Jay Rayner's readers are never happier than when he's unhappy. The restaurant critic for The Observer in London is at his scathing best – and at his most popular, with his fans at least – when he's taking down a big-name restaurant.
Jamie Oliver's flashy new Piccadilly joint Barbecoa received the Rayner hair dryer after serving him fillet steak "slathered with a duvet of a bearnaise that needs to be scraped off" atop "an inch-thick lump of industrial-strength bread that no one will ever eat".
But in books such as The Man Who Ate the World, about his pursuit of the perfect meal, and in appearances as MC of the BBC Radio 4 culinary panel show The Kitchen Cabinet, it's clear he's a man who loves good food.
Rayner will be in Melbourne as a guest of the Wheeler Centre on Wednesday, May 24, to discuss his latest book, The Ten (Food) Commandments, in which he answers the important food questions of our times, including whether it is ever OK to covet thy neighbour's oxen (it is), eat with your hands (yes, indeed) and if you should cut off the fat (no).
Jay Rayner's sermon runs from 8.15pm-9.30pm at the Northcote Town Hall. Tickets are $25 and $15 concession, plus 30 cent booking fee, from wheelercentre.com.
He's also speaking at the Brisbane Powerhouse from 6pm on May 21. Tickets are $35 and $30 concession, plus booking fee (single tickets $3, multiple tickets $6), from brisbanepowerhouse.org.