7 February 2024

New podcast Now You Know showcases Canberra's finest in food

| Lucy Ridge
Start the conversation
Adam, Janette and Phillip smile for the camera.

(L-R) Region’s commercial director Adam Gill with podcast hosts Janette Wojtaszak and Phillip Jones. Photo: Alicia Webb.

Now You Know is a new podcast from Region exploring the industry leaders that have grown Canberra’s hospitality scene into a nationally significant industry.

The podcast is hosted by Janette Wojtaszak, from Region and The Statement Life, and Phillip Jones, also known as The Martini Whisperer.

The first two episodes dropped in late 2023 and feature interviews with Capital Brewing Co founder Laurence Kain and multi-hatted Canberra chef Ben Willis.

Each episode is a deep dive into the story behind the person, with the hosts drawing revelations and never before heard stories about iconic house parties, schoolyard shenanigans and celebrity encounters.

Ben Willis cooking food in Leyla Bar's new kitchen

Doma’s culinary director Ben Willis is a guest on the podcast. Photo: Zen Photography.

The podcast hopes to inspire the next generation of hospitality professionals, both in Canberra and around Australia, as well as giving an insight into the industry from behind the scenes.

Janette says she’s loved learning about each guest.

“I genuinely want to know how people have made it and what their challenges have been along the way,” she said.

“And I think these stories can really inspire people: it might just be one sentence but it could be what you need to make the leap to take your own path and follow your passion.”

Region commercial director Adam Gill has worked behind the scenes to make the podcast a reality. He explained that while Canberra has so many inspiring stories, they wanted to focus on the hospitality industry.

“The Canberra hospitality industry has been kicking some serious goals in the past five or so years, so we wanted to amplify that and show a bit of love to the industry,” he said.

Tuesday Takeout - Dash Rumble

Pilot owner Dash Rumble at the entrance to the popular Ainslie restaurant. Photo: Lean Timms.

Guests include Dash Rumble from restaurants Pilot and Such and Such, who shares insider stories on how awards can help boost the profile of young restaurateurs, and the challenges of staying true to your vision in the face of economic pressure.

Hosts Janette and Phillip are well matched with two very different perspectives on the local hospitality scene. Phillip is more of an industry insider, while Janette is a real foodie who loves to dine out.

Phillip’s career includes fine dining management in some of the world’s best hotels, and a number of years as a judge for Canberra and national tourism awards. His work as The Martini Whisperer has even led him to a TED x Canberra talk on the cultural history of the martini.

“Phillip has been in the hospitality industry for years so he knows a lot of people, and he remembers all those places you loved 30 years ago. I call it ‘historic’ knowledge of the Canberra hospitality scene,” Adam said.

“Janette is a real foodie who loves to dine out: she knows all the new places and food trends.”

Janette and Phillip

Janette and Phillip bring different perspectives on the hospitality industry to the podcast. Photo: Alicia Webb.

While they’re starting with Canberra names, Now You Know aims to be a podcast that reaches outside the capital city. It will be essential listening for foodies travelling to the city from interstate, and anyone with a connection to the hospitality scene will find plenty of stories that will resonate with them, regardless of location.

The team is also hoping to demystify the world of hospitality, and showcase the potential for young people to pursue careers in the space. Rather than viewing a kitchen or serving job as something casual while studying, they want to show that it can be a viable, serious career choice.

“Ten years ago you didn’t have those role models,” Adam said.

“Imagine being 17 and leaving school now, knowing that if you wanted to be a winemaker or a brewer or a chef there are actually pathways for you to do that in Canberra.”

Episodes of Now You Know are available on all podcasting platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.