Graphic Design

Eat This Food

Lucy Feagins
Lucy Feagins
2nd of October 2012
Stack of Pancakes from Eat This Food - food by Pat Breen, pic by Sean Fennessy.
Beef short ribs with barbequed corn and chimichuri from Eat This Food - food by Pat Breen, pic by Sean Fennessy.
Lavendar, Chocolate and Olive Oil tarts from Eat This Food - food by Pat Breen, pic by Sean Fennessy.
Everytime I meet a new insanely talented person in Melbourne, they seem to be from Tasmania.  Well, not all the time... but often!  Keep your wits about you, people. Tasmanians!  They are quietly infiltrating the mainland - what with their impressive creative talents, easy-going disposition, and good old fashioned work ethic! Eat This Food is yet another example of outstanding Tassie talent.  The clever trio behind this seriously excellent food blog includes our fave photographer Sean Fennessy, graphic designer Jess Lillico, and clued-up foodie Pat Breen. All three are Tassie-born, Melbourne-based creatives, who have joined forces to create the most original and inspired food blog I have seen in SUCH A LONG TIME. With their varied skills, Pat, Sean and Jess make the perfect team.  Pat conjures up the flavours, shops for ingredients and whips up the recipes, Sean takes the shots, whilst Jess art directs and creates the perfect retro-tastic graphics to accompany each recipe.  Geniously, in addition to viewing Eat This Food's meal ideas online, each recipe is also available as a downloadable, printable recipe card, designed by Jess.  Super clever. You won't see a rustic tabletop or any soft focus fluff on Eat This Food.  Whilst offering up a super varied menu, the focus here is on flavourful everyday food, from party pies to pancakes and takeaway-inspired snacks.  Nothing is over engineered, and certainly not overstyled.  The results are SO refreshing. We asked Eat This Food's chief food enthusiast Pat Breen a few questions about this inspired culinary collab -
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself - what were you doing in Tassie, when / why did you relocate to Melbourne and finally what led you to start Eat This Food?
I grew up in Tassie and lived there 'til 5 or so years ago, studying and playing music. I also did a little bit of teaching. Melbourne is a bit of a right of passage for a lot of Tasmanians, particularly those interested in the arts or music. I see a lot of people from New Zealand living in Melbourne for probably much the same reason; more people, more opportunities, better coffee. Melbourne’s a really exciting place and I love it. As for Eat this Food, it came about from wanting to explore the world of food, photos, and recipes. Publishing things on the internet and hoping that someone might be into it.
Eat This Food is an ensemble cast that features the talents of three Tassie expats including yourself, Sean Fennessy and Jess Lillico. What roles do each of you bring to the, excuse the pun, table?!
Haha, well Sean and Jess are both amazing at what they do, Sean takes a bloody good photo and Jess is an outstanding designer so I guess once I’ve prepared the food, Sean will roll in and take a photo, and Jess will then make that look pretty on the internet. It’s quite a neat little system actually.
Top - Sean Fennessy hides behind the camera(!), bottom - Jess Lillico works on the graphics.  Top pic - Jesse Hisco, bottom pics - Sean Fennessy.
Do you have any formal food training or are you just one of those enviably talented born naturals?
I’ve helped out in a couple of commercial kitchens in the past, but no formal qualifications as such. I do love to eat though! And to feed people! And I think that helps. I wouldn’t say I’m amazingly skilled in the kitchen, but I’m usually keen to experiment and pretty open minded. Sometimes ideas are more important than the process I think, invariably there’s a way around technique. I mean, cookbooks, the internet, there’s a lot of info out there.
Pat Breen at Vic Market.  Photo - Sean Fennessy.
What was the first meal you ever cooked and how old were you?
I don’t recall cooking that often when I was younger, my earliest food memory is hoarding bags of lollies in the fridge at home, collected from the various birthday parties that one gets invited to as a kid. I was great at stashing them and feasting all at once! But Mum has mentioned to me before that I always wanted to be a chef when I was younger, so there you go.
Eat This Food features the most varied of recipes, from typical USA diner fare to finger-licking Asian and Mexican flavours. What recipes best characterise ETF?
It’s definitely a fairly broad mix food on the site at the moment, for sure, but I think naturally we’re starting to settle on a bit more of a style with the last few posts which is REALLY satisfying to see. I’m into alot of food history and culture - Anthony Bourdain, never eating fish on a Monday, Agent Cooper and the Double R diner; yeah, I love all that stuff. As for recipes, I used to dread cooking without one, now I’m more into taking some basic elements and attempting to put a bit of a spin on it. But really we’re not breaking any new ground with the blog, that’s up to the pros. I guess we’re just trying to express ourselves in a way that’s exciting to us and hopefully others, should they want to have a look.
Awww Pat!  So humble.  ACTUALLY I beg to differ, I do think these guys are breaking new ground!  I ain't never seen a fuss-free food blog quite like Eat This Food, and I've no doubt we'll be seeing a lot more from this talented trio. Anddd... we're super excited to announce that Eat This Food will be joining us  for 'Tasty Tuesday' afternoons throughout October!  Their first contribution will pop up at 2.00pm today.  SO freakin' excited!   If these guys don't get snapped up by some magazine editor or publisher before the month is out, I will be genuinely surprised, and most disappointed.
From left, designer Jess Lillico, foodie Pat Breen and photographer Sean Fennessy - the talented team behind Eat This Food.

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