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Hello there


What a pleasure it is to welcome you to The Wholehearted Cook. My name is Dani and I’m a wholefoods cook from Melbourne, mumma to Harlow and Oscar and director of Eat It Up Creative, a food and communications consultancy.

I started The Wholehearted Cook when Harlow was only a few months old as I was genuinely confused about what was considered to be ‘healthy’. With an overload of new fad diets and food trends popping up as well as conflicting health messages being bombarded at us from both the media and food marketers, I set about trying to understand why we in the West found it so difficult to know what we should be putting in our mouths and why food related diseases are on the rise.

With a new babe in my arms, I felt like I had a very good opportunity to start from scratch and try and feed her the best I knew how and share my serious insights and silly stories with you. After interviewing experts, working with food brands, reading a lot of books and trying to learn as much as I could about the health benefits and potential dangers of everyday ingredients and what we eat, I’ve come up with a few simple conclusions.

Eat Real Food (most of the time)

I think Michael Pollen sums this up best, ‘Eat Food, Mainly Plants, Not Too Much’. I have no dietary restrictions and don’t avoid too much of anything except I have an understanding that pre-made food that comes from a packet or delivered through the window of your car, more often than not, isn’t real food. I stick with fresh, whole ingredients, that my great grandmother would recognise as food and cook where possible from scratch. Of course short cuts are necessary but I read ingredient lists and avoid products with long lists of ingredients that require a Google search to decipher what they are.

Cook With Quality Ingredients

For me, food is a form of medicine and buying the best quality ingredients to cook with is a pretty good investment in the health of my family to hopefully avoid getting seriously sick in the long run. This doesn’t necessarily mean buying everything organic, as some organic items are questionable, but I like to buy fresh, local, grass fed, free range and chemical and hormone free where possible, sometimes I even dabble in growing my own. I figure if you are going to go to the effort of cooking, you may as well make it as delicious as possible and better quality ingredients taste the best!

Keep It Simple, Balanced & Authentic

Ask anyone what their last dish would be before they die and chances are majority of people would say something simple, like my mum’s roast chook, a homemade curry or a slice of their favourite cake. No one is going to be telling you that they want an activated charcoal vegan egg with a reishi mushroom latte, OK well maybe some people on Instagram will claim to want this. But the point is I try not to get caught up in the latest fad ingredient or food trend that claims to solve all your health issues – and the world’s. I listen to my body and what feels right for me, as everyone is different. I’m a massive believer in everything in moderation as life is about balance after all.

Thanks so much for stopping by and I look forward to learning and sharing more with you, that’s the beauty about food and cooking, there’s always something new to discover! I’d love to connect with you on social media, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook too.

Nourish Nurture Glow 

Dani x


Dani Venn is The Wholehearted Cook. Dani creates whole food dishes that are simple to prepare and that honour the ingredient, our bodies and environment.

Living a Wholehearted life to Dani means living a life full of happiness, balance and contentment, which for her, starts in the kitchen with real food.

Dani is a self-taught cook, most widely known for her time on MasterChef Australia in 2011, where she was a finalist, and again as a MasterChef All Star in 2012.

Since then, Dani has hosted Weekend Feast on Channel Ten, dabbled in breakfast radio with Tommy Little on Nova FM, cooked her way around the country at live food events, created recipes for food companies, catered intimate dinners and large celebrations, and has even cooked for 400 guests in Mumbai! Dani is proud to be an Ambassador for Ovarian Cancer Australia and OARA.

Dani loves what she does, and is committed to exploring and sharing different ways to achieve a Wholehearted life.

On stage, Dani's enthusiasm and love for market shopping shone through when she addressed the audience and she was able to capture the excitable crowd with charm.

Thank you, Dani!

– Rhianna, Little Big Marketing & PR

Dani’s warm personality, natural charm and likeability shines through and it has helped Intrepid gain fantastic awareness and publicity at events & exhibitions. Dani’s love of food & travel has made the relationship a great success and when she presents for us she has the audience in the palm of her hands and enjoying every detail about her travels.

– Joe Olds, Intrepid Travel