Hospitality April 2024

Page 1



APRIL 2024



Matt Moran on expanding to Canberra.

8 // NEWS

The latest openings, books, events, and more.

10 // BAR CART

Thirst quenchers, slow sippers, and all things beverage related.


All about prickly pear.


Futureproof your business with digital innovation.

16 // DRINKS

The Piña Colada always promises a good time.


Adelaide’s Trinh Richards on her SouthEast Asian eatery The Little Rickshaw.


Take drinks to the floor with a cocktail trolley.

50 // 5 MINUTES WITH … Hannah Holleran from Gimlet.



The must-attend industry event is back and bigger than ever.


The classic is getting the fine-dining treatment.


How restaurants are elevating guest experiences.

2 | Hospitality
16 20 38 CONTENTS // April

A note from the editor

THE SEASONAL CHANGE is in full swing, but the winter lull has yet to hit, with diners still heading out in droves. Two of the most interactive seats in Sydney at the moment are at Porcine and a’Mare, which are both demonstrating the art of tableside service via pressed duck and fresh pesto.

This issue, we profile Trinh Richards from Adelaide restaurant The Little Rickshaw, who’s gearing up to launch a chef’s table in the near future. There is also a piece on one of the most transportive cocktails in

existence, the piña colada, and an overview of Foodservice Australia.

And if you’ve been noticing more burgers appearing on menus at fine diners, you’re not alone. Some of the most lauded restaurants are serving their takes on the classic, which is bringing in a wider demographic of diners in the process. I hope you enjoy this issue.

4 | Hospitality DISCLAIMER This publication is published by Food and Beverage Media, a division of The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd (the “Publisher”). Materials in this publication have been created by a variety of different entities and, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher accepts no liability for materials created by others. All materials should be considered protected by Australian and international intellectual property laws. Unless you are authorised by law or the copyright owner to do so, you may not copy any of the materials. The mention of a product or service, person or company in this publication does not indicate the Publisher’s endorsement. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher, its agents, company officers or employees. Any use of the information contained in this publication is at the sole risk of the person using that information. The user should make independent enquiries as to the accuracy of the information before relying on that information. All express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations in relation to the Publisher, its publications and its services are expressly excluded save for those conditions and warranties which must be implied under the laws of any State of Australia or the provisions of Division 2 of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof. To the extent permitted by law, the Publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising in contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damages. While we use our best endeavours to ensure accuracy of the materials we create, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher excludes all liability for loss resulting from any inaccuracies or false or misleading statements that may appear in this publication. Copyright © 2024 – The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd PUBLISHER Paul Wootton MANAGING EDITOR Annabelle Cloros T: 02 8586 6226 DEPUTY EDITOR Amy Northcott ADVERTISING NATIONAL Simon York T: 02 8586 6163 F: 02 9660 4419 GROUP ART DIRECTOR –LIQUOR AND HOSPITALITY Kea Thorburn PRODUCTION MANAGER Jacqui Cooper CIRCULATIONS To subscribe please call 1800 651 422. hospitalitymag HospitalityMagazine SUBSCRIPTION RATES Australia: 1 year (10 issues) = $99.00 (inc GST) 2 years (20 issues) = $158.40 (inc GST) – Save 20% 3 years (30 issues) = $207.90 (inc GST) – Save 30% SUBSCRIPTION RATES New Zealand: 1 year (10 issues) = $109.00 Asia/Pacific 1 year (10 issues) = $119.00 Rest of World: 1 year (10 issues) = $129.00 41 Bridge Road Glebe NSW 2037 Australia Tel: 02 9660 2113 Fax: 02 9660 4419 Social Follow us @hospitalitymagazine #hospitalitymagazine MAKE IT SNAPPY A quick trip to Brisbane required a stop off at Honto. @annabellecloros RE-ALLY GOOD NEWS Matt Whiley’s Re is moving into The Norfolk in Redfern. @hospitalitymagazine SWEET TREAT There’s always room for dessert at Pellegrino 2000. @_amynorthcott Keep up with the Hospitality team EDITOR ’ S NOTE // Hello


A CULINARY TRIP & WORK EXPERIENCE TO SINGAPORE WIN Dylan Sanding 2008 & 2009 National Finalist + 2010 Team Manager Executive Chef, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) Kimberley Tang 2021 Golden Chef National Winner Sous Chef, Chef’s Table (Azabu Group)

Canberra calling

Matt Moran is heading to the capital city to launch two new concepts: Compa and &Sando.

WORDS Amy Northcott

MATT MORAN IS a name that’s synonymous with the Sydney dining scene. He’s the brains behind some of the city’s top eateries such as Aria and Chiswick, but Canberra has been calling and he’s finally answered with two venues: Compa and &Sando. Moran speaks to Hospitality about the expansion and what to expect from the new additions.

Matt Moran’s appreciation for our capital city started when he was a child. “It’s a region I have been visiting family in for years, my first memory goes all the way back to when I was about four or five,” he says. The appreciation for Canberra only grew from there, with the chef and restaurateur more recently drawn to the city for its eateries. “Canberra’s long had some really exciting restaurants and talent, and I have worked with many local producers for years.”

Fast-forward to 2024, and Moran has announced his first Canberran foray with the launch of sister venues Compa and &Sando. Compa is a 116-person Italian steakhouse concept that is set to champion Australian beef cuts cooked on the venue’s Montague grill. Alongside steak, the menu

will list a selection of pastas and sides including Moran’s signature Aria mash. As the name suggests, &Sando is a sandwich store with room for 18 guests. The venue will offer a core sandwich list alongside rotating specials available for both dine-in and takeaway. It’s the first time Moran has leaned into the sandwich space, which marks the beginning of a new chapter. “Like many Australians, I love a good sandwich, whether it’s eating one at home or from many of the great sandwich shops nearby — it’s a great way to layer good produce,” he says. “There has been a big sandwich boom in Australia recently, and we look forward to bringing our own offer to the table.”

Showcasing Canberran produce is something Moran believes the local hospitality scene does well and is something he wants to emulate at Compa and &Sando. “As a chef, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Canberra’s dining scene is the produce,” he says. “Canberra restaurants are doing a great job tapping into the incredible produce that is local to the area and highlighting it on their menus.”

Moran is set to work with producers including Under Bakery and the team from The Truffle Farm. Further afield, Compa will source beef from Westholme Wagyu out of Queensland and the Northern Territory, plus Brooklyn Valley from Victoria’s Gippsland region. The restaurateur’s own Moran Family Farm in the Central Tablelands will provide Berkshire pork to be made into charcuterie along with Black Angus beef. Moran also hints at an &Sando/Moran Family Farm sandwich special on the menu, too.

Building on his relationships with producers is something Moran is looking forward to. “I love opening up venues and curating menus for events in different regions across Australia,” he says. “It’s a chance to discover and work with new local producers that we wouldn’t normally showcase on the menu.”

At the time of publication, further details on Compa and &Sando were still under wraps. But one thing we do know? Moran is eager for his foray into Canberra’s dining scene. “I can’t wait to open these two venues,” he says. “[It’ll give me] even more of a reason to spend time there.” Stay tuned for the opening dates. ■

6 | Hospitality
IN FOCUS // Matt Moran
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The latest openings, books, events, and more.

Classic French Recipes

Celebrated food writer Ginette Mathiot has penned her second book Classic French Recipes which features more than 170 dishes. The book spans classics such as vol-au-vent, tarte tatin, and vichy carrots plus regional specialties including beef bourguignon from Bourgogne and ratatouille from Provence. The recipes are ideal for those looking to further their French cooking skills, with each dish accompanied by a short introduction covering its history.

Noma returns to Ace Hotel Kyoto

Noma is heading back to Japan this October for a 10-week residency at Ace Hotel Kyoto. It’s the third time the Copenhagen restaurant is popping up in Japan following a session in 2015 and a sold-out stint last year. The team will serve a tasting menu inspired by local autumn produce. “Our first stay in Kyoto was one of the most unforgettable times we’ve ever had as a team, and we cannot wait to return to keep learning, to see our friends again, and to experience everything autumn has to offer,” says Rene Redzepi. Those hoping to snag a seat will need to sign up to Noma’s newsletter ahead of the booking release on 14 May.

Photography by Ditte Isager

Pasta, please

Sydney’s North Shore welcomes a new culinary addition in the form of Italian eatery Bar Infinita. Firedoor and Ormeggio alumni Francesco Iervolino is spearheading the venue, which is serving traditional Italian dishes and woodfired elements. Expect grilled octopus with romesco, shishito peppers, and ’ndjua; squid ink tagliolini with mussels, prawns, and cuttlefish; and a selection of woodfired steaks. On the drinks front, limoncello and an Amalfi Sour are set to become favourites alongside a tiramisu-inspired espresso martini.

Photography by Chad Konik

8 | Hospitality NEWS // Entrée

George Calombaris joins Public Hospitality

After acquiring iconic Sydney restaurant Alpha late last year, Public Hospitality has announced George Calombaris as creative partner. The TV personality and chef takes over from Peter Conistis, who has since exited the restaurant. Calombaris is responsible for launching a new food offering this month, which is complemented by drinks from Maybe Sammy bartenders. “The Alpha team has been very welcoming and we’re all excited to introduce this new chapter of Alpha to guests,” says Calombaris. “I’m going to tweak the dining experience and part of that will be relaxing the menu, amping up the atmosphere, and introducing a whole lot of fun.”


Big Easy Group are fast adding to Adelaide’s dining scene with the launch of Bottega Bandito at James Place. It is the second outpost of the delicatessen, with the new CBD location serving sandwiches, focaccia, and pastries for both dine-in and takeaway. The space also features a micro-bakery led by Head Pastry Chef John Laguna. Bottega Bandito is open seven days a week.

