The Australian Association of Food Professionals Inc (AAFP) was an association of food professionals who had expertise in diverse food-related areas such as journalism, production, marketing, public relations, food science, nutrition, education, recipe development, food styling and catering. It was originally established as the Food Media Club.
The Food Media Club was officially launched at the Sydney Opera House on 24 May 1982. It was an initiative by Courtney Clark, and the first elected president was the famous television cook Bernard King.
In 2010, Business World Australia wrote of the Association:
This association boasts some of the most distinguished members of the food community. Not only does membership allow for the interconnection of various outlets, but the semi-annual “Australian Food Media Awards” event, dubbed the “Oscars of the food industry” have become a focal point of the media. Here awards are given out for excellence in food writing and reporting. From best cookbook of the year to best communicator about food, the awards range in depth and scope and reach over 20 different categories. The Awards are judged by industry specialists, and began in 1995.
The Australian awards were superseded by the World Food Media Awards associated with Tasting Australia, which began in Adelaide in 1997, something that appears to have been overlooked by Business World. The members of the Food Media Club voted in 2009 to change the organisation’s name to the Australian Association of Food Professionals.
In the late 2000s, the Association’s Patron was Margaret Fulton OAM, its President was Kate McGhie (Award-winning international food writer, presenter and judge) and its Vice President was Stewart White (agency principal, senior public relations consultant and editor.)
Writing in 2014, food historian Michael Symons suggested that the Association was held in some scorn by “serious food journalists” who scoffed at it for being the “PR and Nutritionists Club”. According to Symons, the Association was wound up in 2012.