We want to support diversity in Australian food media – so we welcome Australian talent who identify as being LGBTQ+, disabled, First Nations, from a culturally and linguistic diverse background or other under-represented communities to contribute their contact details so that editors, art directors or other people can commission their work.
We believe the talent is there – we just want to make it easier for anyone with commissioning power to find people and publish their work!
Big thanks to Yvonne Lam who set this up with some guidance from Colin Ho – and massive gratitude to Jinghua Qian, who started up the Critical Mass spreadsheet for arts critics, and who advised Diversity In Food Media on the best process to get our database up and running.
New Voices On Food
A book showcasing diverse Australian perspectives on food
New Voices On Food is an anthology that celebrates the work of Australians from under-represented backgrounds.
You can read an extract that appeared in The Guardian: Learning to love beige food: 'Australian cuisine isn't just fairy bread and meat pies' by Rosheen Kaul
Other press coverage:
- 2SER: It's Not All Avocado Toast – Celebrating Diversity In Australian Food
- Cultural Pulse
- One Bite podcast
- FBi radio: Race Matters podcast
- The Fat podcast
You can watch The Wheeler Centre's New Voices On Food event featuring the book's editor Lee Tran Lam, bestselling cookbook author Hetty McKinnon, award-winning writer Osayi Endolyn and Melbourne Writers Festival program manager Sonia Nair.
New Voices On Food features all-new work by emerging Australian talent – including contributors who've never had work published before. Inside, you'll find personal essays, illustrations, travel photography and more by the following people:
- Rosheen Kaul
- Ahmad Hakim
- Hassan Kalam Abul
- Natalie Estay Valenzuela
- Tyree Barnette
- Diem Tran
- Chloe Sargeant
- Lina Jebeile
- Arabella Douglas
Here's a rundown of what you'll find within the book's pages.
So whether you're experiencing the picadas of Chile, chasing a mother's masala tea, getting over beige salad sandwiches, learning about the flavours of Mesopotamia from a refugee advocate, being surprised by an unexpected dinner guest, tracing the plant-based origins of American soul food, discovering how cooking can provide relief from chronic illness, becoming a "zaa'atar kid" or seeing how Indigenous communities share a history with Chinese-Australian immigrants, hopefully this book will open up your world.
Order the book here.
The story behind the book
There have been many conversations about the need for more diversity in food media and freelance journalist Lee Tran Lam wanted this book to be a platform for new and emerging writers, illustrators and photographers. She proposed the idea of New Voices On Food to Somekind Press in July 2020 – and the independent publisher enthusiastically said yes.
Just weeks later, Australians from Indigenous, LGBTQ+, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with disabilities were welcome to submit new work to be considered for the book. They sent in an inspiring amount of submissions – there was enough work to fill 15 books! In September, ten pieces were chosen for publication. In October, the book was edited and laid out. In November, the book was published. Some of the best responses have been incredibly personal.
Because there were so many brilliant pieces submitted for the book – and only so many pages within New Voices On Food – Lam worked with SBS Food's managing editor Farah Celjo to give these unprinted works a home. Thanks to SBS Food for publishing the following book submissions on its website:
- These Indonesian food memories can be wrapped in leaves by Ria Andriani
- The storytelling power of Colombian buñuelos by Sara Giraldo Maestre
- Noodles and naleśniki connect me to my Polish grandmother by Ania Reynolds
- What do you need to make great tea? It'll surprise you by Arthur Tong
- Moussaka: the travelling merchant by Nihal Abed
- The history of congee - and how it connects me to my family roots by Linda Gao
- Eternal Sunshine: a trip across this Melbourne suburb's cultural history by Ann Dinh
- Eggy reveries, onigiri nightmares and a reawakening by Anne Masayo Hasegawa
- My grandmother's red date and lotus seed soup by Sherry Zheng
- What I learnt from my mum's takeaway shop by Diana Tung
Featured images (left) by Natalie Estay Valenzuela.
Diversity In Food Media Instagram Q&As
- Indigenous TV presenter Mark Olive (who has such a big international fan base, he even gets recognised on the back streets of Prague!)
- Sherry Zheng, who edits bilingual food journal, Appetite
- Mexican cookbook author and tamale queen Rosa Cienfuegos
- Studio Mimu, the duo behind More of Something Good – an MSG-powered visual tribute to Asian food culture (and a vital counterpoint to COVID-sparked racism)
- Colournary editor Rushani Epa, who has since become Time Out Melbourne's food editor