Foodie’s paradise

Living next to the Queen Victoria Market is paradise for a foodie like Marisa Raniolo Wilkins.

The 67-year-old has written two cookbooks, one of which is being re-released this month.

Ms Wilkins is a passionate Sicilian, despite spending limited time there.

She explained that her Sicilian parents met in northern Italy, returning to the island only for holidays and, importantly, for Marisa’s birth.

The family emigrated to Adelaide in 1959 and Marisa and husband Bob Evans moved to Melbourne 13 years ago.

Ms Wilkin’s expertise is seafood and is surprised Australians don’t eat more of it.

She said, rural Sicilians were largely meat eaters but her family had always been city dwellers and, therefore, focused on fish. 

Another by-product of European city life is apartment-dwelling which is why she feels so at home in the CBD.

She and Bob have a car but use it only rarely.  Mostly, they get around the city on foot and via public transport.

She’d always wanted to write a cookery book but didn’t get a chance until she gave up teaching.

Eight years later, she finished the manuscript for Sicilian Seafood Cooking and, finally, in 2011 had it published.

The publisher provided a photographer and a food stylist for the occasion and Marisa cooked 75 meals over a four-day period.

“I was so pleased my neighbours were away so I could use their fridge,” she laughed.

Marisa says the community spirit within her building and beyond is strong.

“I have a terrific relationship with the stall holders at the market so I always get the best quality food.”

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