This month’s Foodie Files interview is a double whammy – it’s both Cindy & Michael from Where’s the Beef! Where’s the Beef was one of the first blogs I started following long before I even contemplated starting a blog myself – they have the most amazing back catalogue of vegetarian recipes covering all meals of the day as well as reviews of restaurants all over Melbourne (and other locations too!). Seriously, if you need ideas for something to cook Cindy & Michael have you covered!
So as you can imagine, I was very pleased they wanted to take part in my Foodie Files series, so here’s what they had to say!
Do you have a philosophy towards food?
Cindy: Food is much more than just fuel for me. Day to day, I seek foods that are fun to eat. Week to week, I try to make choices that will centre most meals around seasonal, varied fruits and vegetables and avoid waste. I like trying new recipes at home and learning different cooking techniques (this weekend I’ve attempted waffled tofu and rice), but I’m not a gadget collector (waffle iron excepted!). I’m willing to put time into food preparation, but must credit Michael for doing the dishes afterwards.
What’s your favourite food memory?
Cindy: We’ve met many cool people through our food blog, most of whom love a good potluck. For my 30th birthday I invited a couple dozen of these guys around for a vegan icecream potluck in our little Carlton flat. I spent the week in advance churning up coconut milk-based salted caramel icecream and a big box of triple-striped Neapolitan. Michael made waffles, and other guests brought fruit salads, cookies, sprinkles and icecreams of their own. We chatted, laughed and engineered mini sundaes for hours. Afterwards, having hit our threshold for sweetness, a few of us hit up Las Vegan Cafe for some salty chips.
Do you have a go-to food of choice?
Cindy: Not really! I’m easily bored by repetition and try to keep things varied. Lentil tacos, char koay teow, vege burgers, satay tofu and chickpea curry are long-standing favourites. I’m well-known for my vegan sausage rolls and Michael makes this incredible chickpea noodle soup in winter.
What’s your favourite meal of the day?
Michael: I do really love a good breakfast out, but you can’t really go past dinner. The range of dishes that can count as dinner is just so broad – from 12 course degustations, to nine dollar dumplings, from fresh and fancy Ottolenghi salads, to gloopy sweet and sour mock-pork, dinner’s got all your bases covered.
What’s the strangest food you’re ever eaten (and would you eat it again?!)
Michael: I’m a big lover of mock meat, which is fundamentally strange if you think about it too much – the mock prawn skewers at Sweetwater Inn were bonkers, while I’m still haunted by the stringy realism of the mock lamb I had years ago at Ten Ren. But in terms of a genuinely odd eating experience, I guess having natto on rice for breakfast in Japan would probably take the cake – natto is a slimy fermented soy bean dish that smells awful and looks even worse. I didn’t hate eating it, but I’m not in a huge hurry to go back for seconds.
If you were showing a visitor around town for a weekend where would be your must-eat destinations?
Michael: We’ve got a day-long tour of Melbourne all mapped out on our blog already, featuring some of our favourites (East Elevation, Mankoushe and Smith & Daughters). I’m utterly addicted to breakfast at Wide Open Road, would have to drag people to sample the amazing vegan sandwiches and treats at Smith & Deli and, if they were up for a real blow-out, would end the day with the most innovative and impressive fine dining experience in town at Attica (assuming we’d booked three months in advance).
Where can people follow your food (and other!) adventures?
Our blog is at: Here’s the Veg
We tweet from: Here’s the Veg
And we have a facebook page: Here’s the Veg
Michael posts a mix of food, cats and bird photos on his Instagram page: Wheresthebeef_Michael