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Christie Connelly publishes the food blog Fig & Cherry. Her recipes are inspired by her Lebanese and Hungarian cultural heritages as well as her extensive world travel.
By
April Smallwood

31 Mar 2010 - 9:59 AM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM

Christie Connelly publishes the food blog Fig & Cherry. Her recipes are inspired by her Lebanese and Hungarian cultural heritages as well as her extensive world travel.

Your secret food shame"¦
Hot chips and freshly whipped cream!  But not together"¦ I’d eat both these things every day if they weren’t so fattening.

Ingredient you can't live without"¦
Whole grains. I’m very health-conscious, so including a variety of whole grains in my diet is a daily thought process. Sorry it’s a boring answer! I do love butter too.

What inspires you and your food?
Having a multicultural heritage of Lebanese and Hungarian and doing lots of travelling. At school I was called the 'Hungry Leb" – so true! Kids come up with the funniest names. But seriously, when I was growing up, food was not only used for nourishment it was the focal point of family gatherings. Food is love, in the most positive way.

What can you learn about a person from the way they prepare their food?
Hygiene! I can’t stand a messy cook. I’m constantly tidying as I go, it’s the only way.   

What is the recipe you most like to cook?
Open-face omelettes. They’re the perfect hearty weekend brekky and there’s so many flavour combinations. My favourite is chorizo, mushroom and feta.

Can you pick a favourite recipe:

To impress...

Something you’ve made before – don’t experiment when you’re entertaining. I like making things I’ve learnt at cooking courses on my various travels, like Istanbul, Morocco or Italy.

For the best comfort food...

Bangers and creamy mash (extra butter) for my husband and for me it’s got to be my Mum’s stuffed capsicums, especially if she’s cooking them.

For an easy weeknight dinner...

Pasta or noodle stir fry – no thinking involved!

What chef has been your inspiration?
Aussie: Jill Dupleix. I love her fresh approach and Asian influenced recipes.
British: Nigel Slater. He’s the king of using seasonal produce to its maximum capacity. I love his writing style too.

Tell us about your favourite food event in Australia"¦
I’ve recently been to the Taste of Sydney Festival so that’s fresh in my mind. I’d also love to go to Orange for F.O.O.D week to taste all the delicious local grown and made produce and wine.

Your favourite cookbook, food show & cooking utensil?

Cookbook: Nigel Slater, Kitchen Diaries. It’s so inspirational and a fantastic idea for a cookbook. I adore the paper it’s printed on too, the way the colour soaks in and it’s a bit faded – the light is very British.
Cooking Utensil: It’s a toss up between my set of Wusthof knives or my pink Le Creuset.

Can you tell us your favourite restaurant in your area?
Spice I Am, Wentworth Ave branch Surry Hills, it’s near my work. I love the authenticity and chilli kick – I’m a bit of a chilli fiend.