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Patties Caterers Selection CAB Audited. Circulation 20,700 — September 2012


OPEN HOUSE NEWS

Working group for Scores on Doors T

he NSW Food Authority has formed a working group to consider the future development of its voluntary Scores on Doors food business hygiene rating program. The working group, to be chaired by the NSW Food Authority, consists of 10 relevant bodies including Restaurant & Catering NSW, Clubs NSW, Australian Hotels Association (NSW), Australian Food and Grocery Council and the Quick Service Restaurant Forum. Scores on Doors was introduced as part of the NSW Food Authority’s work to reduce foodborne illness in the state and was trialled across 26 NSW Councils during 2011 and 2012. The trial highlighted the need to further increase participation rates and further refine the program to improve its effectiveness and benefit.

Cheers to WA law changes Restaurants in Western Australia will no longer have to go through a lengthy approvals process to enable them to serve alcohol without a meal, thanks to new legislation being introduced by the State Government. While the changes will not be introduced until a review of WA’s Liquor Control Act is completed, up to 500 restaurants that hold 120 or less people are expected to take advantage of an interim fast-tracked permit system allowing them to serve alcohol without food. “West Australians should be able to enjoy a quiet drink in a restaurant, without ordering a meal if they don’t want one,” said Premier Colin Barnett. “This is about giving people more choice to have a drink at a restaurant in a responsible fashion, instead of only being limited to pubs and bars.

CONTENTS

“Perth is growing in numbers and sophistication and restaurants across the city are an important part of our lifestyle. These changes will bring Western Australia into line with other states by offering more flexibility to cater for an expanding and more diverse clientele.”

Barnett said the Government remained committed to introducing legislation so that restaurants holding 120 people or fewer would automatically have the ability to serve alcohol without a meal as part of the licence. However, this was a way to get the same outcome quicker. “By changing the regulations we can make these changes quickly, rather than see restaurants held up while legislation is prepared,” he said. Restaurant & Catering Australia has congratulated the WA Government on the changes. With restaurants and caterers accounting for 57 per cent of licensed hospitality venues in Western Australia (45 per cent for clubs and 15.2 per cent for hotels), the organisation has been calling for an amendment to the Liquor Regulation and Liquor Act to allow restaurants and cafes to stay competitive in the market for some time. “The expectation of tourists and locals alike is that they can have a drink in their local restaurant,” said Warwick Lavis, president of Restaurant & Catering WA. “This change gets us much closer to giving our customers what they want.”

Industry news......................................... 04

Coffee..................................................... 14

Cover story – Patties Foods................. 06

Function catering................................... 18

Q&A – Daniel Verheyen and Laura Lown.................................. 08

High tea.................................................. 22

Origins of felafel.................................... 10

Editor’s word

W

ell done

to the Western Australian Government for last month announcing new fast-tracked permits for restaurants wishing to serve alcohol without a meal, with a view to abolishing them altogether. In New South Wales where liquor licensing laws were overhauled about five years ago to foster a more sophisticated drinking culture, the difference was exciting. Restaurants that had previously been hampered by the need for patrons to have an “intention to dine” were adding bar areas to their layout; small bars, many serving excellent small plate-style food, were opening up; people suddenly had more options for a night out other than the local pub. In Sydney in particular the night-time economy received a much needed shot in the arm. Perth is already one of Australia’s most beautiful and wealthy cities; with these new changes in place it may well become one of its most cosmopolitan for drinking and dining as well.

Ylla Wright Managing Editor @ohfoodservice

High tea.

Wages..................................................... 24

Consultant chef...................................... 10

Cooking the books................................. 26

Sustainability......................................... 12

Products................................................. 28

Point of sale............................................ 13

Culinary clippings.................................. 30

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NEWS

The buzz on restaurant S

ustainability has become a buzz word in the foodservice industry in recent years but now a new American Express Market Briefing, produced by market research company Technomic, has asked US consumers to clarify what they understand sustainability to mean.

According to Campbell, the restaurant sector is a particular focus of compliance activity by the Fair Work Ombudsman, as it, along with other sectors in the hospitality industry, “attracts the largest number of complaints from employees to the Fair Work Ombudsman”.

According to the survey almost 90 per cent of consumers identified local and sustainable foods on a menu, as well as restaurant recycling programs, as key components of a restaurant’s overall sustainability. About 80 per cent thought reduced energy and water use was important, while 77 per cent identified sourcing meat and other animal proteins from humanely raised sources as key to their idea of what makes a restaurant sustainable.

“In August this year the second phase of a national compliance campaign in the hospitality sector will commence,” he said. “It includes audits of cafes, restaurants and catering companies across Australia.”

More than three quarters of respondents (78 per cent) said they would be very or somewhat likely to choose one restaurant over another based on its sustainability. However, only 65 per cent would be willing to pay more to dine at a sustainable restaurant. Of this group, 36 per cent would pay no more than a 5 per cent premium. A larger group of diners said they would be happy to pay up to 10 per cent more.

ACT restaurant staff repaid $280,000 More than a quarter-of-a-million dollars has been repaid to workers in Canberra restaurants after an audit campaign by the Fair Work Ombudsman. The 482 workers received a total of $279,756 after Fair Work Ombudsman Inspectors audited 179 restaurants in a wide-ranging education and compliance campaign conducted over the last year. Of the businesses audited, 105 (59 per cent) were found to be breaching workplace laws. Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Michael Campbell said the campaign was sparked by the high number of complaints from staff working in Canberra restaurants. “A key focus of these campaigns is to work with employers and steer them to tools and resources that we have freely available on our website so they can check that they are meeting their obligations,” he said. “For employers, there’s a big incentive to get it right. Apart from penalties that can be imposed if a matter is taken to court, no business wants to face an unexpectedly large bill that can seriously disrupt cash-flow.”

OzHarvest cream of the crop

Foodservice Australia 2013.

Food rescue charity OzHarvest recently rescued 2800 litres of thickened cream, the equivalent of 20 bath tubs full, and transformed it into 17,040 serves of bread and butter pudding that was donated on the same day to people in need, across hundreds of charities and welfare agencies.

The show attracted 180 exhibitors, as well as a number of special events running on the show floor including the Rare Medium Chef of the Year, Apprentice Chef of the Year, Global Pizza Challenge, Australia’s Best Pie and the Chocolate Grand Prix.

The puddings were made with the help of 30 OzHarvest volunteers as well as Pierre Issa, from butter producer Pepe Saya, Merna Taouk from Dessertmakers and Brasserie Bread’s Michael Klausen.

A series of free seminars and workshops running in the Restaurant and Bakery Theatres also proved popular, with sessions such as “Understanding the new IR Laws” and “New Ideas for Aged and Healthcare Catering” attracting healthy audiences.

Five thousand of these puddings will also be served up for free at an upcoming OzHarvest event, as part of a global United Nations campaign against food waste, Feeding the 5000, on July 29 in Sydney’s Martin Place.

New Australian Made website Following research by Roy Morgan Research that showed 87.4 per cent of Australians want to buy food produced in Australia, the Australian Made Campaign has launched a new website, www.australianmade.com.au, to help people find genuine Australian products and produce. Featuring more than 10,000 products from thousands of Australian manufacturers, processors and producers, the website enables consumers to quickly and easily find locally-made, grown or -caught products. Only products certified to carry the Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo can be featured on the website.

At the Bakery Theatre there were a series of practical workshops for bakers, patissiers and chefs, facilitated by a number of presenters including patissier Adriano Zumbo and award winning baker Brett Noy. Next year the show will move to Sydney’s Royal Hall of Industries at Moore Park on May 25-27, with event director Tim Collett saying his team is already working to make it an even bigger and better event. “We are listening to what industry wants and will keep working hard to add value for exhibitors and visitors,” he says. “This was a great show but we know it can be even better with more exhibitors and special events.”

Beppi turns 57

Show and tell in Melbourne

Beppi’s Italian Restaurant in Sydney has marked its 57th year in operation, making it the oldest established restaurant in Australia under the same ownership and location.

Melbourne’s hospitality community was out in force at Foodservice Australia 2013, held at the historic Royal Exhibition Building last month, with more than 5000 visitors attending.

Established in 1956 by Beppi Polese, the restaurant is still owned and operated on its original site in East Sydney by Beppi together with his wife, Norma, and son, Marc.

Want more industry news? For even more industry news, in-depth reports and new product information, or to sign up for Open House weekly email newsletter, visit www.openhousemagazine.net. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@ohfoodservice). Or download the free Open House iPad app, packed with additional, exclusive content and updated monthly, from the iTunes app store.

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sustainability Many of Australia’s most powerful family dynasties have been customers including the Packers and Murdochs, while celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, Bono, Pink and Rhianna have also dined there over the decades.

Food sanitiser gets nod of approval The Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST) has announced the recipients of their annual innovation award. The Food Industry Innovation Award, which is judged on the significance of a new development that has achieved commercial application, has been awarded to Australian Functional Ingredients for the development of a natural antimicrobial, Herbal-Active. The product is a natural and tasteless ingredient sanitiser made of a combination of essential oils and extracts from culinary herbs, and can extend the shelf life of fresh produce by up to 10 times, reduce the need for fungicides post-harvest, sanitise fruits and vegetables prior to juicing and replace chemical sanitisers in washes for hands, surfaces and equipment. “Herbal-Active has the ability to also assist with many food security goals by reducing food waste by extending the shelf life of fresh and manufactured products and increasing food safety – a great asset to our industry,” said Jo Davey, president of the AIFST.”

Quality more important than low prices

for-profit research institute, Future Directions International, who will speak on the topic at the 20th annual HACCP conference in August.

atmosphere (44 per cent) and convenient location (40 per cent). “It’s apparent from these results that the consumer–business relationship is changing,” says website founder Fiona Adler. “People now seek a high-quality product or service first, and consider cost a lesser priority. This means businesses should be investing in staff training and using premium materials rather than cheap gimmicks and promotions. “Consumers are also more vocal now than ever before, by telling businesses how they feel online. By tapping into this feedback, businesses should be able to create a successful model to build a more loyal customer base.” When asked what would make a customer return following bad service from a business, only 2 per cent said they would be most persuaded by promotions and sales. More significant was feedback from other customers (important to 11 per cent of respondents), a small gift or apology (important to 18 per cent), new management (20 per cent) and, finally, the most likely to persuade, significant compensation (47 per cent).

