When we launched Gourmantic 11 years ago today, the world was a different place. And I don’t mean life under COVID-19. Fine dining was de rigueur, the romance of travel inspired us to dream and plan, social media hadn’t taken over our lives and the concept of #foodporn sounded more like a bad X-rated movie from your parents’ stash.
Everyone was not a critic. People ate out without feeling the need to make some commentary about the food, the service and the venue or take a selfie with a pizza. And on the online media side of things, a lot has changed and not so incrementally.
People used to read reviews of restaurant and bars, not announcements of what was opening and when. In the race to be first online with the information, we lost the desire to find out what a venue was really like in favour of publishing a rehashed media release. You either follow or be damned.
Post-event write ups were ever so popular with our readers who looked forward to the information as well as all the photos, as evidenced by the thousands of photos Gourmantic published on the website and on Facebook over the years. Instagram changed reader habits in favour of instant posts and stories that were forgotten the minute we scrolled. Online media evolved and we, as writers and consumers have evolved with it.
Change isn’t all bad. When looking back, there’s always an element of nostalgia about “the good old days” particularly when much of what inspired the creation of Gourmantic has changed significantly in 11 years. We need only to glance in the rear view mirror to remember life before COVID-19 and assess how much our lives have altered. Life has become virtual, losing much of the social interaction we all covet in hospitality. We order from our favourite venues and eat in at home in our track suits.We’re reinventing events. We have cocktails and booze delivered to our home. We attend events, masterclasses and product launches in a virtual world. We travel virtually around the globe, visit museums and take video tours. The restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 are easing very fast but it will take some time before we return to what we knew as “normal”, if that can ever be the case.
It seems only a few months ago that we celebrated 10 years of Gourmantic, but then again, of late, we’ve been living in a post apocalyptic world where time is more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff. From romantic travel and fine dining to living a virtual life, thousands of words have been written in 11 years. We had amazing experiences, met many legends of the hospitality industry and experienced unforgettable events. We saw the birth of the Sydney small bar scene, the rise of Australian distilling and documented much of Sydney’s culinary and drink history in this splendid Gourmantic space.
Gourmantic wasn’t an only child as we launched several other websites. First came Degustinations (2011-2013), Gallery Gourmantic (2012-2013), then Cocktails & Bars (2015 – present) and early this year, The Gourmantic Garden (2020 – present) sprouted as on offshoot of Gourmantic before it moved to its own domain.
Today, we’re not just celebrating another birthday. We’re raising a toast to each of the incredible 11 years of Gourmantic, the people we’ve met along the way, the hospitality friends we’ve made, the local and international industry legends who continue to inspire us, and to you, our readers who have been part of the Gourmantic family since 2009.
It’s also a bitter-sweet occasion. We’ve made the decision to cease editorial on Gourmantic (social media channels will continue) as we put our focus on Cocktails & Bars. The Gourmantic brand will evolve and I will continue to write about food but in a different capacity. With an ethos of #GrowIt.EatIt.DrinkIt, The Gourmantic Garden will be the place where I will be writing about food and sustainable edible gardening.
The photo of the bottle of Gourmantic Gin on the beach was not chosen at random. It’s symbolic of the line in the sand and moving forward. Change is good and exciting, and now it’s time to turn the page and embrace the next phase.
Thank you for all the love and support & #cheersto11yearsgourmantic!
Corinne & Kevin