NO.760 FEBRUARY 2020
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CONTENTS // February
Contents FEBRUARY 2020
16 Regulars 6 // IN FOCUS Do scents have a place in venues? 8 // NEWS The latest in openings, books, products and more. 10 // PRODUCE Shishito: the little pepper with plenty of bite. 12 // SEAFOOD A lesson on Australian prawns. 14 // COLUMN Michael James on walking away from Tivoli Road Bakery.
22 15 // BEST PRACTICE Why all businesses need a mental health program. 16 // PROFILE Curtis Stone had a high-profile career as a chef before he hit TV screens. 20 // DRINKS An ode to ice. 40 // BEHIND THE SCENES Mitch Orr’s cherry tomato and bottarga linguine. 41 // EQUIPMENT From mash to gnocchi, potato ricers are all-rounders.
30 Features 22 // COLLABORATIONS Are two chefs better than one when it comes to launching a restaurant? 26 // CHILLED REDS Venues are moving reds from the cellar to the fridge. 30 // GLUTEN-FREE Dishes that cater to dietary requirements shouldn’t be an afterthought. 36 // POINT OF SALE Operators reveal the latest point of sale technologies they’re investing in.
42 // 5 MINUTES WITH … Sarah Scott from Joy.
February 2020 | 3
EDITOR’S NOTE // Hello
Keep up with the Hospitality team
Scroll on First attempt at cinnamon scrolls. How did I go? @annabellecloros
Slurp up Tori Paitan — aka chicken tonkotsu — at RaRa Ramen in Redfern. @madeline.woolway
IT’S HARD TO believe it, but we’re back for
a venue with two chefs instead of one?
another year. The Christmas break was tragic
Victor Liong and Chase Kojima chronicle how
and somber for many Australians, but it’s
Chuuka came to be.
been heart-warming to see the industry band together to raise money for those affected. At Nomad in Sydney, 100 venues
The drinks scene is also changing for the better, with a greater number of venues opting to chill red wines instead of store
collaborated for a brunch and bake sale
them. Australia is finally catching up with the
which saw treats sold from Quay to Flour and
rest of the world!
Stone and everything in between. The event
We also cover the rise of gluten-free
raised $100,000 and counting, with initiatives
products and look at the latest innovations
still on the go. Not to forget the efforts from
other venues, which varied from donating proceeds from dishes to one-off dinners. This issue, we look at the value of teamwork. What are the perks of launching
I hope you enjoy this issue, Annabelle Cloros
Oyster time One Fish Two Fish brought oyster frenzy to Brisbane with a six-course degustation. @hospitalitymagazine
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4 | Hospitality
IN FOCUS // Interior decoration
Ambient venues Candles, diffusers and other scented vessels are the go-to for adding atmosphere, but do they have a place in a restaurant? WORDS Annabelle Cloros
WHEN HOSPITALITY ASKED our
lemon tree, so Acre’s scent celebrates
Sous chef Joshua Huxtable says Aubergine
their venues, the consensus was a firm no,
lavender and sage.”
you’ll only find them in the bathroom. “We
Instagram followers if they used candles in to the tune of 58 per cent.
But a hard stance might be jumping the
gun a little. While heavily scented candles and co. can wreak havoc in an experience as sensory as dining out, makers are
producing goods that complement instead of dominate. Plus, location is everything. Hunter Candles founder Vianney Hunter
has worked with a number of hospitality venues in Sydney to create bespoke
candles, recently collaborating with
Chiswick and Acre Eatery. Hunter says
each scent was curated according to the
ethos of the venues. “Both these beautiful restaurants celebrate fresh produce
from their on-site gardens,” she says. “At
Chiswick, we created a native bee honey
lemon bark and lemon myrtle with white The perks of the scents are two-fold for
Chiswick and Acre: they burn them and they sell them to customers wanting to
The Butcher’s Block Group, which operates
— they aren’t all scented! Joe Jones
venues in Wahroonga, Barangaroo
and Granville are firmly on the candle
bandwagon. Group manager Chris Clarke says candles add a luxe touch which ties in with the dining experience. So what’s
their scent of choice? Glasshouse’s Kyoto,
which diners will find in all Butcher’s Block bathrooms. “We allocate one candle per
bathroom which sits on the sink shelf,” says Clarke. “We receive many compliments about the attention to detail we add.”
The group buy the candles in bulk, but
earthy honey, it takes on the notes of the
come across any candle snatchers just yet,”
Acre executive head chef Gareth
Howard took Hunter on a tour of the Acre gardens in Camperdown, which produces everything from flowers to greens and
herbs. “We crushed many types of lavender and bonded over the versatility of the 6 | Hospitality
of a flower or a native branch,” he says.
While it’s easy to forgo candles, don’t
they’re still pricey. Luckily, the venue hasn’t
herbs surrounding it, which was thyme, in
avoid anything in the dining room in favour
take their experience home.
and thyme scent as they have a native bee hive in their garden. When you taste the
uses them “to ensure a clean look” — but
forget about their ambient characteristics uses tea lights in crystal vessels at his Melbourne bar Romeo Lane and says
they can romanticise anything — even
a plain old white wall. “Candles play an irreplaceable homage to ambience and positively affect people’s moods,” says
Jones. “Scents, however, I don’t f**k with. One scented thing can ruin the smell of
the bar quickly. No point paying $20 for a
drink with a beautiful bouquet and all you can smell is ‘mountain mist’ instead of the food you’ve ordered.
“Plus you’ve got to consider what you’re
experienced any theft so far. “We haven’t
taking away. The bar smells beautiful
fire emanating from the fireplace, the actual
Aubergine restaurant in Canberra are
also fans of using scents in bathrooms, but
anyway, like the smoky husk of last night’s fire in itself or bright fresh citrus juice.”
with mist diffusers. Diffusers are relatively
So there you have it — whether it’s
lifecyle compared to a candle or reed diffuser.
in a new revenue stream or creating an
inexpensive to purchase and have a long
But good-quality essential oils will set you back around the $20-plus mark for 10ml.
brightening up a bathroom, bringing
atmospheric environment, there’s plenty to gain from a little aura. ■
native bush flavours Lemon Myrtle Dressing 1L and Ironbark Dressing Sauce 1L
The Food Company’s Ironbark Dressing Sauce use as an alternative to tomato sauce.
The Food Company’s Lemon Myrtle Dressing drizzled sparingly over freshly shucked oysters.
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NEWS // Entrée
The latest openings, books, events and more. EDITED BY Annabelle Cloros
Cool for the summer Seven Miles Coffee Roasters has debuted a new product that guarantees the perfect cold brew. The Cold Brew Summer Blend features a lighter roast, resulting in raspberry and cocoa notes, but works just as well with the addition of milk, with chocolate and honeycomb flavours coming through. The brand has launched a cold brew starter kit for $59.90 which includes 250g of pre-ground beans and a Toddy brewer which is available at Seven Miles Manlyvale, Sydney, and online. sevenmiles.com.au
Jessi Singh continues Aussie expansion Chef and restaurateur Jessi Singh is kicking off 2020 with a bang with the launch of Mrs Singh on Flinders Lane in Melbourne. The 65-seat bar/restaurant will offer a limited menu of 10–12 dishes inspired by the chef’s time in the US, India and Australia. Menu items include duck leg and ceviche that can be teamed with one of 300 wines. Photography by Griffin Simm
Bar Totti’s opens Merivale’s highly anticipated Bar Totti’s has opened in the ivy complex in the Sydney CBD. Described as the younger sibling to the Bondi original, the new venue features more than 20 antipasti options and a selection of dishes cooked over the grill. The Neopolitan sandwich also makes an appearance along with the wood-fired puffy bread. Retro Italian cocktails are a key part of the drinks list and there’s a lean towards low-intervention wines. Bar Totti’s is open from 12pm until late seven days a week. merivale.com Photography by Nikki To 8 | Hospitality
NEWS // Entrée
Beatrix Bakes at home
Analiese Gregory’s next move
Baker Natalie Paull is the owner of one of Melbourne’s most revered
Analiese Gregory announced she was leaving Franklin last year, and
cake shops Beatrix, and she’s put pen to paper in her first ‘bakebook’.
while diners were devastated for a couple of months, the despair is
Beatrix Bakes features more than 70 recipes including shop classics
over; the acclaimed chef has found a new home at the Detatched
lemon curd cream crepe cake and pecan maple cinnamon scrolls.
