Allan Campion and Michele Curtis are both professional chefs and award winning
food authors who have been writing about the Australian food scene since the
mid-1990s. Their annual the Foodies Diary provides inspiration on what to eat and
cook based on the best fresh produce available each month of the year.
Campion and Curtis titles include the annual Foodies Diary, Foodies Guide to Melbourne and In The Kitchen. Allan hosts corporate and public cooking classes and food tours, while Michele contributes articles to many food magazines and newspapers as well as hosting cooking classes. Her new book, What’s For Dinner? is due out in April 2011. They can be found online at campionandcurtis.com
Campion and Curtis answer our questions about eating seasonally, family recipes and dining out.
What inspires you and your food?
Hunger! We're always driven by the next meal we are going to eat. It has to be fresh, fast and satisfying.
The Foodies’ Diary 2011 comes out this month. Why is eating seasonally important?
Seasonal food is important because if something is in season it is at its peak of quality and flavour and well as being the best price.
What are the advantages/disadvantages?
Flavour and quality are the advantages. A disadvantage is the wait. Generally speaking, we are accustomed to eating things in season, for instance figs need to be eaten in late summer, they don’t have the same appeal in the midst of winter when apples and citrus fruit are so good.
Is there some produce you absolutely have to have year round, even if it's out of season?
Lucky for us some produce is good all year around such as potatoes and onions, but these do have better flavour in winter when we would eat them more often.
Your recipes are very family-friendly. What did you learn about food from your families?
Everything and more as our children develop their palates. Food should be a pleasure, not a chore.
What's your favourite family recipe?
Chicken meatballs in tomato sauce with spaghetti.
What is your favourite recipe:
To impress? Fish with anything.
To comfort? Chocolate pudding.
For an easy weeknight dinner? Bolognaise pasta bake.
Tell us about your favourite food event in Australia.
Monthly farmers markets around Australia – our local markets in Melbourne include Veg Out St Kilda Farmers’ Market, Collingwood Children’s Farm Farmers’ Market and Slow Food Melbourne Farmers’ Market.
What is your favourite place to eat out?
Impossible to pick just one – Journal Canteen [Melbourne], Cumulus Inc [Melbourne], Movida [Melbourne], Pacific House [Richmond] and Ocha [Hawthorn].
What it the most important piece of advice for your fellow foodies?
Cook from scratch as often as possible, grow vegetables and herbs at home and shop at farmers markets as often as possible.