My final Foodie Files chat for the year is with the wonderful Vanessa from Style & Shenanigans! I’ve met Vanessa on a few occasions (and even bumped into her whilst out shopping one weekend!) and she’s absolutely as stylish and lovely as she comes across on her blog. I’m sure many of you are already following along with her food, style and family adventures, but if not then now is an excellent time to start!
Do you have a philosophy towards food?
I’ve loved food and cooking from a young age. I was making family dinners regularly by the time I was 12, studied home economics at high school and have always enjoyed cooking, baking, eating out, entertaining and trying new recipes.
My philosophy towards food would be to always try new things but keeps things simple, have plenty of variety, buy the best quality you can afford and keeps things as fresh and healthy as possible.
Often a simple meal with great produce is the most delicious. Fresh herbs elevate almost any any meal too.
What’s your favourite food memory?
When I think of memorable food, it’s often tied in with a special occasion – the beautiful meals we’ve had at Maha, Supernormal, MoVida and Cutler & Co., Healesville Hotel to celebrate our birthdays and anniversaries – or travel – the best olives and potato salad I’ve ever eaten in a Madrid bar; the delicious nutella crepes we ate on the streets of Paris; the melt in your mouth Shake Shack burger and warm pretzels I ate in New York; the unbelievable roti and freshest prawn dumplings we ate at MamaSan in Bali and the mouth watering golzeme I ate outside the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
Recently, I spend a weekend in foodie heaven in Hobart where I had the world’s best toasted sanga from Ramona’s at the Farmers Market (mushroom, goat’s cheese and proscuitto).
Do you have a go-to food of choice?
I love most cuisines but am particularly loving Mexican street food (Fonda, Motel Mexicola), great pizza (I’m still dreaming of the pizza with lemon, fennel, zucchini and capers I had at The Innocent Bystander/Giant recently – see pic below), anything involving pork belly or pork and fennel sausages and dumplings, always dumplings.
What’s your favourite meal of the day?
Dinner. I tend to eat porridge or eggs for breakfast and salad or soup for lunch so this is where the variety kicks in for me.
What’s the strangest food you’re ever eaten (and would you eat it again?!)
I ate eel once but that was once too often!
If you were showing a visitor around town for a weekend where would be your must-eat destinations?
In Melbourne we’d head to Maha, Supernormal, Fonda, Mo Vida, Chin Chin, Coda or Cumulus Inc. I think I’ll be adding the grille and rooftop at the new QT after my visit next week too. The Arbory or Pony Island on the Yarra are great spots for a drink and hot chips with a view too.
Out of town we love the Yarra Valley for it’s wineries and beautiful food (we love the Healesville Hotel, Zonzo/Train Trak Winery and The Innocent Bystander/Giant Steps, Tarrawarra Gallery and Winery), the Mornington Peninsula (D.O.C. in Mornington; Montalto; The Epicurean), Kyneton (Mr Carsisi) and Phillip Island (Cape Kitchen).
Where can people follow your food (and other!) adventures?
I’m always photographing food over on Insta and write regular restaurant and cafe reviews on my blog, Style and Shenanigans (http://styleandshenanigans.co