How I shop: Anthea Loucas Bosha

Anthea Loucas Bosha is the CEO of Food + Drink Victoria, the organisation behind the nationally renowned Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Supporting local businesses is Anthea’s mission, and her shopping trolley is packed full of Victorian products. “For a tiny State we punch way above our weight when it comes to food production,” she says. 

Her supermarket mainstays include local milk, ready-to-go pizza and anchovies, always anchovies.   

Anthea Loucas sitting next to table

Ready-to-go pizza, tacos and Parmesan are some of Anthea Loucas Bosha’s weekly supermarket staples

In Anthea’s trolley:

Ready-made artisan pizza

Our closest Coles is now a fancy Coles Local which we are very excited about. It’s a more premium experience with products from great local suppliers. I particularly love the suite of good quality ready-made pizzas that have come on to the market recently. These artisan products are as good as you’d find in a pizzeria, with long-proved fermented dough bases and top-notch toppings. They’re handy to have in the freezer for a quick meal – they take less than 10 minutes to heat. And in some ways deliver a better result than home-delivered pizza because you can eat it super-hot, fresh from the oven. I always go for the ham and pineapple and pimp it with fresh chilli.

Parmesan

This is an absolute mainstay in our kitchen. I’ll always have a big tub of grated Parmesan as well as a thick wedge in the fridge to use either sprinkled over a pasta or a soup, peeled into long, thin ribbons for a rocket or Caesar salad or to just snack on with a cracker. And nothing beats adding the rind to a minestrone for a delicious umami hit.

Bulla sour cream

We have tacos on an almost-weekly rotation at our place. And when I say tacos, I am not talking about anything artisan. I am talking about crunchy corn Old El Paso tacos which we stuff with a mince beef and red kidney beans mix (I use paprika, cumin, coriander seeds and chilli to season). We finish them with avocado, tomato salsa, sliced cos, hot habanero sauce and sour cream.

"The secret is to put the sour cream on the hot mince so it melts a little. I always buy Bulla because it’s super creamy and it’s local."

Anthea Loucas Bosha

Great Ocean Road milk

Another great product from the Western District of Victoria, they do a nice line of cheese (the Vintage Cheddar gets our thumbs up) and I always buy their milk.

Cobram Estate Olive Oil

There’s very little that I cook that doesn’t use a good drizzle of olive oil, whether I’m sautéing a sofrito (a fragrant vegetable sauce often used as a base in Italian, Spanish and Latin American cooking), dressing a salad or finishing a dish - I suppose it’s the Greek in me. This Victorian product is the business. It’s so fresh, nothing can beat a local olive oil. I always get the Robust Flavour.

Anchovies

There will always be a big jar in our pantry. I eat them straight out of the oil or maybe on a Jatz cracker with a thick slab of butter. I add the oil to dressings or to flavour a stew or pasta sauce. I love them for a Caesar salad. I love them, full stop.

Can of beans

It could be cannellini or kidney, chickpeas or even old-school three bean mix, but there’s always a good store of canned legumes at home. They are great to add to salads and soups, make a quick dip, or my tacos (see above).

Good butter

I will always reach for the best local butter I can find. It might be Great Ocean Road or it could be Organic Milk Co. I love the ethos of the brand which is centred on ethical and sustainable dairy.

Good mayo

Whether it be S&W Whole Egg Mayonnaise or Kewpie, there’s always some good mayo in my shopping trolley. I use it to add creaminess to a salad dressing, and as a must-have spread for sandwiches. Pro tip? Smear it on the outside of a toastie before pan-frying it for a super-crisp finish.

Vetta lasagne

I am going to call it: I make the best lasagne. I even once beat [Attica chef] Ben Shewry in a lasagne cook-off. It’s true. But I can’t take all the credit, that goes to chef Neil Perry because his recipe is the bomb. It has a light cook, so you retain the freshness of the tomato, and loads of garlic and onions which add sweetness. You finish the sauce with a generous handful of basil so I suppose it’s a spring lasagne for winter. I will always reach for the Vetta lasagne sheets.

Find out about Melbourne Food & Wine Festival events by visiting mfwf.com.au

Great Ocean Road Milk is available in Victoria and NSW.

Great Ocean Road and Organic Milk Co butters are available in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.