New look

Sydney’s De Vine wine bar recently marked its 21st anniversary with a multimillion-dollar fit-out. Owners and brothers Anthony and Julian Izzillo have run De Vine for the past seven years and wanted the new look to honour the venue’s original feel. “In terms of the layout, we have opened up the space while creating distinction between the wine bar and the dining room,” says Anthony. “We have added new carpets, brass fixtures, granite benchtops, and Champagne-tinted mirrors throughout.”

Neptune’s Grotto opens under Clam Bar

The trio behind Sydney’s Bistrot 916 and Pellegrino 2000 have announced they will open Neptune’s Grotto underneath sibling venue Clam Bar. The subterranean restaurant is set to serve Northern Italian cuisine, with slow-cooked sauces, handmade pasta, and a selection of regional specialties curated by chefs Michael Clift and Dan Pepperell. Neptune’s Grotto is slated to open in May.

April 2024 | 9 NEWS // Entrée

Bar cart

Thirst quenchers, slow sippers, and all things beverage related.

New arrivals

Western Australia’s Mon Tout Wines’ 2023 vintage release is here, championing minimal-intervention winemaking practices and sustainable viticulture. “Every year, the season brings something different, and we don’t try to control it,” says second-generation Winemaker Richard Burch. “Our philosophy is to let the fruit lead and see where the blending process takes us.” The 2023 release includes Heydays Chardonnay; Strange Love Grenache, a Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris blend; and Kind Animals dry red wine. $33 each.

Flower power

Botanic Ale is the latest product from Coopers and is a twist on the brand’s sparkling ale. The limited-edition beer is can fermented and features fruity and floral hop aromas plus notes of pine and pepper thanks to the inclusion of juniper. “Our brewers went for something different,” says General Manager Michael Shearer. “The result is a tasty and unique addition to Australia’s craft beer category that we know will appeal to existing and new drinkers of Coopers.” Available in 375ml cans and 50L kegs.

Spoilt for choice

The GlenAllachie Distillery’s first single-malt Scotch whisky collection Meikle Tòir has arrived on Australian shores via Vanguard Luxury Brands. The range is the work of Master Distiller Billy Walker and covers four small-batch whiskies: The Original ($145), The Sherry One ($135), The Chinquapin ($135), and The Turbo ($145). Each dram is crafted from premium mainland peat from St Fergus in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and has been fermentated for 160 hours, resulting in notes of oak, sweet smoke, and fruit.

Balancing act

The RTD sphere continues to grow with the addition of two new products from Byron Bay’s Brookie’s. The Free Spirited premix range covers a G&T with grapefruit and a Blood Orange spritz that are both low-calorie and alcohol-free. “Balance in life is important and there are times in our lives when we take a break from alcohol,” says CEO and CoFounder Eddie Brook. “Brookie’s is here to keep your vibes high and your spirit free,” he says. Both options are available in four-packs for $19 from the Cape Byron Distillery cellar door and online.

Diageo’s latest

Looking to spice up your Scotch offering? Diageo’s Spirited Xchange 2023 is now available in Australia and features eight single-malt Scotch whiskies from Talisker, Singleton, Lagavulin, Mortlach, Clynelish, Glenkinchie, Oban, and Roseisle. Each product has been selected by former Diageo Master Blender Stuart Morrison and covers a range of countries, ages, and profiles. The collection includes new-release The Soaring Kite from Scandinavian distillery Roseisle ($170) and Glenkinchie’s sought-after The Floral Treasure ($599). Available from select retailers and independent bottle shops.

10 | Hospitality NEWS // Drinks

Prickly pear

Spot its spiny pads, vibrant blooms, and edible fruit.



Prickly pear is also known the Opuntioid cacti or nopal and is part of a group of perennial plants that belong to the Cactaceae subfamily. There are more than 114 nopal species grown across Central Mexico, with the Opuntia ficus indica and Opuntia matudae the most farmed. There are around 3 million hectares dedicated to nopal production in Mexico, with the plants grown on commercial farms, private properties, and in the wild.

The cactus plant is identified by its large prickle-covered pads, vibrant blooms, and edible fruit known as tuna. It’s long been an integral part of Mexican cuisine and is used in many foundational dishes. Here in Australia, some species are considered weeds, with the importation, sale, and distribution of certain types strictly prohibited in Tasmania. But there are two that have naturalised: Austrocylindropuntia cylindrica and Austrocylindropuntia subulata

Growth cycle and harvest

Seeds typically germinate between the two–four-week mark and should be planted in sandy, rocky soil with good drainage. Plants require a minimum of six hours of full sun each day and will begin to form pads once a strong root system has been established; usually between one to two years.

As time passes, prickly pears develop their own unique shape, with some growing up to two feet upwards or outwards per year. It takes between three to five years for a plant to reach full maturity, with bright yellow, orange, or red flowers blooming in the warmer months before fruiting occurs. Fruit can grow up to three inches in size, with the tuna turning from green to purple as it ripens. Once the fruit has been harvested, the plant enters a dormant period typically during winter, but nopals can be harvested at any time of year.

Flavour profile and culinary uses

Both the pads and the fruit of the prickly pear can be consumed raw or cooked. Pads are sold fresh, canned, or in bottles, with handlers carefully removing the spines by hand. The spines and glochids can also be burned off. Nopals have a lemon-like, tart profile and are filled with a mucilaginous liquid similar to that found in okra. The tuna is often cooked down with sugar to make jam and jelly and can also be consumed fresh, however the natural taste can be sour or bland. Most famously, the pads are used in iconic Mexican dishes including huevos con nopales; carnes con nopales; and huevos con nopales. ■

Drought-tolerant and requires minimal water

Sold fresh, canned, or bottled

Flowers are vibrant in colour Plants grow into unique shapes

Pads can be harvested at any time of year

Fruit also referred to as tuna

Takes up to five years to fully mature

12 | Hospitality PRODUCE // Prickly pear

Digital innovation in restaurants

How to futureproof your venue using technology.

TWELVE MONTHS AGO, our heads exploded when we tried ChatGPT. Now, AI is a workhorse for writing emails, social media posts, grant submissions, and analysing financials or customer reviews on Google. We’re all early adopters when something is so intensely useful. So what else is promising big changes for sales, cost control, and productivity?

Self-service kiosks

Stand in McDonald’s and notice how kiosks are part of the scenery for most customers. It’s also their preferred way to order. It’s time to give all our customers the opportunity to order on a big screen or the tiny one in their pocket — they often prefer it. Plus, it allows instant menu changes, crazy upselling opportunities, and tracking customer spending habits — yes, please!

Transformations in the kitchen

Smart kitchen display systems are the new sous chefs. These intelligent assistants prioritise orders, manage inventory, and offer cooking guidance, reducing human error and accelerating service times. Again, your young team see it as normal — it won’t be long before the kitchen printer goes the way of the fax machine. Temperature tracking for refrigeration is everywhere and visible from your phone.

Smart inventory and order management

It’s tied to the POS for sales information and

should be connected to your suppliers, who keep you informed on what’s out of stock and price movements. Less waste and less stock holding.

Deep dive into the numbers

Everyone feels smarter when numbers are presented in a way that’s easy to understand. Restaurants are now data goldmines, with every transaction and customer interaction providing insights. Analytics transform this data into strategies for menu development, staff management, and better customer satisfaction.

AI systems will be able to detect and fix data abnormalities including POS transaction errors. They monitor kitchen equipment, optimise energy use, and predict maintenance needs. They can also track customer and staff movements to tell you about emotional changes on the floor (perhaps caused by delays or quality problems) and individual staff productivity — how fast does Dan work compared to Donna?

24–7 phone answering and help lines

With automated voice answering that’s almost undetectable, the phone is our friend again. The AI systems use gentle but effective upsells, turning them into orders on the kitchen display system. There is no reason why this can’t also be done with staff requests for roster changes and calling in sick — those are phone calls and messages you will really not miss!

AI for rostering

This has been building for a while. As more and better data is available on current and predicted sales, individual productivity, and equipment performance, you now have better ways to optimise rostering so you’re never short when it’s busy or overstaffed when it’s quiet.

Communication with the team

There’s always been email, SMS, and WhatsApp, but now we can Zoom in people who can’t travel to a staff meeting or the management huddle on Monday morning. You can also share five-minute training videos in a learning app followed by a quiz and a bunch of reminders about upcoming events and staff birthdays. These systems are some of the most straightforward and satisfying to get started.

Digital restaurant systems thrive on integration, with open APIs allowing for a smooth exchange of information and one screen to tell you everything happening. Unfortunately, many systems are still closed as vendors try to keep all the value to themselves — it’s why we still see multiple screens in a kitchen. This will gradually change as operators become savvier and more demanding — let’s hope it’s soon.

Restaurants that embrace the new digital systems will lead the industry, be less subject to economic cycles, be more in touch with customer expectations, and be able to make changes almost immediately.

14 | Hospitality BEST PRACTICE // Digital innovation
WORDS Ken Burgin
Self-serve, automation, and creative revenue streams

The ingredients for restaurant success in 2024.

WORDS Jean Magalhães, Hospo Product Lead at Square Australia

THE PAST FEW years have been tough on cafes and restaurants with a combination of staff shortages, rising operating costs and cost of living pressures impacting consumer spending. But Aussie restaurateurs have shown their resourceful best, and are now beginning to think about thriving, not just surviving — with the outlook for 2024 looking more positive.

Square’s Future of Restaurants Report, for example, shows 90 per cent of Aussie restaurateurs plan to expand their businesses, and 80 per cent feel optimistic about their restaurant’s future. To succeed this year, however, restaurants must continue capitalising on key trends and responding to evolving customer demands.

