Sunday, May 01, 2005

More than a shrimp on the barbie

Anyone who has Google alerts for anything published on the web in food, Australian cuisine and related topics might have seen the very strange article in Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail. I am stunned by the article which begs a follow up story: More than just four chefs in Sydney.

I cannot believe that Donna Hay, whose work and books I admire greatly, could recommend a glorified fish and chip shop on the harbour as somewhere to actually go and eat! Get takeaway from any corner store if you must and sit of the wharf for free, at least you will pay a tenth for the same thing all up. The seagulls will also be more entertaining than the waiters' attitudes.

Then there's no mention of the dozens of chefs who are committed to their craft and trades, chefs at Hugos, Milton Park, Banjo Patterson Cottage Restaurant, the Red Centre, Victoria Room and others who turn out great food using authentic flavours of Australia. For a good guide on these and to unlock the culinary scene which extends way past the media chefs, may I refer readers to the unparalleled website at de Groots Best restaurants of Australia?

I get the nagging suspicion that this article was written from the recycled press releases from our venerable Tourism organisation which must derive some benefit from focussing on the over-exposed media chefs of Sydney. Who can afford to go to their venues (if they are actually there) and why is it that they wipe mention of more deserving chefs in our industry. And what real benefit do these chefs deliver when all they promote is themselves.