Having grown up in West London and a big food book reader as a teen, it is no surprise that Simon Davis decided to go into the publishing industry early on.
He now looks after the editorial side of things at groundbreaking, crowd-funded and community-focused independent Australian publisher Somekind Press. Since launching their cookbook series in March 2020, the team behind Somekind has been able to raise more than $150,000, which has been put back into the community.
Simon talks to Roots Podcast about his relationship with Aaron Turner of Melbourne restaurant Igni and how an original book draft later turned into the Hot Chicken Project, Somekind’s first take away book.
Roots Podcast is an interview channel which dives into the personal stories of those in the hospitality industry - whether it be in the restaurant, or out in the field.
Elijah-Jazz, Chef de Partie at Yellow in Potts Point, also talks to those in the media as they look back on where it all started for them. It is a retrospective look on the passion, ambition and drive involved in a competitive industry.
Simon first worked for Hardie Grant in Melbourne, helping out with Peter Gilmore’s cookbook From the Earth and Josh Niland’s The Whole Fish Cookbook, before heading back to the UK for a five-year stint at Quadrille. During this time, he worked on books for the TV cooking show Two Greedy Italians, with Genaro Contaldo.
After travelling the world, he settled in Sydney to start Somekind Press with Vaughan Mossop, a 96-page book company that originally began to support and fund hospitality venues. It has since diversified with Lee Tran Lam’s latest book Diversity in Food Media, which shares the stories of people in under-recognised areas of Australia – whether LGBTQ or indigenous people.
Somekind aims to turn away from your typical recipe-based food book and start sharing the stories of people who are the masters of their craft. The majority of profit from the company goes to the authors, photographers and illustrators of each book – quite the opposite to your regular book publisher.
Make sure to tune into Roots Podcast to listen to Simon’s story (*disclaimer – some Roots Podcasts have a language warning*)!