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February 2017

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Lachlan Colwill Barossa boy made good


A Summer favourite
Bar Idda The Brunswick East restaurant going the distance COCONUT AND
PRAWN CURRY

Turning the tables All the tips and hot trends in tabletop settings Recipe
Rise and shine Whats for breakfast around Australia
Porcine prophets. Every single one of them.
A passion for the pig is certainly not the only thing that unites this
group of culinary virtuosos. No sir. The Oohs, the Wows and
the Oh my gods of excited diners are really what its all about.
BACK ROW
Jacqui Challinor
Nomad, Sydney
Monty Koludrovic
Icebergs & The Dolphin Hotel,
Sydney
FRONT ROW
Nicky Riemer
Union Dining, Melbourne
Spencer Patrick
Harrisons & Bistro H,
Port Douglas
Nelly Robinson
Nel Restaurant, Sydney
Troy Rhoades-Brown
Muse Restaurant & Muse
Kitchen, Hunter Valley
Melissa Palinkas
Young George, Perth
David Thompson
Long Chim, Singapore,
Perth, Sydney & Melbourne.
Nahm, Bangkok.
Paul Baker
Botanic Gardens Restaurant,
Adelaide

And through Pork, these stars bring it. Every single service.
Be a PorkStar. And get some Pork on your menu.
4

foodservicenews.com.au

PUBLISHER EDITOR
HELEN DAVIES ANITA CONNORS
(02) 9213 8335
anitaconnors@yaffa.com.au

CONSULTING EDITORS
ANTHONY HUCKSTEP
JILL DUPLEIX

NATIONAL SALES MANAGER


RHONNIE MERRY
(02) 9213 8241
Mobile: 0417 617 077
rhonniemerry@yaffa.com.au

CONTRIBUTORS
Tony Eldred, Tim Grey, Jenny Hobson McGrigor,
Kim Terakes, John Susman

ART DIRECTOR ADVERTISING PRODUCTION


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STUDIO MANAGER johnviskovich@yaffa.com.au
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mattporter@yaffa.com.au @food_service
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CHRIS HAMILTON

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PRODUCTION DIRECTOR
MATTHEW GUNN

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6

Table of
Contents

FEATURES REGULARS
P. 26
14 MEET LACHLAN COLWILL 20 HUCK'S RANT
THE AWARD-WINNING, EXECUTIVE CHEF SIZING UP THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
OF HENTLEY FARM WHO BEGINS EVERY GOOD AND ARTLESS SERVICE.
SERVICE WITH A SONG.
22 INSIDER
16 RISE AND SHINE CHEFS ACROSS THE GLOBE
INDUSTRY MOVERS AND SHAKERS ARE SHRUGGING OFF THEIR
REVEAL WHAT'S ON THE MENU FOR BULLY-BOY REPUTATIONS.
BREAKFAST AROUND AUSTRALIA.
24 MANAGEMENT
26 THE LONG GAME ALL THE KEY ELEMENTS TO A
ALFREDO LA SPINAS BRUNSWICK EAST SMOOTH AND SEAMLESS SALE P. 40
EATERY, BAR IDDA, HAS OUTLASTED OF YOUR BUSINESS.
MANY A NEIGHBOOURHOOD
RESTAURANT. 32 PRODUCE
FRUIT OF THE AZTECS, AND
42 TURNING THE TABLES EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
TIPS AND ALL THE LATEST TRENDS IN ABOUT CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRAWNS
RESTAURANT TABLETOP SETTINGS. FOR YOUR MENU.

P. 50 P. 12

PLUS
DU
LL PL
N E W A N D N O T E D JI EI
X TO P

OPENINGS INSIDER PROFILE


CHEF
X
R E S T A U R A N T S JI
LL L EI
UP
& B A R S
D

STARTERS STATE OF ORIGINS THE RISE OF THE NICE CHEF BAROSSA BOY MADE GOOD
P. 10 P. 20 P. 22 P. 14

WHERE
ERVI
ODS CE
FO S I N C E
I 2 0 0 8

TRADE
GEMENT
MANA TOOL
TO N Y E L D R E D
T A L K
FO O D S ERV IC E
FOOD SERVICE TA L K
AU S C
N
O O
M P
A R I S

DANIEL WILSON THE SELLING POINT RISE AND SHINE TURNING THE TABLES
P. 12 P. 24 P. 16 P. 42
ITALY ITA
AUSTRALIA AU
Let's Connect Let'
Food Trade Event

Authentic food products Made in Italy brought to you


by more than 30 Italian companies, Lets Connect!

Sydney, 13th March / Melbourne, 15th March

to register: www.connectitaly2017.com.au
8 EDITORIAL

HELLO
of Polynesian traditions
peppered with American and
Japanese flavours and flair. But
what left the biggest impression was
how it was actually written; next to
each dish was the name of the fisherman
who caught the fish as well as a little detail
about where, taking the concept of revealing
provenance to the next level.
Back in Australia, we're kicking off the year
with a bang. The campaign for our annual Dish of
the Year awards is now officially under way.
Thanks to our partners Tip Top, Magnesol,
Fonterra Foodservices, Speedibake, and Birch &
It's great to be back in the foodService hot seat. Waite, we're searching the country for our tastiest
My trip to Hawaii now seems so long ago. Taking dishes across five categories Best Burger, Best Fish &
in three islands in two weeks was a culinary eye Chips, Best Pizza, Best Breakfast Roll and Best Salad.
opener. And while much of the fare was chain and You can enter one or all five categories, however
uninspired resort food, there were moments of a dish can only be entered in each category once.
the spectacular. Like sashimi with reef-feeding And after the finalists have been chosen, our
fish opakapaka, teriyaki beef burgers served on judges will fly around the country to taste each
taro buns, and macadamia nut with anything. and every dish to determine the champion of
Fusion cuisine there just does not invoke the each category. The winners and their creators
same horror as it does here. will be profiled both in the July issue of
One particular stand out was foodService and on our website.
Mamas Fish House. Founded in The details for how to enter can be
1973, it is an absolute institution found on page 36 of copy of the
on Maui. The menu reflects magazine. So get cracking, and
a wonderful melting pot may the best dish win!

Anita Connors
Editor
FOODSERVICE
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10 STARTERS

Just Opened

Nuova Sicilian style Going the country mile Turning up the heat
OLIO KENSINGTON STREET THE PROVINCIAL EASTSIDE GRILL
2/2-10 Kensington Street Phone: (02) 9281 1500 124 Terry Street Phone: (02) 9818 4411 1/2-10 Kensington Street Phone: (02) 9212 0900
Chippendale NSW 2008 olio.kensingtonstreet.com.au Rozelle NSW 2039 theprovincial.co Chippendale NSW 2008 eastsidegrill.com.au

N E W A N D N O T E D

OPENINGS
R E S T A U R A N T S
& B A R S

NEW, NOTED, INTERESTING


Absolute knockout Across the country, here are The whole shebang
SHADOWBOXER BAR & KITCHEN Australias newest restaurants. BANG BANG AT THE RIFLE CLUB
302 Toorak Road Phone: (03) 9041 7707 294 Glenhuntley Road info@bangbang.com.au
South Yarra VIC 3181 shadowboxer.bar Elsternwick VIC 3185 bangbang.com.au

Minimally delicious Hawker enchantress Bao down


CAMUS MS ELWOOD MR BUNZ
61 High Street Phone: (03) 9486 3063 24 Ormond Road Phone: (03) 8592 4687 Shop 1A, 168 Adelaide Street Email: admin@mrbunz.com.au
Northcote VIC 3070 camusrestaurant.com.au Elwood VIC 3184 mselwood.com Brisbane QLD 4000 mrbunz.com.au
STARTERS 11

Forget fads, it is trends that impact your business


KIM TERAKES TAKES A LOOK AT THE MANY SHORT-LIVED FANCIES TO IMPACT FOODSERVICE OPERATORS AND WHAT WILL GO THE DISTANCE IN 2017.