Global food crisis predicted by 2050 A growing population, increasing demand for fresh water and an increasing loss of arable land could result in a global food and water crisis by 2050 if key countries including Australia don’t review their current food policies, warns John Hartley, executive of not-

“We urgently need more produce to be grown here, in addition to a clarified food policy that incorporates reasons why Australia needs a viable agricultural and pastoral sector,” he said. “Different policy and regulatory areas related to food should be brought together.” Policy changes needed, according to Hartley, include incorporating a target to feed Australia’s projected population, recognition of the security and social implications of immigrants, assurance of economic advantages to Australia, a reflection of the relative wealth of the nation, and a stronger focus on Australia’s north.

Submissions open for Good Food Month Restaurants, bars and other food businesses are invited to join in what organisers say is “destined to become Australia’s biggest food festival family”, with the relaunch of The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Month in NSW and the launch of The Age Good Food Month in Melbourne. In Sydney, Good Food Month returns after four years of operating as Crave Sydney International Food Festival. Participating venues will be involved in pop-ups, kitchen garden tours, high teas, cooking classes, food forums as well as signature events such as the Night Noodle Markets, and restaurant-based offers Let’s Do Lunch and Hats Off Dinners. “There are those who never stopped calling it Good Food Month which goes to show the affection for the name,” said festival director Joanna Savill. Registrations close on July 22. Visit www.goodfoodmonth.com for more information. OH

While the past few years has seen a cycle of discounting across the foodservice industry, driven by group buying websites such as Living Social and Spreets, new research from business review website WOMO.com.au has found that consumers are no longer driven by low prices when eating out. The survey of more than 1800 Australians asked respondents to prioritise influential factors that would make them use a business again within three key service categories: personal care (such as hairdressers, beauticians and massage therapists), foodservice (cafes, bars and restaurants), and tradespeople. In the foodservice sector, 93 per cent of respondents rated good quality food and beverages as the most important factor in influencing them to return, while only 29 per cent rated low prices and promotions as the biggest factor. Attentive and courteous staff and fast service were also rated as “very important” in making a customer return (79 per cent and 54 per cent respectively), followed by general

Read the submission document in the Open House iPad app. www.openhousemagazine.net    Open House, July 2013   5


cover story

Premium selection Sourcing its beef from the pristine and untouched environment of Tasmania’s King Island is one of the reasons the gourmet pies and rolls by Patties Foods taste so good.

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atties Foods, manufacturer of some of Australia’s most respected frozen baked savoury and fruit products, has developed a dedicated product and service offering specifically for the foodservice industry. The Patties Caterers Selection range is designed to offer a higher quality of product and provides flavours and varieties not available through traditional retail environments. The Patties Caterers Selection range is constantly evolving through regular testing and feedback, with Patties Foods recently introducing its new Patties King Island Caterers Selection Beef Range, which uses authentic premium King Island Beef. King Island is located on the northern tip of Tasmania, and with a population of only 2000 people it has one of the world’s most pristine and pollution-free environments. These conditions provide the perfect environment for King Island

cattle to flourish, with the King Island Premium Beef used in Patties King Island Beef Gourmet Pies and King Island Beef Gourmet Rolls ensuring their quality and great taste. King Island Beef Gourmet Party Rolls are blended with herbs and spices, and encased in golden, flaky pastry, scored for extra visual and taste enhancement. The King Island Beef Gourmet Party Pies are cooked in rich gravy and encased in a delicious pastry shell. Like the rest of the Patties Caterers Selection range, that includes Spinach and Ricotta Rolls,

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Chicken and Leek Pies, Moroccan Lamb Pies and Three Cheese & Veg Filo Delights, these quality products offer versatility and style by providing a variety of appetising and visually appealing finger foods to cater for any occasion. The Patties Caterers Selection range is snap frozen and available from your local distributor. For more information contact your local Patties representative – Victoria, (03) 8540 9100; New South Wales, (02) 8737 1800; Queensland, (07) 3209 7822; Western Australia, (08) 9571 8522; South Australia, 0439 576 270; and Tasmania, (03) 6234 7300. OH


Q&A

Cheese to please Licensed fromagerie Milk The Cow in Melbourne serves more than 100 different types of artisan cheese (and wine). Open House spoke with founder and managing director Daniel Verheyen and venue manager and cheesemonger Laura Lown about the concept. Open House: How did you come up with the concept for Milk the Cow?

unpasteurised milk if they want? LL: I agree that we need to be careful with the way we treat raw milk, however I do not agree with the restrictions that Australia has laid upon the industry, limiting not only the cheeses that can be imported but the cheeses that can be made and sold here. I think as informed consumers you should be able to make the decision yourself about what foods you can and cannot eat.

Daniel Verheyen: The concept was born when some friends and I were out late one night in Melbourne craving a whisky and a cheeseboard after dinner. We were shocked we couldn’t find somewhere to cater to our needs. OH: How has the concept been received by people so far? DV: We have had a great response and a wealth of positive feedback from locals and visitors to Milk The Cow. People particularly love the country-inspired interior with the grass wall and electric milker lights being a big hit! OH: What kind of customers do you most commonly find walking through the door? DV: From young to old, locals to tourists, we get cheese lovers from all over the world. A lot of cheese enthusiasts who come from the regions where our cheeses are made, such as France, Netherlands and Switzerland, pop in to congratulate us on offering cheeses that are not always readily available outside the region they’re made in. Our customers enjoy great food and wine, and the passion and enthusiasm which comes with it. OH: What criteria do you use to choose the cheeses on offer? Laura Lown: Deciding which cheeses to supply boils down to a few factors: craftsmanship, taste, seasonality and availability. Milk The Cow’s goal was always to supply over 100 cheeses; since opening we have had over 140 different types in, and at any one point have around 110 in the counter available for sale. A lot of what I select comes from past experience; working with cheese for around seven years I have learnt what cheeses are great and what consumers want. I always like to have a broad range of cheeses that aren’t readily available here in Australia. A good cheese depends

OH: Is cheese making treated with the respect it deserves in Australia?

Daniel Verheyen and Laura Lown.

on the way in which it is respected and nurtured throughout its process. Finding cheesemakers who look after their livestock is a factor too. OH: How far afield do you look? LL: We stock cheeses from all over the world as well as Australia. Predominantly from France, Italy, Spain and the UK, with some Swiss, Austrian and American cheeses also. OH: Why do cheese and wine work so well together? LL: Cheese and wine are like the yin and yang of gastronomy. The main reason they work so well together as a pairing is the balance between astringents (wine) and fatty foods (cheese), which work to complement one another. OH: What is the secret to finding the perfect wine match for a cheese? LL: In my opinion working with flavour profiles and characteristics of both cheese and wine can result in finding a match made in heaven. On the other hand, looking at contrasting flavours can also work. For example, pairing a fortified with a salty blue cheese plays on opposites, resulting in a balance of flavours. OH: How does Australia stack up against the great artisanal cheesemaking nations such as France and Italy?

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LL: It’s difficult to compare, considering there are limitations on what kind of cheeses can and cannot be made in Australia, therefore limiting the cheeses that Australian cheese makers can produce. The debate about raw milk always plays a factor when discussing Australian cheeses in comparison to other nations. With tight restrictions on production for these types of cheeses we are unable to see what great cheeses Australia’s cheese industry is capable of producing. OH: Where do you stand on the raw cheese debate? Should people be able to consume cheese made from

LL: The Australian cheese making industry is fairly young in comparison to the rest of the great cheese producing nations. Although I do believe the cheese making industry is respected, the industry could be encouraged more. If more cheese makers were educated with the skills and knowledge in order to work with raw milk I believe Australia’s cheese making industry would be widely respected. OH: Do you have a favourite cheese? LL: Working with cheese as long as I have you come across new cheeses every day and with this new favourites. A current favourite of mine would have to be Cashel Blue from Tipperary in Ireland. Rich, savoury and creamy, with mildly piquant blue veins, it is an absolute must-try for any blue cheese fan. OH


origins of...

Falafel Falafel is the most popular street food in the Middle East but the origins of the dish have long been debated, discovers Megan Kessler.

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alafel is the most common street food in the Middle East, where the deep fried balls of crushed chickpeas and spices are served with pita or

flat bread and dips. Israel claims falafel as its national dish; however Lebanon and Egypt both argue that it originated within their borders.

The dish most likely originated in Egypt around 1000 years ago where it is believed the patties were eaten by Christian Copts as a substitute for meat, which they were not allowed to eat during certain holidays such as Lent. At this time, the Egyptians made their falafel with fava beans which were soaked in water then ground and shaped into small balls and deep fried. It is possible that the dish spread to other areas of the Middle East from the port city of Alexandria. Falafel soon reached areas such as Palestine and Syria, with chickpeas used to make the dish instead of fava beans (today it is sometimes made with a combination of both). In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Eastern European Jews who had migrated to Palestine adopted the falafel recipe and began making it themselves. Israelis served the deep fried balls in a pocket of pita bread with chopped salad and tahini sauce or yoghurt. In the early 20th century thousands of Jewish people migrated to Israel from Arab countries, bringing falafel with them. By 1950 falafel was being sold on Israel’s street corners as a fast food snack and came to be considered Israel’s national dish. Many Palestinians and Lebanese people argue that falafel originally belonged to them and shouldn’t be claimed as an Israeli food; however the Israelis introduced the method

Costly omission With the amount of information made available to us via the internet, television and written literature I am absolutely astounded at the amount of cooks out there that do not have the ability to cost and shop effectively. It is to the point of being a disgrace. The same chefs are never shy in coming forward for a pay increase or reminding the employer of some benefit they are missing, but ask for a correctly costed recipe or a wellstructured purchasing procedure and it seems to be easier to get hell to freeze over.

about the lack of profit but point blank refuses to do effective food and beverage costing. I would like to add that they also have a copy of Resort Software that a barman has been using but they refuse to allow him the time to fully implement the system even though he has shown them the financial benefits, which are amazing to say the least. The decision will cost me money but the longevity of my life not dealing with an imbecile will more than compensate me for it. If you’re not interested in helping yourself I am not interested either.