AI and automation in gradual increments

New data shows 61 per cent of consumers globally are supportive of local restaurants using AI-based tools. 54 per cent of restaurant owners plan to increase their spending on technology and automation tools in the next 12 months, and 76 per cent of consumers want restaurants to invest in at least one area of automation when they’re not at full staffing capacity.

I believe the vast majority of restaurants will integrate AI into their operations in gradual increments to save time and increase profit. This won’t be through flashy robots, but instead via automation in marketing, rostering, ordering, and kitchen workflows. For example, contactless payment kiosks are growing in popularity – today, more than a quarter of Aussies would prefer to place their orders via self-serve kiosks. 67 per cent of restaurant owners say automation tools have directly benefited customers, either

through customer experience or better communication among staff.

More than dining

As restaurants look to expand, being creative with revenue sources and product offerings appears to be the key to growth. More than three in four (77 per cent) restaurateurs say they’ll experiment with meal kits, subscriptions, events, and more, and right now, 19 per cent of restaurants’ revenue stems from products and services outside of their core offerings.

What’s more, consumers appear to be receptive to restaurants thinking laterally about their services and offerings: 80 per cent of customers are interested in trying a new offering at a business known for something else, and 86 per cent of customers would participate in specific perks, activities, or events offered by a business.

Mo Saad, co-owner of Fricken, says turning components of customer-favourite dishes into delicious condiments that diners can take home has been invaluable. “The Fricken Sauce and Satay Sauce are our top sellers, outselling our nearest two commercial items by over 400 per cent. By offering these items as retail products, our customers can enjoy them at home, thus strengthening our brand presence.”

Using data to improve dining experience

By using technology to support their operations, restaurants are able to make better, data-led decisions that improve efficiency and the dining experience. Abdallah El Chami, owner of Canadian middle-eastern restaurant Superbaba, uses data from Square to make menu adjustments based on diner preferences.

“There are a minority of people that love pickled turnip and a majority that really hate it, and so we would remove it [from the wrap]. It got to the point where I said, ‘These are very expensive to make; they require a ton of labour, and [through analytics] Square is telling us that tons of people are asking to take it out.”

Restaurants do, however, appear to have a small way to go in this area, with 46 per cent saying they lack the ready insights to understand and improve their customer experience. I am confident, however, that 2024 will be the year that changes and restaurants adopt the technologies that help them and their customers thrive. As Ming-Tai Huh, Square’s Global General Manager of Restaurants, aptly puts it, “A key factor in ensuring your restaurant’s success is understanding what your community and guests are looking for — and what will keep them coming back.”

Recipe for success

Restaurants truly are the lifeblood of local communities, but keeping the plates spinning can be challenging, particularly in volatile economic conditions and in a world of rising customer demands and expectations.

The outlook for 2024, however, is looking strong for the sector. There is a real opportunity for those who tap into innovation like AI and automation and utilise data to understand customer demands, refine operations, and improve their bottom line.

Getting these components right really could be the recipe for restaurant success.

Download Square’s full Future of E-Commerce report 2024 at au/en/the-bottomline/series/foc/future-ofcommerce ■

April 2024 | 15

The great escape

The good-time drink is coming back around.

WORDS Annabelle Cloros

16 | Hospitality DRINKS // Piña colada

THE PIÑA COLADA’S origins are from the sunny, tropical locale you’d expect. Bartender Ramon ‘Monchito’ Marrero mixed the first piña colada at the Caribe Hilton in 1954 in none other than San Juan, Puerto Rico, combining a handful of elements — three to be exact — four, if you count the mandatory umbrella garnish. The cocktail went on to cement itself as a classic, so much so it was named the official drink of Puerto Rico in 2004 in celebration of the big 5-0.

While escapist traits are at the crux of the piña colada, it’s a drink that’s equally enjoyable on home soil as it is abroad. Hospitality speaks to Maybe Group’s Stefano Catino and PS40’s Michael Chiem about shaken vs slush-ified piña coladas, ageing pineapples, and why they’ll always have a spot on the menu for the tropical sipper.

Bar expert and Maybe Group Co-Founder Stefano Catino has had his fair share of piña coladas over the years. He’s a self-proclaimed “big fan”, and has a natural appreciation for the lore of the drink, relaying stories of Puerto Rican pirates knocking back a version of the cocktail in the 1800s as well as Escape, its namesake song by Rupert Holmes. “It has a good history,” he says. “It’s not a martini of course, but we have always had it listed in the classics section of the menu and it’s in the top three rum cocktails. It’s always been there, and it’s probably bartender’s choice when we go on holiday.”

The piña coladas Catino makes now are very different to his first. “When I started making them (and I am old), we used coconut rum, but it was very bad,” he laughs. “Now, we use good coconut cream, fresh pineapple juice, rum, and an umbrella.”

As with all minimal-ingredient cocktails, quality matters, and the piña colada is no exception. Catino combines equal parts (30ml) Bacardi Carta Blanca white rum with Plantation Stiggins Fancy Pineapple rum in a shaker before adding in fresh pineapple juice and a generous pour of Coco Lopez cream of coconut. “The Fancy Pineapple rum adds more to the drink and brings out the flavour and Coco Lopez is the best [coconut cream], it’s very thick.”

Catino “violently shakes” the mixture with normal ice cubes to ensure minimal dilution. “Crushed ice dilutes the drink too much and it’s not good with cream and pineapple juice,” he says, before pouring the drink over large cubes in a tall glass and finishing with an umbrella. “When you think of garnish, it should reflect what’s inside the drink. You want pineapple, maybe a mint sprig, a cherry, or a piece of lime, and an umbrella — you must have a little umbrella. You need to go crazy — it’s a piña colada. I don’t think there’s a limit on it, you need to have fun.”

As for riffs, there are many. Catino mentions a piña colada Negroni made with coconut rum and pineapple liquor and a clarified milk punch, which sees bartenders extract the coconut and pineapple elements. There’s also the Miami Vice: “It has been very popular all over the world in the past five years,” he says. “You use a slushy machine and do a strawberry daquiri and a piña colada and then squirl half of each in a glass. When there are only three ingredients, there’s always another solution, it’s a very riff-able drink.”

Michael Chiem from PS40 is a superfan of the piña colada — it was even one of the drinks at his wedding. The bartender is of the belief that “even bad piña coladas can taste good. I think it’s one of those drinks that can emulate the sensation of being on holiday,” he says. “It’s the quintessential tiki holiday drink that’s all about escapism.”

The Sydney bar runs a mango Weiss Bar-inspired cocktail in summer before switching over to the original pineapple piña colada when mango season ends. “Instead of cold-pressed pineapple juice, we purée fresh mango and use vodka as the base instead of white rum,” says Chiem.

“You need to go crazy – it’s a piña colada.”
– Stefano Catino
April 2024 | 17 DRINKS // Piña colada
“The one thing that makes our piña colada stand out is that we churn ours in a slushy machine.”
– Michael Chiem

Both sit in the top-five drinks sold at the bar, but there’s always a few sad faces when the menu changes. “You can never win,” says Chiem. “Whenever the mango goes on, people are happy, but others love the original. We also keep a watermelon one on because it’s easy with the seasons and that’s made with sake, bergamot, and tequila. It allows us to do a Miami Vice which sells itself.”

When it comes to the OG piña colada, Chiem starts by selecting pineapples according to his mum’s criteria. “My background is Vietnamese and one of our favourite dishes at home is canh chua [hot and sour soup] which is made with fresh pineapple,” he says. “Mum taught me to always choose pineapples with bigger eyes and then let them ripen at room temperature until you can smell them when you walk in a room. We leave them to ripen and then transfer them to the cool room if we have too many.”

Chiem has spent many hours perfecting PS40’s piña colada, which is made with Plantation 3 Stars rum “which is the best bang-for-your-buck white rum but also your best-quality white rum for a piña colada”, he says. “It has a nice roundness to it. Some unaged rums can be a little harsh or metallic, but 3 Stars is potentially sippable, too.” The Caribbean rum is then teamed with 15ml of fresh lime juice, coldpressed pineapple juice, and 40ml Coco Lopez cream of coconut, which is also the sweetening agent. “But the one thing that makes our piña colada stand out is that we churn ours in a slushy machine.”

Another difference is the absence of ice, a decision Chiem made during the research phase.

“I asked bartender friends who had slushy machines and they all talked about dilution,” he says. “When you shake or stir a drink, you are diluting it to a certain extent. You usually blend a piña colada, so I substituted the ice with more pineapple juice which gives it a better texture as the slushy churns. It is a little over the top, but I think you can taste the difference.”

The team monitors the machine to ensure the mixture doesn’t get too icy, with the end product resembling the texture of loose sorbet. “Sometimes we take it out and churn it through a Thermomix to get rid of any ice crystals and get it back to feeling soft and fluffy,” says Chiem. It’s one of the more labour-intensive drinks to make even though it goes into a machine, with batches made on an almost-daily basis except for one when the machine gets a break before it’s back to work. “Ideally we run through a full tub on the day, but if not, we keep it in the tub overnight at a freezing temperature so there’s no worry about it turning bad.”

