How has your weekend been? Lazy, relaxing and comfortable I hope. Mine has been and it’s likely I’ll be lounging in my pajamas looking over photos I’ve collected from my twenties for the next few hours. Before that though, lets get comfortable for another set of Five Questions, which is a feature I really love doing because it lets me connect with other bloggers, foodies and travelers and I’m only wanting to expand this as time goes on.
Today’s interview is with Victoria Haschka from Eatori. Victoria is a blogger, writer, cook, traveler, wife, mother and interesting soul who resides in Sydney, but has seen a fair amount of sights and I was immediately drawn to her. She has a similar name as my best friend and a charming book cover I stumbled upon in my favorite book store in London. So I emailed her and she was ever so kind to answer some questions, including links below which should inspire you on this Sunday.
1. What attracted you to cooking?
I love nothing more than having a boisterous group of friends gathered around a table. I also fell in love with my husband (who I’ve always referred to as The Hungry One) thirteen years ago, when we were just twenty one. We didn’t have that much in common, except for we both loved food. Sourcing great places to eat and cooking together has become one of the great threads of joy in our life. (We may have taken it to a little bit of an extreme – before we had our nearly three year old son, we set ourselves a ‘Baby Bucket List‘ of all the places in the world we wanted to go and things we wanted to do before we settled down and we became three. It included eating at some of the best restaurants in the world, from Denmark, to Sao Paulo, to Modena and the Costa Brava. It’s hard not to be inspired when you’ve tasted food that also classifies as art.
2. What is one tip you would give to someone who finds cooking overwhelming to give it a go?
Start small and start with something you love to eat. Once you’ve mastered that, try another. One skill easily leads on to another. And lean on good produce, including quality sea salt and olive oil. When you buy beautiful food that’s at its best, in season, what you put on the plate doesn’t have to be complicated to make something delicious.
3. Do you have a favorite simple recipe that impresses your guests?
This is one of my favourite simple braises. It’s easy to prepare ahead of time, chicken thighs are thrifty protein and incredibly forgiving. The best thing to do is warm the braise on the hob prior to serving and then adorn with baby spinach and parmesan. It’s low GI with plenty of pulses and perfectly filling, without the need for potatoes or bread on the table (though a warm baguette would help the meal stretch further). It has a lovely elegant simplicity about it. I find there’s something magical about the combination of marinated artichokes, fennel and parmesan.
4. What has travel taught you about food?
To not be afraid to try something new. Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone. If I hadn’t have tried fermented shark meat in Iceland, I wouldn’t know what the worst tasting things in the world are. And if I hadn’t tried fried green tomatoes in Miami, I wouldn’t know that with a frisee salad and some bacon, they’re the perfect alternative brunch/easy supper.
5. What is one of your favorite food memories from your travels?
Oh, that’s tough. One of my favourite, most recent memories was an escape to Noosa, on the Sunshine Coast of Australia last year with eight of my oldest girlfriends. No husbands or children, just us and three days of good food, wine and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Most mornings I would start the day with a swim, a walk and then a coconut panna cotta with granola at Berados over looking the beach while I still had sand between my toes. It was light and tasted of summer. And it was also a perfect reminder that dessert for breakfast can be excellent for morale.
Thanks for your time Tori and for the wonderful recipes both linked here and on your website.