I have just cancelled my own consultant contract with a bar/ restaurant/club on the Gold Coast as the owner continually complains

I recently came across a chef in Melbourne working in a city café who was complaining about life in general but could not see the

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Consultant chef

Glenn Austin

www.austinwright.com.au benefit to the business of stopping purchasing precooked sandwich schnitzels and breast schnitzels and making them in the kitchen, producing not only a better product but a saving of $1.80 per serve. Cafe’s all over Australia constantly need to be in control of their food

of serving falafel with pita bread, which is now the most popular way it is eaten. In other countries such as Lebanon, Persia and Syria, falafel is served as part of a mezze plate with flat bread, pickled vegetables and dips. In many Middle Eastern restaurants it is also served as a side dish or as an entree. Falafel reached North America in the 1970s with immigrants who had arrived from the Middle East. At first it could only be found in Jewish and Middle Eastern neighbourhoods and restaurants, but was also popular among vegetarians and vegans. Since then, falafel has been adopted as a popular street food in America, particularly in New York where there are large Jewish and Middle Eastern communities. It is served in pita bread wraps from shops, restaurants, cafes and street carts. In 2010 an Israeli chef from New York restaurant Olympic Pita created the world’s largest falafel ball. It weighed 10.9 kilograms and had a circumference of more than a metre. Falafel was bought to Australia by Lebanese immigrants around 40 years ago, but stayed within the Lebanese community until the 1980s when mainstream interest in international cuisine grew. These days falafel can easily be found in any Lebanese or Middle Eastern restaurant. OH

and beverage costs to survive. It is not only in the foodservice sector that this matters. A very dear friend and great Australian culinarian, Lynn Schubert, recently shared with me her shopping insights. She is the mother of three lads, all great footballers that make Conan the Barbarian’s eating habits look mild, and a daughter who has probably struggled to get near a plate due to her brothers. The difference between the cost of her weekly food bill and another similar family I know? $450 a week. The main difference was the problem I see in our industry, a failure to cost out the weekly menu. Amazing as it seems, Lynn plans and shops for her food, the other grocery shopper simply purchases. Guys and girls, as trained culinarians you have an obligation to your employers to get with the program and do your job correctly.


Sustainability

Raw revolution Once the domain of hippies and celebrities, more people are embracing environmentally-friendly “raw food”, discovers Megan Kessler.

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ne of the latest food trends to arrive from the US, “raw eating” is becoming increasingly popular with health-conscious consumers who want to know exactly what is in their food. Raw cuisine revolves around the idea that food that is heated above 44°C loses important enzymes. Using whole, unprocessed, unrefined ingredients, kept below 44°C, keeps essential nutrients intact and in a form that is often easier for the body to digest. While most raw dishes consist of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains, proponents of raw food aren’t restricted to salads; chefs are able to replicate dishes ranging from pasta to cheesecake using only uncooked ingredients. In addition to its health benefits, raw food is a sustainable and environmentally-friendly choice. Julie Mitsios, founder of Concious Choice (an organisation that promotes a raw food lifestyle) believes that raw cuisine is definitely a sustainable option that can easily be implemented in restaurants and cafes. “It is not that hard to create a dish from scratch

using fresh, seasonal produce and beautiful seasoning and you can have a really incredible raw food dish,” she says. Mitsios is a Certified Raw Living Foods chef who started teaching the principles of raw cuisine in 2007. She now owns and runs Earth to Table, an environmentally-friendly raw food cafe in Sydney’s Bondi Junction. “We are not using much energy to create food,” she says. “In our kitchen there are no stoves, no gas oven; it is all stainless steel bench tops, a cool room, freezer and a dehydrator. The energy used to run it is very minimal.” As well as saving on energy and heat in the commercial kitchen, preparing raw dishes creates very little waste, as most parts of the ingredients can be used. “Everything can go to some kind of use,” she says. “For example when we make the almond milk we are left with a pulp and we use that to create almond flour. We can either dry that out in the dehydrator or use it as a wet pulp and that’s what we use to create some of our layered cakes.” Raw dishes served at Earth to Table include quiche, pasta, lasagne as well as desserts such as cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, cakes and tiramisu. “The most common ingredients in our kitchen are nuts and seeds, fresh vegetables (whatever is in season), lots of greens, seaweed and superfoods,” Mitsios says. “We only use cold pressed extra virgin olive oils, sesame oil and coconut oil.” With so much fresh produce in the kitchen the cafe is not relying on resources such as paper and plastic commonly used for packaged foods. Another way that Mitsios likes to ensure the cafe is sustainable is by using organic, locally sourced produce. “Everything that we use here is organic,” she says. “If we cannot get organic it will be insecticide or pesticide free. We try to support organic growers and local farmers wherever we can, without damaging the planet any more than we are,” she says. Amanda Brocket is a qualified raw food teacher who holds regular raw food workshops from her business The Raw Food Kitchen in Sydney. She believes that more people are interested in raw food these days because they are looking for healthy alternatives to processed food.

The Raw Food Kitchen's lasagne.

“People are more savvy now and want to know where their food is coming from, if it’s organic and if there has been anything added to it,” she

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says. “People want to eat whole unprocessed food free of chemicals, GMO or pesticides, food that is going to make them feel well, not sick.” She believes that raw food certainly delivers in this way and has a variety of health benefits such as increased energy and weight loss. The vitamins, minerals and enzymes that the body absorbs from raw food are important for the immune system and can help fight off various diseases, according to Brocket. “Food intolerances are on the rise, as are modern day illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease,” says Brocket, who turned to raw food after struggling with her own health. “A lot of people who choose a raw food diet have found they can reverse their health condition and not only that but experience the best health they have ever experienced.” Whether people are looking to raw food for their health, to be more sustainable or simply for taste, there is no denying that it is something that has caught the interest of the public. “A lot of our clientele aren’t necessarily raw eaters,” says Mitsios. “But they are just interested in healthy eating. They come with their families. We get elderly people and they love it. “One of our most popular dishes would be our zucchini pasta; we basically mimic the texture of linguine. People are really blown away by this dish because it almost appears as though it has been cooked. Some people don’t even realise that it is zucchini.” Mitsios says that raw food is easier for chefs to prepare and create than they might think. “With raw food it is a matter of understanding some of the basic processes like the soaking of the nuts which can take eight hours or overnight, and understanding the simple fundamentals and what certain ingredients can do and be substituted for,” she says. “The only different thing would be the dehydrator, which is like an oven but using a fan force. It works by drying out the food or taking the moisture out of food.” Mitsios says she would definitely encourage chefs to incorporate more raw dishes into their menus as a way of operating more sustainably or of offering customers something new. “You can’t go wrong with raw food,” she says. “You can’t over bake anything and the majority of the time you make something and it tastes great first off; when you are using really good quality produce it speaks for itself. “It is a way of thinking outside of the box and the traditional way of cooking. It is much simpler too, like making a soup; there is no standing over a hot stove, you can throw everything in a blender.” OH


Point of Sale

Top technology trends Technology is changing the way consumers relate with each other and with their favourite foodservice businesses, discovers Ylla Wright.

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aking headlines in London last month was sushi chain Yo! Sushi which announced they will be trialling flying trays to deliver its Sushi burgers to diners. The news comes hot on the heels of Domino’s Pizza testing, also in the UK, unmanned craft called the “DomiCopter” that can deliver two pizzas at once. While the jury’s still out on the ultimate usefulness of flying waiters, there’s no denying that technology is playing an increasing role in the foodservice industry. Many chains and independent restaurants now offer free wi-fi in-store; online reservation apps offer real-time bookings and iPad ordering systems that put ordering in the hands of customers. According to a 2012 Consumer-Facing Technology Market Intelligence Report, by US-based market research company Technomic, consumers are increasingly open to exploring new restaurant technologies. A majority of consumers expect to use technology to order food at restaurants more often in the coming year, with consumers expressing the most interest in tableside touchscreen devices that enable them to self-order and pay, iPad/tablet menus and digital rewards tied to loyalty programs. “Technology can be used as a point of differentiation within the restaurant industry… especially with Millennials,” says Technomic executive vice president Darren Tristano. “Operators who stay ahead of the curve, in an increasingly competitive market, will need to evaluate the best use for the latest tech trends and decide how to integrate them into their operations in a way that’s efficient and beneficial to consumers.” The report found that 51 per cent of consumers consider it important for restaurants to integrate technology into their ordering capabilities, while 42 per cent think that technology is important to payment systems and 40 per cent think it’s important for communication between a restaurant brand and its patrons.

company Kounta, the two most important technological advances for the hospitality industry in recent years have been tablets such as iPads making it easier for merchants to get hold of inexpensive hardware and software moving online and into “the cloud”. “Point of sale technology has been very offline up until now, which means it hasn’t really been able to connect well with online technologies and other types of online services,” he says. “Now we’re finding that everyone and everything is always ‘connected’ and merchants are starting to expect that for themselves, in their internal business management and also the way they interact with their customers.” A cloud-based system, Kounta is capable of working online or offline and allows bars, restaurants and other types of hospitality businesses to run their entire sales process off an iPad, Android tablet or other webenabled device as well as existing POS hardware. It also connects with other online and mobile platforms such as remote Beat the Q. The company has recently partnered with PayPal to bring its cash-less in-store payment option to the Australian hospitality industry.