The mixture is served in 250ml glass bottles leftover from Covid cocktail deliveries, which turned out to be a fortuitous purchase. “They are quite narrow and hold the texture really well,” says Chiem. “If you were to use a wider vessel such as a martini glass, you end up with a loose, watery consistency on the outside and a thicker consistency in the middle, so this bottle works as you don’t have that split as much.” The drink is finished off with a paper straw and “always an umbrella”, with the team replacing straws should guests need. But the consensus is official — the piña colada should be enjoyed for what it is: “A non-serious drink — it’s always a good time.” ■

Coconut cream is essential for consistency

A tall, narrow glass is best

PS40 age pineapples at room temperature

The cocktail forms half of the iconic Miami Vice drink

18 | Hospitality DRINKS // Piña colada

Scan the QR Code for the full range CHOOSING THE RIGHT ICE MAKER MADE EASY Check it out on our website! NEW BUYING GUIDE CALCULATOR
PROFILE // Trinh Richards 20 | Hospitality

Trinh Richards

COOKING HAS ALWAYS been more than an everyday task for South Australian chef Trinh Richards — it’s a way of expressing love. Richards grew up in Adelaide with Vietnamese parents which saw her childhood filled with share-style feasts that brought the family together. “With Vietnamese culture, food is the love language — we don’t use words of affirmation like, ‘I love you’ or hug — I’m not kidding!” laughs the chef.

Today, Richards and her partner Mike are sharing food-led affection with locals and tourists at The Little Rickshaw in Adelaide’s south. Richards runs a collaborative kitchen, where staff and guests play a vital role in defining the South-East Asian offering. The chef speaks to Hospitality about the approach behind the 40-seat restaurant and why it’s important to encourage collaboration in the kitchen.

Trinh Richards’ career in hospitality began after a sea change to South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula. She left the corporate world to work at McLaren Vale wineries, which also saw her take on an additional role — cooking for the winemaking team. People soon started hearing about her food, which motivated the budding chef to open a Vietnamese food stall at the local Aldinga markets.

Each Sunday, Richards served classic Vietnamese dishes — think pork belly with salad, noodles, and mother sauce plus spring rolls. It quickly caught the attention of local marketgoers, with people still requesting the return of her stall today. “We didn’t really advertise, but we still had a line down the street on one of our first days and we sold out,” says Richards. “People still talk about [the pork belly] today and they want it back!”

People are at the heart of the Adelaide chef’s SouthEast Asian eatery The Little Rickshaw.


PHOTOGRAPHY Duy Dash for Fleurieu Peninsula

After the success of the stall, Richards and her husband Mike decided to open something more permanent, and The Little Rickshaw was born. The duo opened the South-East Asian eatery in a 190-yearold shed that seats 40 guests. While Vietnamese cuisine is at the heart of the restaurant, the menu takes cues from a range of other cuisines including Japanese, Korean, and Nepalese.

“We always have something new for them to try every time they dine in –we really hang our hat on that one.”
– Trinh Richards

The exact influences of The Little Rickshaw aren’t able to be pinpointed, with Richards relying on her surroundings for inspiration. “I knew I wanted to run a kitchen that is a collective of food and people,” says the chef. “So, what’s The Little Rickshaw’s soul? I don’t know. It’s just being generous — to the community, with food, and with flavours.”

The role people play at the eatery is evident in the way Richards runs the kitchen. The chef says every staff member has the opportunity to influence the menu if they wish, which she admits might not be conventional. “You’re here to cook good food, you’re not here to cook my dishes,” she says. “We don’t have a militant, head chef-type structure which is a bit of a culture shock sometimes when trained

chefs come into our kitchen.” Richards says every dish is the result of ideas bouncing around the kitchen. “I’m lucky to have a team who like to travel, eat, and nerd out on new techniques,” says the chef. “We even have a group chat where we’re like, ‘Have you seen this? Have you tried this?’”

Creative freedom is no doubt a key factor in staff engagement and retainment. “My thinking is that having some accountability or creative licence makes a job more sustainable,” says Richards. “If you love what you’re doing and are always trying new things, a job is more of a longterm investment.”

The Little Rickshaw’s menu originally started as à la carte when it opened in 2019. But soon enough, Richards decided to shift to a set, banquet-style offering to ensure every guest experiences the food the way the team wants them to. “We do trust customers to come in and order, but sometimes I did feel they didn’t [have] balance despite how much front of house tried to tailor [orders].”

Using sustainable, local, and whole produce is a focus for Richards, which stems from her childhood. “We never grew up in a household where you would get salmon fillets — you’d get the whole fish,” she says. “It’s always been ingrained in me to appreciate produce, whether it’s vegetables straight from the garden or the whole animal.”

The menu currently features dishes such as South Australian octopus confit in Wagyu fat with kimchi reduction; slow-braised beef short ribs with pickled shallots; and a Vietnamese crème caramel with duck yolk ice cream. But chances are by the time this story is published, there’ll be a whole new menu up and running. “Once something feels like it is done, we

April 2024 | 21 PROFILE //
Trinh Richards

Richards used to run a Vietnamese stall at the local markets

Bookings are logged so regulars always try something new

Chefs are encouraged to be creative in Richards’ kitchen

The Little Rickshaw serves a banquet menu

move on and try new things,” she says. “For example, if everyone’s bored of a dish and they don’t like cooking it — even if it’s a best seller and customers love it — we take it off.” Richards admits the menu changes quite regularly and once a dish is gone, it won’t return in its original form. “We’ve had so many customer favourites and people asking when certain dishes will return. Things will come back, but they are always reinvented.”

The influence diners have on The Little Rickshaw is also something to be appreciated. “Our customers inspire us as they’re the ones who keep coming back and supporting us,” says Richards. “What comes back in their bowls and on their plates at

“It’s always been ingrained in me to appreciate produce, whether it’s vegetables straight from the garden or the whole animal.”
– Trinh Richards

the end of the day helps shape what we do.”

Richards appreciates her strong following of regulars and goes out of her way to ensure they have a different experience each time they visit by keeping a detailed bookings database. “We have customers who come once a week or fortnight. But we always have something new for them to try every time they dine — we really hang our hat on that one.”

When it comes to customers, the restaurant’s attention to detail has paid dividends, with guests serving as the venue’s main source of marketing. “We don’t really put our name out there — it’s been word-of-mouth and it’s been like that since our infancy,” says Richards. “We’re not trying to be a cookie-cutter [operation]. It’s not perfect, but we try and keep as many people happy as possible.”

Richards hopes to further extend the relationship between the restaurant and its customers by launching a chef’s table. It was something Richards implemented when the venue first opened, but as word spread and bookings increased, they

needed the space for extra seating. “We’re trying to bring that back where chefs have direct contact with customers,” says Richards. “We made great friends when we did it previously and it’s what people miss in a way.”

In May, Richards will join the Tasting Australia program for the second time as part of the Sweet, Salty, Sour, Hot masterclass alongside Thi Le (Ca Com, Jeow), Benjamin Cooper (Chin Chin), and Terry Intarakhamhaeng (Soi 38). While she can’t give away too much, she’s excited to work with the chefs to create a three-course South-East Asian feast for guests. “It’ll be really fun because we will be working together collaboratively as opposed to just doing one dish,” says Richards.

As for any upcoming moves, the chef says there are many options on the list, but she’s learned not to plan too much as you never know what’s going to happen. “Mike and I thought we’d be a cool banh mi shop — that was our original plan,” she says. “Now, we just let it happen.” ■

22 | Hospitality PROFILE // Trinh Richards

Foodservice Australia

The industry event returns in May. Here’s everything you can’t miss.

FOODSERVICE AUSTRALIA IS back and bigger than ever with more than 400 exhibitors and special events to sink your teeth into across the three-day program. Held at ICC Sydney from 19–21 May, Foodservice Australia will bring together top culinary brands and professionals, making it a must-attend event for anyone in the sector.

It is vital for hospo workers to stay in the know as much as possible. At Foodservice Australia, you can expect to do just this with the latest, on-trend initiatives, products, and speakers to help you excel in 2024 and beyond.

“Hospitality is a dynamic and competitive industry where you need to meet changing consumer tastes and remain highly efficient to survive and thrive,” says Event Director Tim Collett. “This show is a rare opportunity for business operators to taste new products, try out the latest equipment, and meet the people behind the brands. It is a chance to get ahead of the competition, find new suppliers, and strengthen relationships.”

Guests can attend special events such as the Australian Chef of the Year, National Restaurant Conference, Sweet Spot Theatre, ACF Restaurant Challenge, and Café School. There will also be an impressive line-up of hospitality exhibitors covering the latest industry technology; sustainable packaging; food and beverage trends; cutting-edge equipment; and on-trend fit-outs and venue designs.

There is also a chance to get hands-on with Foodservice Australia’s Training Hub which will provide a range of training and recruitment services for guests. Whether you’re an industry veteran or just starting out your journey as a student, there’s something on offer to help improve your skillset.

Foodservice Australia is a valuable opportunity to network and further expand your industry circle with local and international culinary professionals in attendance. The event will also give guests the chance to hear from the industry’s top names such as Neil Perry, Luke Mangan, Kirsten Tibbles, Justin North, Amanda Fuller, and Claire Van Vuuren who are presenting across the program.

