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PRINT POST APPROVED PP: 255003/07314 ISSN 1442-9942

Restaurant &Catering May 2012 $6.95 GST incl.

Blond ambition Wisdom from Mark Scanlan of Garfish:

“Look after your community and they will look after you: in the middle of winter, the locals are the ones who will get you through.”

Darren Garner and Anne Marie Cali of Roux Blond reveal that when it comes to business, love conquers all Wisdom from Clyde Bevan of Friends Restaurant, Perth:

“The day you think you know it all is the day you should give up”

<Should you lease or buy new or second-hand equipment?, page 15 <Start-up central special report, page 23 <In the red with pinot noir, page 32<Where pointof-sale meets security: the state of the art, page 27 <The battle over the Award Official Journal of Restaurant & Catering

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May 2012 $6.95 GST incl.

In this issue ... Upfront



From the Association John Hart and Brien Trippas both write about the Fight for our lives—the battle over the Modern Award, and the threat it poses to our industry

News and events The Aussies among the world’s best restaurants; OzHarvest gets a new ambassador; and more...

10 Cover story Dishing up love Roux Blond in North Queensland teaches us about brand management, business acumen and true love

Wisdom 15

In the heat of the kitchen


What I’ve learnt


Start-up central

Funding a new kitchen fit-out or leasing that new combi oven is hard, but advice about equipment options can help to ease the burn Clyde Bevan, the co-owner of Friends Restaurant, Perth, on what drives you to keep doing this for thirty-odd years. On your marks … get set … and GO with these top ten pointers on what you need to know to start your restaurant






photography: honey atkinson / insight creative


Technology The latest Point of Sale systems are integrated with surveillance equipment in a pairing that helps growth and deters wandering fingers


Product Guide


New products


In the red



Everything you need to know about the latest and greatest tableware, dinnerware, glassware and more The latest and greatest stuff Why is pinot noir the wine most beloved of all proper wine people? Recycling and refurbishing was key for rennovating a 19th-century property in the heritage town of Bathurst, NSW



from the Association

Before the bench The current battle over the ‘modern’ award is the toughest our industry has faced


he ‘modern’ award stoush that we are currently in with the union is a bit more like David and Goliath than a Rocky Balboa showdown. Whilst common sense is on our side, there is a weight of opposition to our proposals. The union, United Voice, has very low membership in the restaurant sector, yet are fighting hard to preserve nonsensical penalty rates. The evidence, too, is on our side with business exits, bankruptcies and closures running at all time highs. Even traditionally negative commentators are suggesting that some change is required. The reality is that minimum wage rates in Australia are now at such high levels that additional premiums are unnecessary. For a casual a minimum rate of $20 an hour is a pretty reasonable figure. This is a very different place from where we were when Saturday/Sunday penalties were conceived. Consumers have become used to seven-day-a-week services. Those on the other side of this debate also raise that Sunday should be preserved for recreation and family activity. We should agree with this; however family “activity” is in restaurants. Consumers eat out for recreation today more than most other activities, and family occasions are spent around our restaurant tables. The logic is resounding. Lets hope the full bench agrees. John Hart CEO, Restaurant & Catering

Restaurant & Catering’s mission: To lead and represent the Australian restaurant and catering industry. Restaurant & Catering Australia Suite 17, 401 Pacific Highway, Artarmon NSW 2064 1300 RCAUST (722 878) Ph: (02) 9966 0055. Fax: 1300 722 396, Web: Restaurant Guide: Caterers Guide: Email: President: Brien Trippas (NSW) Senior Vice President: Kevin Gulliver (QLD) Junior Vice President: Terry Soukoulis (SA) Treasurer: Richard Harper (VIC) Chief Executive Officer: John Hart R&C is a federation of the following associations, working together on national issues on behalf of their members. Restaurant & Catering NSW Ph: 1300 722 878. Fax: (02) 1300 722 396 Email: President: Ian Martin Restaurant & Catering QLD Ph: 1300 722 878. Fax: (07) 3252 7554 Email: President: Con Castrisos

Restaurant & Catering ACT Ph: 1300 722 878. . Fax: (02) 9211 3800 Email: President: Fiona Wright Restaurant & Catering SA Ph: 8351 7837. Fax: (08) 8351 7839 Email: President: Cath Kerry Chief Executive Officer: Sally Neville Restaurant & Catering Tas Ph: 1300 722 878. Fax: (03) 6224 7988 Email: President: Phil Capon General Manager: Steve Old Restaurant & Catering Vic Ph: 1300 722 878. Fax: (03) 9654 5286 Email: President: Matteo Pignatelli Restaurant & Catering WA Ph: 1300 722 878. Fax: (08) 9328 7366 Email: President: Warwick Lavis

Restaurant & Catering magazine is published under licence on behalf of Restaurant & Catering by Engage Custom Media, Suite 4.08, The Cooperage, 56 Bowman Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009 Editorial Director: Rob Johnson Creative Director: Tim Donnellan Sub-editor: Kerryn Ramsay Contributors: Sharon Aris, Nicole Azzopardi, John Burfitt, Ben Canaider, Kellie Morle, Kerryn Ramsey, Danielle Veldre Commercial Director: Mark Brown Sales Director: Cameron Boon Direct: (02) 9660 6995 ext 502 Fax: (02) 9518 5600 Mobile: 0416 205 965 Email: For all editorial, subscription and advertising enquiries, ph: 1300 722 878 Print Post approved PP: 2255003/06505, ISSN 1442-9942 ©2012 Engage Custom Media. Views expressed in Restaurant & Catering magazine are not necessarily those of Restaurant & Catering or that of the publisher, editor or Engage Custom Media. Printed by Bright Print Group

7,661 - CAB Audited as at September, 2011 4 RESTAURANT & CATERING

photography: north sullivan

Restaurant & Catering

The fight for our lives The fight over the ‘modern’ award is a fight for the very survival of our industry


es it really is the fight of our lives. The current review of the Restaurant Award is the only real chance we have to return some profitability to our businesses. The association’s submissions to the review are aimed at three core outcomes: getting penalty days moved from Saturday/Sunday to the sixth and seventh day of work; getting caterers back into the restaurant award; and establishing a cap on minimum rates for small business. These changes are all vital for our industry. Whilst we still have many businesses closing their doors as a result of the cost of wages, it is surprising how many restaurants, cafes and caterers have survived this long. On average all our businesses are posting significant losses yet we still trade on. The direction of the review is now clear. The restaurant award will be considered in two Full Bench hearings in July. This hearing will consider penalty rates and all aspects of our submission. We must focus on getting a change to our Award out of this review. Any other outcome that would see a continuation of the current level of costs, would spell disaster. Many businesses would be forced to close their doors forever. To be kept up to date with the campaign progress, go to Brien Trippas President, Restaurant & Catering

Diamond partner: HOSTPLUS

American Express International • Bidvest • Westpac Banking Corporation

Australian Mangoes • Coca-Cola Amatil • Goodman Fielder Food Services • Lion • Meat & Livestock Australia • Treasury Wine Estates

