Brave or Stupid?
Is it just us or is anyone else becoming respectfully annoyed with the Australia food media? Brave, or maybe stupid to go there but worth discussing we think...
We do not deny their following or the difficulty they must face keeping up with an over saturated and increasingly popular subject, however, how many times do we have to read about the same venue over and over again? Why do we need to know about the tenth restaurant serving the best pulled pork sliders or brussels sprouts? Why can’t they branch out, dare to be different and talk about something unique; break from the pack? It would be so refreshing.
In the office here we follow many different printed and digital publications and read them religiously. For the most part they are informative, pictorially beautiful and a pleasure to read, however at times can also be incredibly predictable. Over the last year there have been several openings that have completely absorbed all media and whilst reading every article we have a strange and unpleasant sense of deja vu.
Perhaps it’s that I consider myself to be one of those restaurateurs and therefore feel very empathetic, but I have to ask, why don’t we hear about such legends as the family behind The Malaya who have run a successful business for 50 years? Or al Aseel in Greenachre that serves over 1000 meals a week despite never being supported by a six page spread in one of our glossy food magazines? Most restaurants don’t make it through the first year which is surprising given the amount of media some openings attract. Wouldn’t it be great if just one well followed food critic could stand up against popular trend and write about such stories? What about those incredible restaurants of different cultures found in areas that are not known ‘’foodie destinations’’? Why don’t we hear more about those? The food media have such power and with that should come the responsibility of supporting the industry as a whole, not just those establishments with big marketing and PR budgets.
What is it that entices packs of media to write about one restaurant and not another? Why do they all seem to gravitate towards the same stories? Is it pure co-incidence or are there politics at work?
I think that at this point I need to specify that there are a handful of independent food critics whose work I thoroughly enjoy and truly respect. Their comments come from knowledge and from the heart. They are people who care about the food, about the people in the kitchens rather than the latest trend or novelty that will no doubt disappear in six months.
I am aware that I may come up against some harsh opposition in writing this. I do think however that there may also be a lot of people out there, fellow foodies and hospitality businessmen who will agree. Either way, I would love to hear your thoughts ...