To see the full schedule and register for a free ticket, visit

24 | Hospitality
FEATURE // Foodservice Australia

Commerce Vision Y6

Cookers Bulk Oil System H34

Cookie Man P49

CyberChill Refrigeration G39

DASH Brands Pacific S58

Deal Diner Z14

Detpak H14

Dippin’ Dots Australia Z50

Dissolvo Labels by FilterFab F60


Bake Me Up Z42

Baker Refridgeration C23

Bakers Maison L14

San Remo M56

Beerenberg P50

Bepoz B23

Besta Fine Food SP60

Bidfood Australia M40

BioPak F43

Birdeye C56

BM Refrigeration Services A21

Bolero & Co S55

botHUB H40

Brancourts Dairy P40

By Manu N50

Carmi Flavors N7

ChefPanel F51

Chemserve C50

Chillfreeze Logistics A29

Chobani T13

Clorox Australia I39

Coast Distributors A37

Colossus Food Z23

Dynamic Catering Equipment G14

ECE Fast F49

Ecofry H49

Boneroasters S39

Elag Australia F27

Envirochoice C16

Essity F56

Euroquip G40

Everest Ice Cream T32

Fanyo Foods T44

Ferrero Foodservice Australia Y57

Franklands Foods N36

Freezo B39

GD Donuts M14

Gelato Ingredients Manufacturers Australia SP50

Goose on the Loose SP55

Greenmount Foods/Artisan Foods S43

Grounded Wholefoods SP40

GTG Living Water N43

Hanoi City New Rural Construction Office P2

Hephais G45

HIT Equipment International A17

HLP Controls A19

HMPS Propac F36

Hokubee Australia Y49

Hormel Foods Australia N40

House of Legumes Z22

Huhtamaki Tailored Packaging F18

I Love Dumplings Z33

iKET A36

Imperial Tea Exports SP56

Infruit Australia SP76

International Industries B18

Jaymak - Coolroom Hygiene C28

Jitjatjo Hospitality Staffing G43

JL Lennard H24

JnS Robotics H44

Kagome L8

Kellogg Australia Z43

Kikkoman Australia N18

King International N14

Korea aT Center Australia T40

Krio Krush M50

Kuvings Australia F24

Lactalis S17

LaksaMate SP66

Lamb Weston T24

Lambruk Pantry SP41

Letizza Bakery S44

LG Electronics C18

Long Range Systems F50

Made by Kade SP46

Magnesol Dalsorb Y7

Manassen Foods S18

Marco Polo Foods P56

Massel Australia N18

Mayers K18

Meat Online L7

Melco Foods S24

Melitta Professional K14

Mission Foods P32

Molino Casillo G40

Monika F15

Mypos G55

Naked Syrups Y50

National Allergy Council H8

Natural Moreish Z48

Nectar Fruits Açai Z31

MilkLab P24

Now Book It C39

Nuovair Blast Chillers A31

Nutritious Cuisine B46

Nutroasters Y32

Oil2U M44

Ordermentum S50

Pac Food G24

Pac Trading A1

ParTech C46

Pasta Italia N18

Patties Foods S32

Peercore IT K6

Peerless Foods L18

Pepe Saya P44

Pepe’s Ducks Y23

Perfection Fresh T8

PFD Food Services N24

Pizzini Wines - King Valley Z52

Premier Northpak C40

Prepac C24

Priestleys Gourmet Delights M8

Primo Smallgoods M24

Product Distribution P52

Proform Foods Y8

Purabon Z38

Queen Professional M18

Rely Services A11

Riva Dispensers F44

Riviana Foodservice T17

Riviera Bakery L5

The Alternative Dairy Co S40

Saputo Dairy Australia S52

Scitek M54

Shan Shui Me Food Enterprise T51

Shinwa Foods T54

Simco Catering Equipment B2

Simped Foods Y39

Solomon Kava SP70

Specialty Trailers G50

Squizify K7

Stream Water B14

Sunny Queen Y52

Sunrice Australia T17

Sunton International Trading Co


Sushi Machines C13

Sweet William Chocolate SP44

Sycro Australia N55

Symbio A43

Tasman Foods N44

Tassal P14

Taste Fine Food Co H53

Tea Tonic T50

Teascapes Australia N54

Teck Sang Z18

Tegel International M7

Testo M58

Textured Concept Foods C52

That’s Amore Cheese M32

The Aussie Plant Based Co T39

The Better Food Distribution Co N58

The Handmade Food Co S49

The Pure Food Co C44

Three Bays Mineral Water SP45

Tibaldi Australasia S14

Training Online Food Safety H10

Tribute Craft Chocolate M13

Trumps Y28

Uniclean A13

Unox Australia C2

Van Dyck Fine Foods T6

Vegware Australia F32

Vendart Diagnostics G56

Vili’s Gourmet Pies N13

Violife Professional Y24

Waterlogic F39

Wayt A7

Wedderburn A32

Well and Good Y36

Wellness by Tess S51

Westland Milk Products Y44

Wombat Food Group N32

Xiamen Great Dragon B16

Xiamen Weihao Eco-Friendly

Tech Co G49

Yarra Valley Hilltop T43

Yin Kwee Trading P18

Yumplicity Food Group Y40

26 | Hospitality
M2 N1 C16 F15 C18 F17 6 6 6 C13 3 C14 B39 N13 M14 3 3 M13 L14 L16 M15 M54 N53 P51 N52 P54 S53 S54 F53 Y51 T52 3 3 3 3 M58 M18 N17 L18 H32 K31 6 G14 G39 G18 H18 H14 6 L8 M7 C40 F39 Y2 Y6 Z5 Z7 Y8 T8 Y7 6 T2 T6 Y5 3 6 6 M8 N7 P2 S2 15 6 6 6 6 6 3 6 6 15 T40 Y39 Y40 Z39 P44 S43 S44 T43 T44 Y43 Y44 Z43 S40 T39 N44 N40 6 6 6 3 3 6 3 3 6 6 6 6 6 3 3 6 M40 M44 N43 6 M50 Y50 N18 N14 S14 T13 P14 6 3 6 6 6 6 6 6 3 3 S18 T17 G24 A1 M32 P50 S49 S50 T49 S55 S51 S56 S52 T55 P56 P52 T50 Y49 T54 Y53 T51 N50 P49 N54 P53 N55 N51 M56 M52 Y57 M24 T24 Y23 T32 T36 C53 C57 A32 A36 Y28 Y24 Y36 Y32 C32 6 6 S32 S24 Specialty F55 F53 F56 G55 F54 G53 C52 F51 F50 G49 P32 P24 B18 B2 C2 C60 C61 F59 F60 G32 C28 F27 A29 Z36 Z30 A27 A25 Z28 Z26 Z24 Z22 A23 A9 A7 N24 F18 Z32 Z34 H24 F24 F14 F32 F36 H49 F49 C50 B44 C43 H53 C46 C44 G45 G43 G50 Z6 Z8 Z10 Z20 C39 A11 A13 A21 A41 N32 N36 Z44 Z42 Z38 Z12 Z14 Z18 Z46 Z48 Z50 Z52 A19 A17 B23 C23 L2 F44 H23 F43 6 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 6 3 3 3 3 3 3 6 3 3 6 3 Café School Conference Theatre 12 3 6 9 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 9 6 9 6 6 6 15 6 9 Chef s Corner 9 9 6 6 6 6 6 9 9 3 Discover fresh new ideas! 19-21 May 2024 International Convention Centre Darling Harbour, Sydney Organised by Telephone0399995460 Sweet Spot Chef of the Year 6 15 9 6 ENTRY 3 6 6 6 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 9 3 3 3 3 6 ACF Restaurant Challenge Show Kitchen 1 Show Kitchen 2 Show Kitchen 3 3 3 3 CAFE 3 3 6 9 9 6 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 6 6 3 6 6 3 3 3 2 2 2 6 6 3 3 2 9 Wash Area ENTRY 6 9 3 3 6 6 6 Specialty G56 G54 H2 K1 H6 K5 K7 6 3 6 Training Hub H8 H10 B46 6 C24 6 K14 K18 Y52 P18 S17 A37 A31 A43 9 Wash Area Storage Area H34 N8 6 C54 C56 6 6 6 3 6 3 Z2 3 3 G8 F8 6 9 K39 3 B16 B14 N2 N6 P5 6 3 Z33 Z31 G44 6 6 3 3 3 3 F40 G40 H40 H44 K8 L7 K2 L1 K6 L5 3 3 6 6 3 6 S39 3 3 3 P55 P56 P57 T55 T56 T57 S58 N58 S57 6 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 M16 M15 3 P40 3 3 P42 S41 3 A34 C33 3 3 3 9 6 6 3 3 Z25 Z23 F62 6 Company Stand Number
C60 Advanced
Manager H23 Alka Power
Natural Kitchen S57
Exhibitor map
pH9-10 Spring
Y53 All
All Wheels H18 Allara Learning H6 Allie’s Foods S56
Chef of the Year
Ancient Rituals N51 Aston Lucas Gourmet T36 Australian Native Products M52 Australian Warfighters Coffee Z30 Awesome Supply G18 Azura Fresh T49
B & E Foods N8
Babo Australia Bamboo Products B44
FEATURE // Foodservice Australia

PRECISELY CRAFTED for the world’s finest chefs

Premium Stocks, Jus & Glaces

Made for the world’s finest chefs who set high standards and take exceptional pride in their dishes. Bone Roasters provide precisely crafted, chef inspired stocks and jus that elevate the flavour of every dish with elegant simplicity. Using only the finest quality Australian and New Zealand ingredients, Bone Roasters uses traditional slow cooking open-kettle methods and follows the highest quality and consistency standards to deliver the most exceptional culinary experience, every single time.

Australian Made All Natural Finest AU & NZ Ingredients Award Winning

Voted No. 1 by Professional Chefs

Exhibitors to visit

EOI Bakery

For more than 90 years, EOI has proudly developed and consistently supplied the Australian bakery industry with an extensive range of trusted, readily available premium bakery margarines and shortenings. EOI is proudly 100 per cent Australian made and owned.

EOI’s trusted products include pastry and cake margarines and shortenings; butter substitutes; creaming shortenings; custard and pie fillings; and vegetarian and vegan margarine and shortening options. There’s also a new ready-to-use range, which consists of pastry rolls; pastry shells; croissants; Danish pastry squares; and Danish fruit and custard pastries under both the EOI and La Parisienne brand names.