Cultural Organisation in Hobart. Gregory is in residence for one year
The book is chock-full of illustrations, ‘adaptrix’ suggestions for
from May 2020 and will focus on sustainable culinary practices, which
alternatives and tips in the form of infographics. $45; Hardie Grant.
will be on display in a series of meals for small groups. The chef will also
host masterclasses and workshops with collaborations on the cards. detached.com.au Photography by Nikki To
Mr Black launches Single Origin The coffee roastery and distillery has announced a Single Origin series, highlighting the top coffee growing regions around the globe. The first release utilises Luis Anibal’s beans from Colombia, resulting in notes of figs, chocolate and dark berries. Best consumed neat or over ice, the liqueur can also be used in cocktails. $75 for 700ml. mrblack.co Photography by Guy Davies
Strange Love & Poor Toms’ RTD Love Can is the latest collaboration on the drinks scene between Sydney-based distillery Poor Toms and Melbourne soft drink producer Strange Love. The debut range includes a gin and tonic, yuzu soda and spritz which are available in 250ml cans. All the drinks are low-ABV and distilled in Sydney. Available at selected BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores. lovecan.com.au February 2020 | 9
PRODUCE // Shishito pepper
is savoury with a
grassy citrus hit
and eaten while green
Can be grilled, deep-fried or eaten raw
The tip of the pepper is said to resemble a lion’s head
Known as kkwari-gochu in Korea due to its wrinkled
peppers are at least 10cm in length
Named after its lion-esque appearance, the shishito pepper’s bite is more savoury than hot. WORDS Olivier and Falani Sofo, Living Earth Farm ILLUSTRATIONS Elena Fombertaux Origins
climate and growing condition
about 55–65 days before you can
some more than others. Not an
The shishito pepper originated
harvest green peppers. Healthy
intense heat, it’s more like a mild
plants will give multiple flowers
pepperiness that lingers warmth
in Japan, but like most peppers,
Shishito arrived on menus here
started its journey in the central
in the past decade, most likely via
and fruit flushes and are quite
in the mouth instead of leaving
and southern Americas. The
North America. The peppers have
you gasping for air and water.
name is derived from two
a more delicate flavour with a
words; shishi meaning lion and
finer, thinner shape and less heat,
eaten while green. It is best to
togarashi meaning pepper. The
making them a popular choice on
wait until fruit is 10cm in length
The best introduction to these
lion reference comes from the
bar and share plate menus.
and fills out a little. When ready,
peppers is in a medium hot
they should be easily plucked
fry pan with a little oil. Sear
from the plant.
until blistered and finish with a
tip of the pepper, which is said
The fruit is almost always
to resemble the head of the big
cat. Not quite sure if we see the
Shishito belongs to the genus
relationship to a lion with this
Capsicum annuum and is a
pepper, but perhaps it’s in the
sun-loving plant that thrives
Even though the peppers are
we often do while harvesting),
in temperate summers and
classified as a chilli pepper,
but applying heat brings
subtropic and tropical winters.
their flavour is savoury. They
out their juicy, savoury, hot
Australia seems to have been the
Like all peppers, the conditions
have a crisp, soft crunch on
character. Some people stuff
Padron pepper, having similar
need to warm up before the
the palate with a grassy/citrus,
and fry them, others batter and
characteristics of being a hot/
plant thrives and bears fruit. The
green capsicum flavour. The
fry, but you can also dry roast or
savoury frying pepper with thin
seed germinates at optimum
distinctiveness of these peppers
grill them on a barbecue with no
skin and an unexpected heat in
temperature in around 10–14
are in their elusive heat that
oil to enjoy their concentrated
around 10 per cent of the fruit;
days, and once growing, takes
can be more pronounced in
Shishito’s predecessor in
10 | Hospitality
sprinkle of good-quality sea salt. They can be eaten raw (which
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SEAFOOD // Prawns
What’s the prawn story? There are around 70 species of prawns found in Australia, with a range of flavours, textures and prices to suit pretty much any use. WORDS John Susman MOST PRAWNS SOLD in Australian
the mighty Skull Island tiger prawn from
endured days of variable handling in a
such as the Gulf of Carpentaria, Shark
As a general rule, if you are going to use a
pound, thus if a prawn is graded as U6,
of Australia. Other fisheries exist in
them once. If you are going to use them for
pieces per kg; a 10–15 indicates there
fish shops are caught by trawlers in
tropical and subtropical waters, in places Bay, Exmouth and off the east coast
estuaries farther south including Lakes Entrance, Gulf St Vincent and Spencer Gulf in South Australia. In Australia, prawns are also farmed in seawater ponds on coastal farms.
Prawns are the scavengers of the seas,
eating almost anything they come across.
the Gulf of Carpentaria.
prawn for a hot dish, buy them raw and cook a salad, buy them pre-cooked. Pre-cooked
prawns are mostly cooked live on the boat or at the farm, then refreshed in brine ice.
Handled this way, the prawns will always be firmer, crisper and sweeter than a dead, raw prawn put through the same process.
Prawns are arguably one of the most
The flavour and texture of prawns are a
fragile proteins you will handle in your
which they come, from the grassy taste
option. The integrity and quality of a
direct reflection of the environment in
and soft texture of the river or lake school prawn to the umami-rich and crisp bite of 12 | Hospitality
kitchen, buying frozen is a genuine
raw prawn packed and frozen from live will often be superior to one which has
‘fresh’ highly fragile state.
Prawns are graded in pieces per
it indicates there are approximately #14 are approximately 22 to 36 pieces per kg. Consider what you are going to use the
prawns for, they don’t always have to be the biggest and the smaller grades are
generally cheaper than the larger ones. Prawns vary in price almost as much as they do in quality — price is not
exclusively an indicator of quality. But you can expect to pay more for Australian-
produced prawns than imported and more for wild caught than farmed. ■
COLUMN // Moving on
Letting go of Tivoli Road Bakery The sacrifice of running a small business and the benefits of stepping away. WORDS Michael James
Michael and Pippa James
MY WIFE PIPPA and I opened Tivoli Road
additional financial pressure of a struggling
I don’t regret selling, and I certainly
almost six years, we decided to sell. Ours was
we were in that regard. But incremental
interruptions when you are off. It has been
Bakery in South Yarra in August 2013. After a successful business and it was a difficult
decision, with multiple factors contributing. Any small business owner will tell you
business. We never lost sight of how lucky stress can also make it hard to deal with
situations that arise outside of the business.
Our daughter was born the year after we
that day-to-day operations can be hard,
started the bakery and we felt like we were
husband-and-wife team with no other
my Grandad died in the UK, we were able
both mentally and physically. Being a
partners meant the associated pressures
inevitably impacted all aspects of our lives. When you have a small business, you
feel like you’re responsible for everything. Perhaps a staff member has to take an
missing important time with her. When
to travel to attend his funeral, but hit the ground running again as soon as we got
home. When we had our second stillborn
baby within four years, we had no space or
don’t miss the early starts or the constant
great to take a step back and enjoy life, get fit and keep learning, which I think is so
important. We’ve travelled to the USA and
met so many inspiring bakers. I was able to do the Modern Bread Theory class at the San Francisco Baking Institute and work on a book in the UK. We were also able
to help run our local grain event GrAiNZ, which was a huge success last year.
time to process what was happening.
I’m really glad we had the bakery — it
due to family illness or a baker forgets their
about how to tweak the business to make
learning experience. But to be honest, I
then makes no attempt to assist to fix it or
Close one day a week? Scale back
extended leave of absence at short notice
keys and smashes a window to get in, and
repay you. The delivery driver is on holiday when your child is admitted to hospital
overnight and there’s no one else to deliver bread in the morning. The oven breaks
down at 5am on a public holiday. Again.
