Writers who write about food are writers, no question.
How they write about food is as varied as how chefs and cooks make cheese on toast at home (more on that later) or roast a chicken at work and their readers, fans or haters decide each according to their own views if the writing works or not.
In New Zealand, where I am having a sabbatical of sorts from life in Gent, it is exciting to see the country’s major city Auckland hosting its annual Writers for Readers event (this is their 17th year ), shouting out that the festival brings the world to Auckland.
There is truth to this as can be seen from the programme. What I am mostly interested in is Event 46 guest and showman Jay Rayner.
Rayner is the UK’s Observer restaurant critic. He is a journalist, a jazz pianist and author of books like The Ten (Food) Commandments, A Greedy Man in a Hungry World, and My Dining Hell: Twenty Ways To Have a Lousy Night Out.
He figuratively fell into my lap.
He was already one on my list of a handful of notable food writers of the world I am interviewing now for a series for Food and Wine Gazette, and he was right here in the Antipodes Down Under.
His one man show Ten (Food ) Commandements is a take it or leave it guide of fun and fact for restauranteers to improve their game.
His claim to even daring this stand alone show is that he knows how to eat, which he says (tongue in cheek) gives him the right to comment.
I decided to forgo a seat in his audience at The 10 and opted instead for a tete-a- tete in his dressing room under the stairs of the theatre.
My afternoon moment with Rayner is to follow in a future issue.