ALSCO • AON • APRA • Bartercard • H&L Australia • OAMPS • Vittoria Coffee


News &events Up with the best Australians feature in the latest list of The World’s Best Restaurants


midst much hype, the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, has been released. Rene Redzepi and his team at Denmark’s Noma was named No.1 for the third year in a row. Another restaurant clocking up a third consecutive win is Quay restaurant overlooking the sparkling Sydney harbour which returns home with the Best Restaurant in Australasia title and a very respectable No.29 ranking. Australian Brett Graham whose London establishment, The Ledbury, was last year’s Highest New Entry, rose an impressive 20 places to No.14, taking the Highest Climber award, sponsored by Cacao Barry. The Chefs' Choice award, sponsored by Silestone and voted for by the World’s 50 Best chefs, was presented to Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain. Devastated by a fire two years ago, the restaurant holds its place at number three. The host nation also has plenty to celebrate with Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London shooting straight in at No.9 to take the Highest New Entry award, sponsored by Les Concierges, as well as establishing itself as the UK’s highest placed restaurant. Heston Blumenthal’s historically influenced British cooking has proved hugely popular with both the local and international judging panels. The USA boasts eight restaurants in the list this year, the highest of which is New York-based Per Se, owned by legendary chef Thomas Keller, who was rewarded with the Best Restaurant in North America

Brett Graham's restaurant The Ledbury in London.

and the S.Pellegrino Lifetime Achievement accolade after spending each of the past 10 years of the awards on the list under one guise or another. His original Californian restaurant, The French Laundry, which held the top spot for two years (2003-04), has also re-entered the list this year at No.43. To find out more, go to 

George Calombaris becomes OzHarvest ambassador OzHarvest has announced that chef, restaurateur and TV celebrity George Calombaris (pictured left) has become an ambassador. Founder and CEO Ronni Kahn was keen to welcome Calombaris on board when she discovered his ethos and passion for food and minimising waste. Calombaris joins an ambassadorial line-up of the some of the biggest names in food in Australia including Neil Perry, Maggie Beer, Matt Moran, Bill Granger and Peter Gilmore, together with patron Therese Rein. A former R&C Young Achiever, Calombaris has headed up The Press Club, the Little Press & Cellar, Maha, the modern Greek taverna Hellenic Republic, PM24, St Katherine's and in January opened the Italian restaurant Mama Baba, all by the age of 33. He is also a renowned as a judge on MasterChef. “As a chef and restaurateur, I hate waste,” Calombaris says. “I also come from a background where growing up, we wasted absolutely nothing so I am honoured to be an OzHarvest ambassador because everything about it makes sense to me. Most of us lead lucky lives and, for me, it's important to give back. My involvement with OzHarvest is a way I can do that.” 


News &events ARIA Catering becomes official Sydney Opera House caterer Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan have announced that ARIA Catering will be expanding in May, becoming the resident event caterers at Sydney Opera House. Having operated Opera Point Events at Sydney Opera House for the past five years, Moran and Sullivan believe that this development is a logical progression, allowing them to offer their clients the premium ARIA Catering experience in this landmark location. ARIA Catering will offer Sydney Opera House guests contemporary menus designed by Matt Moran, inspired by his passion for sourcing the finest seasonal produce. Head chef of ARIA Catering, Simon Sandall, will continue to execute the menus to the highest standard. ARIA Catering was launched in Sydney in November 2010 and in Brisbane in August 2011.  It has prided itself on producing successful events at off-site locations including private residence, boardrooms, showrooms and larger venues throughout Sydney and Brisbane.  Matt Moran says, “When our clients book an event with ARIA Catering, they not only want excellent food and service, they also want a special venue. “With a selection of truly unique spaces, in an enviable location, the partnership between Sydney Opera House and ARIA Catering makes perfect sense.” 

Matt Moran's ARIA Catering has taken over the house.

Vue from the top

Vue de monde's Shannon Bennett.


The architect firm behind the new Vue de monde, Elenberg Fraser, has been honoured at the HA+D Hotel Management Asia Hospitality Awards in Hong Kong, receiving the 2012 Award for Design Excellence in Restaurants for the restaurant in Melbourne’s Rialto Tower. The international awards acknowledge exceptional project design and product innovation in the Asia Pacific region’s hospitality industry, and are judged by an international panel of design experts and readers of Hospitality Architecture+Design (HA+D) magazine. The design for Vue de monde is inspired by the abstract Australian landscape, using Melbourne’s waterways and other natural Australian attractions as the basis for a link between destination dining and tourism. Melbourne’s Yarra River and Australian animals and insects were all referenced in the restaurant’s materials and features, from the black basalt surface of the billabong to the stretched animal hides covering the tables. Elenberg Fraser director Callum Fraser said: “Our design for Vue de monde is an investigation of the links between body, memory and ritual. We wanted to go beyond the clichés that dominate Australian tourism and create a connection with Melbourne’s local natural environment—the river estuary.” 

what’s on

May—June 2012




Sisters are doing it for themselves—nominations for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards are open until June 19. businesswomensawards.

Check out the latest products and services in the event management industry at the Perth Event Show on May 16-17.


Sip, swirl and sample at the Lovedale Long Lunch in the Hunter Valley (lovedalelonglunch. and SA’s Clare Gourmet Weekend (


Bring Italy to Myrtleford in Victoria with regional fare and Alpine Valley wines and brew at the High Country Harvest on May 18-27.

Nominations for Australian Bar Awards close on June 1. Winners will be announced at the Sydney BarShow on Sept 22-25.





Long weekend hijinks with Griffith’s unWINEd ( in NSW and Heathcote on Show ( in Vic.

Restaurant, cafe and fast food opportunities are all at Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo in Perth on May 26-27.


More than 1000 wine and spirits exporters and producers from 30 countries arrive in Hong Kong for Vinexpo Asia-Pacific on May 29-31.




More food fests with Darwin’s Greek Glenti ( au), King Valley’s Weekend Fit for A King ( au) and McLaren Vale’s Sea and Vines (

Tea connoisseurs discuss the impact a cup or glass can have on flavour at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas on June 1-3.


Beef, veal, pork, sheep—all meaty topics are covered at the World Meat Congress in Paris on June 4-6.

Restaurant & Catering experts explain the legal responsibilities related to the sale and service of alcohol at the ‘Responsible Service of Alcohol’ seminars in Bundall, Qld.


But wait—there’s more with the Mornington Peninsula Winter Wine Weekend ( and Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival (shoalhavencoast.


It’s much more than just comfort food. The World Potato Congress is on in Edinburgh on May 27-30.


Taste your way around the room at Melbourne’s Good Food & Wine Show on June 1-3.

Tutored trade tasting is an invitation-only event at the International Cool Climate Wine Show in Mornington, Vic, on May 27-June 1.


Decanter World Wine Awards winners are announced during the London International Wine Fair on May 22-24 ( See results at


Add some colour to your restaurant by introducing new artworks. See what’s on offer at Art Melbourne on May 24-27.



