Five things you didn’t know about me


I’ve been tagged by Andrea, an Australian living in Paris, from Buy Organic for the “five things” meme. Sorry it has taken me a while…

1. I was exposed in The Australian today. Yes, it is true that this food blogger soon becomes part of the “enhanced” food media landscape. I was first approached by the Herald Sun (Australia’s biggest selling daily newspaper) last November, it firmed up earlier this month and I finally signed a contract last Wednesday. The column comes out weekly on Tuesdays in the Citystyle section of the paper. While on a similar subject matter, and a rival to John Lethlean’s gossip column in The Age, it is a case of “same same but smaller”. While everybody knows that John Lethlean’s column is quite large, mine is quite small in comparison. I should add that one Sydney journalist said to me last week: “Apparently, John Lethlean’s huge six foot six or something; they can’t miss him when he’s reviewing restaurants.” While I can confirm he is extremely large in Melbourne, Lethlean does get smaller on interstate visits and is roughly normal size overseas. I in comparison remain a throughly modern and rather cosmopolitan 1.9m wherever I travel. I have requested that my face is obscured in my picture byline to maintain some anonymity. For now, thank goodness, there will be no photo byline so I can preserve some anonymity. I hope to be able to enhance the profile of other local food blogs in my column on occasions.

2. As the above has raised my profile, (and some chefs already know me from my blog) and the gossip maybe getting round, I may as well reveal this one . After my review of Gingerboy last year, John Lethlean and his co-editor Necia Wilden invited me to review for The Good Food Guide. I don’t see any conflict with my column for the Herald Sun (I won’t write about GFG restaurants there) and there appear not to be any restrictive clauses. Most popular disguises: beard/sandals and painted toenails.

3. Currently my toenails are painted acquamarine. The food angle on this is that I was lying on the beach in Cambodia eating a local type of crustacean that looked like a deep-fried giant preying mantis while it happened. Drink: Ice-cold Angkor beer.

4. I studied Theoretical Physics at Liverpool University (in the UK) and thanks to student laziness (I hated lab work) and drunkenness have a mediocre honours degree. I still can, however, calculate whether or not the universe is expanding or contracting and a rough approximation of the probability of an electron-positron collision producing vector bosons (maybe not now I think about it). I’m useless at plain vanilla linear mechanics. My unfulfilled ambition was to work at Cern in Geneva where the Internet was invented. While all this was going on I was living on chips, rice and curry sauce. In many respects Liverpool is very much like Melbourne. Great music venues and bars are hidden in alleyways between the warehouses. As a seven-year-old educational psychologists wanted to send me to a special school. It was only thanks to my mother’s belief in me and persistence that I wasn’t consigned to the educational scrap heap. Personally, I think I was bored. Also I hated school because the food was inedible. Teachers used to detain me until I ate the gunk, which I rarely did. That’s why I hated them too.

5. The other week I ate out six evenings. Even though I sometimes look slim, I weigh 105kg and I feel a little seedy from eating so much rich food. I hate the gym and instead have started kitesurfing and am probably the worst person on St Kilda Beach. I have one giant 16m kite and another dinky 12m one. However low or rotten I feel, all it takes is a half hour of being dragged face-down through the bay (emerging with lavatory paper in my hair) to feel refreshed and ready to attack the next restaurant review. I seem to have no feeling for aerodynamics despite having gained a private pilot’s license (as a series of articles for Australian Flying) when living in Sydney.

Anyone feel free to join in but I’ll come back and tag a five people later.


  1. He will be back eventually he says but maybe not in time. He’s going to be supplying the local IGA and is baking from his sister’s place for now.

  2. passionate bread lover

    a couple of weekends ago. it is my daughter’s bday in a couple of weeks, and i was hoping to commission him to make a memorable bread with either a fruit or olive theme ( she will be 2 but has a staggering palate).
    any help would be greatly appreciated

  3. I’v got his mobile and email. I’ll emaila nd call him and see whats happening. When did it close?

  4. passionate bread lover

    does anybody know what has happened to Greg Brown? he opened a great unadorned bakery in Glen Eira Rd elsternwick that was open for about 2 months. it was unbelievably reasonable, we got the best bread ever straight out of the oven ( literally), and he was extremely personable and accomodating, and nice to my daughter.
    it seems to have closed, and i am desperate to find if he is re-opening somewhere else or if indeed he already has.
    passionate bread lover

  5. Hi Cin,
    What I’m looking to do is explore the out reaches of Melbourne dining that doesn’t usually see the light of day so if you’ve any tips I’m happy to shout a meal (especially with the sillly wig). Sadly, the Good Food Guide stuff is drawing to a close. It’s a short season and the conflicts are too great between News Ltd and Fairfax so i guess i won’t be invited again next year – perhaps that means there is rom for other bloggers to step in.

