VOLUME 1, 2013
(Images courtesy of Kobe Jones Sydney)
Message from the CEO
We have endeavoured to ensure that the 2013 HTN Promotions Calendar is packed solid with events that are both inspiring and engaging and I encourage you to visit our online calendar here to check out what is planned for the coming months. The second â€œHTN Culinary Knowledge Challengeâ€? is set to open on the 8th April 2013 and is exclusive to HTN Apprentices and Trainees. Designed by highly respected Black Hat Chef George Hill, the challenge is theory based, online and will test your knowledge of culinary terms, ingredients and techniques. Great prizes are up for grabs too! To enter or to find out more, please click here. This promotion is only one of many scheduled for the year with Master Classes, Competitions, Scholarships and exclusive industry experiences being coordinated for HTN apprentice chefs and apprentice butchers throughout the year - All of which have been made possible through the excellent support of our valued sponsors. One of the most rewarding aspects of my role at HTN is hearing about the fantastic achievements of HTN apprentices. I would take this opportunity to congratulate the 2012 HTN Peter Howard Culinary Scholarship recipient, Lily Newton who has recently been invited by the Commonwealth Government to be an Australian
Apprenticeships Ambassador. The Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors Program aims to raise the status of Australian Apprenticeships through profiling real apprenticeship and traineeship success stories. The program boasts several high profile ambassadors including Greater Western Sydney Giants coach Kevin Sheedy, celebrity chef Neil Perry, former Canterbury Bulldogs captain Andrew Ryan, host of The Block Scott Cam and hairdresser to the stars Renya Xydis. This is clear attestation as to Lilyâ€™s achievements and well deserved recognition of her passion as a chef. To read the stories of some of the Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors, visit http://australianapprenticeships.gov.au/AAAmbassadors/ Ambassadors.asp
You may have heard that HTN’s services have expanded to assist cooking apprentice graduates beyond their apprenticeship and into the next stage of their career as a qualified chef. The service known as “HTN Recruit” is also designed to assist industry with a low cost, quality recruitment solution for qualified chefs. I am pleased to advise that this service has now expanded beyond the level of “Commis Chef” and we are now recruiting and placing all levels of qualified chefs including Chef De Partie and Sous Chef etc. If you would like to know more about this service, please contact the HTN team on 1300 139 108. I trust that you will enjoy reading the latest edition of the HTN e-zine and as always, I welcome your feedback, comments or suggestions by emailing email@example.com or by calling toll free 1300 139 108. Yours sincerely,
Michael Bennett Chief Executive Officer
A message from HTN’s Official Patron Peter Howard
Doing the green grocery shopping a few days back, I was once again mesmerised with the new season’s produce and the wonder of nature to adapt to our whims as far as our needs are – well really it is us adapting to what is now being produced. Let’s not get too carried away. If you ever consider what has been happening weatherwise to our farmers and our country, it is with constant amazement to me that we have the cornucopia of produce that we do. Bundaberg alone has had its devastating floods and we get so much of our produce from this extraordinary region on Queensland’s Coast. Yet the display benches in our shops groan with the bounty from which we choose. HTN Official Patron, Peter Howard
And so the last of the stone fruits wither away and we have the bright, brilliant new apples...the Brassicas have a new lease on life and the root vegetables start to look to being turned into soups instead of being char grilled for salads – how I miss the kitchen and stunning challenges that new season’s vegetables and customers’ needs brought to my creative juices for the new menus. As Chefs, we have to think of what the cooler times mean to our menus and the dishes contained in them – the pasta sauces go from lighter vegetable based ones to heavier meaty perhaps; salads subside and stews take over...so much excitement for us. Given that long slow cooking is so fashionable all year round these days, its emphasis on seasonal dishes has perhaps lessened as we hang out for those extraordinary flavours and tastes that are produced with this method of cooking. In thinking about the seasons, I know, of course, that we have for years now not had the strong seasonal aspects that we did when I started cooking over 4 decades ago. Avocado was only found in season and always on the menu for two as the avocado was so precious and so seasonal and so expensive that it had to sold once cut. Asparagus was hardly ever seen as a fresh vegetable and had such a short season before it was captured for the canning industry.
