We have a new editor at the helm of our beloved magazine and we think that's reason to celebrate.
Here, we touch base with Dish editor Vanessa Marshall – four weeks into the job – to talk all things food, the frenzied fast pace of publishing and what exactly goes into her mum's delicious 'gunk pie.'
Tell me about how you were first introduced to food?
"In the beginning, it was probably less about food and more about fashion. As a teenager in the eighties, my friends and I would stuff shoulder pads into our blazers and try out all the latest restaurants. Often, we could only afford an entrée but we were 16-going-on-25, and it was thrill enough just soaking up the ambience.
Later, the adventure became the food itself. Flatting a.k.a. bartering for veges at Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne taught me how to cook. Travelling through Asia, then Europe, taught me how to eat."
What do you love most about publishing, media and magazines?
"The industry is constantly reinventing itself. It’s both scary and exhilarating. Plus, the fast pace suits my restless nature."
If you had to choose one last sweet treat – what would it be?
"My mother’s ‘gunk pie’. A pressed slice made with crushed biscuits, condensed milk, coconut, butter and cocoa. It probably has a better-sounding name, but we’ve called it that since we were kids.
Most memorable cooking nightmare?
"I once mistook duck for chicken and tried to roast it for a dinner party. In my defence, it was labelled incorrectly. In my stupidity, I totally overcooked it until it was a dry shrunken husk and we had to order takeaways."
What’s your favourite dish to cook?
"A big pot of mussels, steamed in garlic and wine."
Food to you is often...
"The backdrop for every great memory."
What three famous guests (dead or alive) would you invite to your dream dinner party? Please describe the night’s proceedings…
"I’d start by drinking an Old Fashioned with Don Draper in a dark Manhattan cocktail bar, followed by a Good Fella’s style entrance through the kitchen of ‘Tom’s Diner’ for a sit-down meal with the cast of Seinfeld, then finish up toasting marshmallows on the beach, under a blanket, with Paul Rudd."
Who would you love to be stuck in an elevator with?
"Not sure about the word love as I loathe elevators. But can I choose Paul Rudd again? Surely, he’d cure my anxiety with a gag or two. Rudd, or an elevator repair man."
Best street food experience…
"Giant jianbing – or bing – crispy crepes served from a hotplate on the side of the road in Shanghai. Traditionally, breakfast vendors arrive on bicycle and set up in doorways or covered alcoves before queues form from 6am until around noon."
Best fine dining experience...
"A surprise birthday dinner at O’connell Street Bistro. The food is exceptional as is the service but the effort of my loved ones elevated the experience into something truly memorable."
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
"Try everything once. You can’t have an opinion if you haven’t tried it."
Vanessa's first issue as editor of Dish will be our August-September issue – we can't wait to share it with you.
"Try everything once. You can’t have an opinion if you haven’t tried it." – Vanessa Marshall, Dish editor.