“Our approach has always been that mobile technology allows you to tie into loyalty programs in particular.” With RedCat research indicating that one of the main reasons people don’t participate in loyalty programs is they forget or don’t carry the cards, placing programs directly onto people’s mobile devices, particularly smart phones, makes it easier for them to participate. “The trick with loyalty programs is to make them accessible,” says Vournazos. However you also need to give them a reason to keep coming back to your app so it doesn’t get lost amongst all the other apps they have. “Where our technology works is that we don’t build the app as a standalone app. We build the app as an extension of the point of sale so it all ties in

seamlessly. You don’t have to have a separate device to be scanned or a separate device to enter sales into to try to track them, or a separate interface. If you’re integrating online ordering you can build that ability directly from the same management system that manages your pricing and your menu in the POS system. “From a communication perspective the real strength is being able to slice and dice your customer base. For a restaurant to be able to target customers who have regularly been ordering steaks and invite them to a steak night promotion, or to target customers who have ordered a vegetarian meal in the last six months by inviting them to a special, vegetarian degustation night is very powerful. “The only way you’re going to know that is if you’re tying your loyalty information with your purchasing information through your POS system and tying it all together in a single database.” Even if you’re not convinced about the future of flying waiters, it’s hard to argue with technology that improves branding and communication with customers. OH

Customers use the PayPal mobile app to locate and then “check-in” at the retailer. Once checked in, they are able to place orders and pay using their PayPal account. PayPal provides business owners with information about the customers that are checked in at the store, including name and photo ID, allowing them to interact with customers in a way that helps develop relationships and drive sales. The technology also helps support customer loyalty programs. Spiro Vournazos, national sales manager at RedCat, a Sydney-based company which offers POS and business management solutions, agrees that mobile devices are the most significant technological advance in the POS space in recent years.

“The savvy restaurant owner is taking advantage of it and changing the way they communicate and interact with their Watch the video in the Open House iPad app. customers,” he says. According to Nick Cloute, from online point of sale (POS) software

www.openhousemagazine.net    Open House, July 2013   13


coffee

Race to the top Barista-made coffee is taking over the world, with the Aussies leading the charge. But it’s not just espresso coffee that is on the menu, with a range of new brewing methods offering new ways to appreciate the quality of a good bean, discovers Sheridan Randall.

B

arista-made coffee is on the rise internationally, due in no small part to boutique roasters in Australia. The number of Aussie-owned coffee shops and Australian baristas that have appeared in London over the last four years is testament to the respect given to our coffee culture. However, as the global appetite for barista-style coffee catches up with Australia, local boutique roasters are stepping up to the next level, sourcing better quality green beans, refining roasting techniques and introducing new brewing methods for a consumer base that is hungry to widen their coffee palate. Having just come back from three years working in Europe, Alex Savidis, manager of Dose Espresso café in Willoughby, says Australia is “definitely up there in the world”, describing the coffee scene in London and the Netherlands as “pretty shocking”. “I was in London for two months and

being an Australian barista meant you could get a job anywhere you like,” he says. “Our standard is so much higher than everywhere else. But they are starting to catch up.” Back on home turf, Savidis says that he was surprised at the new brewing methods now on offer in Australia such as Aeropress, cold drip, syphon and Chemex filter coffees. Although not selling in big volumes, the generally young male coffee aficionados at the forefront of consumer coffee culture are leading the charge. “It’s mainly the coffee geeks, as we call them, coming in and asking for the alternative brews,” he says. “Different brewing methods bring out different characteristics of the coffee. The filter methods release a lot more of the sweetness of the coffee and take away some of the bitterness. Some of them have more of a tea-like quality and are much lighter. “We also have a cold drip, which

Watch the video in the Open House iPad app.

looks awesome and usually we have one going every day during the hotter months. It takes about five hours to drip through and is much lighter than an espresso. We have regulars that come in here and get one a day. Some guys come in for a latte in the morning and then come back for a cold drip in the afternoon.” Savidis says that playing around with different flavours and brewing methods “gives us a really good understanding of our coffee”. “You can add sparkling water [to cold drip] which adds another dimension to the coffee,” he says. “Sometimes we infuse it with a bit of apple juice. We like to experiment with it.” This experimentation is the key to development. Nothing moves forward by standing still and so it is in the world of coffee. However, there is no point pushing the envelope if the consumer is not along for the ride, which means educating them to

broaden their understanding of the variety of flavour profiles in coffee. In Australia though milk coffee still reigns supreme, with many still averse to trying black coffee without adding milk or sugar to it. Dose Espresso barista Julian Flax concedes that the new brewing methods are “very different and you have to get used to it”. “I only drink black coffee and for me this [aeropress] is quite a sweet coffee,” Flax says. Aeropress is like a filter coffee but with added pressure. Because it uses less pressure than an espresso and at a lower temperature, the end result is a much lighter tasting coffee. “They [customers] order one of these [Aeropress] and say ‘where’s the milk and sugar?’ You don’t want to tell them how they have to drink it but…” he says. Preparation time is another factor, with alternate brewing methods more labour and time intensive. An Aeropress is generally made one at a time, and takes at least a couple of minutes, which adds to the cost. “Some cafes are finding it hard to serve individual filter coffee because of the time and the money it costs, but there are a few cafes that are doing batch brews which is making it more affordable and less time to prep,” he says.

Bean there done that Melbourne-based Cartel Coffee Roasters was recently named as Champion Australian Roaster at this year’s inaugural Australian International Coffee Awards (AICA). “It’s gone past the point of just ordering your coffee and drinking it,” says Cartel Coffee Roaster owner Nathan Johnston.

Dose Espresso café in Sydney’s Willoughby.

14   Open House, July 2013    www.openhousemagazine.net

“People are looking for more of an experience in the flavour profiles, picking up the chocolates or the fruits. There is also a lot more of a trend for alternative brews as well. If


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expensive and have more and more of our customers appreciate that,” he says. “It’s not so price driven. We have always had the aim of it’s got to be the best of the best. I love it when people have an emotional experience with our coffee and go ‘wow I just can’t believe that happened’.”

you’re serious about coffee you want to try coffee in many different brewing methods. “Some coffee [beans] suit different brewing methods. Some are outstanding in an espresso whereas in a filter they are not as lively and vice versa. We are seeing a lot more of the science behind what sort of flavours work behind which brewing methods.” As the global coffee consumer demands better tasting coffee, so the demand for better quality green beans increases, and as Johnston says “there is only so much of these specialty grade coffees you can purchase”. “We are one of the most expensive coffee wholesalers at around $45 a kilo, going up to $300 a kilo,” he says. “The hard work it takes to get these coffees to Australia, it can’t be $3 to $4 a cup. If it’s an outstanding cup [it] is worth $10 to $15 a cup.” Johnston says that his customers treat coffee like fine wine. “There are twice as many flavour compounds in coffee as there are in wine – over 1200,” he says. “When you go to a restaurant and look

Sam Gabrielian, owner of Sydneybased roaster Di Gabriel, agrees, saying “the challenge is not the price of coffee, it’s the quality”.

at the wine menu there are many different prices, and I treat coffee exactly the same way. Some of the coffees that we source are rare and unique in their flavour profile. “We had a coffee on the menu at $10 recently and it was the first choice for every customer that walked in. You know it is going to be rare, unique and have a story behind it.”

“We are very advanced here in Australia, and as we become more knowledgeable and our palates our changing as a consumer, the suppliers need to change the coffee that they are buying to be one step ahead in the race,” he says. With boutique roasters pushing the quality of the coffee ever higher, larger multi-nationals are being forced to pick up their game or be left behind, according to Gabrielian.

Educating the coffee consumer is vital for Johnston.

“The bigger companies that were buying really bad coffee [beans] are now trying to keep up with the race and have stepped it up,” he says.

“It’s a very competitive market but it’s been good to see we can go out there and push coffees that are very

And for many boutique roasters looking to stay ahead that means being at the farm gate.

16   Open House, July 2013    www.openhousemagazine.net

“A lot of the better coffee companies have people out at origin buying beans,” he says. “You have to be there, find out which farm has the goods you need or want, first in, do the deal. For us if you build a good relationship with a farmer and are paying above what the rest will pay, it’s like Fairtrade but without certification. We are doing direct trade without all the bureaucracy.” This increased competition is having a follow on effect with the coffee farmers, who are now competing against each other to improve their cultivation and processing skills and ultimately the quality of their green beans. “We are trying to work with farms and give them feedback on what we want out of the coffee for them to try and produce that the following year, rather than just buy, leave them and return the following year and saying ‘what have you got for us?’” Gabrielian says. “There is still room for improvement, from buying the green bean to the roasting, all the way to the baristas making the cup. We haven’t reached the top yet.” OH


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Function catering

How to book more functions Functions can be a great way of supplementing your business’s regular income, but how do you go about attracting more of them, asks Ylla Wright.

G

ood quality, well priced, varied ingredients? Check. Interesting, well thought out menu offering a variety of choices for all kinds of occasions? Check. Top notch front- and back-ofhouse staff to seamlessly cater to guests’ needs? Check. Premises that offer a unique selling point or lend themselves to theming for parties? Check. So why aren’t you attracting more functions? Function catering is big business, with corporate events routinely catering to upwards of 1000 guests, and the average cost of a wedding coming in at over $48,000 (according to Bride To Be magazine), with the venue and catering accounting for a large proportion of the cost, but there’s no reason why even the smallest operator shouldn’t put their hand up for a piece of the action. And there are several reasons why you should. Pre-determined menus and guaranteed numbers take the guesswork out of ordering, staffing requirements and profit margins, and for restaurants that otherwise rely on a fluctuating number of diners, function bookings guarantee a minimum level of income for a specific day or week, taking pressure off the bottom line.

David Mercer, director of food and beverage at Epicure, exclusive caterer at a number of venues including the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne Town Hall and Zinc at Federation Square. “At the MCG, yes, a fair bit of its appeal is about sport but we also have 27 function rooms which lends itself to the conferencing market, so we look at highlighting those aspects of the venue in our marketing to our corporate clients. “If we were to market the Long Room to the Melbourne Cricket Club members we would lean on marketing the tradition and the old world feel of the room as a potential wedding venue.” As a private members club, the Royal Canberra Golf Club is restricted in how it can market itself, according to food and beverage manager Neil Abrahams.

