Food is the ultimate uniting force

By Katie Wong Hoy

When Pheh Sze Teh (known as PS) migrated to Australia from Malaysia 10 years ago, she was a food lover with a big dream.

In 2015 the CBD-based pharmacist consolidated FoodSocial, a network connecting food lovers across Melbourne through social events.

“I always wanted to start my own business and I am very passionate about food,” PS said.

“Everywhere I go, I kind of connect with food lovers and it’s a great way to meet people as well.”

PS studied in the United Kingdom and has been a CBD resident for 10 years. She moved to Australia without having visited the country and decided Melbourne was where she was going to call home.

“I got lost twice in the day in Sydney so I figured that’s not the right city for me … I love Europe and Melbourne is an extension of Europe. It has a more European feel to it,” she said.

Now, 10 years later, PS loves living in the city. Regarded by many as the food capital of Australia, it is easy to see why.

“I’ve always lived in the CBD and lots of things have changed in the 10 years. I love the convenience. I can just walk to anywhere I want or take the tram,” she said.

“You have nice little pockets of alleyways and little lanes … it’s kind of tucked away … once you open a (restaurant) door, there’s a different world underneath and I think that is what makes Melbourne so special, especially the CBD.”

Upon settling into Australian life, PS started up a food blog to break into the food industry. Before long, she was considered a Melbourne food expert. In 2011 FoodSocial was created as a hobby, which has now grown into a business.

Each month, FoodSocial members can meet together for social events with a focus on food. The next major CBD FoodSocial event will be held at Denmark House on October 23.

PS says FoodSocial is an interactive and unique way for tourists and locals alike to come together and explore what Melbourne’s food scene has to offer.

In the future, she hopes to start up FoodSocial groups in various cities around Australia linking people from across the country.

“The vision is to connect food lovers city by city … it’s a different kind of experience,” PS said.  “I’ve achieved my first dream, which is to become a registered pharmacist overseas and this is my second dream. It’s never
too late. ”

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