  6. I’ve just come across this exciting news! So Herald Sun is online as well or will I have to remember to pick up a copy each Tuesday?

    Btw, if you need any dining partners… 🙂 I could also help you to pull on a wig and smear on some lipstick a la Ruth Reichl! (or would that actually make you stand out too much I wonder?)

  7. Truffle,
    Look forward to reading about it.

  8. The blog is a very recent project so no apology required! Thanks very much for the offer to link.

    Was surprised by how simple the recipes are although amused by the amount of Gordon pics included.

    I’ve attempted a few of the puds with pleasing results. Am sure to have a post about it soon.

  9. Neil,
    Radish could be interesting!

  10. I was thinking more like red to match tomato. Or maybe a radish.

  11. jamie,
    It does make him a particle physicist although I think – if I understand atomism – that it means he doesn’t quite want to smash them into such small pieces. I am a fan of Epicurious in the true sense rather than the modern f–die interpretation. And I will try that lne. until I see you again…in print tomorrow I guess.

  12. Apparently Epicureus was a student of atomism, which kind of makes him a particle physicist, just like you… I wonder what would happen if you said “Waiter… there’s a bottom quark in my soup”?

  13. John, did my email get through the spam this time? And the reply?
    Neil, thanks although itis a quite small column. Red – perhaps cherry to match your home made vodka. I guess we find out soon if it is online.
    Phil, my column will be like Andrew Bolt on fire. The mantis shrimp, eh. Aren’t you moving into a bit of old-fashioned media stuff?

  14. I may have told people previously that I wouldn’t buy the Herald Sun until they published a special lift-out poster of Andrew Bolt on fire, but I will now have to eat my words and reassess. On Tuesdays, at least. Congratulations.

    Also: The Cambodian crustacean was a mantis shrimp. People call it “bawngkang” in Khmer, a word that they also use for anything that looks a bit like a prawn, but isn’t a prawn.

  15. Ver impressive mate, congratulations and John Leathlean leaving messages as well! As an Age reader I hope you’re on line too. Now, about those aquamarine toenails…the beer I get but not the nailpolish, red is so your colour.

  16. Ed,

    computer meltdown means I lost your address. You emailed me at weeklend but my spam filter are the email before I could read it. Friggin technology. Please re-send

  17. Matt,
    Thanks and I think my task is to polish what i post more and install that Safari spell check thing. Also i think i will make a greater efort to blog each day. There will be a mention of the blog at the end. They were keen on it. What I need to sort out is how long to wait before posting expanded versions of stories, for example, I’ve covered an opening and have pics and stuff that would be intereting to people who come here from the newspaper on the day. I have no idea whether the column will appear online but i’ve sold most of the copyright (bar the film rights although I could be wrong on this) so it probably will.

    Truffle, when you won godon Ramsay i didn’t realise you had a blog or I would have linked to you. I’ll ad a link in soon. What did you cook from it. i find the recipes failry easy, not that I’ve had time to cook much recently.

  18. What brilliant news! Congratulations and thanks again for the wonderful Gordon Ramsay book. I put it to good use this weekend!

  19. Great stuff Ed, looking forward to lots of interesting and informed food writing. Will you be able to mention this blog at all ? Or is there a requirement for a big distinction ? And will the column appear in the online version of paper as well ? Or just the print ?

    It’s an excellent development anyway… best of luck mate 🙂

  20. Kalyn
    Thanks it is pretty cool. It’s quite small and I’m still maninly a business writer but it is going to be fun. I have to confess I’n useless at the kind of physics that most people do and it was for that reason I failed interviews to become a teacher – I’m more towards the pure maths side. It awed me but my mind is probably a bt messy for it in reality. It’s the eating out that keeps me from WHB but i hope to be back later today with capers.

    Thanks and I hope it is a win for all food bloggers rather than just me.

  21. Congratulations on the column Ed! It is a win for all food bloggers too.

  22. Very cool. Congratulations on all the new career developments. And PHSICS! For some weird reason in college I passed a test which meant I didn’t have to take chemistry or physics, (even though I hadn’t ever taken eithe of them) so now I know absolutely nothing about it. Because of that it’s a subject that’s always kind of awed me.