Joanna Savill

Obsessive foodie, editor & event host

Joanna Savill is the Director of the Crave Sydney International Food Festival and the co-editor of the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. She also writes for publications both in Australia and internationally, including the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Living section, the Financial Times Weekend, the (Sydney) Magazine and Australian Doctor magazine.

Joanna Savill is regularly engaged as an MC to host events, dinners, charity functions and industry forums. With a food knowledge that borders on the obsessive, particularly when it comes to world cuisines and food cultures, she is a favourite host for events including Tasting Australia's Word of Mouth series, Restaurant 07 and 08, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and a Taste of Slow (Food).

 In 2004 Joanna was named as the "Best overall contributor to the communication of food" by the Food Media Club of Australia.

If people stop her in the street these days, it's usually due to her role as co-creator and presenter of The Food Lovers' Guide to Australia TV series - in which she travels Australia, sticking her nose in other people's cooking pots, discovering interesting produce and doing lots of eating.

With fellow Food Lovers' presenter Maeve O'Meara, Joanna created the award-winning SBS Eating Guide to Sydney - the most encyclopaedic and fun guide ever for eating out and food shopping in more than fifty different nationalities. The 2002 SBS Eating Guide to Sydney won the 2003 World Food Media awards silver ladle for the Best Food/Drink Guide Book and the 10th edition was released by Allen & Unwin (June 2005) ... and reprinted by Christmas!

As an "ethnic eating expert" Joanna spends lots of time tasting, talking, reviewing and judging food. She has been a regular Sunday food explorer guest on ABC 702's Weekend program. She's a member of the International Slow Food movement and its international Award judging panel, plus a number of other food-related organisations. She also likes to cook.

As host and speaker, Joanna has fronted the lively Chefs' Stage at Sydney Olympic Park's monthly Boulevard Markets and has created and presented food and cooking events for many organisations including the NSW Historic Houses Trust, the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Food Month. She uses her journalist's skills as a moderator for industry forums, such as the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival's Spoken Word series in 2004 and 2005, and curated and hosted the massive Food and Wine Writers' Festival for Tasting Australia in Adelaide, October 2005.

One of the best gigs she's had was to introduce star chef Tetsuya Wakuda to a crowd of French food journalists at the Gourmet Voice food media festival in Cannes ... (yes, the South of France) in January 2006.

Formerly a reporter with SBS World News, the multicultural affairs program Vox Populi and the international current affairs program, Dateline, Joanna was founding editor of the SBS World News and its online video news bulletin, which she also presented. 

She is a nationally accredited Advanced Professional translator of Italian, French and German and, before becoming a journalist, worked for many years as a subtitler for SBS television. She was the translator for the English-language edition of Christian Dior: The Man Who Made the World Look New (Arcade Publishing, New York) by French journalist Marie France Pochna. She has lived and worked around the world - particularly in Italy, France, Belgium and Germany, and trained as an interpreter with the European Union in Brussels.

Joanna Savill's awards:

 2006 - Best TV Food Segment  -  Food Media Club of Australia

 2005 - Best Food/Drink TV Show  -  for Food Lovers' Guide to Australia, co-created, presented and produced by Joanna, World Food Media Awards

2004 - Best Overall Contributor to the Communication of Food -  a peer nomination award and the top honour from the Food Media Club of Australia.

2003 - Silver Ladle for Best Food/Drink Guide Book (The SBS Eating Guide to Sydney 2002) - World Food Media awards.

2003 - Best Coffee Experience (Coffee Art segment, produced and directed by Joanna for Food Lovers' Guide to Australia, series 3) Food Media Club, Australia.



Client testimonials

Over the past few years Joanna Savill has MC’d several events for us. On every occasion her fantastic enthusiasm and knowledge was a key feature in ensuring the success of the event. She makes the audience feel as if they were guests in Joanna’s home.

John Fairfax Publications

Joanna’s professionalism contributed significantly to what can become a very routine event. As an MC, she brings her professionalism and easy to work with attitude. She is a star but does not have a “star” temperament. Very high class!

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association of NSW

Thank you for your support at the Regional Italian Dinner. The energy and expertise that you brought to the event made an impression on everyone attending and the staff. It was wonderful to witness a person who truly understands the restaurant and its patrons, not forgetting your appetite for great stories and wonderful food I enjoyed the evening very much and I look forward to the time when we can work together again.

Coast Restaurant