We had seemingly endless discussions
it more manageable — cut wholesale?
production? Employ more senior staff? But we were perhaps too emotionally
invested, and all of those options felt like a compromise we weren’t prepared to make.
Over time, these stresses accumulate.
We were getting to breaking point, both
The bakery was going really well, selling
spend quality family time together. Selling a
out every day with big queues on the
weekends. The release of our book The
Tivoli Road Baker in November 2017 made
it more popular than ever. We were grateful to be in such a fortunate position — plenty
of people have the stresses we had, with the 14 | Hospitality
exhausted, in need of rest and wanting to
was hugely rewarding and a massive
don’t think owning a business is the be
all and end all. It’s very hard and can be
lonely at times, costs are high, staff costs are very high and people don’t always appreciate the value of what you’re
offering. If you have a good, well-paid
job and you can help the boss with ideas and leadership, that can be just as rewarding.
I have not been back to the bakery since
business can take a long time, and for me, the
we sold; I feel that chapter is in the past
staff, suppliers and our loyal customers
time to look forward, making sure any
process of selling was very stressful. Telling that we were leaving was hard, but we had a great community who were very
understanding, so we went out on a big high.
now. At some stage, we will be back. It’s future projects are in good spaces that
are well set up, and that the business is
designed around the life we want to live. ■
BEST PRACTICE // Mental health programs
Big picture Why mental health training needs to be a part of all management programs. WORDS Jeremy Courmadias
FOR ANY BUSINESS, employees struggling
us to equip our management team with
advice and assistance to management, who
productivity and your overall culture.
struggling and how they can help — even
on everything from reviewing internal
with mental health can affect staff retention, Prevention is ideal, but it’s not always
possible, so it’s critical to be prepared.
Offering metal health support not only
creates a more positive workplace for
employees, but can also position you as a
preferred employer. But first, it’s important to educate yourself on the most common types of mental health issues along with their characteristics and triggers.
According to research from R U
the tools to recognise when someone is if it’s just to pass on a support number. At Fink, we provide solutions to
management and staff when mental
health issues arise — this is crucial to
ensuring staff receive timely assistance.
undergo training with external contractors processes to how to deal with mental
health issues. In my opinion, this type of
training should become an integral part of all programs.
PeopleSense by Altius is an employee
When an issue arises with a staff member,
with access to confidential counsellors
at the isolated performance breach as
assistance program that provides all staff during difficult times.
We subscribe to the program annually,
too often, inexperienced managers look
opposed to why it happened. By upskilling
our managers to look at the big picture, we
OK?, 80 per cent of hospitality workers
which ensures access to information and
feeling depressed, anxious or manic are
annual subscription are only charged when
grow this area as it’s of huge importance
staff and their families.
improve mental health awareness at all
agreed that mental health issues such as a challenge, with fatigue listed as the
number one issue faced by hospitality
professionals. It’s important all staff learn to recognise the signs, and the first step
can be as simple as asking “are you ok?” A lot of people struggle to speak up about how they are feeling. It’s important for
counsellors are available. Fees beyond the
the counselling services are utilised by the Since implementing the program, we
have had employees use the hotline, so it’s
good to see the message is getting through. Furthermore, staff often reach out to their managers for assistance now.
The program also provides professional
can better create a culture of support. Fink are always looking at ways to
to us as a business. In 2020, we strive to levels by normalising the conversation during staff induction. ■
Jeremy Courmadias is the general manager of Fink, the group behind restaurants including Quay, Bennelong and Otto.
February 2020 | 15
PROFILE // Curtis Stone
Curtis Stone TV star, supermarket ambassador, author, cookware connoisseur. Despite the many hats Curtis Stone wears, thereâ€™s more to the chef than his public persona. WORDS Annabelle Cloros PHOTOGRAPHY Ray Kachatorian for profile shots
16 | Hospitality
PROFILE // Curtis Stone
CURTIS STONE IS perhaps one of the
most recognisable Australians in the world. But in the midst of stints on Top Chef spinoffs and fronting supermarket campaigns,
it can be easy to forget Stone is a chef; one who completed his apprenticeship just like any other, one who worked his way up the
ranks and one who just wanted to open his own restaurant.
Stone sat down with Hospitality magazine
to talk about his dual life as a chef and
a TV persona, giving a second chance to
those doing it tough and why he relishes
monotony in spite of a career peppered with the type of glitz some can only dream of … Curtis Stone wasn’t banking on hitting it
big in the media — a career in television
wasn’t something he pursued. But the chef certainly welcomed the opportunity when it came knocking. During his time in the
UK working at Marco Pierre White’s Quo
Vadis, Stone was asked to submit a recipe for a book titled London on a Plate, which featured the city’s best chefs.
A morning TV show wanted to run
a promotional segment on the book,
and Stone was asked to plug his steak carpaccio recipe. Those few minutes
on screen in the early aughts marked
the chef’s first media appearance and
ultimately, the beginning of a new chapter outside the kitchen.
The sabbatical of sorts lasted for more
Back home, a producer saw the segment
on shows such as Take Home Chef and
and asked Stone if he’d be interested in a
show where two chefs surfed and travelled around Australia. Stone’s answer was a
resounding “hell yeah”, but he needed the green light from Pierre White first, who
than a decade and saw Stone appear
The Oprah Winfrey Show. But he put his media career on the backburner when he opened his first restaurant with his brother Luke Stone in 2014.
Named after their grandmother, Maude,
gave Stone two months off.
the 24-seat restaurant in Beverley Hills,
The chef travelled back home in 2002 to
the then 39-year-old Stone to prove he
film Surfing the Menu before returning to
London, but it wasn’t long before producers asked if he wanted to film season two.
While Stone was prepared to return to the
kitchen, it was Pierre White who made the
call. “He said, ‘It’s time for you to leave’, so I didn’t go back,” says Stone.
The end result was three seasons of Surfing the Menu, but Stone says getting back in the kitchen was always on the cards. “In my mind, I was on a sabbatical.”
Los Angeles, provided an opportunity for wasn’t just that guy from TV. “My whole
life was about restaurants, but I went on this slightly different journey with the
media,” he says. “I really missed all the
funny things about a restaurant. The other
The chef was
kicked off when
39 when he
he contributed a
recipe to London
on a Plate
day I cut lemon wedges for an hour and a
half and I loved it. Most people think it’s a horrible job, but there’s something I love about the monotony.”
Repetition aside, opening Maude was
about more than slicing citrus. It was a chance for the chef to show the public
on The Oprah
star in 2019
February 2020 | 17
PROFILE // Curtis Stone
where Curtis Stone got his start — in
the kitchen, not the TV studio. “In a way, maybe Maude was me proving a point,” says Stone. “When I think about it now,
why did I do that? It was ambitious and a little crazy, a 24-seat restaurant. So what was the driving force? to prove something to myself … and maybe a little to other people.”
His prolific presence on the small screen
was by and large a blessing for Stone,
but when it came to getting back in the
formerly incarcerated, homeless or
his favour. “When I was hiring people for
Since the inception of Maude and Gwen,
restaurant game, it didn’t exactly work in
drug-addicted people find employment.
Maude, they were like, ‘Why would I want
the restaurants have hired around 30
to work for him? I’ll work for a real chef’.”
employees through Chrysalis, some of
The reality is Stone came to Pierre White
which have been there since day dot.
with a number of years’ experience under
“They’re salt of the earth,” says Stone.
his belt, but he started as a commis
“They mean a lot to me and we’ve watched
wanted to be in that business so you had
When people come out of jail, a lot of
chef cutting up chives. “A lot of people
their lives totally change and turn around.
to earn your stripes,” says Stone. “You
them have no family to turn to or a place
didn’t progress faster than you deserved
to live. They have no job, and they can’t
to with Marco.”
get one because they’re just out of jail.
Stone ended up working his way
These people look around and think, ‘No
up to head chef and spent eight years
one wants me, no one thinks I have any
working for Pierre White. But his years
worth — so do I try and fix my life or go
on television skewed his pedigree as
back to what I used to do?’. More often,
a talented chef, with Stone musing
they end up doing what it was that got
that people “imagined I would open a
them in jail.”
restaurant in Vegas with 200 seats, but I
Stone’s group is just one business
did the exact opposite.”
trying to change the statistics, and
After launching Maude, Stone didn’t wait
positive for the employees as it has
working with Chrysalis has been as
long to expand his restaurant presence in
the US. He opened Gwen in Hollywood in
2016 and Georgie by Curtis Stone in Dallas last November. Stone’s restaurants have
been well received, so well received that Maude received a Michelin star in 2019.