So much has changed and the availability of seasonal produce all year round – even now cherries arrive on our shores from the USA when we have none here – and yet our customers demand this produce and many others that must be available and used in our menus. We as Chefs have to recognise that while produce is here all the time, the one thing that does change is the needs of our customer’s nutritional needs (and our own too) that cooler times induce and we must provide them with dishes that will fulfil these vital needs – and keep them happy. Not only do the scrumptious winter dishes fulfil their needs, they also provide restaurateurs with much needed good profit. A win win situation in our challenging Chefing times.
NOTE: If you are an Apprentice, Trainee or Host Employer and would like to ask Peter Howard a question about cooking tips or even the industry in general please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HTN Sponsor: Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) Paddock to Plate â€“ Southern Highlands Join MLA on an educational tour of the NSW Southern Highlands. We will be visiting an beef farm and other local produce farms. There will also be the opportunity to taste some great food and beverages. The tour will only be for the day and accommodation can be arranged if need be. This will be a great opportunity to network with other chefs and also to learn different aspects of how food is produced. If you would like to come please RSVP by 20 May to Sophie Kennedy (email@example.com or 0457 774 801)
Grazing Club Activities This is what Meat and Livestock Australia have coming up in the next couple of months Apprentice meat appreciation day 13 May â€“ William Blue College, North Sydney 9am Meat master class with MLA chef David Carew â€“ 20 May Baulkham Hills TAFE Paddock to Plate 27 May Southern Highlands Please contact Sophie Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0457 774 801) if you are interested in participating
HTN Host Trainer Profile: Nino Zoccali, Managing Director at Pendolino HTN: Tell me a bit about yourself and your role at Pendolino? Nino: I opened my first restaurant Caffe Contadino in Margaret River at the age of 25 before establishing such landmark restaurants as Otto Ristorante Italiano at Sydneyâ€™s Wooloomooloo Wharf and the The Restaurant Pendolino and La Rosa in Sydneyâ€™s historic Strand Arcade. Recently I launched my first cook book Pasta Artigiana, published by Murdoch books. Paying homage to the Italian heritage of my father, I am unashamedly Italian when I focus in my cooking and have an undeniable intense passion for Italy and all things Italian. I have lived, studied and travelled extensively in Italy and travel there regularly. I have been heavily involved in Australian food producing industries and currently sit on various extra virgin olive oil tasting panels across Australia. HTN: Why did you choose this industry? Nino: I grew up with the Italian food culture from a young age.
HTN: Tell me a bit about Pendolino and the chefs and what it has to offer its customers? Nino: We are about giving our clients a unique authentic Italian dining experience. We have amazingly skilled and hard working kitchen team who love the fact that we offer them a rewarding and innovative working environment. The most any of our chefs work here is 48 hours a week so they have a quality of life as well as a professional career to be proud of. HTN: How long has Pendolino been in business? Nino: 5 years HTN: Are there any awards or achievements that have Pendolino received? Nino: Pendolino is currently a 1 Hatted Restaurant and has been awarded this for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (4 years running) and was awarded “2008 Australian Best New Restaurant – RCA Australia” in its first year.
HTN: Tell me a bit about the menu and the type of food offered at Pendolino? Nino: We offer our clients an authentic Italian dining experience featuring artisanal products eg. Pendolino blended oil, homemade pasta, homemade bread and salami. HTN: What piece of advice would you give an individual just starting out in the industry? Nino: Have a good attitude and be enthusiastic about learning, take the time to learn your craft and then learn the business. This is critical. HTN: Is there anything that you would like to add that I have not asked? Nino: We have a very structured training program for all our apprentices coming into the business and give them the opportunity to gain the most amazing training to be able to have the best start to a career path within the hospitality industry. We believe that our apprentices are the future to our success and we understand that taking the time to develop the young aspiring talent can only help our business
HTN Apprentice Profile: Sebastian Vella, 2nd Year Apprentice Chef and 2013 Proud To Be a Chef Finalist HTN: Tell me a bit about your experience in Melbourne and what you did as part of the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef Program? Sebastian: Melbourne was absolutely amazing the best experience I've had in my cheffing career so far. It was practical and theory learning with a heap of fun inbetween. HTN: What did you enjoy most about the program? Sebastian: In Melbourne I undertook several master classes with famous chefs like Teage Ezard and Peter Wright. We went out for dinner to three restaurants Gingerboy for a cocktail party, St Katherine's for a 6 Course meal where we were surprised to have George Calombaris and Shane Delia cook dinner for us and got us involved in the meal and taught us at the same time. On the last night we went to Ezards for the awards night dinner. The food and service were amazing, one of the best restaurants ever. I enjoyed the master classes the most as I felt I learned a lot from several different chefs and learnt some skills I'll never forget.