Join EOI’s trained bakers at stand L18 opposite Sweet Spot to see them demonstrating the extensive range of pastry products and find out how they can save you time and money.

Bone Roasters

Bone Roasters’ collection is made for the world’s finest chefs who set high standards and take exceptional pride in their dishes. Its range of award-winning, precisely crafted, chef-inspired stocks and jus elevate the flavour of every dish with elegant simplicity.

Using only the finest-quality Australian and New Zealand ingredients, Bone Roasters make products with traditional slowcooking open-kettle methods and follow the highest-quality and consistency standards to deliver the most exceptional culinary experience every single time.

The Bone Roasters range is made and then frozen to maintain freshness and consists of veal, beef, chicken, and red wine stocks, jus, and glaces. Bone Roasters is proudly Australian made and is used by many of the world’s leading five-star, Michelin-starred restaurants and food providers.

Bone Roasters has been a long-standing sponsored product of Bocuse d’Or Australia and is also a sponsor of this year’s Australian Chef of the Year competition. See the range by visiting the Bone Roasters team at stand T58

Tasman Foods

With more than 34 years’ experience, Tasman Foods is one of Australia’s foremost suppliers of premium frozen finger foods and seafood. Beginning with a focus on Asian cuisine, embark on a journey through flavour as Tasman Foods brings the most authentic and delectable tastes straight from their kitchen to yours. Explore bespoke handmade products that are tailored to elevate every dining experience and offer a wide range of flavours to suit any palate.

Discover the convenience of the Tasman Foods range, with Australia’s largest selection of finger food, which ensues there’s something for everyone. By incorporating the products into your culinary repertoire, you will not only improve your offering but reduce staff costs, allowing for greater efficiency without compromising quality.

Trust in Tasman Foods for both taste and safety, where tradition meets innovation. Elevate your culinary journey today — have a chat with the team at stand N44 and find your next menu gem.

FEATURE // Foodservice Australia
28 | Hospitality

To order La Parisienne contact your local distributor. For further information or technical support contact

Peerless Foodservice on 1800 986 499 or visit:

/ peerlessfoodservice

Making it happen VISIT US:


Devondale is one of Saputo Dairy Australia’s leading brands due to its quality, affordability, versatility, and portfolio offering. Products in the Devondale portfolio include mozzarella, cream cheese, butter, fresh cream, and UHT milk available in various sizes and formats fit for purpose for HoReCa.

Devondale is part of a portfolio of brands manufactured by Saputo Dairy Australia, a leading dairy processor in the country, and is part of Saputo Inc., one of the top 10 dairy processors in the world. Other brands under the Saputo Dairy Australia banner include but are not limited to Cheer, Caboolture, and Fred Walker.

Explore Saputo Dairy Australia’s offerings at stand S52 at Foodservice Australia.


Unox Australia invites guests to stand C2 at Foodservice Australia to experience its cutting-edge foodservice equipment and commercial ovens. Join the Unox team and esteemed partners as they tantalise your tastebuds with delectable dishes across three exciting zones: Unox’s CHEFTOP-X™ with SPEED-X™ and EVEREO® will command your attention by preparing a variety of food products throughout the day. Alongside them, the SPEED.Pro™ speed oven will showcase its culinary prowess in speed baking and cooking modes. Also don’t miss the internationally certified HACCP EVEREO® hot food holding area which guarantees food stays warm and secure.

Experience live cooking demonstrations and engage with the dynamic marketing team who are available throughout the day to address any inquiries about Unox’s products and services and share how they can contribute to your success in the food industry.


Discover the forefront of sustainable packaging solutions and stay ahead of single-use plastic bans with BioPak. The team can offer compliant packaging alternatives crafted from certified compostable and rapidly renewable materials, reflecting the brand’s unwavering commitment to sustainability while delivering quality without compromise. Visit the Boipak team at stand F43 to learn more about its innovative products and receive a complimentary packaging assessment tailored to your specific needs and environmental goals. Biopak invites the industry to join hands, make a positive impact, and embrace responsible choices for generations to come.

30 | Hospitality FEATURE // Foodservice Australia
– PURCHASE A CARTON OF –Caboolture Mozzarella 2x6kg for your chance to DISCOVER A GOLDEN TICKET VALUED FROM $1,000–$5,000 The promoter is Saputo Dairy Australia Pty Ltd, ABN 52 166 135 486, Level 14, 28 Freshwater Place, Southbank VIC, 3006 (Promoter). You must purchase a Carton of Caboolture Mozzarella Shredded Cheese product (2 x 6kg carton) through an SDA authorised distributor between 9.00am 8/4/24 and 5.00pm 30/6/24. There are 22 Golden Tickets to be given away as prizes in this Promotion: 2 x $5,000.00, 5 x $2,000.00 and 15 x $1,000.00. Total Prize pool is $35,000.00. All Golden Ticket prizes must be claimed by 5.00pm 7/7/24. NSW Permit No. NTP/08812 ACT TP24/00134 SA Licence No. T24/112 Terms & Conditions available at:


Boasting mountainous lashings of pure, rich flavour and creamy texture, Westgold Butter and UHT cream bring natural quality from New Zealand’s remote, lush West Coast pastures to culinary professionals who choose a higher standard.

Grass-fed and free-range cows turn lush grass into a super-rich milk that creates simply outstanding dairy — products that Westgold believe can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world. Westgold’s award-winning butter has customers raving about its texture, consistency, and rich buttery taste, while its UHT cream is renowned for its versatility and clean flavour — both being sought-after products globally. Bring the taste of Westgold’s New Zealand home to your kitchen to give your craft the foundation it deserves. Try Westgold’s butter and cream at stand Y44

Mission Foods

Mission Foods believes good food can take you places. As a global brand known around the world, Mission Foods has always strived to help foodservice professionals explore the endless possibilities through its range of products.

Ready for a gamechanger? Mission Foods’ souvlaki bread is it and has a soft and fluffy texture that is perfect for dinner and lunch menus as well as snacks.

For more information, visit the Mission Foods team at stand P32

CFT International

Training Online Food Safety offers a leading New South Wales food safety supervisor course, an essential for those aiming to excel in food safety supervision. Designed to provide comprehensive knowledge on hygienic practices (SITXFSA005) and safe food handling (SITXFSA006), it equips participants with the skills necessary to ensure food safety standards.

Recognised by the NSW Food Authority, the certification is crucial for supervising food handling in the hospitality sector. With flexible online delivery, CFT enables learners to pursue certification at their convenience that is supported by strong student assistance. The approach not only facilitates professional development but significantly contributes to public health and safety by promoting rigorous food safety protocols. Learners will be issued the NSW Food Authority certification upon course completion.

Visit the CFT International team at stand H10 to chat about your food safety compliance requirements and how Training Online Food Safety can help.

32 | Hospitality FEATURE // Foodservice Australia preview


For more than 35 years, PremierNorthpak has been recognised as a market leader in delivering sustainable food packaging products and solutions to Australia’s cafés, patisseries, restaurants, hotels, catering companies, food-to-go chains, and fast-food businesses.

Good packaging not only holds your food, but it also frames it and creates a positive and lasting impression with customers. PremierNorthpak’s extensive range of more than 4,000 lines includes an array of designs, materials, colours, and functions, allowing you to select products that suit your vision and requirements. The brand’s in-house design team are also able to create a wide range of customised packaging solutions. PremierNorthpak is committed to selling and using environmentally friendly products that can be recycled, re-used, or disposed of according to responsible waste practices.

Visit the PremierNorthpak team at stand C40 to find out more.


Milklab Lane is Milklab’s new trade show experience inspired by Melbourne’s urban coffee culture.

Reminiscent of the streets of Melbourne, the new-look Milklab stand incorporates exterior, hole-in-the-wall style cafés and funky coffee carts. Guests are encouraged to explore and discover the laneways of Milklab where they can enjoy a unique and exciting coffee experience that showcases the perfect pairings and highlights tasting notes of the Milklab range.

Share a latte or two with the Milklab team at stand P24

PFD Food Services

PFD Food Services is 100 per cent Australian and has more than 70 strategically located distribution centres across the country. PFD Food Services deliver an extensive range of fresh meat and seafood together with frozen products, drygoods, paper products, and cleaning solutions.

Come visit PFD Food Services at stand N24 to meet the New South Wales team, sample a selection of fresh meat and seafood, and discover how they can work with you and become your one stop for all your foodservice needs.


As part of Sydney Recycling Services, Ecofry has been at the forefront of sustainability for 30-plus years. Ecofry’s free oil collection service transforms used cooking oil into renewable fuels to reduce waste. Now, the Ecofry team are introducing its fresh oil service with Ecofry Elite oil which can offer a complete end-to-end service of fresh oil in and used cooking oil out.

Designed to deliver exceptional frying performance, Ecofry Elite oil is for chefs, restaurateurs, and cooks who operate busy kitchens who choose quality, convenience, and value.

Join the Ecofry team at stand H49 where sustainability meets exceptional taste.

April 2024 | 33 FEATURE // Foodservice Australia

GTG Living Water

GTG Living Water’s collection of pristine, natural alkaline water products boast exceptional purity with a balance of minerals filtered through the best system that exists — uncontaminated nature. Sourced from the untouched mountain springs of Zagoria, Albania, GTG Living Water’s products are high in calcium and low in sodium, resulting in high-quality hydration.

It’s important to know where your bottled water is coming from. GTG Living Water’s range means customers know they are drinking mineral-rich, pristine water. GTG Living Water is also committed to sustainability and quality in its products with 10 per cent of profits going to charity and each bottle crafted from 100-per-cent recyclable materials.