The chef says refinement over racking up
accolades was the priority for Maude, but when the Michelin Guide announced it
would release a California-only edition,
the team paid attention. “You’re driving
for Stone. Take Darrell Stevenson, for
“In a way, maybe Maude was me proving a point … To prove something to myself … and maybe a little to other people.” – Curtis Stone
for excellence, but then suddenly they
conscious that someone is looking over our
“We all want to be recognised — that’s
and we drive to refine more than we ever
were here, so everybody was,” he says. the strongest guide in the world.”
At the end of the day, Maude is a
shoulder,” says Stone. “We try even harder
did. What changed? Nothing. It’s a little bit
example, who started working at Maude as a kitchen hand six years ago. Now, he’s responsible for both Maude and
Gwen. “He’s our back of house manager, he looks after a dozen staff and has the
keys to both spots,” says Stone. “Another guy has become our handy man and
takes care of anything that breaks. He
started as a dishwasher and now he uses
his mechanical skills. It’s awesome to put a bit of faith in a human and see them pay it back. It’s not perfect, there are
bumps in the road, and that’s alright.”
So the next time you catch a rerun of
change. There are only so many covers the
What people might not know about
Aussie produce, just remember he
remain the same, in spite of the newly
group works closely with Chrysalis,
24-seat venue and that’s not going to
restaurant can do a night, and the motions minted star. “If anything, it’s made us more 18 | Hospitality
Stone’s restaurant portfolio is the
a non-profit organisation that helps
Take Home Chef or watch Stone spruiking followed the same path many chefs take; his just happened to veer off towards Hollywood.
DRINKS // Artisanal ice
ice age A cocktail is just four elements. But one of them — ice — is often overlooked, seen as an extra rather than an integral ingredient. WORDS Madeline Woolway PHOTOGRAPHY Navy Strength Ice Co.
MICHAEL MADRUSAN COMPLETELY
Classic cocktails are naught but four
explains. Any impurities will devalue the
from a Clinebell machine. He’d shipped the
With just a handful of components in
melting faster and tainting the cocktail as
destroyed the first block of ice he pulled
Cadillac of ice makers to Melbourne from
the US and waited three days for it to spit
out a 150 kilogram block of dense, crystal clear ice … only for the block to break
when he poured room temperature water on it.
“It cracked like thunder,” says Madrusan.
“I don’t know what I was thinking.” It
things; spirits, sugar, bitters and water. each glass, there’s no room for error and that means every element needs to be
When it comes to a cocktail’s integrity,
Made in the Shade portfolio which also
dilute and it does so best in frozen form.
“over-dilution is one of the biggest killers,” says Madrusan.
Store-bought machine-cut ice will add
exposed to artisanal ice. While bartending
bigger the block, the denser the ice, the
team at the late Sasha Petraske’s New York
during mixing or served in the glass. The more control.
“Along with bringing the drink down to
City institution were freezing and cutting
temp, [ice] has a really important role to
chisel, mallet and bare hands. It took two
the role of ice? It chills and adds dilution.
70 quart pans of ice a day using a two-inch hours and, in the depths of a New York winter, it was “a f**king sh*t job”.
Madrusan arrived in New York in 2003,
just as the global cocktail renaissance
was taking off. While bartenders were
Bar Margaux. Four ex-bartenders work seven days a week with eight Clinebell machines to produce clear blocks that
are thrice-frozen. The ice gets harder the more it sweats and freezes, making for a
diamond-like end product in both clarity and hardness.
Why is bigger better? Because it actually
heat of service, offering flexibility when
maintains the temperature of the drink
without over diluting; you maintain the
integrity of the cocktail for much longer.” The other big question, according to
many understood the true value of
“Cloudy ice contains gas, minerals and
20 | Hospitality
includes venues such as The Everleigh and
The durability of ‘hand cut’ high-quality ice
Madrusan, is why clear ice is better than
‘iceberg’ blocks beyond aesthetics.
Strength Ice Company is part of his
play in dilution,” says Madrusan. “So, what’s
impressed by the finesse clear ice brought to their drinks, Madrusan suspects not
Madrusan’s knowledge on the topic
is vast, which makes sense given Navy
a lot of dilution all at once, whether used
at Milk & Honey in the early aughts, the
considered, including ice. Water’s role is to
had been more than a decade since the
Made in the Shade group co-founder was
structure of the ice itself, leading it to start
cloudy. Again, there’s more to it than looks. all these impurities — it’s quite weak,” he
also gives bartenders time to breathe in the making rounds or working with customers. “If you pour a Negroni over machine
ice, the drink has to get to the customer
straight away,” says Madrusan. Artisanal
ice, on the other hand, can sit in the drink
for longer. “But we always say get it out of the shaker straight away and onto a fresh piece of ice.”
DRINKS // Artisanal ice
While crushed ice is always on hand
— there are plenty of drinks that call for it, after all — The Everleigh team only shakes with block ice. “It gives us the
most amount of control over the cooling and dilution,” says Madrusan. “Same for stirring.”
Ice is temperamental in nature, but
its nature can be moulded with the right
knowledge. “It’s really important to sweat the ice before you add it to liquid,” says
Madrusan. The difference between fresh ice straight from the freezer and room
temperature liquid will lead to one result
— a cracked block. “We like to warm [the blocks] up by rolling them around before we shake,” he says.
Of course, it all comes at a cost. A block of
hand-cut ice from a Clinebell machine will set a bar back around 85 cents, with some
suppliers charging up to a dollar per block. Even if he’s a little biased, for Madrusan, the choice to invest is a no-brainer.
“People need to see ice as an ingredient,”
he says. “It’s imperative for any cocktail ...
they start to die as soon as you make them.
“It really is the most interesting ingredient in a drink for me.” – Michael Madrusan
With the attention given to food and drinks now, any bar that’s not prioritising quality in drinks is really missing the mark.”
In the end, the issue is clear cut for
Madrusan: “It really is the most interesting ingredient in a drink to me.” ■
Don’t store ice in the freezer
ingredients such as
shake with it
or serve it
Ice is best
that produce 150kg blocks February 2020 | 21
FEATURE // Collaborations Victor Liong and Chase Kojima
Two of a kind
Collabs and pop-ups are hosted by venues across Australia, but a true collaboration — with the potential to stand the test of time — has to be a permanent fixture. WORDS Annabelle Cloros
In a two-part series, Hospitality talks to four professionals about the inner workings of going into business on an equal playing field.
CHASE KOJIMA AND Victor Liong weren’t the closest of friends when Chuuka was in
“I felt I would definitely benefit with
to live in two cities and he could work
want to learn a lot, so having someone
Plus, Chuuka was a portal for Liong to
another strong chef,” says Kojima. “I still join, I get their knowledge and I can share with them, too. As chefs, we’re always
thinking of creating new things — it’s a never-ending journey.”
chef wanted to create a Chinese restaurant
“The deal worked well because The
the management is awesome and the
to each other’s restaurants,” says Kojima. “I
Star in Sydney and the Gold Coast, and the
a small business owner.
“We weren’t close friends, but we’d been
each other’s work, but the reality is, Chuuka Kojima operates two venues within The
as large as The Star — invaluable intel for
Star were going to come to the party
Melbourne-based chef Victor Liong.
all started with a DM on Instagram.
experience the inner workings of a group
Enter Lee Ho Fook founder and
its embryonic stage. The pair met once or
twice over the years and were familiar with
on a project on a purely creative level.
approached him [on Instagram] and said, ‘Hey I have this opportunity, do you want to join?’”