Check out the latest gourmet flavourings, syrups and coffee roasters at Coffee Fest Chicago on June 8-10.


World Masters of Chocolate is one of the new events at Foodservice Australia on May 27-29 in Sydney.

Foodies flock to the Blue Mountains, NSW, for Yulefest ( au) and the Brass Monkey Season in Stanthorpe, Qld (

Mark Best, Ben Shewry, David Thompson and others produce a degustation dinner at the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival on May 17-20.

Cheese scientists reveal the best ripening techniques at the International Dairy Federation symposium on May 21-24 in Wisconsin, USA.


The Great Australian Pumpkin Roll is a don’t-miss event at Qld’s Goomeri Pumpkin Festival.





Enjoy a three-course meal matched with beers from around the world at the Australian International Beer Awards dinner in Melbourne.

Experience the Seafood Extravaganza and other island adventures at Qld’s Port Douglas Village Carnivale on May 18-26.

Discover the Stevia shrub—a natural sweetener containing zero kilojoules with a zero glycemic index—at the Stevia Tasteful conference in Paris on May 24-25.




Mark Best, Philippe Mouchel, Michael Lambie, Nicky Riemer, Darren Purchese—big names, good cause at Melbourne’s Starlight Five Chefs Dinner.


Entries are now open for the Canberra International Riesling Challenge; book early for the awards dinner in October.


Lounge around at sophisticated supper clubs during The Noosa Longweekend Festival on June 15-24.


cover story

t’s no secret that the catering industry has suffered miserably during the last few years as budgets have become tight and attitudes towards spending have swung from ‘no problems’ to ‘no thanks’. Organisational Christmas parties, once privately catered and no expenses spared, have shifted to restaurants where revellers have often been expected to pay for their own drinks. Organisers of catered parties have been slashing their invitation lists in order to keep costs down. Add to that a series of natural disasters and a tourism downturn, partly thanks to the strength of the Australian dollar, and it becomes very clear that the catering situation in North Queensland has suffered more than its fair share of problems. But despite the raging tempest, one medium-sized caterer has continued to sail straight and true thanks to smart brand management and the deployment of a few well-stocked life rafts. Townsville business Roux Blond, owned and managed by partners (in business and life) Darren Garner and Anne Marie Cali, has discovered a secret ingredient that holds an undeniable attraction no matter the economy—love. “Roux Blond had been around since 2006,” says Garner, a chef by trade. “But the North Queensland business environment has been going backwards. The global financial crisis was the first element of it and people changed the way they were spending money. Private catering slowed down. People who would have had a wedding or a birthday at their house, and a nice dinner party for 20 people, they just evaporated. The restaurants picked up on them.” So Garner made the decision to spice up his business by buying Magnetic Island Weddings, a business in which his staff are responsible not only for catering but also for hairdressers, photographers, celebrants, make-up artists and other services. In other words, they are responsible for the entire show. “Magnetic Island Weddings is now essentially a wedding coordination part of our business,” Garner says. “When we bought it, the name was too good to give up. Roux Blond does all the event management behind it and of course we provide all the food catering, beverage, equipment hire and furniture hire.” “It’s a different challenge to coordinate a wedding but it’s all creative and that’s what we do. Our food is creative and we’re very fussy about our service, so it fits

A stunning performance by a medium-sized catering business in North Queensland teaches us more than a little about brand management, business acumen and, believe it or not, lessons in love. By Chris Sheedy

love photography: honey atkinson / insight creative

Dishing up


â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can definitely get caught up in the romance of it all. When it comes to their wedding day, sometimes we feel as excited as the bride and groom are.â&#x20AC;? Anne Marie Cali, pictured with partner Darren Garner

cover story

Roux Blond tries to ensure both the event itself and the food on offer are memorable for guests.

“We are very brand conscious and we are always looking to protect what it is that we have built. So we will not deliver to an event that we feel may damage the reputation of the brand. This includes extremely lowend catering deals, food that is not freshly and expertly prepared and other low quality catering options.” Darren Garner, Roux Blond 12 RESTAURANT & CATERING

the wedding market perfectly. Everything is designed not only for the bride and groom’s expectations but we’re also trying to exceed the expectations of their guests. So we create events where it’s not just about sitting in your chair all evening watching a wedding happen— we’re always trying to keep people moving and ensure all guests are involved in the event.” And it’s a business that Garner and Cali thoroughly enjoy being involved with, not just because every event is set on a beautiful island. “You can definitely get caught up in the romance of it all,” Cali says. “Obviously every couple is different in how they show their emotions. Some people are fairly relaxed but some couples are a little more open about it. We deal with a lot of brides 18 months out from their wedding so we develop a relationship with them because we talk with them so often. So when it comes to their wedding day sometimes we feel as excited as they are.” Magnetic Island Weddings now makes up around a third of Roux Blond’s revenue and much of its success has been thanks to the company’s tight quality control processes as they manage every aspect of the wedding from in-house. In fact, the entire business has benefited financially thanks to Garner and Cali’s refusal to sacrifice quality in order to make a quick buck. Know your brand Some caterers refuse to do small jobs, some are happy to cut corners to bring prices down and some will simply accept any job on offer. Management at Roux Blond have always been very clear as to where they stand on such issues and in sticking to their guns and having a very strong quality offering, they have reinforced their brand in the eyes of their market.


e definitely offer a lot of services,” Garner says. “We do office catering and lunch catering to corporate clients that might be having a meeting out at a university, for instance, and we also do major event catering. We’re certainly not above doing smaller jobs. But we are very brand conscious and we are always looking to protect what it is that we have built. So we will not deliver to an event that we feel may damage the reputation of the brand. This includes extremely low-end catering deals, food that is not freshly and expertly prepared and other low quality catering options. So we don’t take every single piece of work.” Such obsession with quality pays dividends, even if it means losing the lowerend jobs. From some small but high-quality events, much bigger jobs have come. For instance, Roux Blond catered for a private function at the house of a family that has a successful business in Townsville and the success of that single job led to a continuing series of corporate catering roles within that family’s business. “Last year we catered their big launch party for all of their new products and the new range for the season,” Garner says. “So that developed from just a small cocktail party for some friends into a relationship where we now do all of their work exclusively, whether it be private or corporate. This job turned into consistency. Along those same lines we have clients who’ll recommend us onwards. It might be a PA who uses us for catering for small boardroom meetings who shares our name within her network of friends and colleagues within Townsville. They will be honest

