Interview: Dani Venn (MasterChef)

There would have to be millions of people across the country who know exactly who Dani Venn is, Top 4 Contestant on MasterChef series 3.

Many watched as she worked her way through the challenges of the show.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with Danni to find out a little more about Danni’s cooking and get some information about the upcoming MasterChef LIVE 2011.

What made you decide to apply for a position on the MasterChef show?

I felt like I was in the midst of a “quarter life crisis,” I wanted to try something new and my love for cooking and food has always been strong. Before entering MasterChef I had thought about working in the food industry so I thought entering MasterChef would be a perfect way to see if that was the direction I really wanted to head.

What has been your biggest challenge throughout your Masterchef experience?

Missing my family, friends and boyfriend was the most difficult part of the entire experience. Also being very exhausted on some days and working very long hours.

Can you tell us a little about your biggest triumph on MasterChef?

My biggest triumph on MasterChef was winning two immunity pins. Even though lots of people thought it was undeserved, I worked really hard to win the challenges which saw me end up in the position to win an immunity pin and then worked even harder to actually win the pins. Meeting the Dalai Lama was an incredibly special moment for me too.

Have you got one single absolute favourite signature dish to make, what can you tell us about it?

That’s a very difficult question. I love all sorts of food but the food I enjoy eating and cooking the most is Vietnamese food. I think I could live on Chicken Pho (Soup) for the rest of my days if I had to pick just one dish. It’s a very simple soup made with a whole chicken, a few aromatics, fish sauce and lots of fresh herbs.


MasterChef Live is coming up soon, can you tell us a little about your involvement with the event?

MasterChef Live is going to be a jam packed weekend full of live cooking classes and demonstrations that everyone can take part in, mystery box challenges, Sydney’s best foodie stalls to shop from and the opportunity to meet some of your favourite contestants and celebrity chefs from the last three seasons. It’s going to be lots of fun and I’m really excited to get back in the kitchen with Gary and George in particular! There really is no other event like this in the world.

When can we come in and see you at MasterChef Live?

I will be on the main stage cooking up a storm with Hayden on Friday and Saturday and Alana on Saturday too. I will also be doing cooking tips with Luke Nguyen on Friday plus I will be around on Sunday doing my own cooking demonstration.

Has your MasterChef experience changed the direction you would like your future to follow?

For sure! My long term food goal is to open my own Asian food store, but in the short term I want to get some experience in the media and do cooking demonstrations.

How did your time in Vietnam change your cooking experience?

Living in Vietnam changed my entire perception on the World and how we live, but also opened up my eyes to street food and tasty Vietnamese cuisine. Vietnamese cuisine is so fresh and vibrant (and cheap!), I wanted to be able to learn how to cook the things I had been eating whilst living in Vietnam upon my return to Australia. This desire really changed the way I cooked and kick started my obsession with food.

What is one quirky fact we wouldn’t know about you?

I can hula hoop forever! Only one hoop though.

What does being a woman mean to you?

Being a woman means being strong, talking a lot, having a good laugh with your closest friends, uniting together to create positive change for women throughout the world, including Australia, who may be in a less fortunate position than yourself.

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