The conversation piqued Liong’s interest,
with the back of house operations;
resources are insane,” says Liong. “If I
wanted to do something in Sydney, it had to be facilitated to a certain degree. I’m still based in Melbourne and we had to
work out an arrangement where everyone
akin to what you’d see in Japan. When
and he was soon on a plane to Sydney
Wharf, The Star acquired the property
management team from The Star with
So how did Chuuka get off the ground?
collaboration,” says Liong. “They said it
I’d fly to Melbourne and we’d just work
Flying Fish vacated its site on Jones Bay and Kojima pitched the concept to the management team.
The Star was on board and Kojima was
sent on a trip to China for inspiration and eating purposes in early 2019 — but the reality is he couldn’t do it alone. Three
to learn more about Chuuka. “I met the Chase and they pitched the idea of a full wouldn’t be in the casino — I didn’t want to do a casino restaurant — and it grew from there.”
venues is a lot for one person to handle,
Liong describes Kojima as “the architect” of
two cuisines, which is where the idea of dual
of reasons. The restaurant provided an
especially when the concept revolves around executive chefs came into the equation. 22 | Hospitality
could work to the best of their abilities.”
Kojima explains. “Victor would fly here and the line,” says the chef. “He would show
me how he does things and then we would chat over wine; but the main development was when he came to Sydney.”
Liong travelled to Sydney up to three
Chuuka and says it appealed for a number
times a month to flesh out dishes with
opportunity for Liong’s culinary adeptness
says the creation of the menu took
Kojima in Sokyo’s prep kitchen. Kojima
FEATURE // Collaborations
Almond jelly, perfumed fruits, coconut and umeshu
around three months and was a relatively
Liong and Kojima are both executive
personal relationship. “When we got into
Liong, his prerogative at Chuuka is food
smooth process given the pair’s limited
disagreements, it could get sour, but we
are two professionals and when we don’t
agree, we just let it go,” says Kojima. “We
know what the other does and doesn’t like, but I think we match quite well. We’re like brothers now.”
Despite limitations on their time on the
ground together, Liong says the creative
guy on the ground; he understands the
customer and the team more and he makes adjustments to suit the restaurant better.” Kojima says it’s all about respect when
it comes to making changes when one is home and one is away. “I try to get his
approval before I run things just to show that respect,” he says. “We’re 50/50 as
executive chefs; I really want to go through him. And if he says yes or no, there is a good reason and I really like that.”
It took roughly
three months to
design the menu
for the restaurant
creative which is awesome for me,” he says. “I come up with the menus, train the staff and put forward the style of hospitality I want and The Star backs it up with their
matrix program for running restaurants.”
The new role has been an experiment of
my only job?’ At Lee Ho Fook, I have to fix
a sounding board and he’s the main
of the most
expectations for this project are purely
designing the food where we each cook
change,” says the chef. “It’s nice to have
and training — that’s it (so he says). “My
sorts for Liong, and it’s working for him.
a version and work out what we would
Tempura yuzu chicken is one
chefs of Chuuka, but their roles vary. For
process has been ironed out, for the
most part. “We have figured out a way of
Chuuka is the debut external
“It’s been ages since I’ve thought, ‘This is
the toilet, I have to pay staff, pay tax — I’m everyone at Lee Ho Fook. At Chuuka, I’m just a creative dude.”
Sashimi of scallop, tuna, cucumber, infused soy and pickled sansho
But Kojima says Liong is playing his role
down. He’s just as involved in the day-to-
day running of Chuuka as Kojima, despite being in another city some of the time.
“He’s definitely involved — a lot,” he says. “He’s not physically here all the time, but
he has a particular finesse when he is. He sees all the numbers and definitely helps
with the financial side of the menu. He’ll say, ‘Let’s modify this’, so we can save
money or labour. But going to the meetings
“It’s hard to go from being CEO of your own company to a consultant … but a selling point for me to come on board was to see how much I can learn from a company like The Star.” – Victor Liong February 2020 | 23
FEATURE // Collaborations and explaining things to the big bosses is on me.”
While Liong and Kojima both say Chuuka wouldn’t be much different to how it is now if The Star wasn’t involved, there
amazingly from the reporting to the
customer feedback. The training and
learnings in the past year have been huge — I couldn’t have figured it out by myself in an 80-cover restaurant.”
are a number of perks to working with
Chuuka has settled into the Sydney dining
during the start, launch and now day-to-
seven-month birthday. You’ll still find Liong
a large group. The assistance provided
day operations take a huge weight off the faces of the restaurant. “Everything has
been done before and there’s someone to help with every problem,” says Kojima. “If something breaks, there’s a team to
help, if we have financial issues, we can get support.”
For Liong, the educational opportunities
were a huge drawcard to being a part of the project. Chuuka was almost a ‘back
to school’ opp for the chef, who has been navigating life as a small business owner
for the past six years. “It’s hard to go from
scene now and has recently celebrated its in the kitchen cutting onions — to the
surprise of his team — one week a month and Kojima gets his step count up going
between The Star and the wharf. For both, the collaboration has been positive — for different reasons.
“Running your own business is a
black-belt level of intensity,” says Liong.
“When you hit a certain stage, you feel the
learning slows. Doing this was eye-opening to see how bigger companies run quite personal hospitality businesses.”
For Kojima, who has worked for The Star
being CEO of your own company to a
for 10 years, it was personal. “I couldn’t
to come on board was to see how much I
do some creative things with the combined
consultant … but a selling point for me
can learn from a company like The Star,” he says. “They facilitate the restaurants 24 | Hospitality
do it without Victor,” he says. “We get to
knowledge of two chefs. The trust has to be there — it’s a long-term thing.” ■
“I still want to learn a lot, so having someone join, I get their knowledge and I can share with them, too.” – Chase Kojima
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FEATURE // Chilled reds
wine In 2020, reds are moving from the shelf to the fridge — and it’s about time. WORDS Madeline Woolway AUSTRALIANS HAVE BEEN trained to
enjoy red wines at room temperature, but
the tides may be turning. When Hospitality asked Icebergs’ group wine director James
Hird for his opinion on trends to watch, he predicted 2020 would see more wine lists including reds from the fridge.
He’s not alone — leading wine
professionals across the country think it’s
time to adjust the Aussie palate. Hospitality speaks to Hird as well as Sam Winfield of Perth’s Wines of While and Bailee Dewes
of Brisbane’s La Lune Wine Co and Corella about why chilled reds deserve a spot on wine lists.
Australia is behind the eight ball when it comes to pouring chilled red wines.
“We’ve been told to drink red wine at room temperature for a long time,” explains Hird, who manages the lists at The
Dolphin in Surry Hills and CicciaBella in Bondi, Sydney.
So what’s the root of our unquestioned
preference for cool whites and room temp reds? It’s simple — drinkers have been
following ‘the rules’. It’s a common ailment for the wine industry, which has long been
associated with rigidity, pomp and ceremony.
“We’re used to drinking whites in summer
and reds in winter,” says Hird. “People drink white with fish and red with meat.”
The industry is evolving, though.
Winemaking techniques are loosening
up, in part as a result of the natural wine 26 | Hospitality
FEATURE // Chilled reds
movement, and wine merchants — from
alleyway bars to table-clothed restaurants — are doing away with formalities.
“It’s strange that it hasn’t kicked off
quicker, but I think it’s going to blow up
now that people have cottoned on to it,” says Hird.
The time is ripe for rule-breaking,
especially when the rules served no real purpose to begin with.
Younger generations, venues in warmer cities such as Brisbane and Perth, and
those that specialise in pouring minimalintervention wines are leading the way.
Dewes doesn’t miss a beat when asked
why La Lune have chilled reds on offer. “Living in Brisbane during summer, sometimes you don’t want a room
La Lune Wine Co.
temperature red, you want a chilled one.” The venue’s guests, she adds, have
enjoyed the opportunity to “try new and
different varietals that should actually be served chilled”.
The same goes for operators on the west
coast. “Perth is so hot; we have about three months of it being cold enough to want a nice comforting red,” says Winfield. Chilled reds are the second most
poured option after orange wines at the natural wine bar on the edge of Perth’s
CBD. Their popularity at the venue could
fruits and muting terroir. Neither of those
“Don’t get lost in finding a number … but never drink red wine off the shelf in summer.” – James Hird
have something to do with demographics
suspects Winfield, although he has noticed
more varietals creeping into the fridges at a
range of restaurants and bars across the city. Winfield points to the area’s younger
demographic as a key reason chilled
reds seem to be more popular in his bar compared to others around Perth. “The
percentage of drinkers over the age of 50 is
probably 10 per cent,” he says. “Our drinkers
things bode well for drinkability, especially in a restaurant context.
