Joy of food
A Melbourne radio station reflects our love of good food
THE way to a listener’s heart is through their stomach. Gay and lesbian radio station Joy FM 94.9 is the latest to jump on the foodie bandwagon with a weekly show of gastronomic delights.
Cravings will go in search of the best restaurants, cafes, bistros and markets in Melbourne and Victoria.
Its host, Pete Dillon, is a chef with 20 years’ experience and is a senior radio producer on the ABC.
He’s had a variety of roles during his four years at Aunty, including producing Jon Faine’s morning show.
He currently produces Richard Stubbs’ weekday afternoon show on 774, but on Saturdays at 1pm he’s ready to sort the foie gras from the fennel.
‘‘I’ve been in and out of Joy for the past three or four years on different programs and when the idea of a food and beverage-focused show came up, I jumped at the opportunity to exercise my passion as a foodie and a gay fella at the same time,’’ Dillon says.
‘‘This program airs on a Saturday so it allows the listeners to be motivated by cooking a dinner or trying something new on the week- end. For a second career, I’m having a ball.’’
Dillon tries to book a gay or lesbian guest each week, but says Cravings will appeal to all food lovers.
‘‘Traditionally, and at the risk of making sweeping generalisations, the queer community have always been supportive of new venues and opportunities to socialise, and so much about food and beverage is social,’’ he says.
Cravings began a month ago at the height of MasterChef Australia fever. Judge Matt Preston was a restaurant reviewer for Joy FM.
Dillon believes the show was a success because the public didn’t choose the winner.
‘‘It was more about the talent and determination that was displayed by the contestants,’’ he says.
‘‘I would not like to have been put under the pressure in some of those episodes. I think also that it did not become a popularity contest. (Judges) Matt, Gary (Mehigan) and George (Calombaris) are so well respected in the industry that I think it made it more real and less reliant on the public making choices on looks or personality rather than talent.’’
Best food forward: Pete Dillon goes searching for a good meal. Picture: IAN CURRIE