Departing Good Food editor Ardyn Bernoth in her kitchen at home.
Departing Good Food editor Ardyn Bernoth in her kitchen at home. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Stephanie Clifford Smith

Ardyn Bernoth, a seasoned journalist who's covered rounds from politics to business, got into food early. She spent the first year of her life in a rope-tethered baby walker roaming the seafood restaurant her father and mother owned on the Tweed River in NSW. Five years spent living in Hong Kong in later life reinforced her love of Asian food (and taught her how to make dumplings, her favourite party trick) which vies for favourite with Spanish. This is her last issue as editor of Good Food but she is pleased food's still a significant part of her new role as Spectrum editor.

The staples

My pantry

I do a lot of Chinese cooking so there's Kikkoman​ soy – if it's good enough for Kylie [Kwong]​ it's good enough for me. Black Chinkiang​ vinegar goes into a lot of dishes and Shaoxing rice wine's indispensable. I like adding dried porcini mushrooms to all kinds of pasta dishes, including a basic Bolognese to give it more richness. I always have balsamic and this Giuseppe Guisti​ is a good one, great added to the meat and tomato base (I use sweet San Marzano​ tinned tomatoes). I always buy honey that's been cold extracted to keep its nutrients. I don't do a lot of baking but on weekends I make pancakes with Absolute Organics stoneground​, unbleached flour which is healthier than normal white stuff. Wholegrain freekeh from Mount Zero goes into Ottolenghi-style salads in summer. I also cook a lot of Spanish so there's Calasparra​ rice for paella as well as good smoked paprika. I totally love the packaging on the Los Novios tin – it's the James Bond of paprika!

Ardyn Bernoth in her kitchen. Click for more photos

Kitchen Spy with Ardyn Bernoth

Ardyn Bernoth in her kitchen.

My fridge

Trunkey bacon I put in pastas or in a lentil and dish that goes beautifully with salmon.  Aphrodite haloumi has a nice salt level and texture. We usually have Woodbridge smoked salmon to go with poached eggs and spinach from the garden on the weekend. Then all manner of fresh vegies and meat to feed my three kids!

Last dinner at home

We had roast duck (bought from the Pyrmont Growers' Market) – with the fat poured off for roast potatoes later. I served with beetroot, pumpkin rocket and goat's cheese salad.

Secret vice

When the kids go to parties and bring home lolly bags, I steal all their soft lollies: jelly babies, raspberries and frogs.

I'm drinking

I like Mariage Freres English Breakfast tea in a pot first thing. I start to twitch if I don't get a coffee by about 9.30am, which I'll have on my way to work. We love the SodaStream for fizzy water on tap. My husband's family makes Crawford River wine and they are well known for their riesling, so we always have a bottle of that in the fridge. When it's blood orange season I love the juice with Campari, the taste of it, that and how beautiful it looks.

My toolkit

The Spanish terracotta we lugged back from a trip is lovely for serving but we don't cook much in it. The heat you get from the Le Creuset​ roasting dish is fantastic for roasts and crisping up potatoes. We make yoghurt with the  EasiYo​ tub all the time and it has proper live cultures in it. It's so good. The Muurikka​ smoker is the most amazing little thing to cook chicken, a rib roast and sometimes I smoke corn on the cob to put into a coleslaw.  

Favourite

Across the harbour from where we lived in Hong Kong is a fantastic place called Shanghai St in Kowloon and it sells amazing cheap Chinese cookware. All my stuff – the much-loved wok, paddle, dumpling scoop and cleaver – is from there. It was such a special time in our lives and embodies all the exploration of Asia we did.

Inspiration 

Cookbooks! Obviously in this job I get sent up to four cookbooks a week – just being surrounded by them and flicking through them is a constant source of inspiration. Wherever I live, I want a shelf for cookbooks because they're just so beautiful.

Kitchen highlight

The huge walk-in pantry. When I first saw it I thought I'd never fill it, but now it's nearly jam-packed.

Food discovery

I like to cook healthily and I've discovered this brown basmati. It's light and fluffy, where other brown rice tends to be stodgy and intensely nutty, which my girls hate. It's awesome with curries and in fried rice too.

Most memorable meal

I was travel writing and went to Hainan Island​ off China. It was a bizarre place; there we were in the Platonic ideal of a beach restaurant with our feet in the sand while at the other end of the beach was a nuclear submarine base. We ordered fish that were kept in tanks out the back which they killed to order and barbecued. I've never had freshness like it and in a place that you wouldn't expect to find in China.

Quote

I love Nanna's cookbook. I don't use it much, but I love the fact that a love of cooking runs through families and knowing she was into cooking as well.