Since starting The Bubbalino Kitchen, I have discovered a whole online world of beautiful people putting together gorgeous, inspiring, entertaining and just plain awesome content. Some of them you may have encountered already, others you may never have heard of. I hope by bringing you this series I’m calling Getting Frank with Foodies, I might introduce you to some pretty wonderful Kiwis both here and abroad. Each Wednesday I will bring you someone I admire and respect and share with you their answers to my five foodie questions. I hope you enjoy.
I’m not sure how I first found Dane on Instagram under his Tornadoes & Tigers handle but have learned since then that he is so much more than that! I love his creations and aesthetic. Most of the people I follow tend to be women and as I scroll through to update myself on what’s going on in my little insta-world, I see a lot of kids, many bright and pretty coloured things, cosmetics galore, and lots of yummy food. And then I see Dane’s images and I swoon. It is so cool to see a guy doing his thing in the kitchen and doing it so damn well! Dane makes the most ridiculously-delicious-looking cupcakes and I love cupcakes! He teaches early childhood, he has insane design talent and he’s the brother of the also very talented Be My Light Blog. He has two instagram feeds, and sells his cupcakes via the Spoon & Sparrow.
I asked Dane my five foodie questions recently and here’s what he had to say.
What is your earliest food memory? How has this defined your relationship with/ethos around food?
Food has always been a big part of my life, especially surrounding times of celebration and events. I will always remember the birthday cake my mum made for me for my 5th birthday. It was the train and carriages cake from The Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook (I’m sure everyone knows the book or had it growing up in their kitchen). I can remember being so proud of it because it looked just like the picture, popcorn smoke and all. I guess since then I’ve always loved looking at photos of food in cookbooks and taking note of its styling. So when it even came to making something from a recipe, it always had to look like the picture, I’m not sure whether that was an ambitious habit or me being unimaginative. Either way the practise always paid off and gave me a little more confidence in experimenting myself and creating my own recipes.
Tell me about your proudest food moment.
Besides aiming for picture perfect food presentation, a proud (or in this case a success) food moment would have to be more from a recent event when I was cooking my famous nachos for a table of 7. I incredibly underestimated the size of my pan, I usually only cook for 2. In the pan I was trying to brown off the beef mince and in another pot I was frantically trying to mix up the tomatoes, beans, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and cocoa. With the pan practically overflowing I refused to let it beat me. Eventually I managed to get the two mixed together across both the pan and pot, keeping it all together (the food and my dignity). It all turned out to be a great success and still managed to please the masses. Oh, and the quesadilla’s didn’t even burn in the oven while this was all happening. Small kitchen win!
What is your biggest food dream? (What is your loftiest goal? What do you hope to achieve in your food journey?)
I’d like to say I’m a jack of many trades, and I’m always wanting many different things, usually all at once. I’ve been really happy with how Spoon & Sparrow has been going recently and I would love to make bigger plans. Moving on from success at local markets and cupcake/cake stands I’d like to open a cupcake shop, humble yet sought after. I already have a visual mood board as to how the shop would look, along with the best coffee machine in town. Of course I don’t know how to use this coffee machine yet, either I’ll learn or just get someone else to do it while I focus on baking. If I could dream beyond the shop/cafe I’d love to develop a cookbook. Not sure what kind of food it would be at this stage, but all I know is that I’ll be in charge of all the styling and designing the publication (I need to make good use of my design degree after all).
Your most favourite ingredient and why?
Sorry if I disappoint, but it isn’t an amazing foreign ingredient that has been imported or a rare fruit that has been dried for months. The ingredient that came to me instantly is really just a standard baking ingredient, self-raising flour. I love baking, and in all honestly I’ve always stayed away from self-raising flour because I never trusted it. I liked to measure my plain flour and baking power individually to control my science of baking. But what was I thinking?! One day (not too long ago) I decided to give it a go and found self-raising so effortless and an actual necessity. Since then I’ve never gone back and it’s now my preferred flour when it comes to baking my cupcakes and cakes.
If you could create the perfect scene including your dream person, in a dream location indulging in a dream meal – what would that look like? Person, place and meal?
I’d like to say this scene would be some exotic cuisine or spread across a plentiful degustation. But I think it would be a simple home cooked meal. Perhaps cooked by some pretty big name chefs, lots of them, and they all sit to join me while explaining their meals. Of course I’ll swoon over the presentation and ask them if they could teach me. I will stipulate however that we will have to be eating this in a high rise building in a big city, glass everywhere and a window seat overlooking it all. Sounds good to me 🙂
Please check out Dane’s social media channels and get to love his talent too!
I hope you’re enjoying this series as much as I am. I can’t wait to bring you another wonderful foodie next week. Please let me know if there are any particular Kiwi bloggers or foodies you would like me to ask my five questions of and I’ll make contact with them.
Until our next episode of Getting Frank with Foodies…. adios x