Melbourne's a haven for its coffee and food culture. Whether driving through the city or the suburbs you'll pass countless cafes, bars and restaurants, with bunches of people crowded on the street waiting for their coffees or to get a seat for a feed.
So, it’s no surprise that there are multiple publications, websites and podcasts dedicated to Melbourne’s foodie scene. One of the latest arrivals is podcast The Melbourne Digest.
The Melbourne Digest is a weekly independent podcast hosted by self-proclaimed “not a food wanker” Bridget Wood, aimed at people who also aren’t food wankers, but who want to hear about Melbourne’s food and coffee culture. It features weekly interviews with chefs, bakers, business owners and bloggers discussing all things Melbourne food.
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The short and easy to digest episodes, which very rarely run longer than 30 minutes, have a laid back and casual feel as Bridget chats away with her weekly guest. Bridget is full of character and fun and never takes herself too seriously or gets too food wanky. She opens each episode asking her guest “What is your ultimate comfort food?” With a variety of answers ranging from straight up cheese to Fillet-O-Fishes getting a mention.
The episode then launches into the nitty gritty with that week’s local food identity discussing their stories. They will touch on a number of things including their cooking influences, their businesses, favourite places to drink, eat and shop and their careers.
This week’s episode is titled ‘Favourite Things with Deborah Monahan’ and is a discussion with the Melbourne food blogger and Tik Tok influencer about some of her favourite places to go and favourite things to eat in Melbourne.
It’s quite a fun chat as we hear about Deborah’s favourite toastie and hangover cure, from Sam’s Café in St Kilda, and the best place to get boozy with a bottomless brunch, looking at you SOS in South Yarra.
Deborah is the content creator of My Melbourne Bucket List on both Instagram and Tik Tok and has tried most of what Melbourne has to offer. She also tells us what her favourite bar, café and restaurant are, as well as her favourite hidden secret in Melbourne. Bridget and Deborah also discuss the importance of social media and having a social profile as a food business in today’s digital age, as well as the evolution of brunch.
As a newer podcast – its first episode only dropped October 31 – there isn’t a massive back catalogue to work your way through. The few that are there though are quite interesting to sink your teeth into and they include chats with Webster and May, owners of Parker Bros Bakery, a completely online and digital store. As well as master cake maker Zahara Valibhoy and head chef and Indigenous ingredient expert Nornie Bero among others.
Another great thing about The Melbourne Digest is that it helps shine a light on and promote Melbourne businesses, especially some of the smaller cafes and establishments that don’t have a huge profile.
Sound and production wise, The Melbourne Digest isn’t as polished as one of your larger podcasts with a production company backing them. The audio can come across a little echoey with the interviewee sometimes sounding as though they are talking to you straight down the phone.
If you want that high production quality in your podcasts, then ABC’s Dishy or Broadsheet’s DIY maybe more to your liking. What they may have in production value though, they lack in character in comparison to The Melbourne Digest.
If you want a quick, fun and interesting local food podcast, that can point you to some hidden gems around the city, as well as tell you the stories of those behind the local cafes and restaurants you love, then The Melbourne Digest is the perfect podcast for you.
For more in our series, check out our review of The Age’s ‘Please Explain’ podcast here.
You can find The Melbourne Digest podcast here or through all your popular streaming platforms.