HTN: Would you recommend this program to other apprentices? Sebastian: Yes I already have recommended it and I'm pushing my friends to enter it next year as it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It's incredible and heaps of fun and unlike any other chef comp you can enter. HTN: What made you decide to participate in the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef program this year? Sebastian: I try and enter competitions whenever I can and one that comes with a free trip to Melbourne I couldn't pass up that incredible offer. HTN: What made you decide to become a chef and choose this industry? Sebastian: I decided to become a chef from watching cheffing TV shows when I was younger and just being genuinely inspired by what chefs like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay can do to a plate of food. HTN: Who from this industry inspires you the most? Sebastian: Right now since I'm fresh from Melbourne Iâ€™ll say I'm pretty inspired by Teage Ezard as the way he cooks and puts food on plates is similar yet much more refined to the way I like to cook. I have already tried cooking a few of his dishes
HTN: Where are you currently placed and what do you enjoy most about working there? Sebastian: I'm currently working at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club under Paul Hetherington and I just love it there as we are a small team and very dependent on each other, which keeps everyone on their toes and close together. HTN: What are you plans once you complete your apprenticeship? Sebastian: When I complete my apprenticeship I really want to return to Melbourne and work there for a while and just immerse myself in the hospitality industry down there. HTN: What piece of advice would you give someone who is just starting out in the industry? Sebastian: Always be patient and take time to hone basic skills before you can learn more advanced ones. The basics are what will get you through the industry as simple food is the best. :)
HTN Peter Howard Future Chef Scholarship recipients Kyle Vaughan and Stephen Jones Each year, HTN selects a number of HSC students to be the recipients of the prestigious HTN Peter Howard Future Chef Scholarship. This opportunity rewards tomorrowâ€™s chefs with a weekâ€™s supported culinary adventure with a leading industry partner as well as travel, accommodation and spending money. Our most recent winners of the HTN Peter Howard Future Chef Scholarship were Kyle Vaughan and Stephen Jones. Both Kyle and Stephen were lucky enough to gain a weeks work experience with Campbelltown Catholic Club, Twin Creek Golf and Country Club and Rydges Campbelltown. Below Kyle and Stephen share their experience with HTN in an interview.
HTN: As the recipient of the 2012 HTN Peter Howard Future Chef Scholarship tell us a bit about the work experience and what you did. Kyle: Well, we worked in three different kitchens over the week; Samba CafĂŠ at the Campbelltown Catholic Club, Twin Creeks Golf Club and the kitchen at Rydges Campbelltown. We also ate out at a few different restaurants over the weeks which were all great! On the last day we took a tour of the fresh fruit produce markets and the fish markets. We also took a tour of the local TAFE. It was a great week! Stephen: As a recipient of the 2012 HTN Peter Howard Future Chef Scholarship, I was given the opportunity to work in a variety of restaurants. From the bulk production club style right through to upmarket fine dining there were skills to be learnt at each location. As someone who has worked in hospitality before the work wasnâ€™t anything out of the ordinary however the observations of different styles, different routines and different cultures between kitchens was outstanding. To be able to see the difference between bulk production where prep is done on mass and a kitchen which even makes its own bread and pasta provides a broad view of the industry and the different possibilities a chef has.
HTN: What did you enjoy most about the experience? Kyle: What I enjoyed most was helping out during service in the kitchen at Rydges Campbelltown. We got to see what the food that we had been prepping all day was being used for and then being able to plate those dishes it gave us the satisfaction of seeing from start to finish of a dish. Steven and I also went to a few restaurants in Sydney. We went to Golden Century, Ms. G’s and also Kobe Jones for lunch on the last day. Stephen: The most enjoyable part of the experience was the dinner service at Rydges. To be cooking and plating up on the first and only night we spent there was something pretty exciting and provided, once again, a good insight into a service in a kitchen we hadn’t seen before. Every kitchen, while being similar, has its own unique personality and that’s best experienced during a service and it’s always a rush and always fun.
