About Phil Lees.
Phil Lees grew up in rural Australia, the first generation in his family to not have lived on the farm and thereby not slaughter their own meat. Most of the time. He left this bucolic idyll to attend university in Melbourne, study English and Commerce, and support himself by doing the sort of food jobs that weren’t sexy until Anthony Bourdain wrote about them.
In short, Phil has served hamburgers from the window of a van.
After marketing working holidays for a travel group for a few years, in 2005 he moved to Cambodia and started the nation’s first food blog, Phnomenon.com, named after the best pun that he has ever made. It turns out that Cambodian food is delicious and unlike the warnings in most guidebooks, is not likely to kill you with any immediacy. Gridskipper called him a “national treasure”. Lonely Planet’s Greater Mekong guide called him “the unofficial pimp of Cambodian cuisine”. The terrible irony of writing about food in a nation where one third of the population is malnourished is not lost on him. It still keeps him up at night.
He built Lastappetite.com in 2007 to chronicle his extended attempt to eat his way out of South East Asia via Korea. The New York Times laughed at a funny hotdog he saw.
Phil makes a mean sausage, a hoppy pale ale, a modest laksa. He owns three barbecues and is in the market for a fourth.
He currently writes here, covers global food issues each week for SBS’s World Food Blog, and occasionally gets something in the offline media at Wall Street Journal, Chili Pepper Magazine and others. He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia and works for Tourism Victoria.
About The Last Appetite
Where should I begin?
Here’s a few posts that I enjoyed writing to get you started:
- The US Department of Defense: The best brewers in South Korea
- Pig’s Brain Tom Yam and the Morbidly Obese Dog
- Noryangjin Fish Market, Seoul
- Drank in Public
- The French Fry Coated Hot Dog
Why “The Last Appetite”?
It’s from everybody’s favourite work of Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan:
If the discourse be merely mental, it consisteth of thoughts that the thing will be, and will not be; or that it has been, and has not been, alternately. So that wheresoever you break off the chain of a man’s discourse, you leave him in a presumption of it will be, or, it will not be; or it has been, or, has not been. All which is opinion. And that which is alternate appetite, in deliberating concerning good and evil, the same is alternate opinion in the enquiry of the truth of past and future. And as the last appetite in deliberation is called the will, so the last opinion in search of the truth of past and future is called the judgement, or resolute and final sentence of him that discourseth. And as the whole chain of appetites alternate in the question of good or bad is called deliberation; so the whole chain of opinions alternate in the question of true or false is called doubt.
Originally, the blog was going to be about fish; and that we’d be the last generation to eat many of them. But that was too depressing for a wide audience and I’ve still got a few years to get back to that before global fish populations take a critical nose dive. In the meantime, I write luminous and irreverent reviews of food and drink in Asia.
Until 4 May 2007 I shot with an Olympus C740-UZ point-and-shoot camera and then made up for its vast inadequacies in Adobe Photoshop CS3. I love barrel distortion.
I don’t accept products or services in exchange for writing posts, ever. I don’t attend press events or restaurant launches. I’m not interested in your new product. I’m not currently accepting any advertising at all. I’m not writing about any Victorian restaurant or tourism product on this blog while I work at Tourism Victoria.