With brides and other private clients having very different needs to corporate clients, it helps to identify your market or markets and highlight those elements which most appeal to it.

“As a private members club you can’t eat in the dining room unless you’re a member or invited by one,” he says. “We do have the opportunity to market outside to the wedding market but it’s got to be subtle. That marketing usually comes with a story, for example ‘Neil’s won Chef of the Year’, which keeps people interested and the name of the club out there without being an obvious marketing campaign.”

“At any of our properties, whether it be the Melbourne Town Hall or the MCG, you look for the unique character of the venue,” says

At Aria Catering, which does the catering at a number of venues including Sydney Opera House as well as external catering in Brisbane and

A Fresh staff member setting up for dinner at Carriageworks.

Butter Milk Chicken from Epicure.

See recipes in the Open House iPad app.

Sydney, a multiple-pronged approach is used. “For weddings we will do wedding fairs, we do some wedding advertising, and then we also have our own wedding event at the Opera House called the Ultimate Wedding Planning Party,” says the company’s marketing manager, Jo Bennett. “For special occasions such as a 40th birthday or something at somebody’s house, we have a database of about 55,000 people across all our businesses, so we obviously market Aria Catering to that database as well. “And then we have corporate and business-tobusiness events. At the Sydney Opera House for example we do all of the event catering and we work very closely with the House, their sponsors, and all of the resident companies. We do a lot of corporate entertaining and famils where we’ll host event managers and planners.”

Relationships matter As with all facets of the hospitality industry, it’s important not to underestimate the importance of relationships – with potential and existing clients.

Photo courtesy: Fresh Catering.

“Relationships are absolutely everything,” says Mercer. “One of our greatest sales tools is referrals and ensuring that we exceed our clients’ expectations is critical in securing repeat business. If you do every client only once you soon run out of clients.

18   Open House, July 2013    www.openhousemagazine.net

“Even a wedding is an opportunity, even though most people only get married once, to market yourself during that wedding to the friends of the bride and groom, who are of an age where they might be about to get married, and there’s probably a lot of parents in the room too with sons and daughters.”


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important,” he says. “Any chef is important to any restaurant business, especially in this day and age. You can’t just hide in the kitchen and expect people to come. Chefs need to market themselves as much as the business and obviously their name is associated with the business.” Aria Catering’s fresh berries, passionfruit, meringue and sorbet.

If you don’t have an existing database, consider using conventional and social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to build up a database of potential and existing clients interested in receiving information about holding a function at your venue. “Building up a database is very important for repeat customers,” says Stuart Ford, director of marketing at Sydney-based Fresh Catering which looks after the food and beverage at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Rooftop Venues, Carriageworks and The Concourse. “Repeat customers are what binds our business together; we have customers who have been with us since we started 13 years ago.” When talking to potential and existing clients, look at the unique elements that set your business apart from the competition. Located in an iconic sporting venue? Premium waterfront location? Award-winning contemporary architecture or interior design? Heritage building or features? Connection with a momentous historical event or prominent person? While the Sydney Opera House almost sells itself once people realise they can hold a function there, the reputation of co-owner and celebrity chef Matt Moran is undoubtedly also one of the Aria Catering’s key selling points. “I think Matt’s reputation is very important to the business,” says Bennett. “Because of his involvement people expect a certain quality, which is great.

“I think of all the caterers in Sydney we’re probably one of the only ones that was born out of a restaurant and possibly because of that our standards can be higher. “All of our chefs have worked at Aria; to have chefs that have worked in a ‘hatted’ restaurant is an advantage for us. And then we have the team here at Aria to call on – the sommelier at Aria does the wine list at Aria Catering for example.” Abrahams, who recently won his second consecutive Rare Medium Chef of the Year title at the Foodservice expo in Melbourne, is also not above using his own reputation to market the business. “I’d like to think that my reputation has been

While putting together a competitive quote is important for getting clients over the line, both Mercer and Abrahams agree that it’s better to value-add than to discount quotes. Getting caught up in a discounting war to win business can ultimately damage your brand and business if it forces you to compromise your standards. “It would be nice if everyone came along and said ‘we have lots of money’ but that’s not the case,” says Mercer. “We have our standards we maintain and if we can’t meet a budget we will walk away from a piece of business… [however] our ability to add value in any budget is important. People need to feel that they have value for money. “The ability to change a main course from fillet of beef to a free range chicken for example is somewhere where we can start to play with of the cost of dishes.” “We generally high service the wedding market,” adds Abrahams. “Things like having one person allocated to the bridal table, rather than to three tables; allowing them to use a change room to freshen up in; providing a golf cart for the wedding photos; or a separate area to have predinner drinks in. Adding those things aren’t high cost; you just have to be a little bit smart.” Consider offering packages, a staple in the weddings market, combining theming and entertainment elements with food and beverage costs, justifying a higher overall price to the customers at very little cost to you. “We run three distinct packages for our wedding clients in different price ranges,” says Abrahams. “When you go to $200 a head that can include a band, centrepieces, chair covers, everything. It’s a bit of a one-stop-shop. The client has to see value in paying an extra $50 a head, and they don’t have to keep running around.”

Make sure you can deliver While Fresh employs a “food forward philosophy”, which Ford describes as “food that’s on the front end of trends”, he says they “try not to get bogged down in things that are overly faddish”. “The secret of our strength has been customisation to the client brief,” he says. “We take a detailed brief off every client and we get to understand the demographic profile of those attending the event. What the objective of the event is. The budget. Any things that people don’t want to see, or have recently done, so that we’re not repeating things that have been done. “And, while we’re food forward, we always have a strict eye on what’s actually achievable to ensure quality and freshness on the plate,” he says. “Right down to where we actually do what part of the preparation stage. We do a lot of on-site assignments. Sometimes it’s better to do mis en place at our headquarters, and sometimes, depending on the menu, it makes more sense to do it all on site.” While there is no one single way to pull off a successful event for a client, the most important thing is to establish good lines of communication, says Ford. “It’s all about communication between our team and the client,” he says. “We have a pretty good structure where we assign each job as it comes in to the best event coordinator for that job, and they’re involved right from the quotation stage through to the final deal. It means that there’s one person who’s the contact, and is responsible for liaising internally with all of the Fresh functionaries from the executive chef to the culinary team on the day and even accounts, so it gives the client a very easy communication channel and means that nothing gets missed.” Adds Abrahams: “a successful function and a good model is delivering what the client wants, within your cost parameters and not compromising your standards to deliver a cheaper, lower end product.” OH

While decorative add-ons such as table centrepieces or floral arrangements are An evening function at the common inclusions MCA Harbourside Rooftop Venue. for wedding packages, many businesses are also offering theming services to their special occasion and corporate clients. “One of the things we’ve noticed is that more and more clients also want to have some sort of theming included,” says Ford. “We’ve actually just employed a full-time stylist. He adds styling touches to all the events we do; everything from beautiful

20   Open House, July 2013    www.openhousemagazine.net

Photo courtesy: Fresh Catering.

“When we’re marketing we don’t want people to think that Matt is going to be at every single event because he physically can’t be but he is very important to the business. He does the menus and those events where he can be there, then he will be.

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HIGH TEA

High tea at The Waiting Room.

See the video and recipe in the Open House iPad app.

High style High tea may have been invented by the English but it has since taken the world by storm, with Aussie chefs giving this classic stalwart a modern twist, discovers Sheridan Randall.

I

ts origins stem from a Duchess back in the 18th century, so it is little wonder that today’s high tea is a classy affair. The Duchess of Bedford found that afternoon tea and some light cakes were the perfect way to keep the hunger

pangs at bay while waiting for dinner. Not surprisingly this caught on with her friends, and now the tradition is found across establishments across the globe, from 5-star hotels to boutique cafes. Despite the centuries that have passed, many things from this ritual remain untouched. Try serving high tea without scones, cream and jam at your peril. And it is still very much “a ladies thing”, says Anna Polyviou, executive pastry chef at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney. Having worked at Claridge’s Hotel in London and for pastry chef Pierre Hermé in Paris, Polyviou brings a plethora of European baking traditions to the Shangri-La’s newly revamped high tea menu.

Scones, jam and clotted cream at Shangri-La Sydney.

“The thing I brought back with me [from Europe] was the balance of the products and the skill level,” she says. “It’s not just about doing a fruit a tart and that’s it. There was a way to arrange it. Whatever you were creating they made sure that the end product was a finished product, that the flavours were there and the

22   Open House, July 2013    www.openhousemagazine.net

presentation was there. You had to make it look pretty.” With two people in her kitchen team focusing solely on high tea, everything bar the bread and the clotted cream is made from scratch to accompany the selection of 18 teas on offer. “We make our own brioche and brioche bread, and banana breads,” she says. “Our scones are made every day and we make our own jams. “You have to make things light and not overfilling. You have to think about portion size. If it’s too heavy and dense people aren’t going to eat it.” With the traditional element of high tea such a key factor in its appeal for many, Polyviou says she doesn’t “like to play around too much” with the menu. “We do a proper tart where we line the tart properly and with proper pastry cream and the fruit is nice and layered,” she says. “If you’re going to do a chocolate brownie, do a normal one. Just make it sharp and lean.” Dishes include passionfruit posset, mango jelly and tropical popping

pearls, served in a shot glass, and a chocolate brownie with chocolate anglaise and chocolate ganache, as well as the obligatory scones, made with buttermilk, Earl Grey tea and raisins. “You can have a little bit of a funk to it but still be respectful to the dishes,” she says. Roberto Molleman, executive pastry chef at Crown Hotels in Melbourne, knows a thing or two about tradition, having worked at the Four Seasons Hotel London on Park Lane, where the late Queen Mother would drop in for a gin and tonic regularly. These visits obviously made an impression on Molleman, who has included a gin and tonic jelly with sweet cucumber on the revamped afternoon tea menu at The Waiting Room in the lobby of the Crown Towers. “I took my experience [in London] with a traditional afternoon tea and then make it with a twist,” Molleman says. “Using traditional English flavours, like gin and tonic, pistachio and marmalade and that sort of stuff.” Molleman cut the number of items per person but increased the selection, with nine types of pastry showcased, including two eclairs topped with single origin Michel Cluizel chocolate “as they’re not handy to share”. Strawberry and vanilla tarts with Pimm’s cream sit alongside Earl Grey tea flavoured chocolate mousse and tonka ganache, and pistachio sponge with orange marmalade on


The Mad Hatter afternoon tea at The Westin Sydney.

the menu, while a whisky-marinated salmon croissant adds some punch to the savoury selction.

according to the hotel’s executive sous chef, Kruno Velican, who oversaw the menu revamp.