L-R Kyle Vaughan, Loic Lemaitre & Stephen Jones at Rydges Campbelltown
L-R Kyle Vaughan, Kurt Von Buren & Stephen Jones at Twin Creek Golf & Country Club
HTN: What interests you most about this industry? Kyle: What most interests me in this industry is the creative process behind how some chefs come up with their dishes. I feel like this industry is one of the only industry’s that has no boundaries. You can take your career as far as you want. Stephen: The industry can take you anywhere. No matter where you go in the world, people enjoy good food and if you have the ability to provide that then you’ll find a job wherever you want. That’s the beauty of it, it’s everywhere. Yet no two places are the same. Each country, region, city, restaurant, has its own style, its own heritage, its own practices, and that all means that you can never stop learning if you give yourself the chance. HTN: Is this something that you have always wanted to do? Kyle: Yes it has. Ever since I was a little kid my family has placed quite an importance on cooking good food, so I guess I’ve had a pretty positive upbringing with food. Eventually I got my first job in a kitchen as a kitchen hand and loved working in the industry; I then had a few jobs as a cook whilst I was finishing my HSC. This really set into my head that I want to pursue this as a career and take it as far as possible.
Stephen: It’s something that has basically always felt right. It started when I was just going into high school, my brother was doing it and I wanted to be like him and come Year 8 I felt at home in the kitchen in food technology classes. I was comfortable, I had some talent at it, and I enjoyed it more than anything. I would give up my recesses to clean just so I could spend the entire lesson cooking and not waste a minute of it.
HTN: Who are your inspirations in the industry? Kyle: My inspirations in the industry would have to be Ferran Adria from elBulli, Martin Benn from Sepia, Rene Redzepi from Noma and Ben Shewry from Attica. All these chefs at some point in my life have driven my passion to become a chef. Stephen: As far as inspirations go, it is a pretty short list. My brother has been the biggest inspiration. He has influenced me immensely and I look up to him. I always say that if I could be half as good a chef as he is then I have done a pretty good job – but it still won’t stop me from trying to become better than him. That’s about it as far as inspirations go. I love a lot of chefs food and styles and mentalities but it’s not the chefs that inspire me, it’s the food, the possibilities and the places – they are what drive me to better myself as a chef.
HTN: Tell me a bit about yourself and why you want to be a chef? Kyle: Well I’m from Newcastle in NSW 18 years old. I want to be a chef so I can travel the world working in some of the world’s best restaurants and one day open up a restaurant that does incredible food. Stephen: I come from Albury which, while growing in its food culture, is still largely restricted in a culinary aspect. The main food scene is pub food and while it is good, upper class, pub food it still lacks finesse, it still lacks inspiration from current food trends and is very limited at this stage. Surrounding areas and some places in Albury have a stab at the upmarket scale of food however often fall short in comparison to the experiences we had in Sydney. I have always wanted to be a chef though and Albury makes this tough for the type of chef I want to be. With a brother who is a chef (head chef at a pub) I have always had inspiration and always found myself spoilt for opportunities due to his involvement in the industry. Nothing beats the rush of a service – some people take to skydiving, I jump in a kitchen when seeking a thrill. It’s what I thrive on, it’s what I love and it’s what I’ve always wanted to do.
HTN: Has this experience fuelled your desire become a chef and work in the industry? Kyle: It sure has! We Learnt from some great chefs and got to get an insight into their professional life. Seeing some of the skills they showed us made me want to learn more and pursue this lifestyle further. Stephen: The experience definitely fuelled my desire to become a chef. The desire has always been there but every taste of something new in the industry just fuels it more, provides me with more skills, more experience, and more comfortable. It has shown once again how diverse the industry is and how broad the possibilities are, so it has definitely fuelled my desire to pursue this career. HTN: Would you recommend this scholarship to other Year 12 students? Kyle: Of course I would!! Steven and I found it a lot of fun, we learnt a lot and got to create a network with some good chefs. We also gained some pretty valuable experience during the week which can really help to jump start our careers as apprentice chefs. Stephen: I would, and already have, recommended this scholarship to other people for sure. It was such a great experience. You work with so many chefs, so many people who really know what theyâ€™re talking about and have the opportunity to experience the hospitality industry at its finest. I learnt so much, and gained such
great experience from it and most of all had such a fun week. That’s why I would definitely encourage anyone who can to certainly apply and make the most of it if you are given the amazing opportunity. HTN: What piece of advice would you give someone thinking about entering the HTN Peter Howard Future Chef Scholarship? Kyle: Show initiative to learn and really know that becoming a chef is what you are passionate about. Stephen: The best advice I could give to someone thinking about entering the scholarship is to, first and foremost; do it. If you are lucky enough to be a recipient; don’t hold back in the kitchen. Give it everything, ask questions, look around, and observe intently and you’ll learn a lot. The experience, memories and skills you’ll take away with you are priceless.
