Friday, June 12, 2009

World Blog Surf Day

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog. Over the past two months, I have been busy working, traveling, parading, booking tickets, drinking, going to the beach, taking pictures and buying new pants. Two months goes quickly, but not long enough to get the NBA playoffs off of Here are the top 10 highlights of the last two months:

10.National Gallery of Victoria
9. Trip to Brighton Beach
8. Club-hopping with a Canadian guest
7. Second place at Medical Trivia Night
6. Discovery of Twitter
5. Arj Barker at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
4. Lunch at Guiseppe Arnaldo & Sons
3. Weekend in a summer house in Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula
2. Four-day trip back to the U.S.
1. Alex's Farewell

But enough about things you are actually interested in – today it’s time to talk about food. Today is World Blog Surf Day, the annual day for expats to blog about one common subject (this year is food) and, by linking to other expats’ blogs, create a chain from Australia to Turkey and everywhere in between. This is the ONLY reason I am updating my blog today, but I actually think talking about food would be a lot of fun!

Along with God and Scarlett Johansson, food is one of my favourite things in the whole wide world, and lately it’s consumed me as much as I’ve consumed it. This past week was the Good Food and Wine Show, the Melbourne Italian Festival, and the second month of my new favourite show, Master Chef.

Master Chef is the American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance of cooking, pitting Austrailan amateur contestants against each other to cook the best dish - with the worst facing elimination. These chefs are quite good (particularly the ultra-hot yet ultra-eliminated Linda Kowalski), but it is also extremely consistent with the rest of Australians.

If there’s one thing Aussies do well, and one thing only, it is cook. Communicate coherently? Nope. Manage the budget? Sorry. Stay sober one night? Not a chance. But grill a flawless snapper with beautiful vegetables and a refreshing glass of wine? You betcha. Melbourne in particular is home to some of the greatest restaurants in the Southern Hemisphere, mixing Asian and European influences with uniquely Australian meat and produce for a wonderful fusion of tastes.

However, most foreigners don't realize just how much great food there is in Melbourne. In fact, food critic Matt Preston recently wrote in The Age that Melbourne is losing its reputation as one of the world’s great food cities, having failed to place a single entry in the world’s 100 best places to eat. He has his own theories, including isolation from the majority of restaurants of the world, but I have a better theory: The world hates Melbourne.

And for good reason. In Melbourne, we are racist, violent, drunk, drug-addicted, backwards and dumb. Who wouldn't hate this city, other than racists, drunkards, illiterates and alcohol suppliers?

As a result, we have been omitted from one of the few things we hold pride in - a list celebrating our food. It is particularly a shame because when tourists visit Australia, they mainly visit Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef, skipping Melbourne entirely. Never mind that Melbourne hosts most of the country's best exhibits, sporting competitions and art galleries. Never mind that it is home to the best nightlife, entertainment and dining.

The food in Australia - everything from the fine dining restaurants to the hole-in-the-wall cafes to the produce section at the local Woolies - is first class, and nowhere is it better than in Melbourne.


Sher said...

Hi Don,
It sounds like you've been very busy and having many adventures lately! You sure added a very interesting post to WBSD!! I would certainly like to visit Melbourne and visit places of great and varied cuisine there!

Have a great day,
Sher :0)

Ivanhoe said...

Now your post made me want to come visit Melbourne & Australia even more. Especially when you talk about the drunks and idiots, because we don't have any here in U.S. ;o)

Emmanuelle Archer said...

Fun post, Don! I started reading through your archives and I really like your writing style, especially your weekly summaries - I'll definitely be back for more.

I wish you all the best with your Australian adventure!


Writer Lady said...

One of my favorite places in Melbourne was the botanical gardens, the fruit bats, and the tea house in the center. Have you been there yet?