“It’s everything at the same time – the selection, the colour, the flavours, they all have to come together at the end of the day,” he says. “People seem to like it.”

“We wanted to make a point of difference and to distinguish ourselves as something more sophisticated and wanted to match our story to the product,” he says.

Head chef John Ayala, from The Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder in Melbourne, also “got used to a more formal service of high tea” during his 10 year stint with the Four Seasons Hotel Group. Along with pastry chef Claudia Long, The Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder offers an afternoon tea that follows the seasons.

With the hotel situated inside the historic GPO building in Martin Place, the menu had to blend both the old and new.

“We try to keep it as formal as possible, while our interpretation of classic things, such as smoked salmon sandwiches, we do with our own cured salmon or a beetroot marinated salmon to change it up a little,” Ayala says. “Other times we can incorporate a cheese option because of our cheese larder.” During the summer months dishes such as passion fruit and meringue tart and raspberry and lemon trifle were featured on the menu, while in the cooler months the flavours “go towards quince and apple, and the sandwiches feature roasted vegetables and different variations on egg salad and traditional smoked salmon”. The formal aspect of afternoon tea follows through to the presentation, with Ayala saying it is “all very put together”. “Claudia takes into account what the mouth feel is, makes sure it

“We came up with the concept of two different afternoon teas,” he says. “Our traditional heritage tea, which blends the heritage that we have in our building with the modern, which is how our hotel is on the inside, where it’s very fresh, very bright and very clean.” For the second concept the kitchen team took inspiration from a classic Victorian tale that has stood the test of time – Alice in Wonderland. has good eye appeal and that her things are complete as opposed to a deconstructed dessert,” he says. For Long, “it’s all about seasonality”, with the current menu featuring “a lot of roast fruits, and spices and some of darker chocolates and caramalised white chocolates”. Having previously worked at SkyCity Auckland under a number of European trained chefs, Long says she has “a good amount of [European] learning” under her belt. “I don’t go too modern with my approach as far as traditional pastry techniques, I’d say I play more with my textures and flavours,” she says.

“I love to work using traditional techniques but to be able to branch out with flavours and not play by the rules so much. “The older customers come in and recognise the traditional techniques, but they bring in the younger ones who are more open minded, so it’s good to mix words like mille-feuille or éclair but then fill them with something that is unfamiliar and haven’t tried before. If people are going to come back you want to have something new and different.” Business has tripled since the introduction of the new afternoon tea menu at The Westin Sydney,

“Australia is a very diverse country and we wanted to come up with a story that can be close to different generations and different backgrounds,” he says. The Mad Hatter afternoon tea features such delights as dark chocolate mud cake in the shape of a top hat, a purple macaroon with a blueberry cream filling with a watch face on it mirroring the GPO clock tower as well as the White Rabbit’s pocket watch, and heart shaped layers of raspberry buttercream, chocolate ganache and raspberry jelly in a nod to the Queen of Hearts. “It’s like a child’s play on a plate – a bit of everything,” he says. OH

www.openhousemagazine.net    Open House, July 2013   23


wages

Minimum return With the Fair Work Commission increasing the minimum wage by 2.6 per cent, many in the hospitality and foodservice sector say the decision ignores the rising cost of doing business, writes Sheridan Randall.

T

he 1.5 million workers in Australia on the minimum wage will from July see their weekly pay packets increase to $622.20 before tax, an extra $15.80 per week. Not a huge amount in the scheme of things, but the cumulative effect on those businesses in the hospitality sector footing the bill is pushing many to breaking point, according to peak industry bodies. The increase is roughly in line with inflation, which is running between 2 to 3 per cent, and is considerably lower than the $30 hike wanted by the unions. However, for businesses the rise follows hot on the heels of a failed push to lower penalty rates, an increase in the superannuation levy and a newly introduced carbon tax. Australian Hotels Association chief executive Des Crowe says it was “disappointing to see the concerns from business about the impact of the carbon tax have again been ignored”. “While some people are benefitting from government compensation measures, the majority of employers are feeling the pinch from higher operating costs and lower consumer spending,” he says. “The Commission’s refusal to appropriately consider these impacts on employer capacity to pay higher

wages is deeply disappointing.” Crowe argues that the increased “carbon tax-related” costs are not being passed onto the consumer through higher prices, with a recent report by consultancy AEC Group showing the introduction of the carbon tax is resulting in profit reductions of up to 11.8 per cent. “In reality, these higher costs are being absorbed by employers who do not feel confident enough to increase prices at a time of lower discretionary spending,” he says. “An AHA member survey of 643 hotels conducted in March as part of our submission found that 74 per cent of pubs and 59 per cent of accommodation hotels had absorbed cost increases associated with the carbon tax. “It is naïve to think that simply because a new tax is imposed on a business, that it can simply put up prices and recover the cost from customers in full. This is certainly not the case in the hotel sector.” Almost half of Australia’s accommodation industry has reduced staffing levels as a direct result of increased labour costs in the current financial year, according to a recent survey by the Accommodation Association of Australia.

The survey of more than 200 businesses found that more than 50 per cent attribute the negative employment growth in the industry (from 2008-2012) to wage increases and high penalty rates. The survey also showed more than 45 per cent of operators have reduced staffing levels because of increased labour costs in the 2012-13 financial year, almost 40 per cent are expecting to reduce staffing levels because of increased labour costs in the upcoming financial year, and over 55 per cent have had a reduction in profits over the past year. Accommodation Association of Australia chief executive Richard Munro says the survey’s results are “compelling evidence of the challenges that the accommodation industry is facing because of the high cost of labour” and that the Commission’s decision “will result in further job losses in the accommodation industry”. “The Accommodation Association argued for any increase in the minimum wage to be capped at 1.5 per cent, so to be hit with a 2.6 per cent increase is a poor outcome for a labour-intensive industry such as ours and smacks of union appeasement,” he says. “The decision does not seem to take into account the circumstances of small businesses, particularly regional business, despite the panel’s recognition that the needs of these employers had to be considered as they were a significant part of the economy and within which there was higher than average award reliance.” Describing the current regime as “particularly harsh for small businesses in our sector” Munro says “Australia’s current workplace relations system is unbalanced and needs recalibrating”.

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a typical casual waiter working on a Sunday from $33.90 per hour to $34.88 per hour including the new superannuation levy, resulting in many businesses looking to curtail trading on Sundays. John Fink, general manager of two of Sydney’s most high profile restaurants, Otto Ristorante and Quay, says he welcomes the rise in the minimum wage “as people should be paid the right amount of money for their work” but adds that the steady increase in wage costs over the last 10 years is pushing things to a tipping point. “Ten years ago if you were running a fine dining restaurant with a 32 per cent wage cost that was 2 per cent too much but that was what you paid for quality,” he says. “It left enough money for the business to be a profitable venture. Now wages are creeping up in fine dining to nearly 40 per cent. “It’s really hard. We have just closed off our financial year and the figures are really distressing. It’s increasingly difficult for us to present a fine dining product.” For Fink “the goalposts are in the wrong part of the paddock”, with the issue coming back to penalty rates.

Down to the bone

“What is determined as overtime and penalty rates in the restaurant trade is when we actually trade,” he says.

Restaurant & Catering Australia chief executive John Hart says the pay rise in combination with penalty rates will increase the hourly rate of

“It’s now come to a point where I need to look at what we are doing as a group, with the increase in power costs, penalty rates and the


welcome to your penalties.”

more than in half,” he says.

Fink says he is “not a doomsayer” but adds that “this would have to be the toughest year that I have ever seen our restaurants face”.

“In the old days we would think 25 per cent [wage costs] was bad and now we are struggling to set them at 38 per cent.”

“I’m a fighter and I try to find creative ways to survive in this industry, but it’s just one thing after another,” he says.

With the industry’s “margins narrowing as it is” the increase in the minimum wage compounds the effects of penalty rates, which is “our biggest problem”, he says.

“We have good revenue, we have very good financial management and we are not fools. It’s not like we don’t know what we are doing. Yet we are fighting to keep our wage costs below 40 per cent.” With profit margins cut to the bone, Fink says that many in the fine dining sector are “passing on any costs that they can”. “A lot of people are now passing on credit card fees and we are very reluctantly considering this because it’s where we can scratch back some money,” he says. inability of the governing bodies to recognise what the working hours of a restaurant actually are. “What John Hart and [Rockpool’s] Neil Perry and a lot of the other

heavy weights in town are saying, though no one seems to listen, is that we just want a normal 38 hour working week like everyone else. Anything over that and you are

Restaurateur Rob Rubis, owner of Manta in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo, says that “wages are unquestionably our biggest issue now”. “In the 30 years I have been in the industry the margins have been cut

“I realise penalty rates are to compensate for not being with your family,” he says. “But if you pick an industry where you don’t want to work on the weekend or at night then don’t pick hospitality. It’s an industry that survives on margins and there is no question it will affect and erode the margins even more.” With energy bills “through the roof” and award rates that penalise hospitality businesses at their busiest trading times, Rubis says the government treats the foodservice sector as a “second rate industry”. “It’s sad that it is not recognised for its worth and that we don’t have the ability to stand up alongside say the mining industry and say ‘why are we being ignored?’” he says. OH

Australians love it. Shouldn’t you be serving it? Peter Washbourne, Executive Chef at Wollongong’s Chifley Hotel explains that it’s the little things that make his breakfast buffet, the best brekkie in town. “We change our menu every day so there’s always variety, but we also make sure that the staples customers have come to expect are always there. We’ve always had Nutella, but previously only in large jars, where we would go through two or three a week. So when I saw Nutella 20g portion control packs advertised, I had absolutely no hesitation in stocking up. So now we have less mess and no wastage.”