“If you want to have a wine list that’s about
food, the wine needs to be chilled,” says Hird. “From our point of view, wine is about food
and food is about wine — everything is going to be that little bit more enjoyable if you’re respecting the product more.”
With a preponderance of natural wines
on hand at Wines of While, Winfield’s primary concern is volatile acidity, a
volatile organic compound that’s signified James Hird
by a vinegar-like aroma. “Some wines can be really great with that compound in it,
which makes them savoury and juicy and delicious,” he says. “But, if it’s slightly
out of balance and the wine is served too warm, it can be overpowering. Chilling down any wine with a level of volatile acidity can do it big favours.”
In fact, Winfield takes a hardline stance
don’t have that historical connection.”
on the matter. “Between October and May,
as simple as shifting bottles from the shelf
degrees Celsius, which is too hot for any
Of course, capitalising on the trend isn’t
or cellar to the fridge.
Tweaking the temperature alters our
perception of characteristics that affect
room temperature is going to be over 22
wine,” he says. “In my opinion, every wine should be chilled during those months —
there’s a range of temperatures within that.” Not all reds are created equal. Each
the overall flavour of wine. When a wine
style and variety requires a different
an unlikely ambient temperature in the
those that are non-oaked, unwooded and
is sitting above 20 degrees Celsius — not peak of an Australian summer — alcohols and sugars will be amplified, masking
the softer more nuanced qualities such as
drinking temperature. “You want to target not high in tannin because chilling reds
emphasises the amount of tannins and oak profiles,” says Dewes.
February 2020 | 27
FEATURE // Chilled reds
Wines of While
“You want to target those that are non-oaked, unwooded and not high in tannin because chilling reds emphasises the amount of tannin and oak profiles.” – Bailee Dewes
How do you find the right temperature for
There is one hard rule: the goal is to serve
enjoy finding new wines that can be served
a lot of the flavours and amplifies other
the right red? Experiment. “People should chilled,” says Dewes. For her part, Dewes thinks lighter styles work best, listing
Pinot Noir, Gamay, Beaujolais, Valpolicella,
Cabernet Franc and some Spanish varietals. “I’ve recently found a really wonderful
Xinomavro, which is a Greek wine [and] is delicious when chilled,” she adds.
Hird’s advice is similar. “Don’t get
lost in finding a number,” he says,
these wines chilled not cold. “This masks characteristics in the wine that may not need to be amplified,” says Dewes.
Winfield agrees. “Be careful not to chill
things down too much because when a red wine is cold it’s totally muted.”
It comes back to experimentation: “It’s
a wine by wine, case by case choice,” says Winfield.
because as soon as we take it out of the
fridge the temperature rises super quickly.” Custom fridges are in use at CicciaBella
and The Dolphin, too, but Hird is quick to stress it’s not necessary to take things so
can just] stick wine in the fridge so they 16–18˚C
parameters can help to begin with.
is about forgetting the rules, a few general
full-bodied should be between 16 and 18
temperature we want to serve the wine at
want people to get the sense that [you
Even if including chilled reds on a wine list
that have big tannins or that are really
reason. “They’re all set slightly under the
wine should be fun,” he says. “We just
off the shelf in summer.”
to put it into broad categories: wines
Winfield has four fridges, also set
at different temperatures for the same
Vintecs and wine fridges because I think
temperature. “[But] never drink red wine
chill it down,” says Winfield. “If I were
seriously. “I’ve sort of moved away from
encouraging people to play with
“The lighter the body, the more you can
make sure our reds are served at the
understand throwing wine in the fridge no matter the colour is a great thing to do.”
When the mercury skyrockets to 39
degrees Celsius outside, the problem is magnified. “We put red wines in an ice
bucket if people want to drink outside,” says Winfield.
Even in the cooler climes of Sydney’s
degrees Celsius. Medium-bodied wines can
To achieve the optimum temperature,
coastal suburbs, Hird struggles with
fruitier wines with no tannin and lighter
CicciaBella, if it’s a table of two drinking
sit between 14 and 16 degrees Celsius and
bodies can probably go between 12 and 15
whatever that may be, you’ll need the “Ideally, Pinots, Gamays and the
like should be served at around 12–14
the team chills all wines within set
most other Spanish varietals should be
At CicciaBella and The Dolphin,
temperature ranges. Bigger, more serious and structured reds are cooled to 15
degrees Celsius, while lighter and fresher styles are poured at 10 degrees Celsius.
“15 degrees Celsius is a great temperature to drink most things at,” says Hird. 28 | Hospitality
degrees Celsius while Tempranillos and served at 12–16 degrees Celsius,” says
Dewes, echoing Winfield’s suggestions.
the propensity of wine to warm up. “At slowly, we’ll throw it in an ice bucket
without the ice,” he says. “Ultimately
though, if you start at 15 degrees Celsius
and it warms up to 18 or 19 while you’re drinking, it’s not the end of the world.”
“In the summer heat, I find some of
The question, then, is not whether red wines
because they warm up as you’re drinking.
and with what methods. The answers are up
these varieties can be served even colder We have wine fridges and a Vintec to
should be served chilled, but to what extent to individual venues to decide. ■
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FEATURE // Gluten-free
The growth of gluten-free The number of Australians cutting out gluten continues to grow, which means foodservice venues need to think about more than just offering gluten-free bread. WORDS Annabelle Cloros
IT’S ESTIMATED 1 in 70 Australians live
Quick Brown Fox café in Sydney is known
population avoid wheat and/or gluten.
another drawcard for the Pyrmont locale
with coeliac disease and 12 per cent of the The figures have steadily increased over the years and show no sign of slowing
down, with health and wellness a core
consideration for many consumers when they dine out.
While gluten-free products have come
a long way (there’s no excuse for bread
that emulates cardboard in 2020!) creating a menu that doesn’t revolve around
basic swaps is the key to catering to the burgeoning market.
Hospitality talks to food consultant
Tomislav Martinovic and Seedling Café
director and chef Georgia Mackie about
what it takes to create dishes that aren’t an afterthought, how far gluten-free products have come and why every venue needs to offer more than one gluten-free option. 30 | Hospitality
Working for a gluten-free venue also
for their signature congee dish, but there’s
resonated with Georgia Mackie, who
— nine out of 15 options on the menu
as head chef around five years ago before
are gluten-free or gluten-free available. Owners and siblings Ben and Emily
Calabro put dietary requirements front
and centre during the development phase of the venue, calling on consultant and
former Fat Duck chef Tomislav Martinovic to create a widespread food offering. The goal? To design a menu that
didn’t put gluten-free dishes on the
backburner. “Emily has a lot of dietary
requirements, and she wanted to see more options compared to other venues,” says Martinovic. “I encourage all my clients not to think of gluten-free options as a
secondary thought — if a [gluten-free]
product is good, scrap the regular option and create from there.”
initially joined Melbourne café Seedling
taking over as director. Mackie trained as a holistic health coach before she arrived
in the Seedling kitchen, which at the time offered a handful of gluten-free options. “We had standard Paninis and a few
gluten-free options, but we slowly
converted to a more whole foods-focused menu,” says the chef. The Seedling team noticed the gluten-free traction was
gaining momentum, and took it as a sign to do something different. “We had a lot of people coming in who were glutenfree, but they couldn’t eat at the cafe
because we were using the same grill and space to make all the food,” says Mackie. “At the time, more and more gluten-free
products were becoming available, so we
doesn’t impact the bottom line for them.”
apart and gave us a niche in a city with a
comes to pricing, but customer education
gluten-free about four years ago. It set us lot of competition.”
It’s no secret gluten-free products are
more expensive than standard options. For
example, a kilo of gluten-free plain flour will set you back over $5, while the standard is
around the $1.50 mark. But if the customer demand is there, some businesses are
able to work with the costs. Mackie and Martinovic both agree customers are
willing to pay for peace of mind and dishes that use ‘healthier’ ingredients.
