Industry minute with Hilary McNevin

Hilary McNevin is a Melbourne-based food writer, facilitator and digital content manager. She worked FOH in restaurants for 15 years in Australia and the UK before studying writing and editing at RMIT with the goal of becoming a food writer.

Since 2004, she has contributed to, The Guardian, The Weekly Review, SBS Food Online, The Australian, Winestate magazine, Delicious magazine and She co-authored The Atlantic at Home with chef Donovan Cooke; wrote Guide to Fish: Choosing and Cooking Sustainable Species; was the Australian contributor of the book 1001 Restaurants You Must Experience Before You Die and edited the award-winning Temples of Barbecue with Lance Rosen. She sits on the boards of Seafood Industry Victoria and The Community Grocer.

Hilary founded Turnip Media in early 2017 where she creates digital content, connections and collaborations for food producers, growers, purveyors & the hospitality industry.

Here are some of her thoughts in our Industry minute feature.

What aspect of your work do you really enjoy?  

I love connecting people. In this industry, growing and maintaining your network is very important and I do love introducing people to each other who didn’t know they had something in common or a thread that can become an event or collaboration, article, story or friendship…  what matters is that great people and great stories find each other.

What are you most proud of?

In my work life, I’m proud of the people I am lucky enough to work with. They are passionate, intelligent, caring and kind professionals who are all – in their own ways – working to make what and how we eat and drink better.  In my personal life, my daughter and my son; they’re growing into good people.

What makes the restaurant industry so unique, and how do we protect that?

The people, the produce, the intention and the execution. Our industry is filled with people whose primary concern is to give their customers a great experience every time. 

I think the bottom line for any restaurant is to have customers leave wanting to return and we’re good at that here. 

What has been the impact of food tourism to the restaurant industry?

I  think they have to work together to have impact. The restaurant industry caught the attention of national and international tourists which has given a spotlight to the produce and the people behind our beautiful dining culture. Of course, we are also facing tricky times internationally with the Coronavirus unabating, but this can compel us to look at home to travel and we have so much to explore!