For more information call 1800 199 183 or visit www.ferrero.com.au/foodservice/nutella/home.html

ARM0451 Nutella T120 1/2_OH.indd 1

www.openhousemagazine.net    Open House, July 2013   25 8/04/13 11:06 AM


cooking the Books

All wrapped up Combining a classic French technique with Asian-inspired ingredients has never tasted as good as in this inspiring dish by Melbourne chef Jacques Reymond.

Lamb cutlet farcie with silverbeet, tamarind and ginger dressing Serves 4

I

like the combination of the steely flavour of the silverbeet with the sourness and tanginess of the tamarind and the astringency of the ginger. Rock salt to cover the bottom of baking tray 120g chicken fillet 1 egg white Salt and pepper, to season Pinch of paprika 60ml cream, reserving a splash for the silverbeet 50ml cream 80g sweetbreads, blanched and cleaned 60g button mushrooms, cut in small cubes Garlic clove, sliced 1 shallot, diced 16 double lamb cutlets – 2 points (keep only one bone on each cutlet – ask your butcher to prepare for you) 8 parsley leaves Crepinette, thin and clean, very white 3 tablespoons clarified butter Farcie Preheat oven to 180°C. Pour rock salt into a baking tray to create a bed that covers the bottom of the tray completely and place in the oven. Process the chicken in a food processer until a ball of chicken meat forms. Add the eggwhite and process again for 10 seconds. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Add the cream in a slow stream and process for a few seconds until the ingredients are well mixed, scraping the sides as required. Place in a stainless steel bowl in the fridge. Saute sweetbreads and mushrooms until tender then add the garlic and shallot stirring quickly. Put aside to cool. Once cold, combine with the chicken mix. Place a tablespoon of the mix on top of each cutlet. Put parsley leaves on top and wrap up in crepinette using as little crepinette as possible. In a pan, heat clarified butter and seal each side of the cutlet for about 5 seconds per side, or until golden. Remove the cutlet from the pan, place on preheated salt tray and cook in the oven for 5 minutes. Silverbeet ½ bunch silverbeet, stems peeled, leaves whole 1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar Dash of cream Blanch the silverbeet and refresh. Dice coarsely, mixing the leaves and stems and stir-fry in a wok with butter and olive oil. Season. Add a touch of sherry vinegar and a splash of cream. Remove from the wok and set aside. Tamarind and ginger dressing 300ml chicken stock ½ tablespoon tamarind paste 1 shallot, finely diced 1 garlic clove, finely diced 1 chilli, deseeded ½ knob ginger, sliced 1 teaspoon red miso paste ¼ bunch coriander, picked 1 tablespoon light soy sauce 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon mirin

26   Open House, July 2013    www.openhousemagazine.net

90ml pure virgin olive oil 1 shallot, sliced 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 tablespoon chopped chives Put stock, tamarind paste, shallot, garlic, chilli, ginger and red miso paste in a small saucepan and cook over a moderate heat until liquid is reduced by half. Add coriander and infuse for 2 minutes. Strain and place the liquid in a bowl. Add the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, mirin, olive oil, shallot, garlic and chives to the bowl and mix well. Set aside. To serve In the centre of the plate, place a soup spoon of silverbeet. Arrange the cutlets on each side and coat the lamb and silverbeet with the dressing. ● This

is an edited recipe and image from Cuisine du Temps by Jacques Reymond (Murdoch Books, $45). OH


What’s on shelf this month? On glass by Victor Scerri (New Holland, $35) Whether sweet or savoury, layered dishes lend themselves to being shown off in glass serving ware, but Scerri has taken the idea to the extreme, putting together a whole book of recipes presented in glassware, with colours, textures and yes, layers, designed to enhance the overall impression of each dish. A visual feast, the appeal of this book is less about the recipes, which range from entrees and mains to desserts and drinks, than the inspirational styling ideas it presents.

Coffee Encounters: adventures to origin by Jonette George and Tyson Hunter (Smudge Publishing, $69.99) Ever wondered who produces the coffee you serve to your customers? Or how the cherries are picked and processed? In this book some of Australia’s leading coffee roasters take readers on a journey to Indonesia, Bolivia, Peru and beyond, and through every step of the process. With a goal of showing “the quest each coffee bean goes through from the day it’s grown to the end of its journey where it is ground, brewed and served”, the book is almost encyclopaedic in scale but its format lends itself to dipping in and out. Enjoy it with a short black.

Spice Kitchen by Ragini Dey (Hardie Grant, $45) Prized around the world throughout history, spices are the number one weapon in any cook’s arsenal for creating rich, aromatic, flavoursome dishes. And nowhere is this more so than in India, where every region has its own distinct style. In this beautifully photographed book, Dey has gathered recipes which celebrate the traditional and modern dishes that have made India the incredible food nation of today. From robust curries to delicate biryanis and nourishing dal, accompaniments and desserts, this book is guaranteed to give you a new appreciation for Indian cuisine.

Get it while it’s hot! Open House is now available as an iPad app, offering even more ways to enjoy industry news, views and feature stories on the key issues and trends affecting the hospitality industry. This exciting free app is packed with bonus extras including recipes, behindthe-scenes videos and interactive features. Updated monthly, the Open House iPad app is available to download free at the iTunes app store or www.openhousemagazine.net.

www.openhousemagazine.net    Open House, July 2013   27


products

Feeling hot, hot, hot ovens available, with the largest able to hold up to nine pizzas. An electronic control panel system helps to control all cooking aspects and the energy mode helps to save 50 per cent on energy. ● www.goodladyimports.com.au

unrefined sweetener that is 100 per cent pure and contains no additives or preservatives. ● www.coconutmagic.com

Naturally sweet Certified organic Coconut Flower Nectar is a new product from Coconut Magic. The nutritious coconut nectar comes from the liquid sap of coconut flowers. Coconut Magic has kept the nectar as close to nature as possible which gives it a unique and delicious floral taste.

I

t can be difficult for baristas to get milk to the right temperature and often the coffee can turn out too hot or too cold, which is where the Latte Pro can help. Latte Pro is a new product designed for the foodservice industry to help get the best coffee results every time. The Latte Pro is an innovative milk frothing jug which ensures milk based drinks are made at a consistent temperature. The temperature measurement is integrated into the jug using a liquid crystal display (LCD) thermometer.

The Latte Pro is easy to operate so staff can be confident that they will deliver hot beverages that are the same temperate every time. It is also a hygienic method that prevents cross contamination as there is no need to use a stick thermometer. ● www.lattepro.com.au

Taste of Spain Patties have added a new flavour to their range of party quiches for the foodservice industry. Cheesy Chorizo is the new Spanishinspired mini quiche made of chorizo, spices, tasty cheese and red and green capsicum.

serving on party platters or as finger food. They are ideal for functions and are quick and easy to heat for fast service. ● www.patties.com.au

The King Oven is an innovative new product that recreates traditional wood fired pizza without the use of a wood fire oven and it is the only oven in the world to use the Italian Wood Oven Substitute system.

The King Oven gets the results of a wood fire oven without the problems associated with them such as cleaning, ash disposal, supply of fire wood, labour and start up costs. There are three different sized

The spicy addition is ideal for serving with other flavours in the range including Quiche Lorraine, a classic French combination of bacon, onion, cheese and eggs, and Spinach and Fetta, a light, creamy vegetarian option. The mini quiches are perfect for 28   Open House, July 2013    www.openhousemagazine.net

Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies have introduced a Gingerbread Loaf to their range of premixed cakes for foodservice professionals. The blend of quality ingredients and spices are based on a traditional recipe that will please customers looking for a sweet treat. The Gingerbread Loaf can be prepared as a slab cake for events or as muffins or a loaf for morning or afternoon tea. It can be served with caramel icing, honeyed cream cheese icing or served warm with butter and cream in the colder months.

King of pizza

Pizza can be made within minutes using the King Oven, a hollow baking chamber with a heated air flow that replicates a wood fire oven. The heated air flow is pushed upwards directly into the chamber and then onto the food to cook it.

Ginger and spice

The nectar is a natural sweetener that acts as a substitute for sugar or honey but is a much healthier option. It can be used in baking, hot drinks, syrups, smoothies, juices, raw desserts or even as a topping on toast. The organic coconut flower nectar has various health benefits as it is low glycemic and contains vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It is an

The loaf it suitable for customers with various food intolerances as it is gluten-, wheat- and yeast-free. It can also be prepared egg- and dairyfree and will last in the freezer for up to six months. ● www.melindasgfg.com

Stop, freeze! Tip Top Foodservice has recently released a new range of sliced bread and traditional English muffins with a long frozen shelf life. Tip Top’s frozen bread range can be stored in the freezer for up to four months and thaws quickly, allowing for minimal preparation and ensuring that food doesn’t go to waste. A good option for foodservice businesses that don’t have bakery deliveries, the bread is frozen quickly to lock in freshness and once thawed is just like fresh bread. Varieties to choose from include white, wholemeal, multigrain, super thick white, super thick raisin and traditional English muffins. All of the products are free from


for meat, chicken and fish. Varieties include Satay Sauce Blend which can be added to salads, skewers and noodles, and Moroccan Spice which can be used to flavour roast vegetable tagines. The spices are also gluten-, soyand wheat-free and contain no preservatives, artificial colours or flavours. ● www.pureblends.net

Cutlery wrapper artificial colours and flavours and are Halal certified. ● www.tiptop-foodservice.com.au

in the range including Tomato Relish with Red Pepper made with sweet, ripe tomatoes and red pepper; Cranberry and Red Onion Relish, which offers a balance of tart cranberry with caramelised red onion; Sweet Chilli Relish and Beetroot Relish. The relishes are free from artificial colours and flavours and come in convenient resealable 2kg tubs for the foodservice industry. ● www.baxters.com

Beautiful blends Relish this Baxters premium relishes are a simple and convenient way to add taste and texture to a range of dishes. The classic recipes are prepared with the finest produce to ensure flavour and quality. The relishes make an ideal sauce for burgers and roast meats or can be added to sandwiches and wraps as a tasty spread. There are four flavours available

Gourmet producer Pure Blends has released a high quality range of spice blends (pictured below) for the foodservice industry. The high quality products are made with the finest ingredients and are all hand blended. The huge range of spice blends cater to a variety of cuisines such as Italian, Mexican, Indian and Middle Eastern. Their versatility makes them ideal to use as a flavour base for sauces and marinades, in dips, or as a coating

HIT Equipment has made the Thomas Dorr Cutlery Wrapper Machine available to hotels, restaurants, cafes and canteens looking for a fast and convenient way of wrapping cutlery. Simple to use, just place clean cutlery into the filling chute of the machine and wrapped cutlery sets come out automatically into a filling box. The quantity of sets can be preset on the machine so all the work is practically done for you.

