As you have, or haven’t, noticed there hasn’t been a great deal here of late so I thought I’d put a few stories up that I did a while around. That was when I actually wrote at SPICE rather than just rail over double spaces and go schmoozing at after parties. One’s from Esperance and two are from the Great Southern region
Issue 9, 2007
How’s the magazine going? Well I’m glad you asked. We’ve just completed 20 issues and are working on our 21st, which will bring us into the next five years of publication. 2009 was an especially hard year as things went flat and flat isn’t what you want when you’re not where you want to be and you’re tired. But 2010 and has been brilliant, new staff in the office, a tight and lovable team of writers and photographers, and the page count going from 88 to 112. Every issue has involved improvement in some way but we’ve managed to stay true to our original principles – to be local, to represent all people involved in food, to educate, to be progressive and to avoid the pitfalls of advertorial. The qualities were to be a good read, a good looking magazine, and to have some actual jokes (I think there were four in the last issue).
In the last two issues we’ve had chef’s on the cover and, as these were Neal Jackson and Alain Fabregues, they represent two of the most important chefs in Western Australia in the past two decades if not ever. As Alex pointed out, as I get lost in the mechanics of it all, it’s brilliant they accepted and it’s a source of great pride they chose to be involved. We’ve featured pretty much every significant chef in WA and by next issue it will be nearly all. We never seem to get close to covering all the producers but there have been sheep and rabbit farmers, fruit growers, sardine fishermen and octopus fishermen, sausage makers and bakers, organic farmers and broad acreage farmers, cheese makers and wine growers. There have been vegetarians and butchers, local markets, street parties, small bars, inner-city and small towns, teachers and students, recipes and techniques all in a small independently owned quarterly under circumstances that I described as looking like you’d expect to be made on the gestetner and stapled. I find myself never entirely happy with each issue but it’s a bit like working on a car – always a few kilos to be lost here and some extra horses there to shave a few more seconds off.
For me personally, it’s been an immense privilege to learn and taste and try and work with and meet people who are dedicated, smart and interesting and be supported by and engaged readership. And, well that’s enough, I had been hoping just to bodge off a couple of old articles.