Janelle Bloom is one of this country’s most-loved TV chefs & food writers. She believes good cooking begins with confidence and a little patience. Her recipes are foolproof, easy-to-follow and use seasonal ingredients that are readily available. What’s more, each one has to taste every bit as good as it looks. Janelle is one of the original chefs who inspire viewers every day on the high-rating Network 10/Southern Star production of READY STEADY COOK, now in its ninth year on air. Janelle has contributed to a many publications as a food editor, writer and food stylist for over 20 years and worked closely with Australian Mushroom Growers for 17 years as recipe writer, stylist and presenter. We took the time to ask a few questions to find out her views on food…
Where did your passion for food begin?
Growing up our lives revolved around food, I guess that’s how it all started.
What is the first thing you remember cooking?
It would have to be cherry cream cheese strudel, I remember brushing the melted ghee over the layers of homemade filo with my nan.
Complete this sentence. Mushrooms are an amazing versatile ingredient and should be on everyones weekly shopping list
What is your signature dish?
It has to be my brownies. Everyone says they are the best they ever tasted.
Can you share one helpful cooking tip?
Try to use as many fresh ingredients in your cooking as you possibly can. Fresh is way better than opening cans, packets.
What’s your most treasured kitchen gadget?
My japanese cooks knife, everyone needs at least 1 good knife, its makes preparation that much easier.
Six ingredients we should all have in our kitchen?
Olive oil-regular & extra virgin olive oil; Butter; fresh herbs growing either in pots or in the garden; olives; fresh flat mushrooms; eggs.
Name the secret place you like to dine out.
The boat house at palm Beach. The food, service and view are all equally outstanding, I love this place.
Where is your favourite foodie place to shop for ingredients?
I go to my local butcher for meat; green grocer for fresh produce & supermarket for general shopping. I do love the farmers market at Warriewood and Frenchs Forest.
One thing you can share with us that we don’t already know?
I am pretty shy. Thou my job keeps me in the public eye, that’s not really who I am personally. I prefer to stay in, have friends around and just stay local.
What part does health play in your recipes?
My food isn’t ‘healthy’ as classified by the health experts; my philosophy has always been the same-eat fresh, keep meal sizes small; reduce the amount preservatives & additives you eat and exercise every day. Food has to taste great and look great, if it doesn’t then what’s the point!
What cultural traditions influence your style of cooking?
Only from my travels around the world. I have been lucky enough to visit many places, and I always go to classes or local homes to learn about the cuisine and cooking techniques, then come back home & pass them on through my television or radio programs or recipes.
Favourite travel destination & why?
It has to be the south of France; after just coming back from there I am in foodie heaven. I recommend it to anyone who loves food. And if you get there the Paul Bocuse market in Lyon must be a full days destination.
What would you say your overall cooking style is?
Everyday for all. I don’t pigeon hole my food, I think its suits all.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate and pink lady apples, ok and Kensington Pride Mangoes, oh yes I love hot chips and potato scallops too.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, what does this mean to you?
Well its personal, my younger sister had aggressive breast cancer a number of years ago and all I remember is not being able to breath when I found out. Almost everyone on earth knows someone that has been hit by this terrible disease and a month that’s dedicated to raise awareness & funds is vital in the search for a cure. I am a huge supporter in doing whatever I can to find a cure and am very thankful the Australian Mushroom Growers support this cause.