Was grated bottarga the food fad of 2016? impact the way Australians eat out, buy food tells me there will be continuations of some
And will poke be the hot menu item for and cook at home. of the bigger trends of recent years like a
2017? I'm so old I remember when sun dried The relationship with diners and restaurants consciousness of the environment. This more
tomatoes came on the scene in the '80s and has thus changed fundamentally. In the Sixties, specifically will relate to issues like food
was the ingredient and garnish du jour, until there were no takeaway containers and people waste, sustainable diets, animal welfare,
they fell so far out of fashion. took saucepans to Catonese restaurants for water scarcity, population growth and
Fads are about short term popularity. takeway food. Yes, really. Think of the breadth climate change. Health is and will continue
Sometimes they are a new (or new to most of takeaway options in pre-prepared food to be the other hot button. There will be
people) ingredients that become part of our available today. Restaurants used to be for more demand for vegetarian and vegan
ongoing repertoire like quinoa or kale in the special occasions and therefore three courses restaurants and menu options. We have
past decade. Sometimes they're a new dish to justify the outing. There was nowhere to go seen the most mass of mass market fast food
like the so so fashionable French onion dip out to eat breakfast and pub food was counter operations respond to environmental and
in the '70s, now served with their tongues lunch, long before the gastro pub phenomenon. health trends already in ways that could not
firmly in cheeks at The Unicorn Hotel, and Now we eat out for breakfast, lunch, have been dreamed of a generation ago.
sometimes a classic dish revisited for a time dinner or supper and anytime in between, Provenance will grow even further in
like corned beef or duck confit seemingly on having one to 15 courses as it suits us. Two importance and link to sustainability issues.
every menu in the land a decade ago. generations ago 'Continental' or Cantonese It will be more and more easily scrutinised
But fads are fashion. Here today and gone were the alternatives to British food, in the digital age.
tomorrow. Trends are what affect the food before more Italian, French and a little We will eat more and more Asian food
professional's business. Greek became available. There isn't space of all sorts. This is due to the influx of Asian
The broadest trends in Australia's society to list the cuisines available today, but it is migrants and their integration into the
have the biggest influence on food trends. interesting to remember that as recently as broader society, the affordability and taste
Multicultural immigration, living much the early 1980s there were virtually no Thai appeal of a range of Asian cuisines.
longer, marrying and having (fewer) children restaurants or accessible Japanese restaurants These are the sorts of big picture trends
much later, and more women in tertiary in Australia. Now, where can't you buy sushi? to keep in mind moving forward. In the
education and the work force all significantly Where to from here? My crystal ball meantime, best to stick poke on the menu.
12 WHERE I EAT

WHERE
I

F OOD S E RV I C E

AUS

AUCKLAND-BORN DANIEL WILSON KNEW HE WANTED TO BE A CHEF WHEN HE WAS


12 YEARS OLD. AFTER STINTS IN MICHIGAN AND NEW YORK, HE EVENTUALLY SETTLED
IN MELBOURNE AND CO-FOUNDED BURGER CHAIN HUXTABURGER. HERE HE REVEALS
HIS FAVOURITE ESTABLISHMENTS THIS SIDE AND THAT OF THE PACIFIC.

BREAKFAST UNIQUELY MELBOURNE

I live near to Auction Rooms This would have to be the Flower


in North Melbourne and they Drum. The food and service are
do an excellent breakfast. I am always impeccable. The peking
usually pretty boring and order duck is second to none, as is
poached eggs on toast. everything really.

CHEAP EATS AFTER WORK

Lately Ive been enjoying Udon Supper Inn in Chinatown, their


Yasan, it is very fast, cheap and sweet and sour pork ribs with
delicious. Also worth a mention chilli and sesame make me weak
is Soi 38 for excellent Thai at the knees. Joe Taylor in North
noodles & it is in a car park! Melbourne is also a great spot.

FAMILY BIG APPLE

The Lincoln in Carlton is My favourite go-to restaurant


excellent. I particularly love their in New York would have to
mini Dr Martys crumpets with be Balthazar. It has grandeur
duck liver parfait. They have a but also is bustling and
great beer selection and wine list. quintessentially New York.
13

ON THE MENU
WHAT CAFES AND RESTAURANTS AROUND THE COUNTRY ARE
DISHING OUT FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER.

CANBERRA
RYE CAFE & BAR
9 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT 2612

Bircher muesli with coconut labna and berry compote $12.0


Avocado and poached eggs on dark rye with broad beans, peas,
Danish feta and dukkah $18.0
Cuban sandwich with slow cooked pork shoulder, ham, cheese,
bread and butter pickles, and fries $16.0
Fish pasty with iceberg and house tartare $19.0
Twice cooked pork belly with pickled red cabbage, fennel salad
and chilli jam $22.0

URBAN PANTRY
5 Bougainville Street, Griffith ACT 2603

Bircher muesli with steel cut oats, LSA, banana, kiwifruit,


pistachios, blueberries and strawberries $18.0
Avocado and poached eggs with feta, basil and sunflower seeds $19.0
Club sandwich with chicken, avocado, bacon, double brie, lettuce,
egg, aioli and french fries $21.0
Fish and chips with barramundi, leafy greens and house tartare $22.0
Wagyu burger with cheddar, pickles, aioli, beetroot, ketchup,
tomato, lettuce and french fries $22.0

ADELAIDE
BISTRO DOM
24 Waymouth Street, Adelaide SA 5000

Olive and fennel seared tuna with orange and miso emulsion and
fried eschallots $21.0
SA Gulf prawns with white gazpacho, muscatel grapes, jamon
and paprika salt $23.5
Beef eye fillet with celeriac puree, cauliflower, straw potato,
horseradish and red wine jus $40.0
Sous vide lamb rump with creamed Brussels sprouts, black lentil
jus and fried baby capers $36.5
Confit duck with Hamlets bacon, fermented cabbage, and orange
compote $38.0

GEORGES ON WAYMOUTH
20 Waymouth Street, Adelaide SA 5000

Kingfish sashimi with daikon, raw almond and miso dressing $22
Soft shell crab with ginger, cauliflower salad and watercress $23
300 gram striploin with parsnip, chard, croutons and dukkah $38.9
Lamb press with pancetta, grilled plum, white onion and Greek
feta $37.5
Free range chicken breast with avocado, mixed grains and chorizo $34.9
14 PROFILE

BAROSSA BOY MADE GOOD


THE MENU IS A SURPRISE, THE PRODUCE IS FROM DOWN THE ROAD, THE SHIRAZ IS FROM JUST OUTSIDE THE WINDOW
AND THE RESTAURANT JUST HOOVERED UP THE GONGS AT ADELAIDES ADVERTISER FOOD GUIDE 2017 AWARDS,
WINNING BEST RESTAURANT IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA, VITTORIA COFFEE RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR AND BEST REGIONAL
RESTAURANT. SO WHOS THE CHEF BEHIND HENTLEY FARM? HES A SURPRISE PACKET AS WELL, REPORTS JILL DUPLEIX.

A
t 11.45am just before lunch service, the Housed in the original stables built in
TO P
entire kitchen team at Hentley Farm the 1880s, it had just 26 covers, three chefs,
PROFILE bursts into a medley of three different two waitstaff, and two surprise menus; a
CHEF songs, clapping hands to the same beat. I four-course Menu du Jour and a seven-course
want to end the briefing on a high, so we Discovery Menu. Not that the diners saw a
can go into service feeling positive, explains menu at all. I just hoped people would be open
executive chef Lachlan Colwill. to the idea of not having to make choices, he
Its one of the many small and surprising says. Enough people were, and two years later,
details that Colwill has introduced to the dining room and kitchen tripled in size.
motivate his young team. He even has So how does he feel when city chefs accuse
a Confidence Club for newbies, and regional winery chefs of having an easy ride?
deliberately sends his chefs out to deliver There is less daily stress, but there is more
their dishes to the table. It helps breaks long-term tension, he says. In the country
down the barriers between kitchen and you grow your own produce and constantly
dining room, he says. deal with the elements. I had to become a
farmer, and learn to think ahead.
I used to think the hell out of everything, and felt I Now, he says, being a local boy gives his food
an honest connection to its surroundings.
had to be such a creator. Now we just gather around There is always a point of reference
the ingredients and think about what is delicious, and for each dish, he says. As a kid, it was a
be confident with that. Its a good feeling for a chef. joke in my family how much passionfruit
I could eat; now I always have it on the
The fact that hes running his own menu. The fruit is explored in three
restaurant at all still surprises him. I was different ways: over Smoky Bay oysters,
an absolute school drop-out, and couldnt as a glaze for pork, and in a theatrical
concentrate on anything he explains. So passionfruit curd egg shell as dessert.
I started as a kitchen hand at 14 years old. As his own confidence grew, he says, he
By 2009, he was head chef at The Manse in became a different chef. I used to think the
North Adelaide, winning it a slew of awards. hell out of everything, and felt I had to be
Hentley Farm He returned to the Barossa Valley in 2012 to such a creator. Now we just gather around
Gerald Roberts Road open the Hentley Farm restaurant for Keith the ingredients and think about what is
Seppeltsfield SA and Alison Hentschke and their boutique delicious, and be confident with that. Its a
hentleyfarm.com.au single-estate winery. good feeling for a chef.
PROFILE 15

Lachlan Colwill, executive


chef of Hentley Farm.
16 TRADE TALK

RISE AND SHINE


ANITA CONNORS LOOKS AT WHATS FOR BREAKFAST AROUND THE COUNTRY. SHE TALKS TO
INDUSTRY MOVERS AND SHAKERS ABOUT HOW THEY CRAFT THEIR MORNING MENUS, AND THE
BEST WAYS TO KEEP COSTS DOWN WHILE CATERING TO DIFFERENT DIETARY REQUIREMENTS.