Top of the mops The Gala Mop from Pall Mall Manufacturing is made specifically for the cleaning needs of the hospitality and foodservice industry. Pall Mall Manufacturing has sourced the best quality fibre to create the Gala Mop, ensuring consistent cleaning results every time. The tough fibre gives the mop a long life and it is highly absorbent enough to clean large commercial areas. The range of mops are colour coded in five different colours to meet the recommendations of the Cleaning and Hygiene Council of Australia. ● www.pallmall.com.au OH

The cutlery wrapping machine will help save on time, labour costs and is a more hygienic way of handling cutlery than manual wrapping. The Thomas Dorr Wrapper also offers high quality napkin paper that is strong and absorbent, specifically designed for use in the cutlery wrapping machine. ● www.hit-equipment.com.au

www.openhousemagazine.net    Open House, July 2013   29


CULINARY CLIPPINGS

The heat is on T

he Australian Culinary Federation (ACF) is definitely hot and getting much hotter with the recent signing of Tabasco as a national sponsor throwing their full support behind our junior chefs’ development initiatives.

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Peter Wright Australian Culinary Federation (ACF)

I recently had the opportunity to attend Clubs New South Wales and Fonterra’s chefs’ forum held at the Epping Club in Sydney. The hot topics candidly discussed quickly focused in on the state of apprenticeships in Australia.

some solutions discussed included advertising in local papers to attract high school students with cooking interests to working part time or offering work experience placements from local schools targeting students doing schoolbased apprenticeships. The clear message was that there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed and carefully thought through. However, in the short term at least some of the chefs were managing to sort it out.

The consensus was that the needs of young people are slightly different than those of days gone by and that we should actually try and understand their needs and raise the tolerance slightly. The issue of the recruitment of apprentices is also critical to ensure longevity and

The other touchy area was chefs’ wages which have been eroded over the past several years, going against the grain of a shortage of chefs. The main issue that chefs face when taking on a new job is their inability to negotiate things that are important – wages and

Rising stars Braden Honnery (pictured), sous chef at The Pier Restaurant, and teammate Suneerat Yuda, a second year apprentice at Pullman Cairns International, have won the 2013 Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award regional cook-off and will head to Sydney to represent North Queensland in the National Final in September. Held at Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE, the three-course culinary challenge kicked-off the first of the 2013 Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award regional heats.

band snapper ceviche, crispy skin, fennel and capsicum salad and an orange dressing. Main course was a slow cooked marinated Emerald Valley lamb rump, lemon thyme polenta, potato parmesan crumbed zucchini cannelloni and a tomato jus. For dessert the duo produced espresso Marsala parfait, banana and cashew praline salsa, tuile, chocolate spaghetti and caramel sauce.

Competition director Deb Foreman said she was “blown-away at how close the competition was”, adding it ���came down to the wire”. “All the chefs really brought their best game and should be very proud of themselves for their efforts,” she said. Braden said the he and Suneerat were “stoked to have won”. “You come away learning so much from the experience anyway – learning new skills and techniques – but I’m so proud of us winning and being able to represent North Queensland,” he said. Braden and Suneerat’s winning menu was an entrée of Asian gold 30   Open House, July 2013    www.openhousemagazine.net

conditions. We are generally more concerned with our ability to do the job and what questions are going to be asked at the interview rather than going in fully prepared to negotiate a reasonable outcome. So be prepared before your next interview and think about what you want to get out of the job. Big events coming up include Fine Foods Sydney in September which will highlight our culinary competitions and chef’s theatre. The heats of the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat are being held around the country so get behind your state and finally the ACF Chef of the Year will be calling for entries soon, so check out our Facebook and website for more details.

Peter Wright National President Australian Culinary Federation peter@austinwright.com.au www.austculinary.com.au

Twice is nice for Abrahams Neil Abrahams, executive chef at the Royal Canberra Golf Club, has been named the Rare Medium Top Chef of the Year for a second year running, scooping $10,000 and a place in the history books in the process. “I said it all along – it’s hard to win it once, but it’s even harder to win it twice,” said Abrahams. The competition was performed live at 2013 Foodservice Australia held at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Centre. Competitors were given one hour and a mystery box of ingredients that included veal, a rack of lamb, Kipfler potatoes, puffed rice, pine mushrooms and polenta. A butcher demonstrated how to prepare the rack of lamb, which the chefs then had to prepare themselves in the competition. Abraham’s first grand-final dish was a veal tartare, which he handcut himself using the backstrap to produce the tartare and topped the veal with an egg coddled sous vide at 62°C. The veal tartare was topped off with a warm potato

salad, with cress as garnish and puffed rice over the top of the dish. For his second dish, Abrahams made a roasted rack of lamb sliced into cutlets and cooked medium-rare, which was served on polenta along with balsamic pine mushrooms, turned vegetables including baby carrots and turnips and a jus drizzled over the top. “In this sort of competition it’s tough to always nail the presentation [because of the time limitation], so you need to make the flavours big,” Abrahams said. “Creating your dish on the spot is the challenge in itself. You need to make the presentation quite simple, but the taste has got to be there for the judges.” This year’s finalists also included True South head chef Mauro Callegari, Bistro Gitan head chef Steven Nelson and Daniel Wilson, the head chef/owner of Huxtable. “I take my hat off to all the competitors – they did it hard, and they had to come through and into the finals,” Abrahams said.


Guam and Vanuatu.

organising the event.

The Tahitian Chef’s Association president is Philippe Tisiot.

Brothers cook up a storm in Adelaide

Secrets of style revealed The Australian Young Chefs Club in Victoria (AYCCV) recently hosted its inaugural event on food styling for photography at the William Angliss Institute in Melbourne.

Fiji goes online The Fiji Chef’s Association has launched its inaugural website at www.fijichefs.org. The Association president Shailesh Naidu said that he was proud to be “better equipped to share our info with the industry”.

Tahiti joins the Pacific Rim French Polynesia (Tahiti) has been welcomed into the Pacific Rim fold of the World Association of Chefs’ Societies, alongside New Zealand, Fiji, the Cook Islands,

The AYCCV enlisted internationally experienced food stylist Linda Brushfield, who provided an insight into the field of food styling. Brushfield covered many aspects of food styling from lighting, colours on the plate, portion size of food, crockery choice and backgrounds.

Brothers Casey Mallett-Outtrim, a fourth year apprentice at Celsius Restaurant & Bar, and Kelly Mallett-Outtrim, a third year apprentice at Windy Point Restaurant Two, have won the 2013 Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Award regional cook-off in Adelaide and will head to Sydney to represent North Queensland in the National Final.

Thanks also go to ACFV committee member and professional photographer Enzo Frisini, William Angliss Institute chef instructor Dale Lyman and the ACFV for

Lanzafame wins pizza and pasta challenge John Lanzafame from Lanzafame beat off stiff competition from reigning world champion Simon Best in the Australian finals of the Global Pizza & Pasta Challenge at Foodservice Australia. Lanzafame won over the judges with a winter lamb pie pizza and pennette with lamb casserole. He also impressed the judges with his pizza scroll, which is a pizza base covered with freshly cooked fish before being rolled up and cut into smaller pieces and topped with caviar and feta cheese.

“This is our first-ever attempt in a cooking competition so we’re a bit stunned right now – totally stoked though!” said Casey. “We hoped to come away from the experience having learnt some new skills and just put ourselves up to see how we rate against other young chefs. I’m so proud of us winning. Let’s hope we can do South Australia proud at the finals.” OH

OPEN HOUSE FOODSERVICE is proud to be a diamond sponsor of the ACF.

Head judge Glenn Austin said Lanzafame had “come back bigger and stronger than ever.” “The pizza pie and scroll will take off in the industry in a big way,” he said. For information on ACF, visit www.austculinary.com.au, or contact the ACF National Office via acfnationaloffice@austculinary.com.au or (03) 9816 9859.

Lanzafame will compete against the world’s best at the Global Pizza & Pasta Challenge in 2014.

PUBLISHER Alexandra Yeomans MANAGING EDITOR Ylla Wright Journalist Sheridan Randall Sales & Marketing Manager Jo Robinson Regional Account Manager Leah Jensen

Official organ for the Australian Culinary Federation; Association of Professional Chefs and Cooks of NSW; Professional Chefs and Cooks Association of Queensland Inc.; Academie Culinaire de France; College of Catering Studies and Hotel Administration, Ryde, NSW; Les Toques Blanches, NSW Branch; Australasian Guild of Professional Cooks Ltd. Subscriptions: 1 yr $99; 2 yrs $174; 3 yrs $261 (incl. GST and surface mail).

ISSN 0312-5998

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Published in Australia by Creative Head Media Pty Ltd · P.O. Box 189, St Leonards, NSW 1590 HouseHouse, Foodservice Opinions expressed by the contributors in this magazine are not the opinion of Open www.openhousemagazine.net    Open July. Letters to the editor are subject to editing.

2013   31



Open House Foodservice July Issue