The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

O Tama Carey (Berta)

February 17th, 2014  |  Published in Podcasts


I’ve just finished a new podcast – here’s a snack-sized blurb that’ll hopefully stoke some curiosity (and, fingers crossed, a few downloads, too):

O Tama Carey grew up “eating nothing, refusing all food”, so it may be surprising that she ended up as a chef. In fact, she jokes that she was “tricked” into this career. She’s made a name for herself in Sydney, through working at Billy Kwong, running pop-up dinners with Billy Kwong co-conspirator Hamish Ingham (who now heads Bar H) and for the last three years, she’s been adding a contemporary twist to Italian food at Berta in Surry Hills (her Sri Lankan background leads her to sneaking some curry leaves into the dishes, occasionally). O Tama’s hands-on approach means that she’s reared pigs for the restaurant (an incident that resulted in her first experience with shotguns) and she’s had to deal with mega beestings and chasing queen bees in the post (yes, they do get sent in the mail!) in order to cultivate honey for Berta. She also talks about coverage of women’s chefs, what she refuses to eat and her upcoming appearance at Stories from the Cellar on February 23 at Elizabeth Bay House, as presented by Wildwon Projects and Sydney Living Museums. O Tama name-checks her favourite places to eat in Sydney, too – in particular, she salutes the brilliance of Brent Savage (Monopole, Yellow, Bentley).

I had great fun talking to O Tama – she’s insightful, witty and really personable – and I’m super appreciative of the fact that she literally sat in the gutter with me to conduct the interview (it was the only quiet spot we could find).

You can listen to the podcast on iTunes or download it via RSS or directly. And thanks to all the people who have previously left some nice words about the podcasts in the iTunes store, it really makes those 3am edits and uploading stints worth it.

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Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

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This is a blog about eating and drinking in Sydney, Australia (with the odd cross-border or off-topic detour). BYO appetite.

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