Kyle and Stephen all ready to work at Samba Café
Kyle and Stephen enjoying dinner at Samba Café
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HTN Apprentice Profile: Jesse Oakley, 3rd Year Apprentice Chef and 2013 Proud To Be A Chef Finalist HTN: Tell me a bit about your experience in Melbourne and what you did as part of the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef Program? Jesse: My experience during this program was incredible and for a young passionate chef like myself it was the experience of a life time. The things we were involved in and taught and what we saw and ate was an experience Iâ€™ll never forget.
HTN: What did you enjoy most about the program? Jesse: The restaurants that we went to were like no other restaurants I have ever been to. The food was incredible. Having dinner cooked for me and watching it be cooked and plated up in front me and to ask question to the celebrity chefs who made it was great!! HTN: What made you decide to participate in the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef program this year? Jesse: The application form (ha-ha). No it was just to see what could I achieve and the challenge of a competition. I love the feeling you get when you are in there with other chefs its great!
HTN: Would you recommend this program to other apprentices? Jesse: Yes I would. To any other apprentices out there go for it and enter! Even if you don’t win it will change your life and how you see food. I have a whole new look and attitude towards food now. It’s not a job to me – its life and its emotion. HTN: Why did you want to become a chef and decide to choose this industry? Jesse: It has always been in my life and a big part of my life. Actually it has been my life since I was 3 years old. It consumes me, the passion and love I have for it is like no other feeling I get. I couldn’t do anything else even if I tried. My passion is like a fire burning so strong it can never be put out. If you are worried about hours of work and pay your aren’t a chef and never will be. HTN: Who from this industry inspires you the most? Jesse: There are many chefs that inspire me Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey, George Calombaris to name a couple. Also the Head Chefs I have worked for like Michael Bolam, Robert Molines and Guy Parkinson. They are incredible men and chefs and they really inspire me to be all I can be.
HTN: Where are you currently placed and what do you enjoy most about working there? Jesse: I’m currently working at Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens. I enjoy it because the section I’m on is very big and is overwhelming at times but its teaching me time control, sorting what’s more important and cost management, very big skills to learn. HTN: What are your plans once you complete your apprenticeship? Jess: To travel most definitely. I would love to do Europe and not just for the restaurants but for the things I would learn over there, the people I would meet and of course the food I would eat and learn how to cook! Especially local produce as well.
HTN: What piece of advice would you give someone who is just starting out in the industry? Jesse: If you think it’s easy and it’s just food then don’t even walk into the kitchen. Go do something else you like because if you have a lazy attitude you bring our chef reputation to a low. You put your whites on with pride and love not because you have to and “it’s your job”. It’s your god damn life and it will consume you. Live it and love it, listen and learn and take in as much information as possible. Don’t shop in your whites or smoke in public in your whites, that to me disgusting. How dare these
people do that – don’t you degrade my pride, my life like that. People wonder why chefs swear a lot, well yes it is because its stressful but you would be stressed if say, your car you’re building isn’t going right, parts aren’t in and these people want their car back. Or, you’re a doctor and make a mistake in an operation. If that were me I’d swear a lot! Yes it is hard but to you “young chefs” starting it is one hell of a ride you will learn incredible things and taste things you didn’t even think existed! Or thought were inedible! Trust me you will love this job! But if I ever catch you in a restaurant or in my restaurant (when I have it ) dragging your feet and doing what we call a cowboy job (cutting corners not doing your work properly) be ready for an earful of what I think of you! HTN: Is there anything that you would like to add that I have not already asked? Jesse: To apprentices out there, “love to cook and love your job, not cook for cash and complain of hours”
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Interview with Matthew Upton, chef extraordinaire and host of regular dinners and open forums Matthew has worked as a chef, pastry chef and baker for over 12 years at various well known establishments such as Trio CafĂŠ Bar Restaurant and The Golden Door 5 Star Health Retreat. He is currently working as a fine dining personal chef for private events and creates menus. His love and passion for food has always been a part of him and when he found his first kitchen job by chance, he knew his life would change for the better. This love for cooking became a turning point for him and that love gave him his life goal â€“ something to work towards and aspire to as well as to be the best chef, best leader and to create the best food. HTN: Tell me a bit about the dinners and events that you host. Matthew: This event is simply a forum to create open dialogues and discussions with the sole intention to take a stand, make change and do right- for many reasons. For a small fee our guests receive a night of exquisite food and a live performance of sublime classical music. Performed up close and personal, a pianist accompanies an extremely talented and passionate artist Rosa Krel who is a professional opera singer with the intent to create awareness in our own beliefs and whatâ€™s in all our hearts. Rosa understands the affect that classical music can have on a person and how a 10 to 15 minute time frame suits people more in this day and age than taking the time out to listen to a 3 hour opera.
