Posts Tagged ‘tv’

30
Sep
2011

Interview with 730 ABC

Five Bar

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).

11
Mar
2009

Masterchef “Sizzle” Reel

*** Update ***
The videos have now been removed due to a copyright claim by Channel 10 Australia. They were originally uploaded by youtube user micx0r, who also appears to exist on twitter, myspace, and various other sites as a digital media and viral marketer…

Premature release perhaps ? Or all perfectly intended…

Well the cogs of marketing are slowly turning and Masterchef Australia is lurching it’s way towards opening.
As yet an official start date hasn’t been released but it’s thought to be in May now, after the end of the Biggest Loser.

I’ve been getting more comments and bits and pieces from people over the last few weeks. More stories from the auditions in Sydney of romances between sausage girls and fish boys, of chopping onions and cutting fingers, of tasting bolognaise sauces, and “Amazing Race” style dashes to the Sydney Fish Market for some high energy challenges.

There’s also been plenty of down sides for the people who didn’t make it through, and I assume those that did too. You’d think a TV show about finding Australia’s next big thing in cooking would at least be able to cater properly… But by all accounts the food was so dire, it did nothing to compensate for the indignity of having mobile phones confiscated and escorts to and from the toilets.

So then thanks to another tip off we see the first clips of Masterchef action released onto youtube. Big points to anyone who spots them self and leaves me a comment. I see one little food blogger in there (if only briefly), and a couple of my crew from the Perth auditions.

It does all look fairly contrived, but I guess we all knew that was going to happen.

05
Feb
2009

Masterchef Confessions

I’m watching with great interest the number of people visiting my site lately after Master Chef Australia information. There’s been searches for masterchef auditions, what to cook for masterchef auditions, masterchef judges, masterchef and spam, spam masterchef and spam, spam spam spam masterchef and… oh wait, this isn’t monty python.

Apparently a lot of people want to know about Masterchef, and I am definitely one of them. So i’ve taken it upon myself to collate a little information from all the various visitors to my site in regards to the audition process, their impression of the fairness or otherwise of how the selections are happening, and any other little tid bits of information I can gather.

The score so far:

Out of the 7000 (or so) people who applied to be on the show, roughly 100 were selected from each state.
From the 100 or so who turned up to the Masterchef auditions, about 20 or so got through to the second day of competing. From those 20 or so people who made it to day 2 in each state, a final 50 were selected overall to go to Sydney for the semi finals.

Those semi finals will be filmed and are due to start on Monday next week the 9th of Feb.

Some stories coming out of the auditions are that a lot of people got through based solely on their stories, and who had little cooking ability. In my personal experience, I’d have to say this isn’t true. The people I met at the Perth auditions were all great people, who had as much love of food and cooking ability as I do, and I would have been very happy for any of them to go through.

I’ve also been talking to other people who did make it through, and can confirm that they are not all of the model stereotype, and did not resort to tricks or sob stories to make themselves seem more interesting in order to get onto the show. The people I’ve spoken to have also displayed an amazing level of knowledge of food and flavours, and I will be more than happy if they make it onto the show eventually.

The word from the audition floor is that seasoning and cooking things properly were big downfalls for a lot of people. Risotto was a hard sell, as were under seasoned dishes. Word on the judges is that George was very tough, Gary a bit dull, and Matt quite friendly. But then aren’t all Matt’s :)

Of course, there’s no denying that reality TV brings out the worst in a lot of people. The grand standing, the gregarious personalities, the over the top fakeness and willingness to do or say pretty much anything to get yourself recognised is all to tempting for some. I’ve heard plenty of interesting stories in the comments of the last post for that.

My two cents is that yes, this is reality TV, it’s going to happen. With Big Brother not airing this year, there will be a lot of disappointed teenagers and voyeuristic housewives looking for their reality fix. Masterchef needs to be the thing that fills that void. The producers are thus compelled to find personalities that fit whatever mould they think is needed to make the show entertaining. How interesting would it be if there were a bunch of food geeks sitting around a room discussing how to best sous vide a fillet of salmon ? (Ok, actually that would be quite interesting…but that probably just means I’m a food geek).

I’m still going to be watching the show of course. I’ve been through enough of the process now to be very interested in how it all turns out. And if a certain mystery person wants to send me a secret wink when they do get on the show, they may just make my day.