Food for Thought with Quincy Malesovas



Over the past decade as a copywriter and freelance journalist, Quincy Malesovas has cultivated a love of all things food and hospitality. It’s why she founded GRUEL, an experimental dining event to diversify food media, highlight those underrepresented in the industry and foster cultural dialogue through dining.


Tell us about your background. How did you come to be a freelancer in Melbourne?


I studied psychology in the United States, where I was born and raised, and moved to Australia almost immediately after. After a few years of casual hospo work, I fell into the media landscape by accident after landing a digital marketing role (my first “real job”). I didn’t stay there long but it gave me the confidence I needed to sharpen my skills and go out on my own as a freelancer.


Shortly after moving here, I also met my friend Ricky Sam (through Gumtree of all places). He was looking for a contributor for his website Forksake, which was my first foray into Melbourne food media. I credit him as the person who helped me get my foot in the door as a food journalist and familiarise myself with the industry.



Where did your passion for food (and food media) come from?


I’ve always been an adventurous eater (I was that kid eating escargot and brussel sprouts) and grew up surrounded by a diverse range of culinary influences. Becoming a vegetarian at age 14 really triggered my interest in food and cooking because it was the first time I had full autonomy over what I ate. Around that time, I was reading a lot of vegan/vegetarian blogs and zines and even started my own, which informed my love of digital media and self-publishing.


They also exposed me to a bunch of dishes and cuisines I wasn’t familiar with before, which made me start to think about how great food is as a medium for cultural education (as the one thing that connects us all). In school, I couldn’t care less about history and human geography. But now I’m obsessed with the subjects – and all it took was looking at them through a culinary lens.


Your experimental side project GRUEL is a ‘sort-of supper club’. How does it work?


GRUEL is a series of collaborative pop-up dining events. The particulars of each one vary, but the intention is to provide a platform for cooks and chefs to embrace the more playful or experimental sides of food and hospitality. It’s also a way to educate people about culture in an approachable, not-so-serious way.


Each event is usually built around a theme – some more conceptual than others. In addition to the culinary contributors, I invite visual artists and musicians to participate in an attempt to create an immersive dining experience.




What’s your professional motto?


Every job is an experience (and, hopefully, a good story). My resume isn’t the most cohesive and many of my jobs haven’t been very glamorous – but they’ve all built character and given me valuable skills and perspectives that I’ve carried with me into all my other roles.


What advice would you give your younger self, just starting out?


Know your worth. There are going to be a lot of people who will try to take advantage of your willingness and naivety so it's important to understand what you deserve and set boundaries, because no one will do that for you.

Also, you don’t have to say yes to everything. As tempting as it can be, trying to do it all will only make you burn out – besides, it’s better to do one thing really well than five things subpar.


Quincy Malesovas is a food journalist, copywriter, and creator of GRUEL – an experimental food platform. She's passionate about diversifying Melbourne food media and eating her way through the city. You can find her writing on Broadsheet, Time Out and Delicious or her ramblings on Instagram.