“From an owner’s point of view, I think
cost is the biggest hurdle — people want to head down that road, but it’s a tough
Mackie says it’s a balancing act when it
can go a long way. “It does cost more
and all of our customers aren’t glutenfree — we’ve had people come in and
say, ‘Why is a muffin $6?’ but it’s made
with organic coconut flour. Our staff are
really knowledgeable about what’s in our
products and they can explain to customers what goes into things. There are some who don’t understand why it’s expensive, but
they know. For us, it’s been about making
allergy matrixes in
people are usually happy to pay extra once sure we cover our costs with a profit margin in there while offering a price range people can afford to pay regularly.”
business,” says Martinovic. QBF co-owner
According to the 2018/19 Coeliac Australia
restrictions led the café to commit to a
would return to a restaurant where
Emily’s own experiences with dietary
larger number of gluten-free options, and it seems the decision has paid off. The top-selling dish at the café is avocado
with a soft-boiled egg, Nonie’s charcoal
bread, chilli labneh, pickled radishes and
salsa verde — and it just happens to be a gluten-free option. “Generally speaking,
eggs on toast overtake avocado on toast, so that was surprising for me to hear,”
says Martinovic. “Customers love it and it
FEATURE // Gluten-free
made the decision to become 100 per cent
Eating Out survey, 99 per cent of coeliacs they had a good gluten-free experience, and Seedling has witnessed this loyalty
firsthand. “We have regular customers and
Make sure you
toast is the
top seller at
Quick Brown Fox
people who come in everyday; it’s not a
brunch café that you go to once a week.
While it has created a tighter margin, we’ve gained a committed following and we’re
busy every lunch with lines out the door.” Worrying about whether gluten
contamination has occurred is a major
“There are a lot of ingredients out there and chefs just need to tweak recipes slightly. It’s re-engineering as opposed to a massive shift.” – Tomislav Martinovic
February 2020 | 31
FEATURE // Gluten-free
issue for coeliacs or those with gluten
intolerances, and Seedling is able to provide peace of mind as the venue is totally glutenfree. “People know they can come and eat anything off the menu,” says Mackie. “We
have all our food and products tested by the council for gluten contamination and we
have always passed. People know it’s a safe space where they can come and eat.”
Martinovic is also familiar with the
stress eating out can cause gluten-free
individuals, and says a diverse offering is key to gaining repeat customers. “From
an owner’s point of view, if you can get as many options out there, there’s a certain level of trust and consumers will keep coming back.”
The chef says some venues are a little
wary about expanding their range of glutenfree dishes, but the volume of products
available means there’s no excuse. “There
seems to be a little bit too much resistance out there, but it’s not a massive shift from a kitchen perspective; there are a lot of
ingredients out there and chefs just need to tweak recipes slightly. It’s re-engineering as opposed to a massive shift.”
As for some go-to dishes? Both chefs say there are no limits. Martinovic credits
Nonie’s as one of his favourite gluten-free
suppliers and says savvy operators should consider creating gluten-free dishes from the get go. “Eight years ago, I’d probably be venting about not getting anywhere,”
says Martinovic. “There are so many great products around now.”
Seedling make the majority of their
products in-house and Mackie says most
people don’t realise their food is sans gluten. “We have so many suppliers and there are
great options for everything, so there’s not really a limit to what we can put on the
menu. The smashed avo is pretty popular
and we do a Buddha brown rice bowl with
broccoli, beetroot hummus, sauerkraut and
poached chicken. You’d never guess the food was gluten-free if someone didn’t tell you.”
From attracting new customers to adding variety to your menu, offering a range of gluten-free options is a no-brainer in the current culinary climate. “I think it’s a
selling point,” says Mackie. “I’m surprised more people aren’t offering it.” ■ 32 | Hospitality
“We made the decision to become 100 per cent gluten-free about four years ago. It set us apart and gave us a niche in a city with a lot of competition.” – Georgia Mackie
ADVERTORIAL // Julian’s Gluten Free Pizza Bases
Gluten-free products don’t have the best reputation when it comes to taste, but Julian’s Gluten Free and vegan Pizza Bases have changed that.
IN 2005, JOE and Tracey Hassarati
launched Julian’s Gluten Free Pizza
Bases after making them for their own
revolve around the foundation that taste,
products create a loyal customer base and
Julian’s par-cook and snap-freeze the
due to the rise in coeliacs and gluten-free
not price, will result in return patronage.
businesses should see constant growth
restaurant. The product was the first
pizza bases, which thaw fast and enable
the Australian market and has since
The bases do not contain preservatives and
market with the launch of a new range of
Coeliac Society to ensure there is no cross-
spinach cannelloni and other gluten-
gluten-free and vegan pizza base in
gone on to remain the number oneselling product.
Julian’s pizza bases quickly gained
popularity through word of mouth. It wasn’t long before restaurants began
calling and requesting Julian’s supply them
chefs to top and cook in a timely manner. the company has worked closely with the contamination, meaning customers can
rest assured knowing they are consuming a safe food product.
With approximately 1 in 70 Australians
with wholesale gluten-free and vegan
living with coeliac disease and a growing
cent of the business now coming from the
from their diets, it’s important restaurants
bases for their customers, with 90 per foodservice sector.
The company has never changed the
formula for the bases, which strictly 34 | Hospitality
number of consumers removing gluten
offer a diverse range of products to cater to their requirements.
“Quality gluten-free and vegan
individuals,” says Tracey.
Julian’s is continuing to serve the
products including gluten-free lasagne, free and vegan items. “This will totally
change the market for us as we will no
longer be limited to pizza outlets and we can expand into a range of venues from
hotels to restaurants,” says Tracey. “This philosophy of ‘make it taste great and
the customers will come’ applies to all our products.”
For more information, contact
AUSTRALIA’S NO.1 SELLING AND LONGEST SERVING
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FEATURE // Point of sale
Mission POS-sible Operators share their experiences implementing innovative POS technology that improves customer experience and business efficiency.
Marianne Mewett Head of digital, Australian Venue Co. Why did you implement scannable menus at AVC venues?
The idea started with a meeting with Mr Yum, who were, at the
time, a visual menu start-up. Our objectives aligned and we had both noticed a change in customer behaviour, watching people
browse Instagram to see photos of food and the general size of
dishes. The next obvious iteration of the visual menus was giving customers the ability to order what they saw.
What was the implementation process like?
We moved really quickly with the Mr Yum team, scoping the
basic product requirements and taking it to market as quickly
as possible, relying on real-time customer feedback to work on feature development. The ordering experience we launched at
one venue in September has changed dramatically based on the feedback received.
Any venue styles you think the concept is better suited to?
of venues werenâ€™t considering upgrading their POS system in 2019.
of operators were committed to a major upgrade or total refit of their POS systems in 2019.
Busy/high-volume bars and venues where there is distance
between customer seating and service bars have worked best. In saying that, weâ€™ve been really surprised at the success at table service venues.
How have diners responded?
The response has been positive. Giving the customer the
opportunity to create their own ordering experience has been
critical in gaining trust and positive responses. Tracking ratings
and feedback in real time has given us insights on potential issues to delve into.
Any other POS innovations you have your eye on?
The big trend in POS is around data and how venues and groups can leverage it to inform marketing and business decision-
making. Expanding ordering and payment options is another
big one; venues will need to meet customers where they are and deliver the ordering and payment experience they expect in any given moment. 36 | Hospitality
of operators categorise keeping up with and paying for technology as a quite or very significant cost. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia,
of payments are made with card and two-thirds of in-person card payments are contactless.
General manager, Chargrill Charlie’s Where did the idea to develop an app come from?
We’ve always had an old fashioned loyalty card. We realised customers were using Apple Pay and using their phones more. If they forgot their loyalty card, they would get
frustrated. On top of that, they wanted to be rewarded more and we want to take care of them. Instead of earning a
stamp for every $20 spent, you earn points on every dollar. It was built to take care of our customers, but now we’re looking at efficiencies such as order ahead.