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cover story

and tell them that we might be slightly more expensive but that we’ll always turn up on time and will always deliver what we say we’re going to deliver and it’s always great quality.” Other secrets to success While a wedding budget may change in a tougher economic climate, couples will still make the decision to get married, Cali says. So the purchase of Magnetic Island Weddings has definitely been an important life raft in such an unpredictable climate. But she says a great deal of the business’s success is also down to the quality of their staff. “We’ve got a really great crew,” she says. “Having that amazing team around us allows Darren and me to spend time on the business rather than in it. It has allowed us to get to the point where we can remove ourselves a little bit and see the business from the outside, or from above, now that we’ve experienced such growth. A good crew is essential to allow that to happen. And some of our new people have come into the business with a lot of great experience, which is really valuable to us.” “We initially didn’t run our own events so we were purely about catering,” Garner says. “But from there it evolved. We had a real passion for it and we built fantastic skills around event management. It’s a natural progression and a lot of caterers do it. We had to bring the right people on board and


they have only served to strengthen our team. They bring new skills and share those skills with other staff who all become better at their jobs as a result. “But it does take a huge amount of time and effort. You’ve got to be conscious of the fact that if you’re going to do it and do it well then there will be major costs and effort involved. Where previously, as a contractor, if something went wrong then you didn’t need to worry—it wasn’t your problem. But if you own the event then everything becomes your problem. So there are effort, time, payroll, people and even software implications,” continues Garner. “Fortunately the actual event day is always a very good experience but it takes anywhere up to 18 months of planning to get it exactly right. The day itself is always great because all of the hard work and planning is done.” And the question must be asked, if romance and love are such a great part of the Roux Blond business, how does it feel to spend all day, every day, working with your own romantic partner? “You have moments where you just want to throw a stapler at each other,” Cali laughs. “But overall it’s really good. Obviously we very much enjoy what we’re doing and we both have a passion for events and catering and creating an experience for the client. So yes, we have some very strong common passions and we really do get along very well.” 


In the heat of

the kitchen

How are you going to fund all that shiny new equipment? There are ways…

Funding a new kitchen fit-out or leasing that new combi oven can sometimes feel like you’re being grilled. But a few pointers on the credit market and advice about options can help to ease the burn. By Lucy Robertson ny time spent watching weeknight restaurant or cooking shows on television at the moment would have you thinking that all you need to run a successful restaurant is a good sense of flavour combinations, some cursory knife skills, and a creative eye for ‘plating up’. But take one look at the million-dollar cookware and equipment industry branded with the names of judges on those shows and you’ll get a better idea about where the real business is at. Any professional restaurateur or caterer worth his weight in Smeg appliances will tell you that the beating heart of their business is their kitchen. And they’re not talking about the stainless steel countertops. The undeniable truth about the hospitality game, however, is that the kitchen equipment needed to turn out those 200 plates a night doesn’t come cheap. And in the current market, the debt often used to acquire that equipment can be harder than ever to negotiate.

Whether you’re looking for a whole kitchen fit-out or just need to buy a new combi oven, it’s worth looking at all the options and your own financial situation before being seduced by any shiny new gear. Mark O’Donoghue, founder and principal of Australian hospitality loan and advisory provider, Finlease, says restaurateurs need to be aware of the state of the credit market before seeking out any new finance. “It’s been a difficult credit market for the past three or four years now,” he explains. “On top of that, the fit-out industry for hospitality isn’t a great place to be right now, because there are unfortunately a high number of unsuccessful restaurants starting up in a tight market, and these have very little intrinsic reposession value for liquidators. That means it’s hard to get credit for a new fit-out if you don’t have any kind of proven track record in the industry, and any funding you do happen to secure is probably going to be expensive.” So, that’s the bad news. But O’Donoghue is quick to point out that it’s not all doom and gloom, either. “On the flip side, if you’re an established restaurateur or RESTAURANT & CATERING 15


caterer and simply want to update your equipment, you’re in the best position when it comes to equipment finance, because you already have some cashflow evidence, you probably have a profit and loss statement, and you have a bit of standing in the industry. “If you’ve been trading for three years or more, you’re in a much better place to find finance because you’re considered a pretty safe bet,” says O’Donoghue. Of course, if you don’t have the magic three-year trading security behind you, finding credit to set up your kitchen isn’t a completely lost cause. It probably just means you’ll have to think outside the square in terms of where you source your major items, and how you set up your debt. “Of course it’s still doable,” he says. “But it’s just more important than ever to go about it the right way. As with any big business decision you need to make, I’d recommend keeping three main things in mind: do your research; get good professional advice; be sensible about your debt.” The first hurdle most new restaurants will face probably brings all those tips into play, and involves the inevitable questions about what assets owners can put up as collateral to secure a loan. “It’s often a difficult question for owners, and tends to turn up a lot of emotion, but I think people need to remember that,

19-22 JULY 2012

ultimately, banks aren’t there as a partner in your business. They are there solely as a lender, and need to make sure they are going to get their money back if things don’t go to plan. “As far as that is concerned, it’s really fair enough, and I think it leads to better outcomes if people go into their financing negotiations with that frame of mind,” O’Donoghue says. At the end of the day, he says, if you don’t have a proven track record in business, you’ll need to be looking at secondary forms of collateral. “When you’re looking at loan security, it’s important to make sure your debt is cheap. “For instance, you’re usually better off ramping up the mortgage for an extra few hundred thousand in equipment finance than getting a separate lease just for the equipment. “If you look at the sums, you’ll usually find that the interest on an extra $300,000 on your mortgage is about $22,000 a year, for example, compared to a much higher interest rate associated with a separate equipment finance loan.” O’Donoghue reiterates that owners need to crunch their own numbers with an accountant or broker to find the best loan arrangements for their situation, but makes one important point about hospitality debt in the current climate. “At the moment, it’s a lot harder servicing a $30,000 loan on restaurant equipment than it is on something like a $30,000 car loan. It might not seem fair, but that’s how it is right now.”


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Restaurant & Catering_300412..indd 1 16 RESTAURANT & CATERING

30/04/12 12:11 PM

seller that there is no outstanding finance on the goods, Many operators try to minimise their and then you’re protected against any attempts to redebt by sourcing second-hand equipMany experts are posess the items down the track,” says O’Donoghue. ment—especially in the case of recommending There are several second-hand hospitality equipentirely new fit-outs. purchasing a used ment dealers in Australia, but one of the most O’Donoghue’s car-buying analvehicle instead popular options is Sydney’s AGC Catering Equipogy still has relevance here too, of brand new ment; a family owned outfit operating since 1983, with many experts recommendpurely because it which stocks a huge range of second-hand gear, ing purchasing a used vehicle reduces the initial from pie warmers, toasters and pasta cookers to instead of brand new purely (and significant) six-burner stoves, and industrial refrigerators. because it reduces the initial (and depreciation The warehouse also offers a range of finance significant) depreciation involved. involved. options and 12-month warranties on all purchases. “Buying second-hand equipment Another big equipment financier, SilverChef, offers or sourcing items through private rent-try-buy arrangements and second-hand sales on all sales is definitely a viable option,” kitchen equipment. O’Donoghue says, before adding there are But no matter which brand you end up choosing to go with some risks to be mindful of. as your restaurant equipment supplier or financier, some part“You still need to remember the old rule of ‘buyer beware’. ing advice from O’Donoghue should perhaps remain with you Do your research on the retailer or seller, have a good look at through the process… the warranties and guarantees included in the sale, use a repu“Put some effort into your initial proposal if you need credit, table dealer wherever possible, and make sure you can check as all financiers are going to make an emotional judgment pretout the equipment properly before you commit to it. ty quickly. And always remember to research the sale, research “You should also make sure there’s no existing debt on the the finance, and be sensible with your debt.” equipment, which is really quite rare but can cause huge probAfter that, those flavour combinations and creative plating are lems down the track. If you’re not buying from a well-known all up to you.  dealer, I’d be looking to get a statutory declaration from the


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What I’ve learnt

Bevan Clyde

The co-owner of Friends Restaurant, Perth, on what drives you to keep doing this for 30-odd years said, ‘I know you have a great wine list, so how about the ’82 Grange?’ He knew about us. I thought ‘wow, I’m just a lad from Koongamia’. That gives you the energy to push on.

