We dig in...

You Want To Run A Cooking Class – What Comes Next?

You love cooking. People swoon over your food. Your friends are always asking you for recipes and you’re the phone-a-friend guru when they have a cooking conundrum. You know you have great food ideas to share and holding a cooking class seems like the logical next step. Great! You should do it! But how do you hone your offering and get a crowd to come along?

Two of Us: Artist Vincent Fantauzzo and chef Matt Moran’s bromance

I am a contributor to Good Weekend magazine's beloved Two of Us column, in which two people talk about their relationship. In this case, it was Melbourne painter Vincent Fantauzzo (left), 41, and Sydney chef Matt Moran, 49. They met in a bar, hit it off instantly and now have a long-distance friendship based on honesty, vulnerability and a shared love of fast cars.

Korean Cooking with Buddhist monk and chef Seonjae

There is always so much to learn when it comes to food, so I was grateful for the opportunity to dive into Korean food at a cooking class and lecture in Melbourne last week. The guest of honour was Buddhist monk Seonjae, who is also a chef and the President of the Korean Food Promotion Institute.

Curtis Stone X Dani Valent Cooking Class & Collaboration Dinner

Collaborating with Curtis Stone on a cooking class and degustation dinner at his restaurant Gwen in LA was always going to be fun...but when we decided to theme our event around unique Australian ingredients, things got even more interesting!

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© Dani Valent 2019