HTN: Where did the idea come? Matthew: These dinners came about very innocently. My dear friend Rosa and I decided to do these dinners because we were both tired of working in a system. The hospitality industry in particular, drags you down to a level where you cannot actually express why you entered the industry to begin with. What I mean by this is when you want to do the things from a place of love and to inspire others it becomes almost impossible over a long period of time to stay in a system bound by rules and regulations. The urge for me to just cook for the love of it, overpowered me and in talking to Rosa we both realized that all we truly wanted was to do the things we love for the right reasons and from the right reference points simply to give something back. To cook and to sing for the sake of creating, not simply to earn money and to achieve whatever status it becomes necessary to achieve within any given system. These dinners are a way of fighting a system and giving back to our beliefs and trying to do right by our gifts. And that in itself has set both of us free.
HTN: What kind of menu do you create for each event? Matthew: I have attached a sample menu for the first event we held. I designed a 5 course fine dining menu plated for 13 guests from all walks of life i.e. fitness, arts, finance, TV etc. but as the interest in these events spread very quickly and the numbers for our next event are now in the 30â€™s Iâ€™ve had to change to a fancy buffet style as our place is not big enough to seat these numbers. However if numbers and interest continue to grow we will rethink the location of these events.
Mains • Seared scallops with a salted spinach and ricotta cream and topped with crispy prosciutto • Herb encrusted beef carpaccio, Persian feta, baby capers and a red wine reduction • Beef tartare, tarragon Dijon mustard, poached eggs, chargrilled sourdough • Spicy Tasmanian black mussels in a rich tomato and basil reduction and French baguette • Duck confit, roast sweet potato, mustard fruits and a red wine and rosemary jus • Fillet steak served with a Persian feta and truffle mash, red wine jus and caramelized onion • Crispy corn fed chicken breast, peperonata baby potato and pancetta with a light chicken reduction • Seafood risotto, king prawns, blue eye cod, scallops, in a creamy prawn bisque and topped with citrus dressed watercress • Wild mushroom home made gnocchi, topped with crumbled ricotta and truffle Desserts • Mango and passion fruit cheese cake • Dark chocolate pecan and torte, wild berry salad • Vanilla pannacotta, raspberry syrup and shaved white chocolate • Rosemary infused crème brulee, almond cookie and vanilla ice cream
HTN: What are your biggest achievements to date and where to you hope to go from here? Matthew: I was Head Chef for 7 years and watched my hard work, blood, sweat and tears build a business that turned into an empire. When I moved on to my next Head chef job, I moved on thinking that I was on to bigger better things “better money and perks”. I quickly realized that I was once again building a very successful business for others gain and that was not what I wanted. Trapped in this system, feeling angry, bitter and hopeless I lost my passion and love for my work. I found it very hard to work with this heartache and couldn’t fight these demons in my head and reached breaking point. I almost gave up and changed my career but food is all I know and what I truly love. Upon many months of trying to figure out what to do next and at the risk of losing everything I owned I realized one key thing. It’s not about watching a company grow from nothing to an empire, not flattery from customers because of the amazing meal and experience that they’ve had or even awards for excellence. Those things are all great for the ego and for the resume but my greatest achievement is inspiring others with my cooking, with my passion, and with my belief to do things for the right reasons. My kitchens always had laughter and music. They were a place people wanted to be, not boot camps run by drill sergeants masking themselves as chefs.
