#022: How to be a better writer; be a good listener - Rita Erlich

By Jordan Michaelides
July 12, 2017

Image:  Rita Erlich by Paul Rovere

Listen via iTunes or Stitcher

Rita Erlich ( @ritaerlich ) is a food writer, former co-editor of the The Age Good Food Guide, and author of multiple books including: Melbourne by Menu; Scott Pickett: A Cook’s Story ; and The Makers: A Story of Food, Family and Foreigners . Holding a brilliant reputation for over thirty years in journalism, Rita is also a passionate cook in her own right, reflecting on her early childhood as the reason for where she is today - where not eating her vegetables managed to blossom into a love of all things culinary. That, and her experience with The Age Good Food Guide, has given her the chance to not only assess, but work alongside great chefs such as Philippe Mouchel and Scott Pickett.


In this episode we talked about:

  • How Rita came to write for the The Age Good Food Guide

  • Core principles of her writing

  • How to be a good listener

  • On Dining in the Dark and the senses

  • Lessons learnt from her parents, family history

  • How her fascination with food came about

  • The importance of a humble dining experience

  • How Rita cooks

  • The industry: then vs now

  • The food culture of Melbourne

  • Commonalities amongst the good restaurants

  • Cookbooks worth gifting

Enjoy the episode,
Jordan & Lauren




Show notes

  • Brief introduction {04:52}

  • How Rita came to write for the The Age Good Food Guide {06:57}

  • Core principles of her writing {17:57}  

  • How to be a good listener {19:42}

  • On Dining in the Dark and the senses {21:01}

  • Lessons learnt from her parents, family history {24:39}

  • How her fascination with food came about {32:52}

  • The importance of a humble dining experience {38:49}

  • How Rita cooks {44:00}  

  • More on the The Age Good Food Guide {51:07}

  • The industry: then vs now {53:12}

  • Chefs that currently stand out {55:48}

  • What hasn’t changed in hospitality {58:48}

  • The food culture of Melbourne {01:01:18}

  • Advice to food writers starting now {01:04:05}

  • Myths and mistakes writers may make {01:07:46}

  • How she would train prospective journalists {01:09:06}

  • Commonalities amongst the good restaurants {01:12:52}

  • Apparent failures that have turned into a success {01:16:31}

  • If she had to do a TED talk not on food or hospitality, what would it be? {01:20:10}

  • Something she’s most proud of {01:20:57}

  • Best purchase or experience under $200 {01:21:19}

  • Something she’s changed her mind on recently {01:23:00}

  • Cookbooks worth gifting {01:24:37}

  • A billboard anywhere in Melbourne - where, and what would it say? {01:25:55}

  • What insight about life seems obvious to her, but not to others? {01:26:45}

Select Links & People mentioned from the Episode