valli-little-by-damian-bennettValli Little – image credit, Damian Bennett

 

In our latest Foodie Profile we chat to Australian food luminary, Valli Little. She’s the Contributing Editor at delicious. magazine, a cookbook author, food and travel writer and recipe developer.

Valli will also be running a cooking class at this year’s Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, from October 26-30. Unfortunately I will be missing out on the Festival by just a few days but if you’re lucky enough to go, make sure you check out the fantastic kitchen classes and talks on offer.

JC x

 

1. Valli, if you could choose to do one element of your job and nothing else, what would it be and why?

I think being a food and travel writer. For a start I get to meet so many wonderful people along the way, producers, chefs, passionate foodies plus I get to visit some pretty amazing places and eat some incredible food. It’s really a dream job.

 

2. You regularly create recipes at delicious. magazine that are inspired by your travels. Can you share some of your favourite food cities with us, and the must-try dishes?

I write up to 10 recipes each month plus I contribute recipes to the website and I write a cookbook of 120 recipes each year.

I love Rome and the first thing I love to eat when I get there is the dish called cacio e pepe. It’s such a simple dish of pasta with cheese and pepper but when it’s done well it’s wonderful. I love Shanghai too. My first stop is always for dumplings and for a special treat it’s Da Dong for the amazing Peking Duck.

 

valli-little-cookbooks-twoJust a few of Valli Little’s cookbook titles for delicious. magazine

 

3. The blogosphere has seen the rise of many new food influencers. What are your thoughts on this phenomenon and how do you see their place within the traditional media world?

I have to say I love Instagram. It’s the perfect platform for foodies and there are lots of very talented people out there that I like to follow. I love listening to podcasts too. I think what is happening is very exciting my only gripe is people who steal content and claim it as theirs and bloggers who think they are restaurant reviewers (when they are quite clearly not).

 

4. From your experience teaching cooking classes, what would you say are the most common questions from home cooks in terms of improving their cooking skills?

The first thing I like to teach is the chefs term “Mise en Place” it means “everything in its place” so basically getting everything prepared in advance so then when you are ready to put a dish together you are not running all over the kitchen trying to find ingredients. Sharp knives are pretty essential too.


5.
Which utensils and cooking ware pieces do you think are absolute must-haves for avid home cooks and bakers? 

Not a sous vide machine!!

I can’t live without my kitchen aid and my food processor. I also love my microplane and a good set of kitchen scales are essential if you want to perfect your baking skills as guess work just won’t do.

 

valli-little-cookbooks-oneSome more cookbooks by Valli Little for delicious. magazine

 

6. Valli, what would you say are some of your most popular recipes? Would you be able to share one of them with our readers?

Several years ago I developed a recipe for our bumper Christmas issue called a mangomisu. We put it on the cover and it has become our most popular recipe ever. I get emails each Christmas from people saying how it had become a regular on their Christmas table. I also have a recipe for a whole baked side of salmon with Asian flavours. People have stopped me in the street to tell me it has become their “go to” recipe for special occasions (recipe links below).

 

valli-little-mangomisu-mango-tiramisu-delicious-magazineMangomisu (Mango Tiramisu) – image credit, delicious. magazine

 

 

valli-little-asianmarinated-baked-salmon-delicious-magazineAsian Marinated Baked Salmon – delicious. magazine – November 2008 , Page 92, image credit, Brett Stevens

 

7. When you’re not cooking a feast at home, where are some of your favourite spots to eat in Sydney?

I love Kepos Street Kitchen. Michael Rantissi hails from Tel Aviv. His food is packed full of amazing flavours that I love. I love Chiswick in Woollahra for a casual lunch with friends. I have known Matt Moran for over 25 years, he used to bake for me when I had a gourmet food shop and he was an apprentice chef. It’s great to see what an incredible business empire he now has.

 

8. Are you working on a new cookbook and what is next for you Valli?

I certainly am, we are halfway through shooting it. It’s called My Kind of Food. I am so excited about this one. It’s the first book I have done not under the delicious. banner. It’s full of recipes that I love to cook at home for family and friends inspired by my travels.

Plus I am taking three bespoke culinary tours overseas next year to France, Morocco and the UK. We will stay in glorious locations, visit local markets, I will give classes and we will meet local chefs and producers and eat in some great restaurants. For more info, visit: www.bypriorarrangement.com.

 

 

Twitter: @vallilittle

Facebook: valli.little

Instagram: @vallilittle