5 Minutes With: Laura Romeo

What Is Your Earliest Food Memory?
One of my earliest food memories was baking with my Grandma in the Barossa Valley, where I grew up. We loved spending most of our time together baking in the kitchen or playing out in the garden. By the age of 8 I became known for my pavlovas, they were always a family favourite at gatherings. To this day I still try and visit my grandma leading up to Christmas, just to bake with her all day so she has a fridge and pantry full of Christmas goodies for all of her visitors and family.

Which Ingredient Are You Obsessed With Right Now?
Salt, Salt, Salt. The more I learn about cooking, understanding the importance of using the best produce and discovering my own taste buds, I have a greater appreciation for the power of salt. Knowing how it can change the texture of foods, it can completely transform any dish, bringing out the best of flavours. I use it almost every meal, whether it’s liberally applying it to a nice thick steak before it goes onto the barbecue, then applying a sneaky amount of finishing salt too, or even adding sea salt flakes to my chocolate caramel ganache.

What Kitchen Tool Can't You Live Without?
Does a barbecue count as a kitchen tool? Hands down I couldn’t live without a barbecue. I currently have 6 Weber barbecues at home, each of them I use for different occasions or foods. Any food just tastes so much better on a barbecue, the smoky flavours and caramelisation on meats, seafood or veggies is just so irresistible. I also love to bake in the barbecue or cook things you usually wouldn’t think of like curries, stir fries or soups.

What Is Your Go-To-Meal When You're Feeling Sick?
Speaking of soup, I love pumpkin soup, not necessarily just when I’m sick, as pumpkin soup always makes me feel good. I love to get a whole Jap pumpkin, cut a circle out around the stem at the top, scoop out the seeds, then fill it with onions, garlic and chillies. I then roast the whole pumpkin on the barbecue for a couple of hours. Once the flesh has softened and caramelised I scoop it all out and blend it in a food processor. So easy, delicious and filling.

What Do You Prefer - Entrée or Dessert?
Both! I’m a big eater, and I love trying as many dishes as possible. I’ll always say yes to an Entrée and I’m not afraid to be the only one at the table eating dessert too. I have found that the best experiences that I have had at restaurants is when you can say ‘feed me’ and let the waiter/chef bring out their favourite dishes, you often try foods that you wouldn’t usually pick and they turn out to be your favourite dishes. 

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