The Perth Food Journal was selected by our community as one of the top 50 food blogs of 2011. This was not much of a surprise, since Natalie gives her readers exactly what they want. Delicious, approachable recipes; honest restaurant reviews and some nice insights into food and wine. We caught up with her to find out a bit more about her and her blog.
FE: What’s the story behind your blog name?
Nataly Tierney: The name Perth Food Journal has no story behind it to be honest.
FE: Did you ever keep a paper journal prior to putting up your blog?
NT: Yes. Up until two years ago, I kept a constant journal. My first journal began when I was ten. It was just somewhere to keep things I treasured and to write about memorable occasions. By the age of thirteen my journal was written in daily. I would be writing in my journal at school instead of doing my coursework in classes such as Math and Science. This could be the reason why I didn’t do so well in subjects other than English and Art.
FE: Are your tastes geared toward the more traditional fare or would you prefer fusion or inventive dishes?
NT: Hmm. I am discovering a love for both; however generally, I would choose a fusion dish.
FE: Where did you grow up?
NT: I grew up in a little town called Lake Illawarra on the southern coast of New South Wales, Australia.
FE: What was your favorite food as a kid?
NT: My favourite food as a kid was my mum’s mousaka. It is very different than the Greek version but I would eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could. My mum would serve this with Egyptian rice and salad. I have now learn to cook this dish and it is still one of my favourite foods to eat.
FE: What inspired you to start a food blog?
NT: I am passionate about food and in particular about dining experiences as a whole. My inspiration of the blog was to weed out the good from the bad for my readers and also to evaluate my experiences to see what works and what doesn’t for my future endeavor of owning and running my own café.
FE: What field of food does your blog focus on and why?
NT: My food blog focuses around food dining experiences as a whole – In particular, the service, atmosphere and food a restaurant/café has to offer. I am currently living in Perth, Western Australia and it is one of the most expensive places in Australia to live. I am not classically trained as a chef or know everything about a particular cuisine, however I am an avid cook and enjoy food immensely. I have also worked in some of the best restaurants and hotels in Perth and have been trained in food service. I write about the food dining experience as a whole, as I believe that Perth restaurants have become slack in comparison to other states in producing good food for our hard-earned cash. My writing is just a commentary of particular restaurants and cafés that either deserve our money or don’t and why. I’ve now started to upload recipes I’ve created as well as product road tests.
FE: What is a typical day in your life like?
NT: It is a common occurrence that as soon as I wake up, I will be already thinking of dinner. I will organize it very early in the day. I grab a Fiori coffee from my usual haunt and head to work. I work full time and the work I do is mentally and emotionally straining, so by the time I come home I zone out for a while – normally by cooking or blogging. My partner is also a very good cook and we take turns regularly. I am also studying a post-graduate diploma and I am just starting to play Touch Football a few times a week.
FE: What was your childhood kitchen like?
NT: My childhood kitchen was very small and pokey. My mum would always have something cooking or marinating in the kitchen – even if we were going out for the day. There would never be one meal in the works, but three or four. My mum is a very good cook and sees food as a social event. My mum is a bit of a hoarder so I remember my childhood kitchen as cluttered and chaotic.
FE: What is your kitchen like now?
NT: I seem to be the opposite of my mother in the way that my kitchen now is very tidy and minimalistic on the counters. The pantry, however, is full but everything is very organised.
FE: What type of people read your blog?
NT: I think people who like to read simple interpretations of overall dining experiences at restaurants and cafés in Perth. I think people who aren’t connoisseurs of food or wine but would like to know somewhere to go for a nice occasion, for a catch up with a friend, for a good burger, Thai food, Italian food, etcetera. I like to give my readers the whole picture of my dining experience – the atmosphere, wine list, service and food. I think people are attracted to this element of my blog as it explains the good and the bad in a simplistic way. I also give a run down on some of the best wines and coffees available in Perth. I’m also posting simple, tried and tested recipes as well as road testing food products easily available in Perth to provide my readers with some new ideas for their everyday food experiences.
FE: Which is more appealing for you: a large feast for many people or an intimate meal for two?
NT: Definitely an intimate meal for two.
FE: If I say “chocolate,” you say?
NT: Yes please!
FE: Your major blog headings are “Food,” “Wine” and “Coffee.” Are these your “major food groups”?
NT: Definitely. These are the groups that I am particularly passionate about. I only have one coffee a day and would drive half an hour for a decent coffee. I am lucky enough to live in Australia, and particularly Western Australia, which produces some of the best wines and I like to sample as many as I can. Food for me is more than a necessity – it is an event. So yes, these three are my major food groups.
FE: What is your favorite restaurant and why?
NT: There’s a few but I would have to say Dusit Thai in Northbridge as it has a great wine list, the food is always amazing and the service is outstanding. The atmosphere is always great and the prices are very reasonable.
FE: What is your favorite ingredient and why?
NT: Onion. I like the variety of the family and the different flavours you get when you cook it by different methods.
FE: What is your opinion of the current state of Food Entertainment?
NT: It is getting bigger and bigger. We have a program in Australia called Masterchef, which is my current addiction. They are currently showing Junior Masterchef which features 8 – 12 year olds who cook these amazing meals. I am always astonished when I watch it and get a bit teary eyed. I love cooking shows and food festivals – I really think that Foodtertainment is helping people understand the importance of food and all the amazing aspects of it.
FE: What do you think is the future of food blogging in the next 5 years?
NT: Food blogging is pretty big now and I think it will just get bigger and better.
FE: Would you like to give a shout out to the best joint that no one has heard about?
NT: Source Foods in Northbridge. I’ve been venturing to Source Foods for a few years now and I love the coffee and the food. The food is all sustainable, organic food and they have lovely options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten free foods. Definitely a hidden gem.
FE: What do you think is the most important issue facing foodies today?
NT: Our waistline?
FE: Any food recommendations for the people visiting Perth?
NT: I have many! Gypsy Tapas Bar in Fremantle, Source Foods for a yummy, healthy burger and Dusit Thai for lovely Thai food. I have a few people ask for suggestions on my blog or facebook page for a specific purpose so I am always happy to suggest somewhere according to individual needs.
FE: We’d like to thank you for taking the time to chat with us and congratulate you on making the list.