This week in SBS Food’s Blog Appétit – our round up of food blogs worth bookmarking – we bring you he needs food.
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10 Jul 2014 - 3:27 PM  UPDATED 6 Nov 2014 - 3:12 PM

Sydney local John Bek, of he needs food, has been blogging since 2009, making him one of the city’s first bloggers. Like his contemporaries, Bek mixes it up, with content ranging from restaurant reviews (think cheap eats and fine dining) to travel highlights (from Byron Bay to the US). Recipes are another key component and Bek takes inspiration for his creations from a vivid palette, including market produce, native Aussie ingredients and his Croatian heritage. The blogger’s informative yet personalised writing style is also appealing. If you need food, try Bek’s.

“When the days get shorter and the temperature drops at winter time, there are changes also evident in my kitchen. A constant supply of dried beans and lentils are ready to be soaked for hearty soups and curries, dried pasta for quick and easy midweek dinners, and seasonal fruits and vegetables for a warming dessert or baked vegetable dish. In winter, I can't think of anything better than tucking into a steaming bowl of Croatian bean stew, dunking it with crusty bread and cleaning up the plate with even more bread.

“I cook from the heart and allow the ingredients to speak for themselves. I'm constantly experimenting with ingredients and picking up inspiration wherever I am. Even when seeing contrasting fruits, like figs and blood limes, at the market, I can't help but experiment and figure a way to marry the two. It either works or it doesn't, and there's only one way to find out.” 

 

I started my blog to...

“Add yet another voice to the Sydney [blog] sphere. When I started five years ago, it was mainly restaurant visits, but my site today dabbles a little in restaurants and a lot in my travels and recipes that cover Croatian food, native Australian ingredients and anything else in between.”

 

The must-cook recipe on my website is...

“My lemon verbena vanilla slice. It's very much like our Aussie favourite, just more delicate and aromatic.”

 

I can’t wait to go back to...

“Osteria di Russo & Russo in Enmore, Sydney, to eat whatever that talented chef there is knocking up.”

 

My current food obsession...

“Is kipfler potatoes.”

 

Eating...

“Mangoes takes me back to being a teenager living in south-east Queensland, sitting in our mango tree and eating mangoes fresh from the branches.”

 

Nugget of cooking wisdom...

“Freeze your fresh ginger and turmeric roots rather than letting them go off in the fridge. They grate perfectly while still frozen.”

 

I learnt to cook from...

“A few talented chefs when I was 18 years old. Yes, my parents played a part before that, but learning proper kitchen skills came from studying professional cookery at college.”

 

I always have...

“Tinned tomatoes, dried pasta and anchovies in my pantry (I even have two spice cupboards!); kipfler potatoes, kale and olives in my fridge; and peas, puff pastry, chorizo, parmesan rinds and finger lime in my freezer.”

 

My most sauce-splattered cookbook is...

The Best of Croatian Cooking. It's a great resource for the cuisine of my heritage and gives me inspiration to create my own variations of Croatian dishes.”

 

The most difficult food to shoot/style is...

“A curry or a stew. I always find they look like slop no matter how I style them.”

 

Beyond my own blog, some of my favourite reads are...

Cocoa & Lavender, Grab Your Fork, Belly Rumbles, Chewtown and Snippets of Thyme.”

 

Top picks from he needs food

1. Butternut pumpkin and quinoa soup

Butternut pumpkin and quinoa soup

2. Baked fig and blood lime pudding

3. Masoor dal

4. Ham with leek and chestnuts (šunka sa porilukom i kestenom)

 

Blog Appétit editor Yasmin Newman

Blog Appétit is our curated list of go-to food blogs we love, with a focus on high-quality photography, trusted recipes, strong editorial themes and a unique voice and personality. View previous Blog Appétit entries.