Jill Dupleix grew up as the daughter of a sheep farmer and took an unusual route to becoming a food writer – it involved a phone book, a bike ride and a stint in the world of advertising. And meeting Terry Durack: “We hated each other on sight.”
They not only married each other, they ended up reviewing restaurants together.
Since those early days, she’s written 16 cookbooks, been the editor of the Good Food Guide, food curator of TEDx and currently she’s the co-director of the Australian Financial Review‘s program for Australia’s Top Restaurants with Terry. It involves overseeing the Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants list and ceremony and writing about the remarkable venues that get highlighted by these chef-voted awards. (There’s one restaurant that lives up to the obsession with hyperlocal produce by making its plates from its actual surrounds.)
She talks about how the Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants list is put together and what makes the highest-ranked establishments so special – from the neighbourhood charms of Tipo 00 to the special-occasion appeal of Brae, where even the temperature of the dishes will make an impression on you.
Jill also covers the unusual espionage methods she resorted to while reviewing restaurants in the early 1980s (long before the iPhone – or the luxurious ability to simply take a photo of the menu or the dishes you’re eating – existed) and what she thinks the future of restaurant reviewing will look like.
You can listen to this episode on iTunes or download it via RSS or directly. You can even find it on Stitcher nowadays. And thanks to everyone who has said generously mentioned nice things about this podcast or even dropped a kind review in the iTunes Store – it makes all the very nocturnal editing sessions worth it!
Photography of Brae by Colin Page (top: sweet tomato and sweet ricotta; bottom: beef tendon and mountain pepper; salt and vinegar potato; prawn, nasturtium, finger lime; wallaby and flax, lemon myrtle and wattle; burnt pretzel, treacle and pork); portrait of Jill by Esteban La Tessa.