I watched my apprentice Praneel Singh who came to me as a troubled young lost soul gradually achieve his goals. I worked side by side with him through all the hard times, regardless of constant and relentless industry pressures. I watched him blossom into a fine up and coming young chef and hope that he will ignite the flame in others the same way as I ignited it in him.
I now hope to inspire others on a greater scale and not expose the industry as it stands but to spread awareness that it is heading in the wrong direction. There is always hope and not just in the form of Master Chef. Hope is in everyday life and in everyday reality. Food is in everybodyâ€™s heart, passion and love is the key, simplicity is everything and the true essence of why we love what we do. My dream is to bring this message to people on a global scale! HTN: When and where will your next event be held and how often do you host one of these events? Matthew: The next event will be held Sunday the 24th of March. We aim to hold them fortnightly in the terrace I share with Rosa in Bondi Junction.
HTN: Finally what piece of advice would you give someone who has been in your situation? Matthew: The advice I have to give is simple. Everybody has a gift. Find it, stay true to it, and follow it with all your heart. Truly understand how you as an individual can share this gift with others and then share it for the sake of giving.
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Recent HTN events for Apprentices, Trainees and Host Trainers As part of our ongoing commitment to offer apprentices, trainees and host trainers the best opportunities and experiences to learn so far in 2013 HTN has held the following master classes: • Salt Master Class combined with MLA’s Masterpieces Master Class • How to make a Quail dish master class • Chocolate Master Class
The Salt Master Class combined with MLA’s Masterpieces Master Class was an exclusive “HTN only” event held at TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute Ryde College. Presented by Fritz Gubler the salt master class included a discussion on the following topics: • History and Myth of salt • Salt is not just salt • Salt tasting and salt pairing with food • Being salt wise • Calibrate your taste buds Later that evening Chef Peter Van Es presented the MLA Masterpieces Master Class and produced a 3 course meal using either Lamb or Beef in each dish. The Masterpieces program aims to position non-loin cuts of meat as fashionable and versatile ingredients that allow a chef to showcase their skills and improve plate costs.
HTN Industry Advisor Mark Slater presented a master class at Hunter Institute, Hamilton Campus on how to make a Quail dish. This session involved a step by step process on making an Assiette of Quail with Corn Puree, Pea Jelly and Radish.
ASSIETTE OF QUAIL WITH CORN PUREE, PEA JELLY AND RADISH INGREDIENTS LIST 1kg Veal Bones 1 Medium Carrot 2 x Brown Onion 2 x Cloves Garlic 1 x Red Radish 50 gm Enoki Mushrooms 3 Basil Leaves 30 gm Salted Butter 2 Sheets Gelatine 1 x 750 ml Red Wine Salt
2 x 150 gm Quail 1 Stick Celery 2 x Cobs Corn 30 gm Ginger 250 gm Peas 12 x Edible Baby Flowers 1 ltr Chicken Stock 150 ml Thickened Cream 250 ml Duck Fat 1 x 750 ml Madeira
METHOD For Jus, pre heat oven to 180 degrees. Place veal bones and Mirepoix of carrot, celery, and onion in baking dish and cook in oven until golden brown. Approximately 45-60 minutes. Once browned place bone and vegetable mixture into a pot, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until reduced by two thirds, approximately 2-3 hours. Reduce Madeira and red wine by half, add to strained stock and reduce by further two thirds and strain through a muslin cloth. Reduce further if necessary to a coating consistency.
To prepare the quail, tunnel bone one quail, slice skin length ways down the back bone to open flat. Remove all the meat, put aside for quail mousse. Trim skin in a rectangular shape and put aside for sausage. To prepare the quail sausage, place quail meat into the food processor, blitz until smooth, gradually add the thickened cream until combined. Scrape down the sides of food processor; add salt to taste (15-20 gms) and re-blitz to tighten the mousse. Pass the mousse through a drum sieve until smooth in texture. Place mousse into piping bag and pipe onto the quail skin prepared earlier. Roll the skin around the mousse to form a sausage. Wrap in Glad Wrap and roll to form a firm sausage shape and tie off both ends to prevent water entering the sausage whilst cooking. Poach sausage in simmering water for approximately 9 minutes. Remove from plastic until needed.
