About Me

2016-02-14 13.14.25
Welcome and Hi! My name is Lisa and I’m the Gourmet Wog.

Mother, Wife, Business-woman, Blogger and lover of all things home grown.

I was born in Australia and call myself a dinky di Aussie with Armenian blood rushing through my veins.

Two minute noodles used to be my thing, that was until I discovered that the kitchen is my sanctuary and a haven away from my corporate job. It’s incredibly therapeutic to come home after a long day in office, change into my tracky dacks and get chopping in my domain.

I’ve become very aware where my food comes from, how it was produced and who it supports. I believe in ‘ethical eating’ and like to support Australian farmers where possible by sourcing local ingredients.

I live on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and while I most definitely don’t have the largest backyard by any means, i have started a small and humble vegetable patch which I hope to reap the benefits soon enough. There is something so magical and special about a home-grown tomato.

So what’s a Wog, I hear my overseas friends say? Wog was used as a derogatory and offensive name for the migrants who came to Australia that ‘looked’ either Italian, Greek, Lebanese, or anyone with a ‘Middle Eastern’ appearance. It was highly offensive to call a person a Wog, quite like calling a black man a n***er. Somewhere in the early 90’s society changed in most of Australia’s capital cities. We were embracing the Wog culture. Australian children were swapping their plastic white bread Vegemite or peanut butter sandwiches for mortadella with sun-dried tomatoes and hommus on turkish bread. Aussies were experimenting with their cuisine and garlic was being added to everything. Suddenly it was cool to be a Wog! Wogs have a great ability to laugh at themselves and their culture.

I will from time to time post reviews of restaurants and products. All reviews and recommendations on this blog are my own personal opinions based on my own personal experience only.

Thank you for visiting, and please be sure to say hi!



49 thoughts on “About Me

    • Hi Glenda and thank you for being my first visitor!
      In all the excitement of starting this site, I forgot the most important part of the About Me section!
      My cultural heritage is Armenian. I was born and raised here in Australia, however my ancestry is Armenian and I grew up speaking and writing Armenian as my first language.

      • Hi Lisa, I love Mediterranean food, especially Lebanese (I don’t know much about Armenian food). I am going on a holiday to Lebanon soon and there is a big Armenian population there, maybe I will get to sample some. I hope so.

      • There certainly is a huge Armenian population there Glenda, in fact there’s a suburb in Beirut called Bourj Hamoud where you’d be hard pressed finding a Lebanese person. Even the street names are those of Armenian cities. I’d love to go one day! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures

      • Armenian! Oh my god! Can you please tell me how to make Armenian cheese?! 🙂 hehehe… I reside in QLD and the local greek deli doesn’t sell any which is upsetting and I think I’m not courageous enough to make it myself 😦 I love your blog so much – it has such a hearty feel to it, it reminds me of me 😉 which makes sense as I’ve a Syrian heritage 🙂 Thanks for joining my blog, I’ve joined yours too and look forward to many awesome recipes from your end… no pressure 😉

      • LOL Fati! Hi!!
        I, myself am yet to make Armenian cheese, however my husband’s Aunty is certainly a pro at making it and we enjoy it often at her house with cucumber and Lebanese bread. I will most certainly have to learn the ropes from her and I’ll be sure to post the recipe one day soon for you 🙂
        My husband, while Armenian, was born in Halab in Syria and still has so many family members there! Small world, I look forward to getting to know you through your blog xx

    • Hi there and welcome! I think it’s only used in Australia. Back in the day, it was used in a ‘Go back from where you came from, you bloody wog’ kinda way, and now its widely used as ‘Hmmmm, what do I feel like for dinner, Thai, Chinese or Wog food’ hehehe 🙂

  1. Howdy! I saw your comment on my blog…I can’t publish half of it so it’s LIVE LIVE LIVE, but I can delete the entire comment if you want. I’m a total techno-bimbo so I’m not sure why you can’t comment most of the time (but THANKS for reading)!

  2. lol

    Wogs are some of Australias most easily offended people

    Cronulla riots ?

    Wogs start a fight about everything, theyre Australias most anti social group.

  3. love your comment to Joey, thanks for visiting my blog Lisa, will check in to yours from time to time too. Lucky we have a Celia to facilitate the kitchen collective. Roz

  4. Lisa, Thanks for your blog, we had a jar of Pariva Seville Marmalade and wanted to purchase another jar, unfortunately the producers address had worn off. I started searching the internet and came across your Gourmet Wog blog and bingo I came across the stall that sell the product. Graeme Sanders, Napoleon Reef, Bathurst. I was also amazed that he travels all the way from Bathurst on a weekly basis to display and sell his wares.,
    Regards, Brian

