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.

International Hummus Day

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...

Chef Tom Sarafian on Australian Food

Tom Sarafian is chef at Melbourne’s Bar Saracen and a fellow hummus obsessive. He’s kindly shared the Bar Saracen signature hummus with prawn and crab - it’s one of Melbourne’s best dishes so it’s beyond exciting to have the recipe!  To coincide with Australia Day, I asked him to muse on what Australian food means to him.

Food Chat – Malaysian cookbook author Annie Xavier Talks Easy Meals for Busy Mums

Malaysian cookbook author Annie Xavier shares tips and insights as she discusses her approach to Chinese-Malaysian cooking

Christmas Leftovers Revamp

Christmas cooking quantities are cause of considerable consternation. Before the big day you’re asking, “Is this enough?” as you picture hungry great-aunts and hollow-legged teens looking askance at empty platters. Afterwards, you realise there was way too much food (just like there was last year and the year before that). Now, it’s all about what you do with the leftovers. Here are some ideas.

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?

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© Dani Valent 2020