A
ustralia has a reputation meet, congregate, have meetings and for Ramzey his childhood
the world over for being and catch up with friends or memory of spending time
able to craft a cracking family. Theres really strong with his father at a cafe on
breakfast. And while our meanings behind why people the weekend was incredibly
smashed avocado can get many come for breakfast. Its the most important to him. It was the
hot under the collar, its not a important meal of the day, and only time hed spend with his
reason to get complacent when for so many of our guests its a father on the weekends, and as
considering what to offer the part of their morning routine. one of Ramzeys motivations
early morning riser. To help get Indeed, breakfast was the was to build somewhere that
your breakfast game on point, very reason that the now iconic honoured his [late] father, it was
chefs and industry leaders The Grounds of Alexandria the first space they created here.
share their tips for creating that launched back in 2012. As a result, breakfast at
warming morning ambiance Co-founder Ramzey Choker The Grounds had to be an
and an alluring but cost-effective sought to give life to an venue experience. McGrath says,
menu, all the while cultivating reminiscent both of his familys Theres so much feeling in
strong customer loyalty. farm in northern NSW and everything we do ... theres much
the mornings he would spend to see and do here, and people
CRAFTING AN EXPERIENCE with his father while growing to engage with.
Eggs florentine with english For Paul McGrath, executive up. As such, it was essential Accordingly, visitors at The
muffins, blanched spinach, soft chef of Sydney-based The that they create the right mood Grounds are encouraged to
poached eggs, and hollandaise Grounds Group, breakfast is and atmosphere. explore the surrounding garden
sauce at South Wharf s more than simply serving food McGrath says, The spaces and the weekend market,
Common Man. and beverage, it is a place to here are built on memories, as well as interact with the
Frittatas just got a
little more fabulous.

Available in two new irresistible varieties:


Vegetable and Asian Chicken & Corn.
Our new Frittatas will add a touch of fun and flair to your lunch menu. The inspired
combination of Asian Chicken & Corn and vibrant Vegetable topped with quinoa Frittatas
are the first two varieties our chefs have created for this brand new range. All Frittatas in the
Meal Solutions range are made with real eggs in our state of the art kitchen. Then theyre
snap-frozen and delivered, ready to be heated and served. For more information call
Sunny Queen Customer Service on 1300 834 703 or visit sunnyqueenmealsolutions.com.au
18 TRADE TALK

The Grounds
Big Brekkie
with Serrano
ham, smoked
tomatoes, baby
peppers, chorizo,
roast pumpkin,
avocado, poached
eggs, labne and
sourdough toast.

resident pets namely MENU MAGIC Andrew Kelly of Kuvings


Kevin Bacon the pig, goats Having the right breakfast menu Australia, also recognises the
Goldy Horn and Margoat is also a must for enticing new and increasing popularity of fresh,
Robbie, and horse Turbo. repeat customers. cold pressed juices, which taste
Area operations manager of At The Grounds, McGrath and best when prepared on demand
Melbournes Hospitality One, his team approach the task by taking with seasonal recipes and recipes
Paul Warden, is also of a similar into consideration whats in season. with a health angle.
mind, he believes that creating This way it will always be the best
a relaxing atmosphere is crucial quality and the cheapest too. WHATS TRENDING
for morning trade. At South He notes that the more popular To help drive business, menus
Wharf s Common Man this is dishes on the menu, such as The must also reflect the latest
Grounds Big Brekkie, provide a currents in breakfast foods.
wholesome offering to guests McGrath says, With such
Australia is becoming very health focused, and who generally want something a broad variety of quality
the shift towards health conscious items are thats satisfying but also full of multicultural dishes on offer in
becoming increasingly trendy and popular." healthy, quality ingredients. Australia, Id say we are exposed to
Phil Simonson, director a broad cross section of tastes that
of Simped Foods, agrees, He many other places in the world
largely done through the use of believes that the trifecta for a dont have. So comparatively
greenery, indoors and out. successful menu is simple, light through our level of variety, our
We have a fantastic space and healthy ideas such as fruit tastes are geared more towards
outside called Common Lawn, inclusions as natural sugars are being radical through mere
he says, which is a great spot easily digested and helps to exposure to this cross section.
to enjoy coffee and a great maintain a healthy diet. He continues, as a country,
breakfast. This area allows for It is perhaps not a surprise Australia is becoming very
al fresco dining and an outdoor then that at Common Man, as health focused, and the shift
barbeque. The large vertical Warden reveals, Quinoa and towards health conscious items
garden in the main dining room aai with fruit compote is one of are becoming increasingly trendy
is also a popular feature. the top sellers. and popular.
TRADE TALK 19

Oliver Heath, executive chef chefs can take advantage of a


of The Garden at the Wests quieter moment and look for
Ashfield Leagues Club, has new ideas when it suits them.
been monitoring breakfast
trends in Australia for a DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
while. He has also observed a Another avenue by which to
growing demand for nutritious drive customer loyalty is the
offerings, particularly as those ability to be flexible when
with a mix of probiotic it comes to guests dietary
and prebiotic produceare requirements, allergies or
resonating with diners. intolerences.
re s h fr o m th e fr ee zer
He says, I think the McGrath agrees. At The F
evolution of the vegetarian Grounds, all of our dishes are
breakfast excites me the most. cooked fresh and made to order
I N D I V I D U A L LY Q U I C K F R O Z E N
Traditionally vegetables are
considered a side, but innovation
so we work to cater and tailor to
our guests who do have certain STRAWBERRIES
in vegetarian dishes is going to dietary requirements. Many of
bring new meaning to the term our recipes are either diary or
breakfast of champions. gluten free already to ensure we
Warden has also noticed a have a substantial offering for
pronounced change in the habits all of our guests, without the
of early morning guests. He says necessity of making changes to
that they are turning to whatever everything, but we do tweak
superfood can be turned into certain things where we can to
something delicious for breakfast. accommodate their needs.
Consumers are always eating
what is at the time, being touted THE BOTTOM LINE
as the new superfood. Aai, So whether youre curious
chai, quinoa, avocado have all about tried and tested
had their time on many venues favourites, or interested in
menus and will continue. taking the plunge into the
latest trends, there are many Whole fruit & Speciality Vegetables
SOCIAL MEDIA CLIMBER ways to update your breakfast Smoothie starters Yoghurt toppings
It is all well and good to have menu. However whatever
a strong breakfast menu, but changes are made, it is essential Avocado Coulis Pulps Purees
without a solid social media to keep costs at a minimum.
presence on platforms such For Warden, the trick Ideal for cafes, restaurants, manufactuers,
as Instagram and Facebook, to doing just that is to be bakeries, retailers plus many more.
it can be almost for nothing. disciplined through clever
They truly do provide an stock ordering and good 50 fruits and purees, 20 frozen speciality
effective means by which to labour management. vegetables, fruit concentrates, pack fruits
connect with diners. Likewise at The Grounds, in various sizes plus a range of salads and
Kelly appreciates this. He McGrath reveals, Were very prepared vegetables
believes social media to be a regimented in our admin
key driver in keeping menus processing too, were constantly
fresh and interesting. on the pulse of whats selling TO ACHIEVE GREAT RESULTS, USE
For Heath, the winning well and monitoring whats THE BEST QUALITY INGREDIENTS &
combination for increasing popular amongst our guests RANGE AVAILABLE
sales and customer loyalty to ensure were being as
through social media is having efficient as possible.
photographs of dishes that Heath also advises operators
reflect a mixture of decadence to use methods such as nose-
and nutrition. to-tail as it leaves very little to
Social media is also a means by no wastage. Sourcing produce
which chefs can seek inspiration. direct from farms also means When your reputation is on the line,
Simonson says, Chefs, in
particular those in cafes, are so
securing wholesale rates to keep
costs down.
rely on ours.
busy that social media can direct But whatever you do, he says, CALL US ON 02 9521 5384
what they include in menus ... Dont mess with diners avocado. VISIT WWW.SIMPEDFOODS.COM.AU
there is always downtime when True that.

C13484 Simped HPV.indd 1 24/01/17 9:18 AM


20 RANT
RANT 21

STATE OF ORIGINS
HAVING EATEN COUNTLESS MEALS AT INNUMERABLE ESTABLISHMENTS ACROSS THE
COUNTRY, ANTHONY HUCKSTEP DRAWS A LINE BETWEEN GOOD AND ARTLESS SERVICE.