In 1995 we won an award for the best wine list in Australia. The prize included two business class tickets to Paris and London. We went to a whole lot of great restaurants and wineries and came away with a great knowledge. That was the basis of a lot of what we do now. Lesley [Bevan] and I work together, and live together and Friends is our third restaurant. I’ve been in the business for 30-odd years—getting an award like that gives you renewed energy. You set new goals, take stock.

One thing we’ve learnt to do is aim for a market. For us, that is people who dine out. People who want to spend three hours eating, talking, smelling, using all the senses. If we pick up other people around the edges that’s great, but you can’t be everything to everyone—otherwise you end up being nothing to anyone.

You get people who just aren’t in a good frame of mine when they come in. They use hospitality staff as a battering ram. I’ve had to ask one table to leave. The boss had two waitresses in tears. The staff are more important to me. I work with them day in and day out. I pat them on the shoulder “When Bono came in and I earbash them if they he said ‘I know you need it. You set the standard have a great wine but you make sure they’re list, so how about the treated with respect.

’82 Grange? He knew about us. I thought ‘wow, I’m just a lad from Koongamia’.”

We’re really different people with different skills. I do a lot of talking, Lesley does a lot of the working. She brings home clothes for polishing the glasses and washes them every night because the cloths are really important. If they’re not perfect, the glasses won’t be, and with so many big windows in our place, any grime stands out. Some people call us old fashioned. I call it classic dining. The best restaurants in the world are classic style. If you have classic decor you’re never going to be super popular, but you’re never going to die either. We’re really busy. People want our experience—eating the best meat, drinking the best wine. It’s the benefit of the internet. People know what they are coming for. A lot of our clientele are business people. They really appreciate the attention to detail. They can see it. When Bono came in, he


I had a phone call around my 50th birthday. ‘Would you like to go on the board of Lotterywest?’ Then, because I could chair a meeting, I was asked to be chairperson.

Lotterywest was great. In six years we went from a $485 million turnover to a $725 million. It’s an agency that both raises money and disperses it to the community. I appreciated the two sides—the business side then the spending-the-money-on-something-good side. The day you think you know it all is the day you should give up. You’ll only ever go backwards after that. You can’t ever close the door on building your knowledge. We have a lot of people come and sing in our restaurant and I see that in them as well—Diesel, Joe Camilleri—they put in 100 per cent every time. When Normie Rowe came in he sang for two hours, even when the girls were setting tables, just to entertain them. If you find a job you love doing, it’s not going to feel like work. 

interview: Sharon Aris.

We turned a seven-day prize into a five-week holiday. It took us three years to pay back our credit cards but it was worth it. It’s why in our restaurant on every table there are flowers and a lamp—things to give you a sense of privacy— and music you can still talk over. All those details add up to a really enjoyable dining night out. We don’t do resets anymore. We don’t want to rush people.

But it’s not all beer and skittles. On the internet you see the comments. ‘The oysters are too salty, the ice-cream is too hard, the tall lady waitress was wearing sandals’. It’s frustrating because you really want people to enjoy your restaurant and some people don’t.





Special report

Start-up central On your marks … get set … and GO with these top 10 pointers on what you need to know to start your restaurant. By Natalie Apostolou he road to the launch of any upmarket restaurant, casual cafe or edgy wine bar is destined to be littered with tales of exasperation and excess. Every wise restaurateur sagely warns to be prepared for the unexpected and to cover every angle. The long lead-up to opening your new establishment, which could take three months or three years, is the most crucial time to ensure that all bases are covered for the adventure ahead. The heady world of hospitality dictates that once your doors open, the pace will—hopefully—be relentless, so any mitigating circumstances, curve balls and looming disasters need to be thought of well in advance. We talk to a few veterans of the journey to get their insights into what to avoid and where to focus your best intentions. Here are the top 10 issues you cannot afford to ignore… 1. Research, research, research The most important thing is the research. Your sterling conceptual idea may be a winner to your inner circle, but will it resonate with the discerning punter? Question your concept with the lines of inquiry such as, are you hitting a niche, who are you targeting, and which location will support your vision. Once

that is cemented it is then time to do a thorough SWOT analysis and tweak the idea accordingly to meet your financial metrics. The Japanese hotspot Busshari, in Sydney’s Potts Point, opened its doors nearly five years ago and has become a staple haunt for locals and visitors. Manager Ben Prochazka says that when the doors first opened, they had gotten the concept slightly wrong with the main feature being a high-end live sushi train and intimate seating for two. They soon discovered that diners wanted the live element but wanted the produce taken to their table and there was a high demand for group seating. “It is about understanding what the market needs and whether you want to cater to that. Get your menu together and test whether it will work in the area. Find out what it will take to separate you from the competition,” he advises. 2. Location is destiny When Busshari was doing three-to-four dinner settings a night and had to turn people away, they knew the time was ripe for a spin-off and opened a ‘street food-style’ casual Japanese restaurant that featured rarer dishes like cabbage pancakes. Kujin, is one block apart from Busshari but the rent is one third of the original establishment and double the size. Potts Point may be the highest density residential area bolstered by a moneyed crowd that eat out regularly, but recessionary times will also RESTAURANT & CATERING 23

Special report

5. Labour of love The issue of staffing will be a persistent refrain in the life cycle of every restaurant. The hospitality industry attracts a certain breed of human capital but finding the right strain for your establishment does take careful consideration and time. The manager for Sydney’s recently opened Brass, Heather Simongton, advises that, “Putting in place the right staff for your vision of your restaurant, at the start, will save you a lot of heartache later.” When Brass opened in the site which formerly housed popular cafe/bistro Yellow in Potts Point late last year, the most striking switch—other than the interior shift from boho chic to smart noir—was the staff. The team are all dressed in whites with a formality reserved for a fine dining restaurant which is where the owners hail from. Simongton says it set the new tone immediately and communicated the values of the restaurant from the get-go. Her current challenge is, like most of her peers, to keep that level of service and staffing in place.

Choosing the right staff at the start will save you a lot of heartache later on, the experts warn.

curb that spending—it’s worth keeping this is mind. “Work out your break-even point and see if your area can support it,” Prochazka says. Location, even on a micro street-by-street level can be crucial to your bottom line, visibility and success. Make sure that every angle has canvassed before signing your lease.

