Food Me Up Scotty, although only joining the interwebs in 2012, is already a prominent name when it comes to Brisbane food and hospitality scene. As the #3 ranked blog on Urbanspoon and with over 300 reviews, blogger Anthony Clark sure knows his food and will often be one of the first to check out a new eatery or restaurant. With a taste for fine dining and a stint in New York among his food experiences I was intrigued to know more and managed to catch up with the man behind the blog…
Can you describe in one sentence what FoodMeUpScotty is all about?
It’s about my personal food journey, which I hope is interesting to others!
You started your blog in 2012 – how did it come about?
I’ve always eaten out ‘a lot!’ and my friends always thought I should write a blog, but I was a little apathetic about it. That all changed when one of my favourite restaurants with an amazing chef had to close due to not enough customers. I started writing that weekend and have not looked back.
What was the restaurant?
Confit Bistro in the Valley and the chef was Jason Peppler.
Are you Brisbane born and bred? What is it that you love most about this city?
I’ve been in Brisbane since 1992 but before that I lived in Adelaide, or as its known nowadays, Radelaide! For me, Brisbane has the blend of the best climate, a beautiful city, lots going on and some cool, down to earth people that inhabit this great city.
Can you share a bit more about your professional history? Is your field of work in the hospitality scene?
My day to day job has pretty much nothing to do with hospitality or food. I guess you’d call me a CBD professional, with a Senior role in business that means I have lots of responsibility. Blogging is a great creative outlet and balance for my day job!
Where does your passion for food come from? Have you always been a big foodie?
I’ve been a foodie for a long time and have eaten out most nights for much of my adult life. Just the quality of the restaurants has improved as my bank balance has! I don’t really cook, so it has been about getting out and about and letting someone else cook for me.
How do you find work/blog balance?
It’s such an important part of my life, it really gives me balance to an otherwise quite stressful and hectic working life. I make time for writing and it gives me great pleasure, especially as it allows me to relive (usually) great eating experiences.
As a blogger in the food and hospitality scene how do you think the Brisbane landscape has changed over the past few years?
All I can say is wow! It’s changing so quickly and for the better. I remember when E’cco had just opened and its only other competitor in the CBD for fine dining was Circa (now Era). Now, there are just so many great quality restaurants and dining spots it’s almost impossible to get to them all! I love it and think we can easily start to compete with the Sydney and Melbourne dining scene.
What inspires you/what excites you?
Really creative and cutting edge food that tests the boundaries of casual expectations. I really love it when a chef pushes the envelope and dares to be different.
What other passions and interests do you have?
I love to exercise and probably need to given all the lovely food I eat! I’m getting more involved in photography and am happy that my blog photos are getting better all the time. I love spending time with my partner and just generally exploring Brisbane. We live in the CBD and just love walking around and checking out new stuff.
From your blog what other pathways and opportunities have opened up?
Individually, it’s really helped me become a more open and approachable person. I’ve met so many great people in the industry that share the same level of passion and I’ve made friends with some of the great chefs in town. I’ve started to be approached by restaurants and chefs to get involved in concepts and ideas, which is cool. It will never replace my day job (which I love) but its great to get involved in the industry. I’ve been invited to be a Judge in the New York food scene, which I did in 2014 for TABElog which was really cool. I’ve also had opportunities that I’ve had to turn down, in New York, like getting involved in some cooking TV programs. My month in Manhattan was really productive and I still get invited to stuff there a year after my visit!
Give us your Brissy low-down:
- Best place for breakfast: Confit Bistro had the best breakfast in town, but it’s closed. Otherwise it would probably be Tognini’s Trattoria.
- Dinner: It would be almost impossible to say one restaurant but will go with three – Esquire, Urbane and 85 Miskin Street. There are others, but it would be a long list
- Drinks: I don’t drink but I think Blackbird would be the place I would go the most, followed by Canvas.
What new place(s) in Brisbane are you excited to go and try next?
I was really excited to try out the Foraging Quail and Blackbird Bar & Grill when they opened. I’m still waiting for the next big one but possibly Jamie’s Italian and I have heard rumours that Hugos might be coming to Brisbane
Where in the world holds your favourite food memory? What is it?
wd~50 in New York, I got to meet one of my favourite chefs in Wylie Dufresne, who is the American Version of Heston Blumenthal. Overall though, Manhattan holds about a dozen brilliant food memories
Where in the world is your ultimate foodie destination that you’ve yet to experience/is on the must try list?
It’s always been the Fat Duck, which I’ve tried to get in both times I’ve been to England to no avail. Hopefully I will have better luck when it moves to Melbourne for six months!
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever eaten?
Probably Sea Urchin? I’ve also had beef tongue, sweetbreads and brains before. But you’ll never catch me eating bugs and spiders.
Finally, what is your advice to budding bloggers?
Try to engage with other bloggers, we really feel like it’s a community here in Brisbane and I’ve always made myself available to people wanting to write food blogs. Try to get out to as many different restaurants as possible and to remember that it’s supposed to be fun, so don’t take it too seriously. The more you write, the better you will get!
Interview by Mimi Hyll