The GTG Living Water range features both still and sparkling water varieties in an array of product sizes for any venue’s needs. Taste the difference with GTG Living Water’s range at stand N43 at Foodservice Australia.

Dash Water

Dash Water is at the forefront of a new wave of healthy soft drinks that do more for people and the planet. Dash Water products are infused with real, wonky fruit to make delicious and healthy drinks.

The range’s five delicious flavours are made in Australia with water from Black Mount Spring in Victoria and wonky Aussie fruit, which is the bent, crushed, misshapen fruit others say no to. By accepting the misfits, Dash Water is helping fight food waste one bashed berry and lopsided lemon at a time.

Products are made with no sugar or sweeteners and have no calories, making them a drink to feel good about.

Drop by stand S58 at Foodservice Australia for more information.


Kuvings Australia is committed to servicing the commercial market by providing high-quality commercial equipment to cafés, hotels, restaurants, and juice bars. Kuvings offer commercial durability; one-touch auto blending; electronic open and close; pre-set menu options; and a superfine, smooth blend across its range. Kuvings also has 24–7 after-sales on (02) 9798 0586.

Visit the Kuvings team at Foodservice Australia at stand F24 to watch the Kuvings CB980 One Touch auto blender demonstration.

34 | Hospitality FEATURE // Foodservice Australia





Synergy Grills use a gas burner system, utilising electronic ignition with a flame protection probe.

The unit reaches perfect cooking temperature in just 30 minutes. Each burner features independent heat regulation with 10 power settings.

The Synergy Grill is far kinder to food. Fat is atomised whilst cooking and less moisture is lost.

The Synergy Grill is quick and easy to clean, by using a vacuum or brush to remove the debris from the grill.


As Australia’s leading bulk cooking oil supplier, Cookers is dedicated to bringing efficiency and sustainability to the foodservice industry. With a customer-first approach, Cookers provide high-quality cooking oils and a complete system to streamline the entire process of oil management, from the supply and delivery of fresh cooking oil to the collection and recycling of used cooking oil.

With no two businesses the same, you can choose an oil to suit your kitchen needs plus receive industrial food-grade equipment free on loan to complement the bulk oil management system.

Cookers offer oils built for purpose; bulk cooking oil management; sustainable solutions; equipment free on loan; and no lock-in contracts.

Say goodbye to the challenges of traditional cooking oil supply and disposal and discover your smart oil solution at Cookers stand H34

Lamb Weston

Lamb Weston are the potato experts.


Since 1996, Kagome’s dedication to crafting the highest-quality tomato products has been unwavering. As the nation’s largest tomato processor, Kagome have consistently delivered exceptional quality.

The sun-kissed soil of Victoria’s Echuca region is where the Kagome story unfolds. From seed to harvest, Kagome has always been there, ensuring each product delivers the robust, natural flavours you know and love. The harvests and processing span tomatoes, carrots, and garlic right through to apples, beetroot, and pears transformed into exceptional products that speak of their origin.

Kagome’s latest venture — a state-of-the-art powder plant — innovatively upcycles byproducts into nutritious powders, catering to diverse markets from food to wellness. Kagome always put quality first, remaining true to nature with every product it produces, be it the signature pulpy crushed tomato or rich pizza sauce.

Discover more about Kagome’s product range and its dedication to quality and innovation at stand L8

Backed by global experience and local potato expertise, they manufacture and deliver high-quality frozen chips made from the finest potatoes.

From classic fries to extra-crispy crinkle-cut chips and crunchy hashbrowns, they have the right product for your menu to keep customers coming back for more. Lamb Weston offer a full range of Australian-grown and manufactured chips as well world-favourite imported products from regions known globally for growing some of the finest potatoes.

Visit Lamb Weston at stand T24 to try their delicious crispy-on-theoutside and fluffy golden chips and talk to the team about getting Lamb Weston on your menu.

36 | Hospitality FEATURE // Foodservice Australia


For a lighter flavour offering, the twice-cooked Boneless Fried Duck is the perfect way to enhance any meal.

When the chef would like to let other ingredients sing, this product offers an ideal alternative to chicken, beef or pork.

The hard work is done for you so simply heat and serve. Add to stir fries, noodle or rice dishes, soup, pho, spring rolls, pizza – even tacos!

Enjoy the ease of family dinner done easy. Perfect with Chinese vegetables and on creamy mashed potato. Also

Boneless Aromatic Roast Duck • Aromatic Shredded Roast Duck • Skin On Boneless Duck Breast

Great expectations

Classic burgers are having a moment at fine diners.

WORDS Annabelle Cloros


Jo McGann for Gimlet; Jiwon Kim and Steven Woodburn for The Charles

FINE DINERS HAVE been flipping burgers as a means to offer a high/low experience to diners. While burgers are ubiquitous at all sorts of venues, there’s no denying the difference that comes with those made with a superior blend of beef, and perhaps an optional add-on of foie gras.

Hospitality speaks to chefs Andrew McConnell from Gimlet and Billy Hannigan from The Charles Grand Brasserie and Bar about ratios, paying homage to classic flavour profiles, and why the burger just works in a restaurant environment.

Gimlet in Melbourne is the cumulus of Trader House’s culinary expertise. The CBD restaurant offers it all — slick service, a thoughtfully designed interior, and an evolving menu that heroes ingredients grown by some of the most passionate producers in the country. It’s also a place you can frequent for a multi-course menu or a late-night burger — it’s diner’s choice.

The cheeseburger is a big drawcard on Gimlet’s supper menu which is available from 10pm, making it an appealing option for post-theatre

goers or night owls. It’s been available since the restaurant opened back in 2020, with the option introduced to welcome a broader range of diners to the establishment. “It was designed to be a casual dining option for people who want a snack late at night without having to commit to a full dining experience,” says Chef Andrew McConnell. “The team want it to be accessible to everyone — the perfect dish to enjoy at the bar with a cocktail before heading home.”

The Gippsland pasture-raised beef patty is made from a combination of chuck and brisket and has a 20 per cent fat ratio, with the brisket playing an integral role during the cooking process. “Brisket is used in the mix as it has fat and a low melting point, making it super juicy,” says McConnell. The chef brigade cook the protein on the plancha until it develops a crust and some colour on each side, which usually occurs around the three-minute mark. “It’s then finished off in the Josper oven to give it a smokey flavour and left to rest for at least 10 minutes. It’s cooked to medium.”

38 | Hospitality FEATURE // Burgers


What makes McCain’s fresh, quality produce taste so good?

Whether it’s fresh potatoes, Aussie communities or a sustainable future, McCain is proud to help locals grow by helping businesses serve the absolute best home-grown produce.

Find out how we’re growing at

Once the beef is ready, it’s assembly time. A potato bun is covered in a classic house burger sauce (amped up with chopped dill, shallots, and diced pickles) as well as butter lettuce for “freshness and soft crunch” and American cheese — “it’s a classic for a reason” — which is melted by the heat of the patty. Large-format dill pickles are the final component, adding “crunchy texture”, ultimately resulting in the “perfect balance of sweet and acid which complements the fat from the burger”, says McConnell.

Gimlet’s burger has been featured in a plethora of roundups and has no doubt played a key role in the increasing demand for highquality late-night food options. “Supper trade has grown exponentially over the past six months,” says McConnell. “There are many customers who come in after 10pm on a Friday or Saturday night solely for the cheeseburger.”

Sydney’s burger options continue to diversify, with The Charles Grand Brasserie and Bar recently adding its own contribution to the mix. But it’s not any old cheeseburger — which was the brief for Executive Chef Billy

Hannigan when he started the development process. “A burger can be a bit boring, generic, and simple,” he says. “I didn’t want to do just any ordinary burger, I wanted to put as much effort into it without being too ‘cheffy’.”

The differences start with the patty. Hannigan worked closely with Gavin Gray from Great Meats Co in Leichhardt, with the local business supplying all the beef used at sibling venues Loulou and Poetica. “We developed a recipe using a percentage of chuck, brisket, and pork,” says the chef. “Putting a thick slab of bacon on a burger is always delicious, but incorporating a percentage of bacon and using all the fat is more efficient for the kitchen. Aged Wagyu trimmings go into the patty as well which gives it a nice amount of funk. It doesn’t taste like something you could have at home, which is the biggest part of restaurants — we want to give guests an experience they can’t get at home.”

The burger is cooked in a pan on the flat top until it caramelises before it’s moved to a tray and topped with two types of cheese from France — Comte and Emmental. “They are

$25 gets you a burger, fries,

40 | Hospitality FEATURE // Burgers
Gimlet’s burger is on the supper menu The Wagyu cheeseburger patty includes bacon and a drink at The Charles Gimlet’s beef is sourced from Gippsland
TM Milk BUn 4.5" POTATO BUn 4.5" brioche style bun 4.5" Soft creamy texture, with real milk Our softest bun ever Lightly glazed, sweet bun ✓ pre-sliced buns ✓ available nationally ✓ 6 months frozen shelf life or 5 days fresh shelf life TIPTOP-FOODSERVICE.COM.AU © Registered trade marks of George Weston Foods Limited. All rights reserved. Distributor 9128 I Direct 2010 Distributor 9295 I Direct 2011 Distributor 9108 I Direct 2012

perfect for melting,” says Hannigan. “We bake it for a couple of minutes, and it’s served pink, blushing, and juicy.”

Loulou provides the buns, which are a milk–brioche hybrid covered in sesame seeds and linseeds that are delivered daily. The burger’s other elements channel the flavours of fast-food classics, with a burger sauce combining yellow American mustard with Heinz tomato sauce and a hit of Tabasco. “We do sliced, raw white onions and the pickles are marinated in dill, lots of vinegar, and sugar,” says the chef. “They are sweet and acidic.”