Break down the second quail into sauté cuts, trim breast and put aside. Place legs into preheated duck fat at 65 degrees and cook until tender, approximately 20-30 minutes. Set aside once cooked. To prepare the corn stock, remove kernels from corn cob and set aside. Cut the corn cobs into quarters and place into a pot with ½ chopped brown onion, sliced garlic and ginger, salt and cover with chicken stock. Bring stock to the boil and simmer for approx. 20 - 30 minutes. Strain and set aside until needed. For the puree, sauté the kernels (keeping 30 gms aside for garnish) with ½ brown onion Brunoise, chopped clove of garlic until tender. Season with salt and add corn stock until just covered, simmer 10-15 minutes, using a food processor puree until a smooth paste. Pass the paste through a drum sieve to gain a smoother texture. Correct seasoning and set aside until needed. For the pea gel, blanch the peas in boiling salted water approximately 1-3 minutes. Blitz in robot coupe until a smooth paste, pass through a drum sieve and add the gelatine while still warm, mixing through to dissolve. Correct seasoning. Cover small tray with glad wrap and pour the pea puree into it, making a rectangular shape approximately ½ cm in height. Refrigerate until set. For the garnish, cut Enoki mushrooms into 2-3 cm batons, roast with remaining corn kernels in the oven until golden brown. Slice the radish thinly into halves, wash the edible flowers and cut pea jelly into 1.5 – 2.5 cm rectangular shapes ready for plating. To serve, season breast and place in pre-heated pan, caramelise skin. Add quail sausage and confit legs to add colour for presentation. Once the quail is cooked and rested and the corn puree and jus are re- heated, prepare plates by placing one tablespoon of corn puree at each end of the plate and cut the sausage into 2 pieces approx. 3 to 4 cm in height, placing them on top of the corn puree, lean the confit leg onto sausage and place the quail breast in the middle. Place the pea jelly and sliced radish randomly around the plate. Arrange the Enoki mushrooms and roasted corn kernels around the quail. Drizzle jus around the plate and finish with edible flowers.
HTN in conjunction with Hunter Institute coordinated a chocolate master class that was supported by Callebaut and presented by Dean Gibson. This master class was open to all apprentices and trainees and included a discussion on: • Chocolate tempering • Chocolate handling, storage and use of chocolate • Chocolate tasting with Callebaut gourmand range • Types of chocolate and the correct applications
Dean’s passion is chocolate and he has trained at the Callebaut International Chocolate Academy in Singapore, ENSP France as well as competed and judged in many international chocolate competitions. For more information about any HTN master classes please contact our office on Toll Free 1300 139 108.
Profile on Dean Gibson, Teacher Baking Trades at Hunter Institute, Hamilton Campus HTN: Tell me a bit about yourself and what you enjoy most about the industry Dean: I am a life pastry chef and the trade is a part of who I am and how people see me. Considering that I have not done anything else professionally other than pastry after 38 years in the industry it has been a lot of learning and honing my skills to pass onto students and this still gives me great satisfaction. HTN: Who inspired you to work in the baking, patisserie, hotel and restaurant industry? Dean: I always wanted to be a chef but an apprenticeship at the local bakery came up and my father pulled me out of school at the ripe old age of 14 to start my trade as a pastry cook.
Dean Gibson â€“ Teacher Baking Trades at Hunter Institute, Hamilton Campus
HTN: Tell me a bit about the places you have worked and where you have travelled to? Dean: Most of the great chefs and pastry chefs I have worked with have been in the hotel and restaurant industry including 6 years at Rockpool as Neil Perry's executive pastry chef and with Serge Dansereau at the Regent. HTN: Tell me a bit about your role at TAFE and how long you have been teaching Dean: I have been a teacher for ten years and I still love teaching and will continue as long as I can. I am one of the senior lectures at Hunter TAFE and am currently teaching chefs Certificate 3 patisserie. This is a great subject for any budding pastry chef and with the cert 3 commercial cookery qualifications it is just a semester 6 hours per week all practical on 5 units including chocolate and confectionary to get duel qualifications in both commercial cookery and patisserie.
HTN: What are your biggest achievements and the awards that you have received so far? Dean: Professionally most of my achievements come from competing. I really have a big passion and drive for this and I believe there is a close relationship between competition and education. Many doors have opened for me through competing, managing and coaching teams. HTN: What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry or thinking about it? Dean: Come and do some training, find the best trades people to work under. I always say to my apprentice chefs use the 4 years to get as much education you can afford, challenge your bosses to access new processes, ingredients and cooking styles.
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