MELBOURNE journalist Bob Hart, an improbable Queenslander, spent twenty years working abroad – thirteen in London as a reporter, feature writer and columnist on Fleet Street, and seven as a record company (Capitol) executive in Los Angeles.
He returned to Australia in 1987 and began to specialise in food writing. He has written food and restaurant columns for Melbourne’s Age and Herald Sun newspapers, and for specialist magazines, and continues to write for The Age.
He presents weekly broadcasts on food in general and, throughout summer, on barbecuing in particular. His six-part TV series, Hart of the Barbecue, launched on the Seven network last month (Nov 17) and is screened weekly.
He runs the Australian Barbecue Academy and conducts, at his home, barbecue masterclasses through the summer. These are fully booked, months ahead.
Bob's barbecue book - Heat & Smoke - launched late last year and remains a best-seller. He is now working on a follow-up, as well as on a book on middle-eastern food.
Bob has also written two successful children’s books – Yakini and Yakini & Friends (Hardie Grant) - and co-authored, with Iain Hewitson, “Tolarno Bistro: The Life, Times and Recipes of a Remarkable Restaurant” (Allen & Unwin) which won the 2007 Cordon D’Or (US) award for best illustrated cookbook. He also authored Vanitas: Gourmet Collection for Pallazzo Versace (Versace), perhaps the world’s most elaborate cookbook.
Bob’s interests beyond food include fly-fishing for trout, deer stalking, music and theatre (especially opera), the Carlton Football Club and coffee. He lives, with his black whippet, Bart, in Melbourne’s Hawthorn and has two adult daughters.