The West Australian’s food reviewer search: Vote for your top five from our amazing citizen food critics

Headshot of Simon Collins
Simon CollinsThe West Australian
CommentsComments
Tanya Noble and Vince Garreffa are two of the top 10 finalists.
Camera IconTanya Noble and Vince Garreffa are two of the top 10 finalists. Credit: The West Australian

An emergency doctor, former zookeeper, book publisher, funeral director, radio DJ, travel agent and midwife are among the eyebrow-raising applicants to become our Citizen Food Critic.

We even had a Frenchman who doesn’t like wine on the smorgasbord of folks putting their hands up to join our restaurant reviewing squad.

Chefs, former My Kitchen Rules and MasterChef contestants, hospitality professionals and marketing reps were expected and, yes, we got plenty of those.

And who knew Perth has that many food bloggers?

Scroll down to vote for your favourite food critics

To put a fork in it, the response to the call-out to join our food and drinks A-Team has been overwhelming.

But that was just an entrée and now it’s time for the main course.

We need your help to help prune our carefully selected top 10 down to the final five.

But before you determine who deserves to be our Citizen Food Critic, meet the top 10 and check out their videos at the bottom of this article to cast your vote.

Click on the heart for the person you want to become our Citizen Food Critic. You can only vote once, and once you have clicked your vote is final. Voting closes July 13, 11.59pm AWST. See full terms and conditions here.

Now let’s meet the Top 10.

THE LAW STUDENT

Name: April Ooi

Age: 21

Regular occupation: Paralegal and Customer Service Assistant.

Food likes: Cheap Sichuan noodles, wine bars and burger buns with structural integrity.

April Ooi.
Camera IconApril Ooi. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Dislikes: Disappointing pies, chai lattes that taste like hot milk and finding chewy bits in popcorn chicken.

Why you are the best person to become our Citizen Food Critic? Diversity. I’m a Chinese girl on a uni student budget, so I’ll go from handmade dumplings to Insta-worthy cafes, and I’ll show you how to do it without breaking the bank.

THE FIFO FOODIE

Name: Tanya Noble

Age: 32

Regular occupation: Chef; currently working as a FIFO relief chef.

Food likes: Butter, perfectly cooked steaks, lime.

Tanya Noble.
Camera IconTanya Noble. Credit: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

Dislikes: I’ll eat anything, but baby corn freaks me out.

Why you are the best person to become our Citizen Food Critic? I let the food speak for itself. I’m merely a conduit, here to serve as a link between irresistible food and hungry people.

THE MEAT MAESTRO

Name: Vince Garreffa

Age: A very young 71 years.

Regular occupation: Recently retired from the meat and hospitality industries after 57 years.

Food likes: I eat nearly everything.

Vince Garreffa.
Camera IconVince Garreffa. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

Dislikes: I dislike sun-dried squid and raw slugs.

Why are you the best person to become our Citizen Food Critic? I’m a gregarious gastronome with the gift of gab. Lover of foods and cultures. Fabulous food and drinks detective. Caring but opinionated. Followed by many friends of food and refreshment.

THE SOCIAL MEDIA MAVEN

Name: Georgia Wiley

Age: 23

Regular occupation: Social media and communications coordinator

Food likes and dislikes: I’m not too fussy because what’s the worst that can happen? You find out it’s not your thing, move on and keep trying new foods I say.

Georgia Wiley.
Camera IconGeorgia Wiley. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

Why you are the best person to become our Citizen Food Critic? As a self-described “Perth foodie guru”, I have been highlighting restaurants, coffee shops, and bars all throughout the city and I’d love to showcase this with you all.

THE ZOOKEEPER

Name: Belle Picchio

Age: 37

Regular occupation: Events coordinator

Food likes: Prawn dumplings, gelato and pretty much anything with coriander.

Belle Picchio.
Camera IconBelle Picchio. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

Dislikes: Pate, peas and unnecessary garnishes

Why you are the best person to become our Citizen Food Critic? I have a long-standing background in the hospitality and service industry, and I know it takes a delicate combination of good food, delicious drinks and just the right level of service to make dining out an experience – not just a meal.

THE INDUSTRY INSIDER

Name: Julia Jenkins

Age: 36

Regular occupation: Customer service, wholesale food distribution.

Food likes: Saltiness and tartness, natural wines, cheese, confident but not arrogant chefs and small plates so I can taste ALL thing things.

Julia Jenkins.
Camera IconJulia Jenkins. Credit: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

Dislikes: Trends, tweezerheads, food removed from context or culture, and bananas.

Why you are the best person to become our Citizen Food Critic? I have a unique combination of knowledge, experience and skill – I’ve worked the full spectrum of the food industry, have a really nerdy love of food, and I’ve got a writing degree to boot. My two favourite activities are eating, and talking about food (preferably while eating).

THE SECRET SOURCE

Name: Mikaela Knight

Age: 25

Regular occupation: Social media manager and Jungle Body instructor.

Food likes: Burger obsessed, and a sucker for steak tartare, stracciatella and a side of negronis.

Mikaela Knight.
Camera IconMikaela Knight. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

Dislikes: I refuse to eat celery. (I don’t care how many calories it burns.)

Why you are the best person to become our Citizen Food Critic? Food brings me joy and I want to share that joy with others.

THE SPICE GUY

Name: Darren Moldrich

Age: 57

Regular occupation: Cinema manager.

Food likes: Food that dances on my palate, that’s layered and married flavours.

Darren Moldrich.
Camera IconDarren Moldrich. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

Dislikes: Bland food and tripe.

Why you are the best person to become our Citizen Food Critic? I adore cooking — it’s my happy place — and I’m constantly experimenting with flavours. I know the difference between a “Wow” meal and a “Please don’t waste my time” one. I also write movie, comedy and Fringe World reviews, so I come with oodles of writing experience.

THE QUEEN OF THE DESERT

Name: Ceire Turner

Age: 33

Regular occupation: Mum, chef and teacher.

Food likes: Fresh and seasonal foods.

Ceire Turner.
Camera IconCeire Turner. Credit: Cain Andrews/Broome Advertiser

Dislikes: Processed, over-sweetened food and mash potato.

Why you are the best person to become our Citizen Food Critic? I am passionate, experienced and excited to introduce the regions of WA from a northern vantage point. I have a flair for capturing the essence of a dish, place and person with my storytelling abilities and love of good food.

THE EMERGENCY DOCTOR

Name: Tim Patel

Age: 50

Regular occupation: Emergency physician

Food likes: Everything, except tripe. My mood dictates what I eat. Loves street food from anywhere in the world.

Tim Patel.
Camera IconTim Patel. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

Dislikes: Tripe!

Why you are the best person to become our Citizen Food Critic? Food is life and I live to eat. I have tantalised my taste buds by travelling the world, in search of food. Now I hope to take your taste buds on an adventure enjoying the delectable hidden delights Perth has to offer.

Click on the videos below to view them — once you’ve found your favourite, click on the heart to save your vote. Choose wisely — you can only vote once!

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails