Joy of food

A Mel­bourne ra­dio sta­tion re­flects our love of good food

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Out Of The Box - ME­GAN MILLER

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

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