  5. Hello lisa, I come to ur site via lorraines site NQN.. I like what I see the kalw tabouli looks appetizing,,and the kadaifi looks scrumptious…let me say don’t stop I think you got a good thing going here..and later ill pass on greek recipe tp you.. I must be at least 20 years older than you.as I did work in north Sydney in the restaurant trade take aways during the eighties and early ninties.and yes NS was very hip then../but today iam going to put the story right on how the term WOG came about ok..
    Durring the opium wars of the middles east..the chinesse government gave in to the western way of doing bussines so in the mid to late 1800, The decering chinesse bussines man droped his traditional robes cut of his long pig tails and dressed up in pin strip suite with spats and bowler hats and cut and shaved like a westerner bussines man the only evedince left was the slant eyes ,so those particular chineese bussines gentlemen .where given the abriviation of WOG ,which stood for WESTERN ORIENTAL GENTELMAN..hence wog… especialy for those who started to reside or come to England to do trade.. now the name wog original was a mark of respect towards those gentlemen, and it was like this for avery long time to describe shuch a person by the anglo saxon.. it wasn’t till CHOLERA hit ENGLAND IN THE late 1800,s when the general public started blaming the chinesse bussines gentlemen , (WOG) ,as to bring this horrible desiase to London..SO THE MYTH (blame) was sqaureley blamed on the western oriental gentleman..,so if any one came down with symptoms of cholera people would say OH HE CAUGHT THE WOG.. so ( the abriviation ,wog) now described a sicknes if not an epidemic..so there is the connection of the DERAGOTRY ..towards any new migrant that camr by boat and settled in anglosaxon lands like England and Australia or any of England world wide dominans back then…YOU see cholera was contracted through ship trading from port to port around the world ,so at the same time tea and cocaine from china was on the same ships that the cholera came on /but later it was established that cholera came from the indian ports the ship pulled in to.. but because the anglo saxon wanted a scape goat at the time they chose to pick on the WESTERN ORIENTAL GENTELMAN..so wog caught on a swear word and a description of catching some thing epedemicly mortal..even 100 years later you would hear people say OH HE GOT THE WOG meaing a simply but nasty cold.

    so each migriant who passed and came by boat to a new promising land was already ear marked a wog..especsialy used at school by kids and at pubs..or any one with a grudge towards migrants..
    so that is the originality of the word WOG.. ohh out of that too grew the white Australia policy.. now that is intresting ,,but then you go deep in to Australian politics..

    but al though this is 2013 ..wog is still used in certain situations both describing the sickness and the migriant….only comedians will use the word wog more often then many today..

    • Hi There, I very much appreciate you taking the time to write to me. The history of the term Wog is certainly very interesting and there was a lot I didn’t know. Thank you for posting and teaching me something new!
      I would very much love to know your old Greek recipe, I’m always up for trying something new.
      Thank you again for stopping by!

    • While lots of people recite this story about the origins of the word ‘wog’ there is no actual evidence. There are lots of stories about words with etymologies that derive from acronyms, but until recently it was very rare that a word would be coined in this way.

      The first recorded use of the word ‘wog’ was in a dictionary in the 1920s by F.C. Bowen called ‘Sea Slang’ and defined its meaning as “lower class Babu shipping clerks on the Indian coast.” It was for a long time used to refer to anyone of Indian or African origin.

  6. I’ve seen your image on many blogs and I finally came around to yours. And I’m glad I did! You have a great blog. And I totally knew what “wog” meant… I spent some time in the Land Downunder and my family that lives there is Italian.

  7. Hi Lisa, I just used your recipe for gozleme, and even though I added a bit here & there (as all wog cooks do!) it was delicious and soooo easy. thanks so much for sharing and I’m interested in your blog now too. even though you look 14 in your cover shot!!! (said in a complimentary Turkish/wog accent!)

  8. Wow, had a look at your blog and loved it! We have a few things in common: we love food, we are wogs and we live in the same area of Sydney! Many woggy garlicky kisses! 🙂

  9. Hi I have been in food business for several years, I’m developing a new food concept that is all wog food,would like to talk to u or perhaps involve yourself on some level..

  10. Inchbeses Lisa. Hope you are well and your dad is in good health. I fancied authentic Bastourma today for some reason and came across your site which was delightful to see. Is your dad selling any of these home made bastourma. I live close by so can come and pick it up,.
    Gary or Garo as they call me in Bourj Hammoud (Lebanon)

  11. As leggypeggy, the search for a pickled turnip recipe brought me here too. And I have no regrets. I will make the pickles and am sure it will be great. I like your blog, keep up the good work fellow WOG. 🙂

  12. Hi Lisa
    I came looking for a gozleme recipe and stayed a while to browse! This is a great site and I love the whole ‘woggy’ flavour/culture thing! I wonder if you are around my age (you look a lot younger!) because I grew up during the 60’s/70’s and really ‘get’ your whole story! We may have been a little different because my parents wouldn’t let us speak in a derogatory tone about anyone. We still used ‘wog’, ‘nigger’, ‘abo’, ‘pommie’ etc, but not unkindly. We’d have been told off soundly for speaking rudely to people.
    I think that from the Aussie perspective – it was part of the whole matey Australian thing. To most of us, an insult was a mark of friendship – you are only allowed to insult your friends:-) and to be given a nickname was a sign that you had been accepted. That’s one way of looking at it! I know there were a lot of Anglo Aussie kids who WERE racist and you see it happening over and over again. My older kids grew up thinking Vietnamese and other Asians were fair game (not allowed to mock them when I was around!) – now it’s the Middle Eastern/Arab/Islamics who cop it. I still won’t let my kids (grown up as they may be!) mock people from other nations and largely they have grown up respectful and compassionate of refugees.
    Unfortunately, it’s a few people with few brains and less heart who spoil it for the rest of us who are pretty happy to ‘live and let live’ and welcome other people to our shores. After all, except for the Aborigines, we are all ‘foreigners’! And yes – we love our vast melting pot of international cuisine and love you all for weaning us from white bread and vegemite!

    • Hi there, I’m sorry for the delay in writing back to you, I’ve only just seen this! Your comment struck a cord with me, so many true sentiments! I grew up in the 80’s and I imagine it wasn’t as hard as it was in the 60’s or 70’s. In saying that, Australia still wasn’t as accepting then as we are now. We’re so lucky to be living in today’s Multicultural Australia!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s