Food for thought

Brogan Goode and his partner Cindy

8 minute read

ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE) alumnus Brogan Goode and his partner Cindy dedicate most of their weekends to a unique cause – vlogging about Canberra’s vibrant hospitality sector. In a move to support local businesses, the couple use their social media channel, Capital Food Adventure, to encourage fellow Canberrans to explore their city’s surprising and unique flavours.

In this interview, Brogan shares how his passion project has transformed his career, his recommendations on Canberra’s best culinary spots, how to take the best photos of your food for Instagram, and why his CBE degree makes him feel equipped for the business world.

Q. Talk us through your journey of becoming a local food guide.

It all started two years ago, when my partner Cindy and I put our creative heads together and thought about making a social media channel for a bit of fun. Noting that at the time, neither of us had the skillset required to produce content. In 2018, I was a commerce graduate working in communications, and Cindy, an IT graduate, was working for Ernst & Young as a user experience designer.

After watching some basic instructional videos, we mustered up the courage and turned on the cameras. What followed was an incredibly steep learning curve into video production and social-media management. Throughout this process, we kept true to our mission – to create content that encourages people to support Canberra’s vibrant and growing hospitality sector. I can now say that this passion project has transformed my career, as I have managed several large and small government social-media accounts since.

Q. How has Canberra’s hospitality industry evolved?

Over the past decade, Canberra’s hospitality scene has changed remarkably. Ask any Canberran and they will tell you stories of how they used to venture to Sydney or Melbourne to get their fix of coffee and cuisines from around the globe. Nowadays, a ten-minute drive down the road will allow you to experience award-winning coffees, amazing burgers and locally brewed beers, or even authentic Southern-Chinese cuisine. Arguably, Canberra’s hospitality sector has matured, and it has not gone unnoticed, with several local brands like ONA Coffee and BentSpoke Brewing Co. receiving praise and awards. 

Q. What is the key to success when it comes to being a good food guide? 

Being a good food guide can be tricky, and with neither of us being professional critics, we often find ourselves liking everything. With that being said, it is important to invite your audience to open their minds and try something new. By educating people about different types of dishes out there, you can break down barriers that might prevent people from trying a dish in the first place. We try our best to make food relatable, and we are always honest about what we eat.

Q. In a post-COVID restrictions world, what suggestions do you have for foodies planning a day or night-out in the capital?

In a post-COVID restrictions world, CBE alumni from around Australia and overseas might be thinking, ‘Let’s go visit Canberra’, and when they do, they will be in for a treat.

Looking to try some of Canberra’s newest hits? Short Eats Sri Lankan food van in Belconnen has some amazing home-style curries, pan rolls and our favourite – the Kottu. Or how about some Fricken fried chicken?

Looking to celebrate? Try one of Australia’s top-voted beers ‘the Crankshaft’ at BentSpoke’s  brewpub in Braddon – or if you plan your trip right, their Beer garden at Enlighten is spectacular for the senses.

Looking to take it slow? Wukong Hotpot in Dickson is serving up some great Chong Qing and Sichuan hot-pot dishes!

Q. How has your experience at CBE shaped and prepared you?

As a CBE graduate who completed a Bachelor of Commerce, I feel that I have been adequately equipped with a skillset that has allowed me to remove barriers and converse with business owners without any issues.

Thinking back, one of my favourite assignments was an international business-marketing project, where we were thrown into the deep end and had to meet with local Canberra businesses. Much like that project, we approach every episode of Capital Food Adventure as a mutually beneficial business opportunity.

Q. How does one take the best food photos for Instagram?

Instagram is Cindy's forte, and here are her recommendations:

  • Take your time to frame the shot. Rotate your plate and clear things out of the background, so the food is the focus of the image.

  • Choose the right filter. If you have an iPhone, Apple's in-camera vivid filter is my go-to when it comes to taking photos of food. Warm filters make food look much more appealing than cold ones.

  • Make sure the image is in focus. There is nothing worse than taking a photo, only to realise post-meal that it was a dud.

The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of specialised programs. Click here for more details.

Image: Brogan Goode