Restaurants – Dani Valent

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.

Chef Isabella Poti – Italy’s New Guard

There's a contradiction at the heart of Bros', the two-year-old restaurant that Isabella Poti, 22, owns with her boyfriend Floriano Pellegrino, 28. On the one hand, its mission is to preserve the culinary traditions of Lecce, the restaurant's home in the southern Italian province of Puglia. But on the other hand, there's scarcely a dish served in the 25-seater that any Lecce local would recognise. "We keep our traditions, but we make them new," Poti says.

Chris Lucas: the Melbourne foodie king bringing (more) Asian glam to Sydney

Chris Lucas, the entrepreneur behind some of Melbourne’s hottest laneway restaurants is moving to Sydney and luring one of the harbour city’s best chef south. Will his sizzle translate, or will he have egg on his face?

Dani interviews Israeli chef Eyal Shani

I was so happy that my work as a food journalist meant I was sent to interview Israeli chef Eyal Shani. This story first appeared in Good Food, and was swiftly followed by a crazy day shooting videos with Eyal. If you’re a Dani Valent Cooking subscriber, you can watch our Hummus adventures here. Meantime, enjoy my story about the man behind Miznon.

How does a Michelin-starred chef think about food?

How does a Michelin-starred chef think about food? I had a long time to ponder this question over lunch at El Coq, the restaurant owned by the talented and dashing Michelin-starred chef Lorenzo Cogo. El Coq is in Vicenza, an hour or so from Venice, where I stayed for a week.

The 2016 Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle in Australia – An International Chef Swap Steeped in Mystery

Food identity and culinary starmaker Andrea Petrini (he’s Italian and molto persuasive) has organised The Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle, an international chef swap among 40 of the world’s top restaurants. Each chef leaves their restaurant to head to one of the other 39 taking part. They don’t directly swap but are shuffled around the world. Diners buy tickets to a one-night-only dinner (last Thursday, November 10) but they don’t find out who’s cooking for them until they arrive. It’s strange and strangely wonderful. Each restaurant has an ambassador – I was ambassador for Attica, which basically means look after the chef and observe what happens. I must get back in touch with my careers counsellor and let him know.

Dishes that changed Melbourne

Firstly, I’m sorry I left your key dish out. The food that changed my life may not have rocked yours: we weren’t born in the same moment, my mum didn’t make the same stuff as your mum, and we didn’t seek out identical flavours or experiences. But because we eat in the same city, our culinary lineage overlaps and we are part of the same eating adventure. Here’s a subjective, incomplete list of threshold dishes that have pushed our food culture to tasty new places.

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