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Discerning PALATES There’s nothing more exciting when you are in the restaurant game than getting the opportunity to hit the big smoke and check out a few happening places and seeing what the kids are coming up with next.


leeting food trends and dining fads aside, there’s always inspiration to be gained from the bright new gems of the dining scene, albeit occasional disappointment of the kind when there’s too much hype surrounding one venue and it just doesn’t cut it, in your opinion. Up and coming chefs, the hippest of newly gentrified edgy urban enclaves, groovy cafés and cool bars - the choice can be overwhelming when you hail from a regional area, where the options can be pretty much be counted with your fingers. Not wanting to risk one remotely dodgy dining experience, one must research meticulously, obsessively even. It’s a serious business, this choosing the right restaurant thing. Happily, it seems that general quality of most of the available restaurants is somehow improving pretty much across the board these days. The restaurant game has always been a tough gig. The usual challenges faced every day in order to stay afloat seem to have been compounded these days - with skyrocketing food costs, labour shortages and ever fiercer competition lying in wait to take one’s place. Bad news for those foolish enough to undertake this perilous business, but luckily for the dining public, the inherent struggle for survival means that overall, quality is generally much higher than it was a few years ago. The world of dining is shifting to a model of quality over quantity. No longer is it possible to serve up sub-standard stuff and get away with it for long. But, essentially people just know too much these days. The dining public is educated, 38 Greater Port Macquarie focus

discerning, fickle and completely in charge and they know it. MasterChef has a lot to answer for now everyone knows about sous vide and tempering chocolate. The magic of the kitchen is no longer hidden away in a basement far away from the restaurant floor; in fact, the clientele now demand open kitchens with front row seats to the “culinary theatre” they are about to consume. At the very least, a CCTV screen to check out what’s happening in there! Gone are the days of dining out being only for special occasions or a family trip to the local Chinese. Eating out, especially in urban areas, is the norm. There’s such a huge variety of options to suit every budget, craving and ambience requirement. Yet somehow the restless dining public is never quite satisfied and is constantly seeking out the next great thing, the hottest trend, or perhaps joining the longest queue to get a bowl of the best noodles in town. It is relentless. Yet somehow this intensely complex food service network is driven by consumer demand. Dining out, and the immense interest in all things food, has become part of our culture; we factor it regularly into our leisure, family and work time. And we are way too knowledgeable, time poor and cynical to put up with bad food and service in any form. That’s pretty good news when you’re looking to choose where you’re going to eat. The ball is firmly in your court and then some. For those in this crazy game, we always need to check out what those cool kids are doing and keep our heads above water. Happy dining!

What is RockFest? RockFest came about to provide high school students the opportunity to perform contemporary music live in front of their peers, friends and teachers. It’s not just a Rock ‘n’ Roll competition; every year we see a wider variety of music and styles, which include roots, rock, funk, folk and acoustic acts through to metal.


n 2017, 900 high school students from more than 100 schools competed in Rockfest's Band competition, performing to over 3,000 people over the duration of the shows. In 2018 we will see even more schools and students involved, due to the introduction of the solo and duo category.

be a guest judge at the national final this year, which we are really excited about. http://www. australianmusician.com.au/rockfest-2017-presented-by-cranbourne-music/ RockFest is the brainchild of Luc Travers, Education Manager at Cranbourne Music. It’s a competition run

through Australian Divided in to two age It’s a competition run through schools with a focus on groups, RockFest features Australian schools with a focus contemporary mua Junior Category, which on contemporary music, sic, whereby bands is Years 7 - 9, and a Senior whereby bands compete Category, which includes compete through heats through heats for a place Years 10 - 12. RockFest for a place in the grand in the grand final, with came to life in Victoria and final, with some great some great awards and prizes on this year has expanded awards and prizes on offer. to include NSW and Qld, offer. with 12 shows planned for Through Luc’s hard 2018. RockFest has now work and Cranbourne reached a national level, Music’s encouragement and support, Rockwith the grand final to be held in Victoria, seeFest has been growing steadily for many ing the winners of all heats invited to compete. years, to the point where they now have a This year also sees the involvement of several high profile musicians as judges at several of the local heats.

firm plan to take it nationally in the not too

We are excited by this development, as it vindicates our belief in the value of such a competition. We can confirm the Phil Jamieson will

CONTACT Luc Travers - Cranbourne Music

distant future. FOR MORE INFORMATION, Ph: 1300 368916 or www.facebook.com/ events/188838738583245/

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