6. Ranking the supply chain Sourcing and testing the best suppliers from produce to toilet paper is essential before the restaurant is up and running. Supply is a hyper-competitive area but it is not all down to price. For specialist restaurants like Bussahri, sourcing the best produce is essential, and having a consistency of that quality level and supply is key. Prochazka also suggests that you work out payment terms. Doing the numbers early on for provisioning and finding out the most cost-effective methods of buying in bulk will also save time and money down the track.

7. The backstage pass Given the current vogue for laneway restaurants and pop-up establishments, the usual access points for service people and staff are disturbingly absent. If your new digs 3. Zoning out are in an unusual spot, ensure you have Licensing particularly in CBD areas, can quickly become the a workflow plan in place to compenbane of every restaurateur’s existence. Breaching your sate for the cuteness. licence or finding out too late that the street you are in Does it have back-of-house will soon be zoned residential can destroy your busiSourcing and testing access for delivery? how do ness plan. In the inner city enclaves, the difference the best suppliers you get the waste out? Is there between zoning is literally metres apart. Choose from produce to enough storage room for supyour spot with care and ensure that you discuss toilet paper is plies and waste? FCA’s Julian short- and long-term zoning plans with your local essential before the Ha recommends what a lot of council. Not only will it define your hours of operarestaurant is up and laneway restaurants do, which is tion but it will also dictate which days you can open running. create an off time (far from client over public holidays and if there are zoning/licensing view) when only delivery access is changes planned for a future date that can help you allowed. “Clear everything at that time evolve your business plan or prepare it for sale. and if required bring more food on an ad hoc basis,” he says. He also adds that if back4. The nuts and bolts of-house exits are an issue, ensure that you can store garbage For Julian Ha, the director of Foodservice Consultants discretely and hygienically until the end of the session. (FCA)—a multi-disciplinary consulting firm specialising in the design of food facilities—the core remit in planning is 8. The devil in the structure looking at what the existing services can allow for in your new Melbourne’s cavernous and opulent establishment, Duck Duck premises, such as kitchen exhaust fittings, air ventilation, and Goose, clearly puts the emphasis on unique design in addition sufficient power supply. to a focus on fine Asian cuisine, and budgeted accordingly, until Ha notes that many start-ups are opening in office blocks they realised that the kitchen had nowhere near the required where restaurant-grade kitchen facilities have not been factored ceiling space, Julian Ha recalls. Structural issues can not only into original planning design; here, particular attention needs be deceptive but extremely costly and time consuming. Workto take place. “If provisioning for these sorts of services are not ing out what is required structurally from every angle at the there, it quickly becomes a costly exercise.” 24 RESTAURANT & CATERING

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Special report

start will save a lot of financial heartache later. “You may have budgeted for a 150-seat room but then realised that the kitchen space is not the required 30-to-40 per cent of floor space—this will take out seats and impact your bottom line,” Ha warns.

your promotional strategy only rest on the opening. Maintain ongoing relationships with media and keep them apprised of menu changes or spin-off restaurants that may launch down the track. “The most important free media at the moment is Facebook. It is an easy way to keep constant contact with your clients and build a promotional strategy,” Prochazka says.

9. The PR Restaurants are viral creatures, and their health de10. Manage your costs pends on the loquaciousness of their diners and Everything is negotiable, from banks to real the praise of the press. estate to payment terms with suppliers. Most Sydney’s go-to place for celebrity spotstart-ups fall under the small business catting over sashimi, Toko, was in The Good “The most important egory and banks are doing their utmost to Food Guide before it opened. The sway free media at the service this sector right now. of Australia’s elite food critics should moment is Facebook. Many small businesses fail because never be ignored or underestimated. It’s easy to keep in they’re undercapitalised and have failed to The same applies for your local paper, constant contact factor in the underlying start-up costs while media and social media. Ensure that with your clients.” overestimating initial revenues. For the hosyou have a good PR strategy well before pitality industry ,unexpected payment terms you launch. Also, decide which media you such as COD from suppliers and unexpected want to target and how far you want that lease fees can throw everything out of balance. “Do hospitality to go. not underestimate what a huge financial burden is. One restaurant discovered the hard way that Once you lock it in that is it, and you will be working hard,” for food journalists, there really is such a thing as a free Prochazka says. He advises that if you can build relationships with lunch. And while one hit in a metropolitan newspapaer will do your bank managers and suppliers, you will be in a better posiwonders for your bookings, not every journalist’s dining experition to deal with the rough times and enjoy the good ones.  ence will result in a story. Pick your targets wisely and don’t let

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Eyes wide open The latest point-of-sale systems are integrated with surveillance equipment in a pairing that helps growth and deters wandering fingers. By Kylie Fleming rogressive restaurant owners are getting on board the high-tech train and adopting revolutionary security systems to tackle the expensive problem of employee theft. The latest point-of-sale (POS) systems on the market are fully integrated with high-resolution surveillance cameras which means hospitality operators can track every transaction and activity in their restaurant—and from anywhere around the globe. This brave new world of POS interfaced with cameras is proving a formidable tool when it comes to reducing mistakes, cutting theft and stock shrinkage, improving communications and keeping staff honest. Restaurant owner George Michail from Eros Ouzeri in Adelaide has an integrated surveillance and POS system which he says has “paid for itself ”. “When I got the POS system, my figures went up immediately and when the cameras were added, they went up even more so I know I’d had some theft problems,” he says. “It’s brilliant at busy times or if there’s a staff issue. The

cameras keep everybody honest and make it easy to find out if there is an issue,” he says. Michail says surveillance/POS system goes beyond the issue of sticky-fingered staff, and also frees him up to be more entrepreneurial. “It’s a long-term investment and helps me to grow,” he says. “I still wouldn’t be in the industry nowadays if I still had to work on the floor constantly so the system has worked for me that way… I’m able to think about starting a restaurant in Queensland. People who don’t move with the technology are small minded whereas I am generally thinking to the future and this sort of technology lets me do much more than I’d otherwise be able to do.” Burt Admiraal is a director of H&L, which has been a leading POS supplier to the hospitality industry for 25 years. He says restaurateurs can no longer afford to overlook the giant technological advances of recent years. “Our part in the restaurant industry is to ensure that every dollar that the venue earns gets to the bank and that the owner is not ripped off by unscrupulous staff,” he says. “I’m not saying everyone is a crook—they’re not—but once people see a POS and camera setup then theft actually tends to stop…so I think it’s an incredibly proactive rather than reacRESTAURANT & CATERING 27


tive piece of hardware and this makes it so different to a lot of second-rate rubbish out there.” Spiro Vournazos, national sales manager for leading POS developer RedCat, says the new-wave systems are proving quantifiably successful in cutting theft. “A lot of customers don’t even realise they are being stolen from in the first place until the system alerts them to it,” he says.