The app has to be used in store. Customers get a number
on their screen and the number shows up on our POS with a photo of the customer’s face. No matter what venue a customer goes to, they’re treated like a regular. How did you go about developing the app?
We worked with a hospitality developer in Melbourne called Loke. It didn’t take too long to build the app — the main
complication was the installation. Some of our stores are
quite old and a lot of them didn’t have modern cloud-based point of sale systems.
How have diners responded?
Uptake has been phenomenal. Nearly all of our customers who had our previous paper-based loyalty cards have
transitioned. New customers have found us because we
advertise the app through social media and offer prizes or rewards to new customers.
What advice do you have for others looking to develop a loyalty app?
It’s not the design of the app, it’s implementing it: the big cost for anyone who wants to do an app is getting the
in-store technology right. If customers can’t use it, they’re
really unhappy. It’s about ensuring the structure and support team is in place. For example, we’ve had to put in back-
up 4G modems because there have been a lot of outages with the NBN.
What other kind of POS innovations are you working on? We are going to implement order ahead and we’re working with Loke again to build it.
A key focus for 2020 is working with our delivery
partners and our POS system to integrate delivery.
We’re also thinking about the trend toward kiosks.
We have a very personal style of service, with the food
changing daily, so it’s hard for us compared to a business
like McDonald’s. We’re looking at artificial intelligence to see how we can build a kiosk that almost emulates our
style of service without being creepy. It’s not intended to
replace staff, it’s just to make the ordering process quicker and free workers up to spend more time at tables talking to customers.
February 2020 | 37
FEATURE // Point of sale
FEATURE // Point of sale
“If you introduce a system to your customers and it doesn’t work, you don’t look great.” – Simon Blacher
Simon Blacher Co-founder, Commune Group What POS innovations are you currently working on?
We are introducing an online ordering system that integrates directly with our point of sales system. Essentially, someone
orders online and it prints straight to our kitchen, bills them and automatically deducts the money.
Why did you implement an online ordering platform?
We do quite a lot of takeaway, so to eliminate two processes — the phone ringing and the payment process — is pretty advantageous for us. It’ll take out the front of house element: hopefully it’s a labour saver and will eliminate any mistakes that can happen.
The way it’s set up will also be better for customer experience.
There are images of the food and there are lots of additional
options, which gives the consumer flexibility and means they
Globally, Australia has among the highest penetrations of POS devices, says the Australian Payments Network. In the mobile POS payments segment, the number of users is expected to reach 2.3 million by 2023. (statisa.com) Almost three out of four millennials would prefer to pay at the table if it was available. (kounta)
won’t feel rushed.
The automatic payment system means the consumer doesn’t
have to line up to pay, plus we get the money straight away.
We want to integrate the technology with our catering offer as
well. At the moment, people who want catering look at our menu,
they email, they call — there’s a lot of human interaction, which is great in some ways, but is often just unnecessary ‘busy work’. How will the platform work?
It will start off online; people will sign in and provide their details. Then we’ll look at implementing an app shortly after, which should make it even more efficient.
How did you go about developing the system?
We have looked at an integrated ordering system in the past. It had a few glitches with third-party integration — we found it
more problematic than beneficial. If you introduce a system to your customers and it doesn’t work, you don’t look great. Our
POS company has now built the integration for a number of their
clients and talked to us about what we need. We think having less parties involved will make the integration smoother. ■ 38 | Hospitality
MORE THAN JUST A POS
@TABLE ORDERING STREAMLINE OPERATIONS BUSINESS INSIGHTS “ In a market where costs are increasing and profit margins are lower than ever, we help operators run better businesses.” Contact our Sales team at 1300 667 067 or email@example.com Quote ‘Hospitality Magazine’ for a special offer! Integrated POS solutions | Self-service technology | Online & in-venue ordering
VIDEO // Behind the scenes
Linguine with cherry tomatoes and bottarga An in-depth look at Hospitality’s masterclass series. CicciaBella head chef Mitch Orr’s recipe for linguine with cherry tomatoes and bottarga pays homage to his time working with Giovanni Pilu. It has a classic Sardinian flavour profile with an extra dose of umami thanks to Orr’s preference for a ‘Japanese touch’. The end result is an intense hit of tomato combined with the flavour of the sea. In Orr’s words: “It’s really delicious.”
15g butter 5g garlic, minced Eschalot Pinch of Murray River pink salt 60ml tomato dashi 80g pasta 6 cherry tomatoes, blistered 15g extra virgin olive oil 5g lemon juice 5g grated bottarga
Method To make dashi, combine a tin of tomatoes to 80 degrees Celsius with an equal quantity of water and a leaf of kombu in a saucepan and cook for 20 minutes. Remove kombu, blitz and season with shiro dashi, white soy and mirin. Heat a heavy-based pan over medium to high heat. Add the butter. Once the butter is foaming, add the eschalot, garlic and a pinch of salt. Sautée until the garlic is cooked, with minimal colour. Add cherry tomatoes and tomato dashi and let the stock and butter emulsify to start forming a sauce. At the same time, cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Add pasta to sauce. Toss the pasta through, adding half the bottarga and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss and check seasoning. Add extra virgin olive oil and toss hard to emulsify the oil into the stock, forming a shiny, creamy sauce. Plate and finish with a dusting of bottarga. Watch the full video at hospitalitymagazine.com.au
40 | Hospitality
use a ricer to make bean dips, guacamole and apple
The simple gadget can be used for a wide range of applications.
sauce, crush tomatoes and create smooth fruit for pie fillings.
Ingredients are extruded through a rice grain-sized hole.
Depending on the design, ricers can also be used to make tomato sauce or remove excess moisture from blanched greens.
Ricers are ideal for Curved handles with
Many brands come
cushioning are the best
with a number of
interchangeable disks for different textures.
dishes such as mashed potato and gnocchi because they create a uniform texture without overworking the starch.
Look for a ricer with more holes — they’ ll require less force when pressing.
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February 2020 | 41
EQUIPMENT // Potato ricer
Think beyond potatoes:
5 MINUTES WITH ... // Sarah Scott
Sarah Scott Meet one half of Brisbane’s favourite new spot, Joy.
WHEN WE WERE thinking about
running a kitchen has been really helpful.
ordering. The only con is when one of us
know from the beginning 10 seats was
ingrained without us even realising … and
did have to call everyone booked in and
launching Joy, we [Tim Scott] didn’t
the number, but we knew it had to be
small. Once we found the venue, 10 felt right. The main reason Joy is so small is
The kitchen management skills have been we felt these skills start to surface when we had to start using them.
is sick. It has only happened once, but we reschedule their reservation when one of us was too sick to work.
because we thought about restaurants we
The pros of running a small venue far
At the moment, we do four service days
all the things about those experiences we
small enough that we can manage every
months of opening for us to get to a point
have worked in and dined at and deleted didn’t like. It meant we were left with 10 customers at a time, one menu option
and just the two of us doing everything. Knowing every part of our business is really important.
Neither of us have actually run a kitchen
before, but have been so lucky to be part of kitchens with good leadership. I have
only worked in kitchens where my head chef is also the restaurant owner, and
being exposed to that attitude towards 42 | Hospitality
outweigh the cons. Having something part of it ourselves is the main reason
we made Joy the size it is. We answer
every email, take every phone call and
solve every problem. To not have to rely
on other people to do things the way we need them done is a huge stress that we
don’t have to think about. We get to know every single customer as well, which is a
nice change! On a more serious note, we can also control things like wastage, the
standard of the prep and staying on top of
and two prep days. It took about six
where we weren’t working seven days a week. To be honest, I love being in the
shop six days a week. I dedicate one of the days to paperwork while Tim runs
around picking up orders. For the first time since we opened, it is starting to
feel like we have some balance and can breathe a little bit.
I truly hope Joy can keep feeding
people. Feeding people makes me happier than anything else. ■
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Hospitality is the magazine for chefs, restaurant operators and foodservice professionals across Australia. It combines the latest industry...
Published on Feb 10, 2020
Hospitality is the magazine for chefs, restaurant operators and foodservice professionals across Australia. It combines the latest industry...