Hi, I'm Marti, a Tasmanian girl who grew up on the north west coast of this beautiful state in a town called Burnie. I have always had an interest in food and cooking, helped along by the fact my Mum was a great cook. There were other equally talented women who cooked amazing food in the family, so I was lucky to understand what good food was from the start.
I learned strong foundations from Mum, simply by watching and learning how she went about the kitchen. For example, she'd do large cookups and freeze containers for later. She always made the most perfectly silky smooth sauces and just understood how to grill the perfect steak.
Considering Mum was raised on a farm in far north west Tasmania during the depression and lived through WWII, she understood how to make the most of what you had - and make it taste good.
I left home as a 16 year old and moved to the big smoke of Hobart. Then spent time in Adelaide, then Hobart … I actually became a bit of a nomad, a restless soul, always wanting to learn and experience new things.
My daughter was born when I was 19, so I had to grow up very quickly, yet was still restless, until I ended up in Melbourne. It was 1991, Melbourne was still a big sleepy town and I loved it. I frequented Prahran Market and experienced exciting new flavours and cuisines.
Thai cuisine was all the rage and we had our favourite place in Chapel Street where the owner often sat down for a chat. I talked with her endlessly about Thai food, ingredients and techniques.
Other Melbourne favourites were Soul Sisters (Prahran), Chinta Ria (Prahran, Carlton), Nudel Bar (Bourke Street, city) and Blu Pols was a new food modern Australian eatery I loved in Greville St, Prahran.
I ordered Laksa whenever I could and loved that Soul Sisters would come and wrap a baby bib around your neck before tucking into that noodly, brothy goodness.
I bought books – influences including New Food by Jill Dupleix, Hot Food, Cool Jazz – Simon Goh’s recipes from his own restaurant, Chinta Ria and of course Stephanie Alexander’s The Cooks’ Companion came along in the ’90s.
As I learned more about food cultures, flavours and styles, I maintained that food shouldn’t be fussy or difficult to make. The strong foundations I had, along with some self-taught skills and an excellent sense of taste and smell meant I could put good flavours together and create balanced food. I learned that with these, you can make just about anything.
And that’s what I bring to The Infatuated Foodie, because I believe anyone can cook with a little help and lots of encouragement.
As a journalist and communication professional, I am able to bring storytelling to how I approach food and cooking. Stories are powerful and I love being able to learn about others and share their experiences through stories of and around food.
Over my 25+ year professional career, I've seen how food brings people together both at home and in the workplace during events, special days and celebrations. Can you remember how, before the world was afflicted with Covid, birthday cakes and shared plates would spark conversations, inspire laughter and result in great ideas being workshopped?
Put simply, people meet, chat and connect through food.