Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Everyone and everyone they've ever met should buy this book, or: I plan on eating out a lot in the coming months.

At the risk of sounding like a wild-eyed fan, let me again sing the praises of aduki independent press to the seraphim and cherubim in the big vegan animal sanctuary in the sky.

The Melbourne Veg Food Guide, edited by Lisa Dempster and published by aduki, reviews veg eatering (yes that's eatering. Get with the program.) places from all over Melbourne and Victoria, and what sets it apart (besides its lovely cover design and the clarity of its rating system and print layout) is the totally one-hundred-per-cent useful reviews.

There are no sucky advertorials or gratuitous "I'm a restaurant reviewer goddamnit don't you know who I am you serf" slagging (equally there are no unnecessarily meaniepants reviews and no holding back when journalistic integrity demands a comment like "This place certainly gets away with a lot - no menu, no license, and somewhat overbearing (but efficient) service ..." - see, brilliant! Honest! Useful! Not too nasty!); there's helpful information about how to make sure your meal is vegan for each restaurant, including tips about which items might have some sneaky egg or ghee; and the writing is friendly, accurate and accessible. I was impressed by the spot-on descriptions of places I know, and giggly with excitement about all the places I don't know.

I don't really know anything about publishing, but I gather that it's an industry in which people who love writing, reading and books can find a high degree of intellectual stimulation around not only what is written but how it comes to be written and how it is and should be disseminated. From my brief peeks around Locus, Emily and Lisa's collaboration, the politics and policy in publishing seem to require a mind that is sharp, inventive, focused and eager to enter the difficult conversations about industry, independence and filthy lucre. I take my hat off and wave it in the air to you!

Everyone and their entire address book should purchase the incredibly fantastic and very reasonably priced Melbourne Veg Food Guide - visit for details - I assume we'll all get very fat eating our ways through it but that's par for the course really.

1 comment:

Lisa Dempster said...

Thank you for your kind comments!!

One of the reasons I loved working on the book is because (as you noted), aduki has a particular style of reviewing that has nothing to do with being foodie wankers or arseholes - just about reporting honest information in a way that we would enjoy reading.