W
eve got some amazing dining experiences if the critic that my salmon was from Port
front-of-house is recognised. Sometimes it Lincoln. Alas it was in fact King
professionals, but when happens mid-meal, which can be Salmon farmed in New Zealand.
you eat in restaurants as often quite entertaining. Consumers dont need to
as I do, you tend to hear some Anyway, one of the most know a lot, but getting that
interesting rhetoric. satisfying aspects of the new wave answer right can change their
I once enquired about the of Australian dining is the focus night. Just a small connection
type of coffee offered. The waiter on provenance. There seems to be to the food we are consuming.
promptly replied, Both: black a real connection between chef Of course we dont want a ten-
and white. and producer en mass. minute dissertation either.
The agony of choice. That farm-to-plate ethos Last year I experienced a
Another asked how I was. is helping drive menus with 12-course car crash of complete
Good thank you, I answered. produce de jour, rather than ego absurdity.
Im struggling, she replied, smeared on the plate. Upon the arrival of each
had a massive night last night, if Naming the provenance course staff switched into
you know what I mean, she said of the hero of the plate is so theatrical roles to regale
with a wink. prevalent its almost par for the pointless tales of the produce,
course. If youre not putting it on the technique and even made
Consumers dont need to know a lot, but getting the menu youre not in the game. guests uncomfortable about their
that answer right can change their night. Just a But there is a growing disparity own lack of food knowledge. It
small connection to the food we are consuming. between those connected with felt like a pantomime.
it, those who refuse to adopt the We thought we were having
While reviewing a restaurant I practise and those that well, fail to dinner.
was feeling dehydrated. Upon the train their staff. And thats all most people
third request for water my waitress Indeed, even some chefs are want. A meal they can trust.
explained Sorry, yes. Were unaware of the origins of the Sharing where your produce is
all a bit distracted making sure produce they use. from is part of that.
Terry Durack is looked after. I once enquired as to the Put it on your menu, and
I like Terry, but as a paying origins of the Barramundi. train your staff the chefs at
guest I dont really care what sort My waiter headed to the the very least. Its ok if a waiter
Anthony Huckstep is of night he has. Im dropping kitchen to find out. needs to check with the kitchen,
the national restaurant critic $150 per head and I couldnt care We pick it up from the airport, but its impressive when they
for delicious. and a food writer less who else is in the room. he explained on his return. dont need to. An investment
for The Australian, Its true, reviewers and normal Factually correct, sure. in your staff is an investment in
GQ Australia and QANTAS. citizens have vastly different Another waiter assured me your customer.
22 INSIDER
INSIDER 23

THE RISE OF
THE NICE CHEF
EGOS AND ATTITUDES HAVE LONG PLAYED A PART IN THE CULTURAL MAKE UP OF THE
COMMERCIAL KITCHEN. HOWEVER AS JILL DUPLEIX NOTES, A SHIFT IS AT PLAY, AND
CHEFS ARE SHIRKING AWAY FROM THE RUDE AND OBNOXIOUS BEHAVIOURS OF THE PAST.

S
L
DU
PL
o there we were sitting up an apprentice with a hot pan? over the elegant Le Bernardin in
L
JI EI
X at the kitchen counter at Any minute now, comedian New York at the age of 29. Cue
INSIDER Freds in Sydney, admiring Troy Kinnes hysterically funny high stress and hissy fits. As Ripert
X the open kitchen and the YouTube video Things Never told Entrepreneur magazine,
JI EI
LL
UP
L glowing wood-fired hearth, Said By A Head Chef (like saying I was thinking, Why am I so
D
when a young chef came over to an apprentice oh sorry, didnt miserable? Why is everybody
from the open grill and slipped realise you were on the phone), leaving? I realized it was all about
a small plate of vegetables under wont be hysterically funny me being angry and scaring
the elbow of the chef in front anymore, because it will be true. the cooks, scaring the employees
of us. Snowpeas up, he said This change in management and making them miserable.
quietly. The second chef looked style is as generational as it is Gradually, he changed his
up and said, Thank you. genderational. Older chefs were leadership style to one he simply
trained up the hard way under calls niceness. Now, when one of
I dug my elbow into my husbands ribs. a barrage of verbal and often his chefs flips out, that chef has to
physical abuse, so thats how apologise to the whole team.
Did you hear that?" I hissed. I did, he confirmed. they roll in their own kitchens. Lets face it, plenty of other
One chef just thanked another for doing their job. Younger chefs find that bizarre trades out there offer better
theyre happier working together working conditions. And
I dug my elbow into my as a team than under an alpha with the latest Deloitte Access
husbands ribs. Did you male totalitarian. Women, too, Economics report into the
hear that?" I hissed. I did, can change a kitchen culture hospitality industry showing
he confirmed. One chef just overnight not because they an Australia-wide shortage of
thanked another for doing arent tough, but because they 38,000 chefs, it makes good
their job. arent stupid. They know that business sense to be nice.
Dont look now, but chefs bullying isnt the best way to get Mentoring and coaching the
are getting nicer. When was good work out of people. youngies, being flexible about
Jill Dupleix is a food writer, the last time you heard a Its something legendary US time off, bonding as a team,
editor, cookbook author, Gordon Ramsay bullyboy chef ric Ripert learned the hard even saying the odd thank you
restaurant critic and co-Director story? The last time a chef was way. Having apprenticed to old- theres never been a better time
of Australias Top Restaurants. sued for branding the arm of school chefs in France, he took to be nice.
24 PROFILE
MANAGEMENT

THE SELLING POINT


MINDFUL OF THE RECENT BREAK UPS OF TWO PROMINENT SYDNEY AND MELBOURNE
RESTAURANT EMPIRES, TONY ELDRED REVEALS THE KEY ELEMENTS TO FACTOR IN
WHEN READYING YOUR BUSINESS FOR SALE.

I
have noted that there have been This multiple is adjusted that they end up spending
several high profile hospitality up or down according to the serious money continually
GEMENT
MANA sales in the last couple of circumstances of the two other advertising a business which
TO NY ELD RED months notably the Rockpool issues that are considered does not sell until the price
F O O D S E RVI CE Group and the Vue de Monde immediately below. comes down substantially, often
group. In case you are thinking several years later.
that it might be time to sell your MANAGEABILITY, OR RATHER, IS I have encountered a number
business, it might be interesting THE BUSINESS UNDER EMPLOYED of hospitality business owners
for you to note how the value of a MANAGEMENT OR IS A SKILLED who have owned a business
business is established. I am only OWNER REQUIRED TO OPERATE for many years which is now
considering the value of a business THE BUSINESS? in decline and presents as old
itself, and not any real estate that If the business is managed as a fashioned and tired. They
may be part of the transaction. typical small business, that is by have considered the sale of
We essentially look at three a benevolent dictator without their business to be their
distinct issues when we are management structure and superannuation payout and have
valuing a food and beverage- systems, it can prove extremely optimistically asked us to sell
based hospitality business, difficult to sell and is not worth it at eight to ten times what we
whether it is a hotel, restaurant much. The laws of supply and calculate it is worth. They often
or caf. Those issues are: demand kick-in here; at any value their fixtures and fittings
time there are probably 10,000 as an addition to the sale price,
PROFIT HISTORY FOR THE of these businesses for sale in whereas we would consider them
PREVIOUS THREE YEARS Australia and there are likely as tools of trade at their mostly
We start valuing a food and to be only a small number of fully depreciated value.
beverage business from the potential purchasers. This is a If a fit-out is shiny and new
beginning point that the typical buyers market. it may add some value to the
average business has a base I have often found that small sale, but this is rare in the sale
valuation of two times net business owners have an inflated of established businesses and is
profit. In plain language this view of the value of their business more common in new businesses
Tony Eldred operates simple formula means that if and place it on the market and an that have failed. In the case of a
Eldred Hospitality Pty Ltd. you purchase a business on extremely ambitious selling price, failed business, there is no profit
The Hospitality Specialists. this multiple, given consistent often at the recommendation of and only a recent fit-out to sell,
Contact him on (03) 9813 3311 performance it should take two an ethically-challenged business which may realise a quarter of its
or at eldtrain.com.au. years to pay itself off. broker. This inevitably means set-up cost.
MANAGEMENT 25

