Interview with 730 ABC

Now I’m not exactly a shrinking violet or a wall flower (as many of my friends will attest) but it was with a little trepidation recently, that I agreed to be interviewed for a story on food blogging to be screened ON TV. What to wear ? How do I do my hair ? How to stop from sounding like an idiot or offending someone ? It was a tricky prospect.

Of course I’ve always got plenty to say when it comes to food blogging and media, and the changing face of the industry in our fair little city of Perth, so It really didn’t take long to settle into the swing of things.

The piece was put together by Claire Nichols for the ABC’s WA edition of 730, and she did a great job. Along with myself she talked to Mei of Libertine Eats and Liz from Breakfast in Perth about their food blogging endeavours and experiences, and how they got into this crazy game. She also got some mainstream media opinion from Rob Broadfield who was actually rather friendly for once (I’m looking forward to reading his future blog).

He talked about the need for transparency in blogging and his dislike for anonymous bloggers who have nobody to hold them to account. I tend to agree with him on certain points. Good content comes from being informed and doing your research. Uninformed opinion is a slap in the face to restauranteurs and the industry and doesn’t do your reputation or your readers any good. Having said that though, the gist of his comments were towards things said on Urbanspoon, whose “reviews” at times, can be about as helpful as reading the comments on an Andrew Bolt article when it comes to informed and reasonable opinion.

I’d also take issue with his remarks that restauranteurs hate bloggers. I’ve always had rather positive experiences when I’ve chatted to restauranteurs and most of them have been very appreciative of the exposure they’ve had online. Smart owners and chefs should realise that bloggers can be very good for business when dealt with properly (which does not include banning photos or writing spiteful comments in response to unfavourable reviews). I’m also going to take a stab and say that in terms of popularity – the owners of places he’s panned in the past aren’t going to be sending him Christmas cards anytime soon.

In the end I think good content is good content. I’m just as happy to get my information from a blogger I trust, as I am a well known newspaper or magazine critic. If someone makes the effort to know their stuff, has a love of food and a way with words, that’s all I really need. That I write a blog is simply the medium I most often choose to get my words out there, and the one that suits me the best.

And what can I say, blogging has been very good to me. It’s given me the opportunity to write for professional publications, it’s led to my photography appearing in exhibitions and magazines, and it inadvertently led me to meet my wife, which are all what I’d call fairly significantly moments.

So here’s the interview, I hope you enjoy it, and keep your eye out for a quick glimpse of the wonderful Jerry Fraser who joined Marcela and I for a quick lunch at the excellent Five Bar in Mt Lawley (post on them coming soon).

8 thoughts on “Interview with 730 ABC”

  1. Hey Matt, love your blog and your photos! Thanks for posting the news article on your blog – Anthony directed me to it. A friend told me about the feature when it aired and I couldn’t find it until now.

    I am a little puzzled as to why they’d show a shot of my blog, a blog that has clearly has “A random personal blog” written as the byline as opposed to “Your source for comprehensively written, informed opinions about food and restaurants”. I am a little disappointed that they felt the need to show my blog whilst talking about “the growing number of people going online to dabble in his line of work” as that’s not my intention at all.

    I really enjoy taking pictures of food and I feel like they have better context if there is some text to go along with the photos. In a blog post, I like to share my experience of the place and a couple of thoughts about it, but it isn’t meant to be a professionally written restaurant review, nor does it purport to be one.

    Is there something I should be doing differently with my blog posts? I feel sortof attacked by this feature :( your feedback would be appreciated.

    1. Hey Sab,

      I’m pretty sure they included your blog because you take excellent photos, and it looks really good on camera.
      I wouldn’t associate any connection between those words and your blog specifically, as it was more likely just
      showing examples of other kinds of blogs while the voice over was going.

      If anything I think you should be happy that your photos and style of your blog is really great, and obviously
      stands out, and the inclusion of the screenshots in the clip made me go and check it out too :)

      Hope that helps ?

      Matt

  2. Hi Matt,

    I saw this story while holidaying in Bangkok recently – you came across really well. What I really like about your blog/restaurant reviews is that while you put in personal touches, you don’t blather on about your dining companion’s occupation and hair colour, or what the people at the next table were wearing (unlike some certain “professional” food writers).

    By the way, the empanadas at Mondo’s were particularly fine last week!! How do you make that spicy, vinegary dipping sauce?

    1. Thanks for that Linda. I guess I try to just say what I think when it comes to reviews, someone is always going to disagree because we all have such different experiences, so there’s no point being too sanctimonious about it.

      As for the sauce, the name is aji pique – it’s made predominantly from red and green chilis, vinegar, lime juice, and coriander. My recipe changes often as I refine it :) Also you’ll have to introduce yourself next time you come by.

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