Melbourne Calling: Alison Roman

Published on 5 March 2020

Photo: Alison Roman (credit: Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott, courtesy Hardie Grant Books)

There’s a whole load of interesting people coming to town in March for the 2020 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, and there’s lots we want to know about them. We also hit up the Melbourne food world for their own burning questions for the out-of-town talent. First up with the answers is Alison Roman, cook, writer and author of Dining In and Nothing Fancy, on the phone from New York.

MFWF: What’s first thing you want to do when you touch down in Melbourne?

Take a nap. No! I’ll probably get a coffee.

Jess Ho, Time Out: Which MFWF talent would you most like to cook for and why?

I’m gonna say Helen Goh. She seems really nice.

MFWF: What’s the dish you’re best known for?

The Stew. Or anything with “The” in the name. 

Fleur Studd, Market Lane Coffee: Who inspires you?

Anyone who loves what they do.

Sofia Levin, food writer: What’s something original you’ve received from a dinner party guest?

I don’t really get gifts that much, except for the requisite bottle of wine, which I always appreciate. Somebody brought me a plant once; that was nice.

Alice Zaslavsky, food writer: What was your first pitch to the New York Times?

I don’t remember my first pitch, but my first assignment was a guide to making pancakes. For me the key is using coconut oil for the frying. And the batter should be looser than you think.

MFWF: Which of these Melburnians do you relate most closely to: (a) Nick Cave (b) Chris Hemsworth (c) Courtney Barnett (e) Olivia Newton-John (f) Flea?

I’d like to say that I’m a Courtney Barnett, but honestly, I’m more an Olivia Newton-John. Circa Physical. Or Xanadu.

Catch Alison on the Asko Main Stage as part of Shed X Talks on Saturday 21 March, Queen Victoria Market, Queen St, Melbourne. Entry is free. More information here.