delaide Casino’s bars operations manager Patrick Allan says hi-tech surveillance and POS gadgetry is a necessary tool for the venue’s four restaurants and bars. “Our Micros system is a more detailed surveillance system than other venues use so if we have suspicious POS transactions, or are trying to locate till variances, we can recall the footage and view the transactions in real time,” he says. “We’ve been using this extended system for 12 months and it’s been a huge resource bonus as it saves a lot of man hours … we can zero in on exactly what we were looking for and faster.” “When we have as many outlets and staff as we have, it’s vital we have tight systems around our tills and cash handling practices, and I think the more affordable this technology becomes, the more it will be used in the industry for venues of any size.” Nick Hindle is operations manager with Possum IT in SA which has specialised in POS solutions for 16 years. Hindle says while

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the technology is becoming more competitive, it is still viewed as a specialised field. “The individual hardware components of the jigsaw may have become more competitive in recent times but there are still only a few firms which supply restaurants with the whole solution as a seamless exercise,” he says. “POS systems are great for a number of efficiency reasons and when they’re combined with these hi-resolution digital surveillance cameras, profitability always soars.” Hindle says the number of businesses with these integrated solutions is still very small and they tend to be in businesses run by “very proactive managers”. RedCat’s Vournazos says the POS industry professionals have the edge over “cowboy” suppliers who may offer only part of a solution. “Anyone can go and buy a camera off the shelf or on eBay and set it up but you get what you pay for,” he says. “Our POS reports highlight when a staff member has opened the till without a transaction, when they’re giving discounts or something out of the ordinary like a refund or a cancellation so it tells you where to go and look at the video.” The integrated systems undoubtedly score points when it comes to “visual intelligence” and handy remote access to a restaurant’s operations. Nick Hindle says: “We have a number of customers who spend a lot of time overseas and interstate, and their biggest issue until they installed the cameras was, ‘what are my staff doing when I’m not there?’”. 

Tableware Product Guide

Quality tabletop options Crown Commercial is a one-stop shop for tabletop from cutlery (flatware), dinnerware, glassware, hollowware and buffetware.


uiting any operation, from café through to 5 star hotels, caterers and function venues, there is a host of options and brands to choose from. Crown Commercial distributors can help you with your selection. Luigi Bormioli The Italian glassware innovator, Luigi Bormioli, has made huge technological leaps in glassware manufacture to dramatically improve strength, clarity and longevity in fine glass. Crown Commercial exclusively offers Luigi Bormioli in Australia, with a range of designs available, all designed and made in Italy. Atelier is a modern, elegant collection with long slim stems and gently angled bowls. Each glass option has been designed and structured to complement

specific wines. The unique shape of each controls the flow of the wine to the palate to provide the best and most lasting impression of the grape varietal. Other ranges in the Luigi Bormoili collection include the very popular DOC (based on official international wine tasting glasses), Palace (made of SON.hyx® and a great ‘all rounder’), the very popular Rubino, Michelangelo Professional, Vinoteque and more. Lucaris Lucaris, a well-known and respected glassware brand internationally, has recently been exclusively released by Crown Commercial in Australia with the Temptation and Bliss collections. Lucaris glassware is quality, lead-free crystal designed to please aesthetically while still exceeding industry standards

for strength and durability. Tests indicate that Lucaris glassware can withstand the dropping of a 95 gram steel ball onto it from a 300mm height without sustaining chips or breakage, can endure sudden temperature changes of close to 100 degrees centigrade with no signs of cracks and will also withstand more than 500 cycles of industrial dishwashing without showing any physical change. Duraceram Duraceram is the quintessential catering and hospitality dinnerware range. Made from fully vitrified, hard glazed porcelain, it is extraordinarily strong and designed to withstand high volume usage. Three ranges offer classic (Astra), narrow rims and ovals (Malvern) and wide rims (Tivoli). A large range of accessories mix and match back. Stanley Rogers One of the most recognised and wellknown cutlery brands in the country, Stanley Rogers is commercial grade flatware, available in both 18/10 and 18/0 stainless steel and a host of popular designs to suit classic or contemporary settings.

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Other brands include Sant’ Andrea premium cutlery and hollowware, Crown Glassware (including rim-toughened, toughened, plimsoll line and Weights & Measures compliant options) and Crown Commercial polycarbonate drinkware options. Contact details Crown Commercial has been servicing the hospitality and foodservice industries for over 80 years, assisting in not just cost-effective, up-to-date glassware for beverages but in more recent times the complete tabletop offering. To be directed to your nearest Crown Commercial authorised dealer, or for further details, contact Crown Commercial on 1800 252 360 or visit 


New products

Award win for ETA

Image for illustration purposes only (Metricon Stadium not shown)

ETA tomato sauce portions won bronze in the Arthritis Australia Consumer Accessibility division at the latest round of Packaging Council of Australia Awards. The award recognises advances in packaging development. To qualify, winning products need to be useable by everyone in society including the elderly or those with a disability and/or arthritis. Goodman Fielder invested significant time in researching and testing to develop a revolutionary way to deliver immediate single use portion control


products to businesses everywhere. The packs are easy to open and simple to squeeze. The in-built nozzle makes controlling the flow of sauce more precise than with many other containers. Tomato sauce is not the only variant. The same innovative packaging, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, is used for a range of dressings, mayonnaises and sauces carrying the ETA and Praise brands. For more information on the ETA and Praise portion control dressing, mayonnaise and sauce range, contact the Integro Foods team on 1800 025 066 or visit 

Tork helps SUNS kick sustainability goals at Metricon Stadium Metricon Stadium, the home of the Gold Coast SUNS, has been carefully designed for kicking goals, not only of the sports kind but the environmental kind as well. And Tork has been chosen to be part of the team that delivers winning results for the environment. Metricon Stadium is a world-class energy-efficient sporting facility aiming to be a leader in the field of environmental sustainability. The stadium’s green philosophy continues right down to the smallest details. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified Tork Advanced Jumbo Roll Toilet Paper is used in most of the 390 toilets at the venue as well as EU Ecolabel accredited Tork Advanced Hand Towel and Nordic Ecolabel accredited Tork Liquid Soap. “The Tork products we use, with their FSC accreditations and ecolabels fit perfectly into our policy,” says David Bennett, Metricon Stadium manager. “The efforts being made by SCA in the sustainable manufacture of its products, the recyclability of those products and their packaging assist Metricon Stadium to maintain a small environmental footprint.” It’s fair to say that Metricon Stadium really does have sustainability covered from top to bottom with solar panels on the roof and Tork sustainable products in the washrooms. 