Generally speaking, a well- other hospitality business. from the increase in profit
established business that can We would add a further one that they had yielded from
be purchased as an investment times multiple of EBIT to growth in the business.
and which does not require a the base valuation to establish We would normally add
constant presence of a skilled the value of a business a further one times multiple
owner, is worth much more which could be purchased if we assessed that the business
than a business which is not as a passive investment. had a strong potential for
able to sustain itself without substantial growth that
the owners constant care and POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH OF could be easily achieved,
REVENUE AND PROFIT INTO THE given an average set of
If the business is managed as a typical small FORESEEABLE FUTURE management skills.
business, that is by a benevolent dictator without If the new business owner
had a reasonable opportunity TO SUM UP
management structure and systems, it can prove to substantially grow the If you want to maximise the sale
extremely difficult to sell and is not worth much. business and increase its price of your business, you need
profit in the near future, by to think well ahead and forgo
attention, because it can be either an increase in customer the extraction of profits in the
purchased by an investor, as numbers, or an increase in early days until you have set up
distinct from an operator. Here customer average spend, we a proper management structure
the laws of supply and demand would consider that there was a and systems, so you dont have
reverse. At any one time in good potential upside for that to be there. This may take
Australia there may be 300 of new owner, and we would add several years. If you dont do
these for sale and potentially to the basic multiple on the this, the penalty is being locked
thousands of MasterChef and assumption that an operator into a prison of long working
My Kitchen Rules viewers who could still pay the business off hours and low sale price when
fancy owning a restaurant or within a small number of years you want to get out.
26 DINING

THE LONG GAME


SINCE THE LAUNCH OF BAR IDDA, HIS SICILIAN-INSPIRED
ESTABLISHMENT IN THE MELBOURNE SUBURB OF BRUNSWICK
EAST, CHEF AND OWNER ALFREDO LA SPINA HAS SEEN MANY
NEIGHBOURING RESTAURANTS COME AND GO. TIM GREY GETS
THE EXCLUSIVE ON HIS RECIPE FOR GOING THE DISTANCE.

S
even years is a long time in the hospitality business. And, its a
particularly long time in Melbourne where a restaurants lucky
to make it seven months, let alone seven years. Its a marketplace
obsessed with the new and the shiny, where diners outdo one another
with reservations at the latest tables, and we, the media, are forever
on the hunt for the Next Big Thing.
This Darwinian dining scene has left us with a food culture thats
as good as or better than anywhere else on the planet. But an odd
side-effect of this fixation with the new is that we forget to talk about
the old even when the old is really great.
Take Bar Idda, for instance. When chef Alfredo La Spina opened
in 2009, Idda was already something of a throwback: a family-style
diner on a careworn corner of Upper Lygon, with tumblers for
wine, mismatched chairs and plastic covers on the floral tablecloths.
Stripping back Italian of its fine-dining accoutrements, La Spinas
take on Sicilian cuisine was rustic and simple.
I spent a lot of time not working in Italian restaurants, explains
La Spina, who grew up growing, cooking, and eating Italian on his
family farm in North-Eastern Victoria. Id never really respected
Italian food. Everything was really heavy, not very Italian, trying to
be this fine-dining sort of scene that was too fussy. There was only
one or two places that were doing Italian cleverly and really clean.
Ladro, I think, was the turning point for low maintenance cooking
but done really tasty. They really turned it around.
Bar Iddas pared-back menu obviously hit a nerve. Seven years
later, the two-room restaurant, its courtyard and its curbside are
packed, seven nights a week. Nowadays, particularly if youve been
open a long time, people expect you to be open seven days, he says.
At the start, its hard to build that. Were busy enough to fill those
nights up even on a Monday well do fifty covers. Its great that this
area supports us that much.
So whats La Spinas recipe for popularity? How has Bar Idda Alfredo La Spina,
flourished without rethinks or renovations, without expansions or chef and owner
franchises, without publicists or social media managers? of Bar Idda.
DINING 27
28 DINING

Perhaps its down to the fact that La Spina is an owner-operator.


While many restaurateurs see themselves as businesspeople first and
foremost, for whom growth is the sole priority, La Spinas still a chef
who cooks in his own restaurant. Not only is he regularly on roster,
he still lives upstairs, right above the kitchen. Im rostered on like
anyone else, five shifts a week, he says. I normally run the pass,
where you direct everyone on a Friday or Saturday night, but the
last few weeks Ive been on the pans. Its been funny theyve been
stirring me up about it, because its been a while.
That connection to his restaurant provides a kind of authenticity
that simply cant be bought, a connection with your staff, your
produce and your product thats deep and intimate and customers
know it. I like to think Im a restaurateur, I own one place, I love
that place, and Im sticking by it, he explains. To be an owner-
operator works, and I think people see that. I think Melbournes at
that point where people still like to support that local guy down the
road. I love going to places like Geralds Bar, where you can talk to
the owner, or even the staff they employ. You can tell when you walk
in, excuse my language, that the staff arent full of shit.
Like most lessons, however, La Spina had to learn it the hard
DINING 29

Left: Bar Iddas main


dining roon.
Pizza Package
Below: La Spinas
capunata, sweet and
sour fried eggplant with
zucchini, celery, capers
and green olives.

Opposite: Mulinciani,
a layered eggplant dish
topped with cheese.

Complete vegetable/cheese
prep for pizza establishments

I think Melbournes at that point where people still like to support


that local guy down the road. I love going to places ... where you
can talk to the owner, or even the staff they employ.You can tell
when you walk in, excuse my language, that arent full of shit.

way. For a time, he tried running a second business, a day-time


cafe in Collingwood called Bar Paradiso. Almost immediately, the
restaurateur felt himself slipping, and the quality of both venues along Includes
with him. I did attempt to open a second place, and I just didnt enjoy
it, so I sold it straight away, he recalls. I felt like I was stretching
CL50 Ultra Veg Prep Machine,
myself was too hard, and you just dont give it that same love. I wasnt 4mm slicing disc,
here as much, and I wasnt cooking here for over a year. I noticed the
difference. As soon as I came back, it turned around straight away. 2mm slicing disc,
Hes come to believe that, both financially and creatively, most and 7mm grating disc
restaurateurs are better off sticking to their knitting by concentrating
on a single business. When you own a place on your own, Id
recommend sticking to your guns, doing it well, and enjoying it, he
suggests. When you talk about the finance of it all, it doesnt work. 02 9478 0300
Opening up three or four places, its expensive, and its a gamble. www.robot-coupe.com.au
People who are heavily involved with media, yeah, they can pull it off.
But for the average Jo Blow restaurateur, no.
Another factor in Bar Iddas success could also be the fact its watch
the video
never relied on media to drive its clientele, depending instead on
repeat business built through consistent quality. For any venue, a
good write-up and an active social media channel can help introduce
30 DINING

Right:
Bar Iddas front
windows bring
in a lot of light.

The secret to longevity is consistency. You cant change too diners. But, its often the equivalent of a sugar hit, dissipating after
much. But, youve got to keep an eye on the trend. You cant that initial rush. When I first started getting media when we
opened, I thought this is great. It makes you busy. But the thing is,
walk away so far that you get lost. Service, for example: we it goes to the next place and people forget about you, he explains.
still look the same, but our service has changed over time. If youre good enough, and people respect what you do, then media
comes to you. I love it when journalists come in for a chat, but Im not
going to push that.
La Spinas focus on the fundamentals of dining might seem
somehow obstinate. But its combined with a keen nose for
prevailing winds, and the wit to know when to make changes
and when to stick to his guns. In recent years, for instance, hes
invested heavily in staff training, introducing them to producers
and winemakers, ensuring their service-style is both effortless and
informed. When I opened it was cool to have a grungy-looking
shop with grungy staff that didnt have any idea what theyre
putting on the table, but it didnt matter because it tasted really
good. Now, youve got to have tasty food, plus the service, he
explains. The secret to longevity is consistency. You cant change
too much. But, youve got to keep an eye on the trend. You cant
walk away so far that you get lost. Service, for example: we still look
the same, but our service has changed over time.
Theres one thing that hasnt changed, and however many years
Bar Idda stays open, never will: Sicilian regulars, no matter how
much they enjoy the food or how often they come in, will always,
always insist their Nonas food is better. Youll never beat what their
Mum does, laughs La Spina. Even when my family comes in, they
say Mums cooking is better.
In this game, its the only surefire thing.
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32 PRODUCE
PRODUCE 33

TOMATILLOS
DOMESTICATED BY THE AZTECS, THE TOMATILLO HAS LONG PLAYED A KEY ROLE
IN MEXICAN AND CENTRAL-AMERICAN COOKING. JENNY HOBSON McGRIGOR
TAKES A LOOK AT THIS COLOUR-CHANGING FRUIT, AND URGES YOU TO MAKE
THE MOST OF ITS UNUSUAL FLAVOUR PROFILE WHILE IT IS IN SEASON.

