Rory Brown is a food critic and blogger specializing in healthy diet and lifestyle choices. Beginning in Charleston, SC, he has attracted a large following by offering nuanced takes on fine cuisine with a focus on health. Mr. Brown splits his time between Charleston, SC, Sydney, Kauai, and Lake Como, keeping his finger firmly on the culinary pulse across the globe.
Do you ever visit the same restaurant twice?
Many restaurants offer a good, even impressive meal—but can they deliver each time? That is an important factor when critiquing a meal. For this reason, I visit the same establishment a few times and order the same meal. I look for consistency. If the chef doesn’t deliver each time, it will impact my review negatively.
Do you take photos of your meal?
For me, the food is what is most important. However, I do take photos for a number of reasons – to jog my memory when writing, to add to my blog, and, of course, social media – I mean, who doesn’t snap photos of their food?
How did you start out as a food critic?
I started writing for a food blog when I was working as a freelancer in Charleston, SC. This is the best piece of advice I can give to someone who wants to work in this field: learn how to write and keep writing. Not just about food, but everything. I’m a food critic because I can write about food; not because I like to eat. People want to read about what I write.
Do you read other food reviews? If yes, do you have any favorite critics?
I read food reviews daily. I have my favorite writers, but I’d like to keep that anonymous. I prefer the reviews that focus on the meal. I don’t care too much about the ambiance or atmosphere of an establishment. I’ve seen it happen many times—a restaurant with an awe-inspiring view doesn’t deliver an impressive meal.
What is your favorite restaurant in Australia?
I don’t have a favorite restaurant, but there are definitely meals that have left lasting memories. I find myself daydreaming of those places often. Quay in Sydney is one of those places. One of the best meals I ate was the smoked pig jowl. It is slow cooked and melts in your mouth. The texture and combination with scallops and roasted rice give an unforgettable, satisfying twist. I wish I could order this now!
When you are not dining out, what is your favorite thing to eat at home?
I like to keep things simple when I am at home since I have the opportunity to try new ingredients and cooking styles all the time. I love carbs and cheese; macaroni & cheddar cheese or toasted fresh bread with brie are staples in my kitchen.
What books have inspired you?
“The Flavor Bible” by Karen Page.