In the red Why is pinot noir the wine most beloved of all proper wine people? Ben Canaider investigates recent times—pretty static. Plantings to pinot in the decade to s part of my current commu2010 increased by only six per cent. Nevertheless, we have a nity service order, I was recently little under 5000 hectares of pinot here; burgundy is just over handcuffed to the front row of a 10,000 by comparison. wine ‘masterclass’. Reaching the And that hints at something: you don’t need a lot of pinot end of his masterclass delivery, a acreage to make a lot of noise about pinot in leading wine industry expert took the glass. The growth of pinot in highquestions. “What sort of wine do value, posh-end wine labels is what I like drinking?” he rhetorically has attracted the attention of more echoed. “Red Burgundy, of course. Great pinot noir is Fortunately there’s sharp-end wine lovers. In the where everyone ends up.” He quickly moved on to more and more Yarra Valley, smart, savvy and another question, as if the issue of red burgundy and Australian and media-wise winemakers like pinot noir was self-explanatory. New Zealand pinot William Downie and Mac Forbes But it struck me that he was right. Red Burgundy around with good have well enjoyed this very pasand pinot noir is indeed where proper wine people QPR—quality/price sionate connection with pinot all end up. But why? Is it because such wine is so rapport. And these noir. With unquestionably good much better than any other red? Is it because it is so wines are providing a winemaking in support, they’ve expensive and often very hard to get? Or is it because good stepping stone helped develop pinot’s case for pinot noir is so beguiling, capable of both grace and for up-selling sub-regionality, for texture, for ethereal power, immediate enjoyment, or a good cellar’s promise? simplicity, and even for a sense of that Whatever it is, pinot seems to be looking at a more popular strange notion of terroir. future. CEO of Brown Brothers, Ross Brown, recently said he Yet at high on-premise prices, these wines can thought it would be the wine of the next decade. be a hard ask for your sommelier de jour. That pinot should be garnering more interest among wine Fortunately there’s more and more Australian and New Zeadrinkers isn’t really backed up by any agricultural statistics, I land pinot around with good QPR—quality/price rapport. And hasten to add. Total plantings of pinot in Australia are only about these wines are providing a good stepping stone—not just for 2.5 per cent of the overall wine crop, and this has been—in 32 RESTAURANT & CATERING

As your customer base evolves, red wine like pinot noir will be in higher demand.

up-selling, but also as a kind of steadying handrail for the slowly changing taste preferences of Australian wine drinkers. Just as we moved away from ports towards shiraz and cabernet during the 1960s and ’70s, so we are now moving even further along that continuum of lightness and freshness. For pinot noir is invariably lighter in its palate weight than other red wines, particularly our staples of shiraz and cabernet. Pinot isn’t just airy-fairy red, though; the massive aromatic quality of the variety is the key here. The smells surge out of the glass. And if smell is nine-tenths of taste, then pinot is the clear winner. As your customer base evolves, red wine like pinot noir will be in higher demand. Once again: be ahead of the curve. These are the emerging—or should I say emerged—regions and styles: Central Otago Rabbit Ranch Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010 This southerly NZ region has serious latitude. The cold makes for wines that live on the edge. Central Otago pinot noir has traded on this successfully for more than a decade, but the wines have been hitherto $$$. The answer is this lighter, very aromatic and yet satisfying example. $16LUC Marlborough Pebble Bay Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010 What is it about Kiwi wines from Marlborough and the word ‘Bay’? Overlooking that, this very refreshing pinot presses all the right aromatic buttons: strawberry, raspberry, some herbal qualities, some potpourri. There’s some fruit fleshiness, too. Great value here. $13LUC Macedon Ranges Williams Crossing Pinot Noir 2010 An oft overlooked player in the ‘Melbourne Dress Circle’ of wine regions, Macedon—just to the city’s north—has the altitude and cool weather to harness pinot’s super hero acidity. Williams Crossing Pinot Noir is the well-regarded Curly Flat’s second label. It really over-delivers on the savoury-meets-berry paradigm that typifies good pinot. $25LUC

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Gippsland Wickhams Road Gippsland Pinot Noir 2011 From the cooler parts of south-east Victoria, there are some impressive ‘bistro’ style pinots. This Wickhams Road drop is the second label of the Yarra Valley’s Hoodles Creek Estate. Made in a very simple, low-distortion kind of way, it boasts cool fruit that shows great dark, savoury berry flavours. $17RRP Tasmania Stoney Rise Pinot Noir 2010 The best pinot in Australia comes from Tasmania; and Stoney Rise would be one of the best producers. This wine has all the pinotness you could want, with real ‘there’ there. It has a sense of depth, place, charm and great structure. Russell Gehling Wines 0488 770 160 $29RRP. 

For more information Ph: 03/ 9676 2476 Fax: 03/ 9676 2578 or visit RESTAURANT & CATERING 33


Cobblestone Lane Recycling and refurbishing was key for chef/restaurateur Heath Smith when he took on a 19th-century property in the heritage town of Bathurst, NSW


Cobblestone Lane Webb Chambers 2/173-179 George Street Bathurst NSW 2795 Phone 02 6331 2202

“When we were choosing finishes, we wanted good quality furniture but we wanted kids to be comfortable. Everything is really strong, nothing can be broken, and the floors are sturdy. “The lighting was chosen to be a little brighter than a lot of other restaurants. We didn’t want a quiet dimly lit venue; we wanted more of a buzz. The ceilings are 16 feet high in the main restaurant so we have subtle spots at the top, and feature lights that run into the middle of the room. “I think we are very much a part of our community—we’re here to celebrate your engagement party but also when you want a table for two. A lot of people say we’re a formal restaurant but we’re not; we’re more of a brasserie-style meeting place.” 

words: kerryn RamsEy

y wife Elissa and I spent some time looking for a restaurant space after moving to Bathurst in 2003. We opened Cobblestone Lane in March 2006. It was originally part of a department store called Webb & Co that started in 1853. The restaurant is positioned over a laneway that was used by Cobb & Co coaches. The space is enclosed but still has a nice open feel with lovely old exposed pillars. It took us about 12 months to renovate. The restaurant is 80 squares and the function room and deck are another 80 squares. I wouldn’t say the restaurant’s rustic but there’s a lot of exposed brick, timber and iron. The timber is recycled from around the Bathurst area. “There are huge arches leading into the bathrooms that we filled with glass, as well as recycled timber that was pulled out of the old pits from Mt Panorama. In the middle of the restaurant there’s a 35-metre convict-built well that we came across during the renovation. We built that up and put lights in there so it’s a real centrepiece. “We really like recycling things and turning them into something new. We used old meat lockers and fruit crates to decorate the restaurant. We fill them full of pumpkins or highlight a massive bowl of tomatoes or pears—all from around our area. We also use fruit and vegetables rather than fresh flowers. Often people are surprised by the colour and the flavour. It’s what we are all about. “The function room was designed in a similar style to the restaurant—lots of exposed brick, recycled timber and big solid beams. The function room’s ceiling is 26 feet high and was the main part of the general store. “Bathurst is a heritage city that’s really beautiful in autumn. We’re across from a park, so we wanted colours that reflected our local seasons. We selected green, white and red— the colours of the Italian flag. It suits the style of food—we’re contemporary Australian but we have a strong Mediterranean influence. If you sit in the restaurant and look out to the park, the colours kind of enhance each other.

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R&C May 2012  

Restaurant & Catering Magazine is the official journal of the Restaurant & Catering Association of Australia. Published by Engage Custom Med...

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