M
exico has produced some very outfit. The delicate husk wrapping on the
welcome additions to the food scene outside offers decoration and importantly
tequila, tacos, tamales and my all- protection for the prized fruit.
time favourite part of the T food group are Interestingly the fruit is edible at several
the tomatillos. Tequila wins the beverage stages with each having a different flavour
category in case you were wondering! profile. Consume it when its still green and
Tomatillos were first cultivated by the the tomatillo is quite tart in taste with a
Aztecs, but have since then travelled the flavour that can be described as something
world and are now widely available in between a tomato and a plum. As the fruit
Australia. They are in season from November ripens, the colour changes from green to
through to April. yellow through to a shade of purple. And the
darker it gets, the sweeter it becomes.
Tomatillo is a key ingredient for many
In their home country, tomatillos are also known by the name of tomates of the traditional Mexican dishes, it is the
essential flavouring in salsa verde. They
verdes (green tomatoes). Other monikers include Mexican husk tomato, feature in tacos and can also be used in
jamberry, husk cherry or Mexican tomato. salads, as the basis for sauces.
When selecting a fruit, the husk
is an indicator of freshness. For the
In their home country, tomatillos are best quality tomatillo, select one that
also known by the name of tomates verdes is deep green with a husk that has
(green tomatoes). Other monikers include changed from green to a tan colour.
Mexican husk tomato, jamberry, husk cherry To prepare them simply remove the husk
or Mexican tomato. The fruit look like small and rinse to remove any sticky substance that
green tomatoes and they are members of the is on the fruit. There is no need to peel.
Jenny Hobson McGrigor is from solanaceae (nightshade) in a distant cousin If you arent going to use them immediately
Murdoch Produce. Contact her on kind of way. they are best stored in their husks, they can
jenny@murdochproduce.com.au Each small, spherical tomatillo is be refrigerated but dont have to be. They can
or visit her website wrapped in a papery, thin outer layer called even be frozen. Just dont store them in an
murdochproduce.com.au. a calyx that brings to mind a fancy dress airtight bag as it will spoil them.
34 PRODUCE

The real gross value of production of


prawns in Australia has fallen by 15 per cent
since 2000-01. This is the result of a 23 per
cent fall in production quantity but a 14 per
cent increase in average real wharf prices.
At the same time local producers have
faced competition from imported prawns,
particularly from Thailand, Vietnam and
China. Approximately 60 per cent of
Australias prawn production is sold on the
domestic market, yet over the past decade
the quantity of imported prawns more
than tripled, while the import price nearly
halved, albeit with a significant increase over
2016. This initially reduced the price that
Australian buyers were willing to pay for
domestic caught prawns but over the past
18 months we have seen both a renaissance
of appreciation for domestic prawns and a
dramatic increase in their cost to restaurants.
The demand for prawns at both
foodservice and retail has never been
stronger, especially for the larger grades
of prawns, U6, U8 and U10, with both
domestic and imported pricing at record
highs. Curiously, the prawn industry

PRAWNS
grading refers to the number of pieces per
pound, thus a U6 refers to a prawn which
is actually 13 or 14 pieces to the kg or 75

KING OF THE MENU


80gm per each.
On the upside, never before has there
been the range of species, grades, quality and
preparation methods of prawns available to
both the chef and the consumer.
Choosing which prawn to use, however, is

A
not a simple task. There are literally dozens of
THIS MONTH, JOHN SUSMAN PEELS OFF s the Australian economy lags in a state species of prawns, from ones that are found
THE OUTER LAYERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN of confusion, seemingly in sync with throughout large areas of water to those
the rest of the modern world, the effects confined to specific locations. Generally, they
PRAWN INDUSTRY AND URGES CHEFS TO
of a near 35 per cent shift in the value of the start life in the open sea when they hatch
CONSIDER USING THE MANY DIFFERENT Australian currency in both an up and down out in millions and move into the coastal
SPECIES ON OFFER. direction over the past three years, is beginning areas, moving into the estuaries, lakes and
to bite hard on all aspects of daily life for inlets where they find food on the muddy
everyone involved in the food supply chain. and sandy seabeds, where they grow quickly
The seafood industry, which relies before moving back out to sea.
so heavily on both imports and exports Prawns are the scavengers of the seas,
is both indicative and a victim of this eating pretty much anything that they come
situation. Within the seafood industry, it across. Accordingly, prawns are a direct
is the prawn category which, along with a reflection of the environment in which
dramatic change in production and import they come from. This also gives them their
regulations, has felt the effect the most of amazing flavour and texture.
the explosion in international trade. Seafood As a general rule, if you are going to use
imports have grown by nearly 250 per cent a prawn for a hot dish, buy them green and
over the past 15 years, with an annual value cook them only once. If on the other hand
of nearly $2 billion or over 74 per cent of the you are going to use them for a salad or eat
total value of the seafood we consume. them as they are, buy them pre-cooked.
PRODUCE 35

A prawn cooked from live and then clean, light flavour and firm texture, which BANANA PRAWN
refreshed in brine ice will always be firmer, retains the natural juiciness of the prawn. Caught by trawlers off northern Australia, the
crisper and sweeter than a dead, green prawn Good flavour carriers, they are especially banana prawn is abundant and thus cheaper
put through the same process. The saying great for salads. than many other varieties. It is translucent to
goes off like a prawn is too true. Prawns are One of the most prolifically imported yellow in colour with tiny dark spots, a very
arguably one of the most fragile proteins you farmed prawns are of the black tiger variety. sweet, softer textured prawn, which although
will handle in your kitchen handle them There are some excellent farms producing quite fragile, is generally excellent value. Best
with care. When buying, always buy prawns prawns throughout Asia and whilst the price used in hot, wet preparations such as curries,
where the catching or processing history is has increased dramatically through 2016, risottos and pastas. A farmed banana prawn is
known or can be found. This doesnt mean they still represent good value. also available under the brand of Crystal Bay
you cant buy frozen, in fact, in the case of and is abundant and highly regarded by chefs
green prawns, this should be your preference, TIGER PRAWN WILD and consumers alike.
as the integrity and quality of a green prawn The wild tiger prawn is predominantly
packed and frozen from live will almost fished in Northern Australia. Brown in ROYAL RED PRAWN
always be superior to one which has endured colour with distinctive tiger stripes which Trawled mostly off the east coast of NSW,
days of variable handling in a fresh state. are evident both in raw and cooked forms. the royal red is a deep water prawn. It is
If you are buying frozen prawns, only They are caught year round, and are mainly pink to red even when raw, with a thick
defrost an amount suitable to a days use and found frozen green or raw. The peak supply hard shell. It is usually sold as frozen meat,
consider the refresh process mix a brine ice is in August through November and are as it spoils quickly, and is an inexpensive
slurry (approximately 300 grams of salt per characterised by a meaty, sweet flavour and alternative if prawn meat is to be chopped
five kilograms ice and one litre of water will be firm texture one of the most sought after by or minced. The royal red prawn is
adequate to create a slurry suitable to defrost a the Japanese for tempura preparations. The inappropriate for cold preparations and
five kilogram box of frozen prawns), and thaw hero Skull Island Tiger is the standout of should not be barbecued.
the prawns in the slurry for around 90 minutes. this species.
Whether fresh or de-frosted, a raw
prawns tail should glow with bright colours, The demand for prawns at both foodservice and retail has never been
and the flesh should show translucent
through firm shells with no discolouration
stronger, especially for the larger grades of prawns ... with both domestic
at the base of the heads or legs. They should and imported pricing at records high.
neither look nor feel soggy.
With a cooked prawn, see that it has all of KING PRAWN VANNAMEI PRAWNS
its legs, feelers and eyes and that the tail has The most iconic of all prawns, the mighty Small, cheap aquaculture vannamei prawns
a firm spring in it. Smell it it should have a king prawn is caught in a number of are imported frozen from South East Asia.
crisp, clean iodine aroma, with absolutely no fisheries across Australia. And whilst light in flavour and often softish in
signs of ammonia, old fish or brackish water. The king prawn has a cream to light texture, they are perfectly suitable for a range of
Finally, peel it and give it a taste it should be brown body and are generally larger preparations where a low cost, consistent quality
firm in texture and immediately sweet, with a than tiger prawns. Legs and tail fin are a prawn is required. Try to buy those cooked from
long clean finish and no strong aftertaste. distinctive bright blue in the southern and live and in this instance, price does matter as there
Prawns vary in price almost as much as western varieties and cream coral colour in are many grades/qualities and generally the more
they do in quality price is not necessarily the eastern king prawns. It has an intensely expensive vannemai from Thailand is the best.
an indicator of quality, but expect to pay sweet, iodine flavour and when in best There are a number of other prawns not
more for wild than farmed and more as the condition has a crisp firm bite like no other listed here, and as there is a broad variety
size of the prawn increases. Generally, you prawn in the world. of sizes, flavours and textures, investigation
can also expect to pay more for Australian Highly versatile in both cooked and cold is required to determine which suit your
produced prawns than imported. preparations this delicious eating prawn, is individual menu and pricing requirements.
Following are some of the more common regarded by many as the true King of Prawns. One thing is for sure, the current prawn
varieties sold in Australia: market offers plenty of options for the savvy
RED SPOT (KING) PRAWN chef. As we move into the peak trading period
TIGER PRAWN FARMED The redspot (king) prawn is closely of the year, get out and enjoy the variety and
Most prawns farmed in Australia are black related to the king prawn, though often versatility that prawns can bring to menus, you
tiger prawns. These are available fresh during smaller, and coming mainly from the trawl know it makes sense!
the run into Christmas and frozen year fisheries in South East Queensland. As
round. These are a good-looking prawn, pale the name suggests, it has a distinctive red John Susman is the director of the seafood
brown to bluey-green with distinct grey, blue spot on each side of the body shell and is industry agency Fishtales. For more views,
or black stripes. Once cooked, the black tiger typically lighter in flavour and softer in insights and understanding of the seafood
prawns has a deep coral colour, has a distinct texture than the king. industry visit thefishtale.com.au.
DISH
of
20 17
the
YEAR

