Rory Brown is a food critic and blogger specializing in healthy diet and lifestyle choices. Beginning in Charleston, SC, he has attracted a large following by offering nuanced takes on fine cuisine with a focus on health. Mr. Brown splits his time between Charleston, SC, Kauai, Sydney, and Lake Como, keeping his finger firmly on the culinary pulse across the globe.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Rory Brown, and I’m an international food critic who focuses on the healthy aspects of local eating. I am a Charleston, SC, native which is itself a bustling food capital-with down-home southern cooking mastered as an art. For the past decade, I have been traveling internationally as well and have bought homes in Kauai, Hawaii, Sydney, Australia, and Lake Como, Italy, and have familiarized myself with the local food in each of those locations. The farm-to-table movement is everywhere, and one of my great passions in life is using my knowledge about healthy eating along with my very curated sense of taste to help people enjoy their experiences with food.
What makes your organization different than your competitors?
I think my organization is more of a one-man passion project than an ‘organization’ per se. I developed my interest in food and healthy eating when I was in high school, and that interest just consistently grew till I knew I had something of real value to offer the world. I try to make local foods from different places around the world more accessible to readers who haven’t yet visited or who are just curious about the nuances in taste and ingredients of foreign cuisine. I feel like there is a large representation of food critics employed by large magazines or distributing companies, while I am in this without a backer, just with my sheer passion and desire to share my knowledge with everyone.
How much potential market share can you achieve in the next 3 years?
Honestly, I’m not sure but definitely hoping to keep pushing and doing my best at everything. I want to see my new blog grow as much as possible in the upcoming year.
What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
Some of the best purchases I have ever made are on a seashore at the crack of dawn. In Kauai, last spring, I bought an 80-pound yellowfin tuna that was just caught 2 hours before they brought it in. It was some of the best tuna I’ve ever had in my life. Similarly, in Sydney, I was able to purchase some Tristan lobster, and it was such a delicious treat.
I have unfortunately made some horrible purchases as well. While I was in Charleston, SC I went to a local grocery store and unfortunately had the bad experience of accidentally buying and later eating imitation crab meat (honestly just not at all a substitute for the real thing). I’ve also bought plantains that were not ready to be picked yet, and they left a rather bitter taste in the mouth. But, honestly, even the bad purchases I’ve made lead to experiences that have refined my palate more, and they’ve also enabled me to share some ‘what not to taste’ stories with my readers as well.
What takes up too much of your time?
A lot of time is taken up by research. I believe that understanding the science behind food is imperative to appreciate the various tastes associated with it and I spend a lot of time reading about the ingredients that go into the dishes I eat. I think giving my readers the scientific background of why a certain food is healthy is important and I devote a lot of time to making sure everything I write about is accurate.
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
Someone who has always impressed me is Jonathan Gold. He was a Pulitzer-prize winning food critic that showed so much enthusiasm for what he wrote. He stayed in Los Angeles and didn’t travel much, but the way he wrote about food captured the world. He carved a gateway for people’s palates to be enticed and their minds to be enthralled and that is certainly no small feat.
Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.
One of the greatest challenges I faced early on in my journey to becoming a food critic was the actual move from Charleston, SC. I moved to Kauai and lived there for several years before I bought my house there. I’m proud that I didn’t quit when the going seemed tough. I tenaciously held on to my passions and fought to someday make my dream of having a career as a food critic a reality. I took steps to buy two more houses in two more places, Sydney and Lake Como, which were challenges unto themselves, but are all pieces of home now.
How people should connect with you?
People can connect with me on my website: www.liverory.com