The mediated Asian-Australian food identity: from Charmaine Solomon to Masterchef Australia

Bonner, Frances (2015) The mediated Asian-Australian food identity: from Charmaine Solomon to Masterchef Australia. Media International Australia, 157: 103-113.

Author Bonner, Frances
Title The mediated Asian-Australian food identity: from Charmaine Solomon to Masterchef Australia
Journal name Media International Australia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1329-878X
Publication date 2015-11-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Issue 157
Start page 103
End page 113
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Abstract This article considers the significance of food competitions, not just in helping ex-contestants to achieve careers in various food media sites, but also the consequences of this, together with televised food programs generally, in making Australian television more fully represent a multicultural nation, most specifically its Asian-Australian citizens. In 1964, Charmaine Solomon came second in a Woman's Day recipe competition. This, combined with her earlier training as a journalist in Ceylon/Sri Lanka, led the magazine's food editor, Margaret Fulton, to offer her a job. This began her long career as the leading Australian writer on Asian food. More recently, television and shows like MasterChef Australia have replaced magazine competitions in providing a breakthrough into a mediated career in the food industry. Again it was as second place-getter in the very first series of MasterChef that Poh Ling Yeow achieved her break and found her place. Television requires and bestows celebrity, and Poh provides a valuable counterpoint to Solomon here. Several other Asian-Australian contestants have similarly flourished after exposure on the program, like second series winner Adam Liaw. It has become evident that cooking competitions have become one of the principal sites in prime-time Australian television for Asian faces to be seen as a matter of course. While scholars of, and commentators on, Australian multiculturalism are rightly scathing about popular statements claiming a better Australian food culture as an index of the success of post-war migration policies, it appears that Australian television and other media continue to find this conjunction fruitful.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Communication and Arts Publications
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