Ask any Canberra foodie and they’ll tell you that the delicious value of any dish is just as important as the actual experience of consuming that dish. After all, it’s the experience that helps us remember where and when we felt satisfied with a meal.
For the team behind popular foodie Instagram page, Experience Eats, it is this ‘experience’ that makes or breaks any dish.
The ever-expanding page has become a platform for foodies to share their culinary experiences with the world. Filled with vibrant photos of anything and everything delicious, the page already speaks to thousands of followers.
Local Canberran and content creator at Experience Eats, Russ, says that the page is focused on the experience side of food because it showcases things that simply can’t be replicated.
The long list of one-off food experiences includes local Canberra eateries.
“Experience Eats is all about the one-off and those things that are just really interesting,” says Russ. “But the experiences that we really love just so happen to have been here [in Canberra] for a long time. Places like your Timmy’s, Jimmy’s and Sammy’s, that are truly local and we love to support them.”
It is this supportive culture that Russ believes is at the heart of what Experience Eats does. It is also what he loves most about living in Canberra.
Russ is originally from New Zealand and only moved to the Aussie capital over 12 years ago. “I am a massive advocate of Canberra,” he says.
“My wife and I do absolutely everything Canberran. We hugely support local and we are fortunate that the Canberra food scene has improved dramatically. People are more willing to give new things a go. When I first moved to Canberra, there were about 20 restaurants that everybody knew by name and you just rotated around. Outside of that there was our pub scene, which has always been there for us.”
Russ is also a huge supporter of local cultural clubs. He highlights that people are oblivious to the authenticity that these clubs bring to international cuisines.
“People don’t pay much attention to the clubs. But the Irish club does Irish food for example, and that’s really the only place you can get traditional Irish food. Similarly, you can get amazing pierogi at the local Polish club, or everyone knows the Croatian club is there but they would never consider to go for a feed there. These [clubs] are like hidden gems in Canberra.”
Enjoying pierogi at the local Polish club is one thing, but Russ’s culinary experiences expand far beyond our territory.
Having travelled to all corners of the globe, Russ says he has experienced some weird and wonderful things, including eating fermented shark during a trip to Iceland.
Russ admits that it isn’t the process of eating bizarre foods in wonderful places that complete the gastronomical experience. Rather it is sharing it with other foodies through a platform like Experience Eats.
“I’ve always loved food and been passionate about food. We also travelled a lot and ate a lot of cool things in some cool places. So we decided to document and share it with other people. Social media just presented the perfect engaging space for that. I have a lot of friends that enjoy food as well and they are all part of the Experience Eats team.”
What sets Experience Eats apart from other locally produced foodie grams, is the way the page tells ‘stories’ of food. Russ particularly likes that overtime Experience Eats has developed a narrative through snapshots of diverse food experiences.
But it’s a group effort nonetheless and Russ is very appreciative of the entire Experience Eats team. He says that “everyone in the team is friends and everyone has enjoyed the journey so far”.
Experience Eats sources content from all over, with people in Perth and Melbourne, Darwin and Canberra. It’s clearly a very close team with a love for food. For Russ, this is exactly what Experience Eats is about. It combines groups of people with the food they love to eat and the page represents that synergy.