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Celebrating the dishes that grace Australias menus,
and rewarding the innovators who are taking the countrys food to the next level.

Do you know of a stand-out dish?


It may be your own dish. It may be a colleagues dish.

Nominate that dish now in foodServices Dish of the Year Awards


and have it recognised as one of Australias best.

Dishes can be entered in one of the following categories:

dService
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IZZ
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2017 T SALA
T P 2017

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The winning dish in each category, and its creator, will be profiled in foodService magazine and on the
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Who can enter:


Any commercial chef working in Australia

How to enter:
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Choose your category and complete the entry form, providing the dishs name,
the restaurant it features at, and a brief description

Entries close:
28 April 2017

Winners will be announced in the July 2016 issue of foodService magazine.

Terms & Conditions: Only one entry required per dish. All dishes will be considered equally, regardless of number of nominations. A panel of
industry experts will review all entries and a short list of finalists will be made. The finalists dishes will be judged on site and sampled and assessed
on a number of criteria including presentation, flavour, texture, creativity, technique and value for money.
38 RECIPE

entre

CHARLIE FISHERS COCONUT AND PRAWN CURRY


Serves 6

SRI LANKAN CURRY POWDER COCONUT AND PRAWN CURRY


1 tbsp uncooked basmati rice 400 g peeled prawns

50 g coriander seeds 140 g garlic, chopped

25 g cumin seeds 100 g ginger, chopped

25 g fennel seeds 2 kg onions, sliced

7.5 cm cinnamon stick 20 g unroasted Sri Lankan curry powder

1 tsp fenugreek seeds 3 medium-hot red chillies, thinly sliced

tsp cloves 1 litre coconut milk

tsp cardamom seeds 20 g palm sugar

tsp black mustard seeds Vegetable oil

1 tsp black peppercorns 15 tomatoes, halved

25 g chilli powder 3 litres fish stock

1 tsp curry powder 3 medium-sized eggplants

Buttermilk

Seasoned flour

SRI LANKAN CURRY POWDER COCONUT AND PRAWN CURRY


M E T H O D Heat a small M E T H O D In a food processor, blitz the garlic, ginger and onion to a paste. Heat a large
pan and add the rice, toss sauce pan over a low heat and fry the paste for about 30 minutes until soft. Then add
until lightly brown. the curry powder and fry for a few more minutes. Increase the temperature and add the
In the same pan, add tomatoes, fish stock and simmer for 3-5 hours, or until the tomatoes have broken down
all of the other ingredients into the sauce. Transfer to a food processor and blitz.
and lightly toast. Return the tomatoes and fish stock to the pan, and gradually add the coconut milk,
Transfer the rice stirring. Add sugar and seasoning to taste, and simmer for 10 minutes. In the meantime,
and spice mix to a food saut the prawns. When opaque add to the curry.
processor and blend to a Next halve the eggplants and scoop out the seeds, leaving about 4 cm of flesh. Coat
powder. Set aside. well with buttermilk and season with salt and pepper. Then dredge well in seasoned
flour. Deep fry both sides for approximately 3 minutes each and drain in a fryer basket.
Charlie Fisher is the head Spoon a generous amount of the curry over the crispy eggplant shells and serve.
chef of The Chippo Hotel.
PHOTOGRAPHY: ALANA DIMOU
RECIPE
39
40 RECIPE

main

JOSEPH VARGETTO'S BLACK SPAGHETTINI WITH BLUE


SWIMMER CRAB, VONGOLE, CHILLI AND BASIL
Serves 6

500 g semolina flour

4 eggs

120 g black squid ink

100 g blue swimmer crab meat

500 g clams, scrubbed

250 ml white wine

1 shallot, finely diced

2 garlic, finely diced

2 medium-hot red chillies, sliced, or chilli flakes, to taste

2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 tbsp basil leaves, chopped

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

olive oil

M E T H O D Begin by making the spaghettini. Sift the semolina flour onto a clean
surface, and shape into a circular mound. Make a well in the centre, and add the
eggs and black squid ink. Using a fork, whisk until combined. Then using your
fingertips, gradually kneed the semolina flour into the egg mixture until a dough is
formed, the texture should be smooth and elastic. Cut the dough into 5 even pieces
and roll each through a pasta machine.
Put a pan of water to boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water with a pinch of
salt and cook until al dente.
In a large frying pan, heat a few lugs of olive oil and saut the shallot and garlic. As
the garlic starts to change colour, add the clams and white wine, cover, and cook until
the clams being to open, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped chilli, parsley, basil and
crab meat, tossing well. Add the spaghettini, toss and drizzle with olive oil.

Joseph Vargetto is the owner and chef of Melbourne restaurants Massi and Mister Bianco.
PHOTOGRAPHY: CARMEN ZAMMIT
RECIPE
41
42 TOOL TALK

TURNING THE TABLES


ERVI
ODS CE
FO S I N C E
2 0 0 8

TOOL
T A L K
ANITA CONNORS LOOKS AT THE CREATIVE WAYS VENUES AROUND AUSTRALIA ARE EXPRESSING THEIR
C
O
M P O
N PHILOSOPHY AND PERSONALITY THROUGH EYE-CATCHING TABLETOP DESIGN.
A R I S

Pretty Beach Houses


refined Rustic tabletop
celebrates different textures
and materials in a warm
colour scheme.

H
aving a smart and effective tabletop is paramount to the overall She says, Like the food, the table settings are traditional in their
dining experience of any restaurant or cafe. As a whole, it has the approach in that we are following the classic rules of fine dining, yet
potential to evoke a particular mood while revealing to guests the interpreted through a contemporary lens. Onto this is collaged an
care and thought operators have put into their establishment. Simply Italian approach the tabletop expresses a personal point of view.
put, it is not something to be overlooked. However, whether starting out or wanting to update the settings,
it is important for operators to not get bogged down in too many
CRAFTING A CONCEPT details. Nicole Tran, Triple A Global Group's clients relations
From the perfect fit out to specific dishes and guests general manager, agrees. Her mantra is to keep it simple. This is because
experience, there is a lot for restaurateurs and cafe owners to think restaurateurs can get confused with what they are ultimately trying
about when it comes to putting their venue together. It really is easy to to achieve. Simplicity is often the best approach - let your venue and
get confounded about where to begin. food do the talking.
Emma Darrouzet, director and co-founder of Sydney's Bouche on
Bridge, decided to approach the task from the perspective that you DEEP IMPACT
eat with your eyes. When assembling a tabletop design, take into consideration the
She says, The table setting is first thing you are greeted with when effect you would like it to have on diners and the feeling you would
you sit down at a restaurant, and often it will be the first impression the like to kindle.
customer gets. For that very reason, it was critical that the restaurant's For Jared Ingersoll , executive chef of restaurant, butchery and
tabletop was memorable and as eye-catching as the food. providore, Butcher and the Farmer at the Tramsheds , it was important
Similarly, when restaurateur Julie Manfredi Hughes was designing that the tabletop subtly reflect the venues paddock-to-plate philosophy.
the tabletop at Pretty Beach House on the Central Coast, she paid Accordingly, it was intentional that different colours, textures and
particular attention to the dialogue between chef and table. materials that would be reminiscent of farmhouse dining were used, such
If you work in the food or hospitality industry then you should be
planning a visit to Foodservice Australia. Why? Because there is simply
no better way to discover new ideas, new products and new suppliers.

The Industry Event.


Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
28-30 May 2017
Register now at foodserviceaustralia.com.au
Limited number of exhibition stands still available.
Call the food team on 03 9999 5460
44 TOOL TALK

Left: Cool tones


can be found in
Bouche on Bridge's
tabletop design.

Middle:
A selection of
Bouche on Bridge's
handmade and
glazed plates
and servingware.

Right: Plates from


Triple A Global
Group's Foxeys
Collection.

We have noticed in the past few years a very welcomed movements in restaurants and venues
experimenting in unique, earthy colours, shapes and rustic textures. We believe 2017 will contine
the love affair for monochromatic, matt stoneware, and tailored, organic, shapes and tone.

as wooden tables, custom-made farmer and steak knives, and milk bottle- Manfredi Hughes concurs. When she was choosing the tableware for
shaped water jugs. Pretty Beach House, the three, key drivers were quality, longevity and
For Ingersoll, it was all about creating a charming but almost practicality. It was a must that the table settings adapt for each time of
imperceptible effect on diners, and to provide [them] with quality day across breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks in between. After that
products that are easy and comfortable to use. its a matter of aesthetics and combining the tools to create balance and
This sentiment is echoed by Manfredi Hughes. She says, The guest harmony and seek out one or two hero items which stand out to the eye
the experience should be seamless and effortless, like magic and to and bring everything together becoming something of a signature to the
achieve this we must adhere to every detail. dining experience.
Similarly, Darrouzet says, We hope that diners feel comfortable At Bouche on Bridge, Darrouzet and her team focused considerably
yet inspired, and the impact will be that they let their hair down, sit on sustainability. She says, Our crockery was all made and sourced
and enjoy each other's company and forget what time it is. locally, allowing each table setting to be unique. One night you could
be sitting on a walnut table with duck egg blue and charcoal plates, then
A LOAD OF CROCKERY you could come in the next night and be seated at a dark and broody
Assembling a winning design does require a little research as well as black marble table with off-white and grey plates.
attention to such ideas as colour, texture, and practicability.
At Triple A Global Group. considerable thought goes into the CLOTH OFF
development of a new range of crockery or servingware. Tran reveals In recent years, restaurant tabletop settings have seen a significant shift
that the design team always takes into account what is not only on away from using the classic, white tablecloth.
trend, but also is practical in such a fast paced industry. For Ingersoll, this is because people are looking for things a little bit
When selecting commercial tableware, she says, Consistency is more organic, homely and less refined. Australians are moving away from
key. Quite often youll see plates that dont stack properly or show fine dining and looking for a casual atmosphere in their dining selection.
signs of warping when multiples are placed next to each other. This is a Manfredi Hughes sees this overall move away as initially cost
sign of poor manufacturing process. driven. With margins tight, sometimes good linen can be the first to
As such, it is advisable that operators choose shapes and sizes that go, she says. But now, with the drive for more accessible eating out,
can be used for multiple dishes so to minimise inventory and free up more concepts are now created around the surface of the tabletop
storage space in the kitchen. being the focus.
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46 TOOL TALK

Accordingly, the industry has seen a celebration of different textures


and materials, as well as the manufacture of tables, plates and glassware.
Tran has observed at Triple A Global Group. She says, We
have noticed in the past few years a very welcomed movement in
restaurants and venues experimenting in unique, earthy colours, shapes
and rustic textures. We believe 2017 will continue the love affair for
monochromatic, matt stoneware, and tailored, organic, shapes and tones,
however sadly we believe we will say goodbye to rose gold and copper.
An interplay of contrasting materials have been used to great
effect at Butcher and the Farmer. Ingersoll and his team wanted
the tabletop to display a strong mix of wood, tinted glass, ceramics
and cast-iron. Furthermore, for the tableware, they looked to
Australian, ceramic manufacturer Robert Gordon to put together
a collection of plate and servingware that represented farmhouse
eating and sharing with comfort and humility.
At Pretty Beach House, Manfredi Hughes wanted the emphasis
TRIPLE A GLOBAL GROUP BOUCHE ON BRIDGE to be on functionality, elegance and beauty. She says, The starting
A selection of the plates and wares Embossed, leather coasters with the
point was a love affair with Busatti linens ... hand dyed, eau de nil green
from the Aurora Collection. restaurant's logo.
for the tablecloths and a variety of different textures in ecru [light grey-
yellow brown] for the napkins.
PRETTY BEACH HOUSE BUTCHER AND THE FARMER
Monogrammed Sheffield Stainless Steel The tabletop reflects a mix of wood, glass, This refined rustic is further stated with a range of
cutlery with a classic, fiddle handle design. metal and fresh produce. commissioned handmade, wax-rimmed pottery pieces from our
friends at La Paloma Pottery in Hill End.
Darrouzet also looked to local producers to design the crockery
of Bouche on Bridge, such as Blackheath-based potter Simon
Reece, and Malcolm Greenwood from Mosman. She says, We
admired their work, we thought it was beautiful and a perfect fit for
the ethos of Bouche, plus it meant we were supporting Australian
artists and putting money back into the local economy.

TRENDING TABLES
Undoubtedly, social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook
and Pinterest have influenced tabletop design, as have reality
television competitions like MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules.
[They have] made a huge impact on the industry, says Tran.
We are being exposed to more designs and trends and at a faster
rate than ever before. The exposure has really intensified the
customers request for having the newest trend on their tables. We
are also seeing the emergence of consumers replicating a restaurant
look and feel in their home, and venues mirroring the opposite
with a more relaxed and homely environment for their guests in
their venues. Dont get us wrong, there is still a huge demand for
a more refined setting, however the current relaxed organic trend
complemented by elegant accessories continues to lead the way.
So whats next in tabletop design?
Ingersoll maintains the next big thing are recyclable products.
He believes that they will help keep costs down by keeping things
simple and understanding you dont need to pay a lot of money for
beautiful simple materials.
Manfredi Hughes believes, Local potters and artisans are
making a comeback big time and more and more the restaurateur
is commissioning speciality handmade pieces for the table that may
be specific to a certain dish or an element of a dish.
And whilst there has been a move away from the tradition of the large
white plate, she says, There is still a place for the elegance and simplicity
of the white porcelain plate and we have begun to see its return.
But who knows - the sky is the limit. But please, no more
bread boards!
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48 ON TREND

IN GOOD SEASON ANITA CONNORS TAKES A PINCH.

SPECIALTY SALT

A
n essential nutrient, salt was once one of the worlds marine mineral Macrobiotic Sea Salt for brining or curing.
principal trading commodities. Expensive and Cocktails can also be heightened by a robust salt like
labour-intensive to harvest, it was a scarce and much Olsson's Blossoms Sea Salt Flakes, which can be used
sought after resource. So valuable was the mineral that it for salting the rim of glasses because of it's delicacy and
inspired wars, riots, black markets and smuggling rings, large surface area which give it greater 'sticking' power.
and even revolutions. Recently, Olsson combined forces with Ross Lusted
And yet with salt now plentiful and cheap to produce, of Sydney's The Bridge Room and Pialligo Estate
it is easy to take it for granted. Smokehouse to create their Red Gum Smoked Salt.
Not so for Alex Olsson. For her, salt is more than a Uniquely Australian, the salt is smoked on red gum wood
simple seasoning and food preservant. Her family-run chips for three days, the result of which is a depth and
company, Olssons Salt, has salt pans in the Eyre Peninsula complexity of flavour that cannot be replicated. It adds a
in South Australia and at Port Alma in Queensland, and rich, smoky flavour to everything. I absolutely love it.
have been producing quality, Australian salt since 1960. Salt is necessary for both our well being and the
Olsson says that having a varied portfolio of salt in the human body to function. But despite this, the mineral
commercial kitchen can be used to great effect in varying has seen it's reputation tarnished in recent times as the
taste profiles and lifting textual differences. health industry's latest bugbear. However, this
Sea salt flakes [are great] as finishing misplaced fear about what is and is not
salt or on the dining table, while our good for us should not get in the
Rock Sea Salt [can be used] for way of enjoying enjoying this
salting water or our high foundational ingredient.
50 MOUTHFUL

MOUTHFUL
$460 million

What Bega Australia paid


Mondelz International this year
for Vegemite and other breakfast
Crop this foods and spreads.

The Aussie wheat industry


totalled $6 075.2 million in the
year ending June 2016.
Source: Australian Bureau
of Statistics

Holidaying down under

1.1 million Chinese tourists


visited Australia in the year ending
September 2016, spending a
whopping $9.1 billion.
Source: Tourism Research
Australia

Coeliac awareness

An estimated 2.4 million or


1 in 10 Australians are now
eating gluten free options.
Source: Coeliac Australia

Holy cow

574 340 cattle were slaughtered


in Australia in November 2016.
Source: Australian Bureau
of Statistics
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