It’s been a popular addition to the menu, with the bar area of the restaurant offering it daily for $25 alongside fries and a choice of a schooner, glass of house wine, or a soft drink from 12–6pm. Guests can also tack on a supplement of foie gras, should they wish.

There’s no denying it’s a steal, especially in the current climate where diners are not willing to spend as much as they once were. “A lot of restaurants are doing happy hour or bottomless lunch, and we wanted to create something with a point of difference,” says Hannigan. “A burger is a burger, so we wanted to keep it simple but make sure the important things were there as far as the percentage of salt and the ageing [component]. All the thought and care is there without overthinking it and we’ve never had one sent back — it’s been an absolute hit.” ■

“A burger is a burger, so we wanted to keep it simple but make sure the important things were there.” – Billy Hannigan

The Tip Top Milk Bun is designed specifically for pubs, restaurants, and cafés looking to offer a premium, high-quality burger. Made with real milk, the bun has a soft and creamy texture, is lightly glazed, and topped with toasted seeds. It’s perfect for any burger build from a spicy pulled pork to a traditional beef burger.

42 | Hospitality
FEATURE // Burgers

It’s showtime!

Tableside service is having a revival with more venues looking to take the finishing touches out of the kitchen and in front of guests.

44 | Hospitality FEATURE // Tableside service
WORDS Amy Northcott

TABLESIDE SERVICE (ALSO known as guéridon in French) was once a big feature at fine-dining restaurants across the world. Whether it was tossing a Caesar salad; deboning fish; carving proteins; or flambéeing desserts, the final elements of a dish were often completed tableside. Here in Australia, tableside service hit its peak during the 1960s and ’70s, with just a handful of venues keeping the theatrical experience alive after it fell out of popularity. But tableside service has made a comeback in recent years and has been moulded to suit different venues and cuisines.

To find out how restaurants are bringing back tableside service, Hospitality speaks with a’Mare’s Alessandro Pavoni and Porcine’s Matthew Fitzgerald.

For Owner and Chef of Crown Sydney’s a’Mare Alessandro Pavoni, tableside presentation is about showcasing service as an artform. “It was historically such an important part of dining out,” he says. “It is so enjoyable being able to design dishes around this element of theatre and reinvigorate our front-of-house team to learn and grow these skills.”

a’Mare serves an array of dishes tableside for guests, and it’s become a signature offering for the Italian restaurant. The star of the show is a 30kg Carrara marble mortar and pestle which is wheeled out to guests on a trolley when pesto is ordered. “It is truly an immersive experience as they smell the basil and engage with the waiter,” says Pavoni.

The a’Mare team prepares a selection of pastas at the table. They also fillet fish, carve prosciutto, and make granita. Desserts also get the tableside treatment, with tiramisu al cucchiaio and gelato fior di latte both spooned into bowls tableside.

Pavoni and his team are currently working on a new menu where every dish features a tableside element. “It’s been a challenge and a wonderful change to how we work designing menus and dishes to incorporate elements of tableside [service],” he says. “We really try to think about new and exciting ways of presenting traditional Italian dishes.”

Porcine in Sydney’s Paddington is one of a handful of venues that serves the classic, tableside French dish canard à la presse (pressed duck). It originated in Normandy,

France, in the 16th century and became a renowned element of Paris restaurant La Tour d’Argent, which still serves the dish today.

At Porcine, Co-Owner Matt Fitzgerald and Head Chef Nik Hill serve canard à la presse as part of the venue’s classic French bistro offering. Due to the dish’s complex nature, the team only offer one duck per service which must be pre-ordered in advance.

Porcine use Aylesbury-Pekin duck which is brined before the thighs, legs, and neck are removed and roasted. The duck is then transported to the table where it sits on a trolley equipped with a stovetop and saucepan, utensils, duck-shaped cutting board, and the press itself which the Porcine team purchased from France. The duck’s breasts and wings are removed before the carcass is placed in the press and crushed three times to produce a sauce. “During the second press, we add a rinse of Madeira, which helps to push through the blood and juices and flavours the sauce,” explains Fitzgerald.

The sauce and duck are then finished and served to guests, with the whole process accompanied by an explanation from a staff member. “We talk through the history and differences of the dish, along with our process and what number press they are,” says Fitzgerald. “It is quite an engaging part

“The theatre and entertainment of tableside, and showcasing the skills needed, makes for a totally different experience at a restaurant.” –
Alessandro Pavoni
FEATURE // Tableside service
April 2024 | 45

of the meal as we openly talk and answer questions with the guests while preparing the duck and sauce in front of them.”

The canard à la presse was always on the cards for the bistro to further enhance its French offering. “It is one thing to have a beautiful-looking and tasting dish served to you at a restaurant, but to have such a uniquely traditional dish done tableside hopefully adds a feeling of being in France and experiencing something special,” says Fitzgerald. “They [guests] can actually see the press and its mechanics, the makings of the sauce, and all the parts that make it such a unique dish.”

As expected, the intricate process required a lot of practice from Fitzgerald and Hill. “We practiced on a few chickens then ducks, read about the history, and watched videos on the classical way it has been done in France,” says Fitzgerald. “We wanted to make sure we had the practice down sharp, so it flowed naturally at the table with the guests.”

Since launching the dish, Fitzgerald and Hill have served around 210 ducks and counting. “So far, all were very happy diners,” says Fitzgerald. “There is a lot of plate cleaning with bread and frites and sometimes plate licking, which we applaud.”

Pavoni believes tableside service generates a level of involvement and engagement from guests. “The theatre and entertainment of tableside, and showcasing the skills needed, makes for a totally different experience at a restaurant,” says the chef. “We have a lot of regulars who continue to visit us and bring friends and family.”

Fitzgerald says the canard à la presse experience has received a positive reception from guests, both from those ordering it as well as spectators. “Porcine is small, so other guests often turn around to watch the show and then book it for the future,” he says. “People always appreciate the extra work that goes into a dish when they see part of the process happen in front of them.”

A sense of enjoyment carries over to the staff for Pavoni, and he hopes it catches the attention of potential hospitality professionals. “I think a big part of it is that our team enjoy it and are passionate about what they are doing, which translates to our guests,” he says. “I hope it inspires more people to join the industry as they see how seriously we all take our careers and the training and learning it requires.” ■

“People always appreciate the extra work that goes into a dish when they see part of the process happen in front of them.”
– Matthew Fitzgerald
FEATURE // Tableside service
46 | Hospitality
Canard à la presse originated in Normandy, France a’Mare’s pesto is crushed in a marble mortar and pestle Porcine makes a sauce from the press process Pesto is one of a’Mare’s signature dishes
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Large handle to lift and move cart with ease

Cocktail trolley

Tableside drinks, anyone?

Available in an array of styles

Shelves can have smaller barriers to securely hold items

Some models feature doors on the lower shelves to conceal contents

Equipped with brakes to ensure no movement during presentation

Usually crafted from metal and glass

Multiple shelves for storing alcohol, tools, and glassware

Some models have under-shelf hooks to hang glassware

Four wheels for easy manoeuvring

48 | Hospitality EQUIPMENT // Cocktail trolley

Hannah Holleran

I COMMENCED MY WSET studies during Covid and it has enhanced my knowledge of the whole industry and strengthened my dynamic with the wine team at Gimlet. I have an immense respect for their expert knowledge and skill in matching wines to dishes. It was amazing to learn a completely new skill. It took me out of my comfort zone and gave me a real sense of achievement. It also helped me refine my palate when it comes to wine and food pairings, and I’m now more focused on complementary flavours and how they work with wine. But even with my newfound interest in wine, I have no plans to move over to front of house as I love cooking too much and the kitchen is where my heart lies.

The Lyonnaise skewer is the dish that best demonstrates my approach to cooking. I workshopped this and it was put on the menu as a special. It consists of thinly sliced Lyonnaise sausage, hot honey, pickled guindillas from Ramarro Farm, and crispy garlic served with buttermilk and garlic sauce. We cook the skewers in the Josper oven for texture and flavour and it’s the perfect mix of sweet, spice, and char. For me, this dish emanates simplicity with loads of flavour. It also showcases my approach to cooking, which is to hit all the right flavour notes without being overcomplicated.

The lobster is my favourite dish to prepare that’s currently on the Gimlet menu. It has been there from the start and is one of the most

impactful dishes with flavour and texture. Even though it looks simple to prepare and cook, it takes great skill to get the dish right. Every element must be perfectly timed and cooked to achieve the best result. We use seasonal lobster varieties through the year and I love working with our suppliers who ensure we receive the best and freshest lobsters every day. This dish is a staple on our menu for a reason. It wows every time and is utterly delicious.

Coming from the UK, I was blown away by the camaraderie in Melbourne’s hospitality industry — in a good way. Everyone is so supportive, wants others to do well, and looks out for each other. Fostering this culture is important so our industry continues to grow and flourish.

I draw culinary inspiration from eating out in Melbourne. There are so many amazing and innovative restaurants and bars pushing the boundaries to create an amazing dining experience. I also get inspired by the suppliers we work closely with.

This year, my focus will be on menu development and dish creation. I am also going to challenge myself and learn more about the business of running a restaurant. Trader House is a leader in running restaurants with incredible standards and I want to learn every aspect, so I become a better chef and set myself up for the future. ■

50 | Hospitality 5 MINUTES WITH ... //
Hannah Holleran
The Gimlet chef on combining two worlds.


Hostplus is a top-performing super fund that puts members first. That’s why we’re proud to have been named Money magazine’s Best Super Fund 2024. Judged on strong performance, value for money, and an ongoing focus on members, we’re thrilled to receive this recognition.

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