The prevailing narrative about children and food is that they’re eating too much, it’s the wrong food anyway and they’re eating it in front of brain-draining screens. They’re overweight, potentially diabetic and on track to number among the 65 per cent (and rising) of Australian adults who are too hefty to be healthy. But there’s a counterweight tale too, one of children who cook and eat healthy food, building good habits for their own lives and perhaps for their less aware elders. They are influenced by cooking shows on television, educational programs in schools, other family members and, sometimes, necessity.
It’s Friday night in Jacques Reymond’s kitchen and I’ve just saved a junior chef from a bollocking. The Birkenstocked underling has just burned some wafers, and it hasn’t escaped the notice of the eagle-eyed maestro. But nor has my presence – even as I’m backed against the door with notepad and pen – and that’s enough, apparently, to make Reymond dish out a glare rather than the expected yell. “He sees everything,” says my wafer-burning friend. “I would have copped a spray if you weren’t here.”
It’s not unusual for chefs to wax lyrical about meals shared with their children. Most nights they tiptoe to bed hours after the kids are tucked in, so family dinners “ when they happen “ are special. But Pierre Khodja, chef at Hawthorn’s Canvas restaurant, becomes particularly emotional when he talks about enjoying meals with his wife, Debbie, and their daughters Jamila, Anisa and Haniya. He has good reason: five years ago, it looked like the Khodjas may have eaten together for the last time.
The Slap “one of the most talked-about novels of recent years” is now a TV series. Here, its author, Christos Tsiolkas speaks with Dani Valent about the time he was slapped himself, his stint in a fundamentalist Christian group, and his “own dark soul”. Click here or on the image above to read the article as it appeared in the (melbourne) magazine
“Everything that happened to me has made me stronger. I can walk, talk, I can cook. It keeps me happy.” Dani Valent profiles pizza pioneer Rita Macali, who survived a brain tumour and returned to open a brilliant new restaurant, Supermaxi.
She's charismatic, quirky and talented. It was a pleasure to dip into the world of actor Kerry Armstrong for this 2008 Good Weekend profile. As of 2018, Kerry is back in the public eye as one of the stars of I'm a A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here.
After the Columbia disaster in February, many people thought America’s space program was over. But now NASA is planning a new shuttle launch, and Australian Andy Thomas will be aboard. He spoke with Dani Valent.