Welcome to my April Foodie Files interview! This month I chatted to Nicole from Champagne & Chips, a wonderful food and wine blogger from Melbourne who I have had the pleasure of meeting a few times now! Her recipes are always so delicious looking, and she really knows her stuff when it comes to wine (she’s even studying it right now!) so if you’re not already following Nicole’s adventures I highly recommend you start now!
Do you have a philosophy towards food?
Food is my favourite thing. It has the power to nourish my body, cheer me up and bring me together with my friends so I guess my philosophy is just to enjoy it. Most of the time I eat really healthily – I like green smoothies and life-changing crackers – but I also have a deep love of ice cream, pizza, and cannot resist chips, both crisps and hot chips. I also really enjoy wine with food and believe that the best meals can always be enhanced by good wine and good company.
What’s your favourite food memory?
Oh so many! I’m pretty nostalgic, I have so many happy memories of eating giant wads of blue fairy floss at country shows, and I still remember the first time I tasted apple bubblegum (still love a tangy apple lolly). Probably my favourite is this though: When I was little we would spend every Saturday with my grandparents. My Nana would make these epic old-school salads with ham, tomato, cheese, lettuce, potato salad, and peas in mint jelly; all laid out separately on our plates. She would prepare the food in the quaint kitchen my Poppa had built, carefully adjusting each plate to suit the individual. We would sit down and talk about our week, with my Poppa winking at me as he slathered butter on his bread, waiting to be told off my my Nana. She was always so worried about his cholesterol (he lived to be 87).
Do you have a go-to food of choice?
Again, so many. Probably ice cream is my all-time favourite. On a day to day basis though, baby spinach is my go-to. I use it in smoothies or just-wilted with eggs for breakfast or lunch, and it regularly features in salads and curries as well.
What’s your favourite meal of the day?
Dinner, because it is the only time of the day I don’t have to rush. Plus it is perfectly acceptable to have a glass of wine with dinner. I actually eat pretty much in reverse to all the recommendations. I have very light meals and regular snacks during the day but love a big tasty meal in the evening.
What’s the strangest food you’re ever eaten (and would you eat it again?!)
Gosh, I don’t know that I have ever really eaten anything particularly unusual. I haven’t really travelled as I have spent most of my life studying and so I haven’t had much opportunity to immerse myself in any unusual foods from other cultures. I’m pretty game though, I will have a taste of just about anything.
If you were showing a visitor around town for a weekend where would be your must-eat destinations?
In Melbourne I would definitely go to either Cookie or Magic Mountain for the most amazing wine lists and Thai food. Tipo 00 for pasta, +39 Pizzeria or DOC Pizza (in Calrton) to sort any Italian cravings. Gelato Messina is always top of my list, as is a glass of wine at City Wine Shop.