February 20, 2019

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Sous Vide Cooking Method | What is It, and How Do I Do It?

Sous Vide is a professional cooking technique using precise temperatures to create high quality, perfectly cooked and delicious foods. Typically, this method was used mostly by professional chefs, however with the formation of easy to use home cooking utensils, it is now possible to do in the comfort of your own home. The food is placed in a plastic bag and vacuumed sealed shut. It is then positioned in a pot of water and cooked at a specific temperature for the desired amount of time. 

Benefits of Sous Vide

  • Sous Vide ensures your food is cooked consistently and to perfection. When cooking purely in a pan, the texture is often inconsistent throughout. Because Sous Vide uses a precise temperature throughout the whole cooking process, it remains predictably perfect.
  • The Sous Vide method means your food will be absolutely tasty. The vacuum sealed bag means no flavour can disperse into the pot, and therefore the food cooks in its own delicious flavour. This results in moist and tender meals!
  • Time management is no concern with the Sous Vide method. Once you place the food into the pot, the rest is taken care of until it’s time to take it out. You do not need to stay with the pot or check it every few minutes.

 How do I do it?

 Believe it or not, the process is actually super simple

  1. Attach your precision cooker to a pot of water. Set it to the desired temperature and period of time.
  2. Place your food in a vacuum sealed bag or zip lock bag and add any necessary flavouring. Clip it to the side of the pot.
  3. When it has finished, take out the food and grill it in a pan to get the desired finish!

Sous Vide is super simple and easy to do at home. Do some research into ‘Precision Cookers’ and find one that suits your needs and budget. They make an excellent addition to any kitchen!

February 14, 2019

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Catering Tips for Your Next Party

When planning a birthday, dinner or celebration, deciding and preparing food can be a stressful experience. Catering for all your guests’ dietary requirements, and providing food that is liked by all, isn't always easy. We have compiled a list of catering tips to help you take the stress out of planning your next occasion.

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January 15, 2019

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Reviews and Your Restaurant

Those 5 little stars next to your business name on Google, Facebook or similar websites are incredibly important to your business. 60% of people read online reviews for a local restaurant or cafe! View full article →
December 19, 2018

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Christmas in Australia | Christmas Lunch the Aussie Way!

Here in the Southern Hemisphere, we don't get to experience the "White Christmas" that other parts of the world do. Australian Christmas's are quite different to those you see in the Movies. A typical Australian Christmas involves BBQ, the Backyard and the beach!  View full article →
November 30, 2018

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Chopstick Protocol | All You Need to Know About Chopsticks

Growing up in a westernised culture, we have customs and etiquette for eating at the table, e.g. putting your knife and fork together when you finish your meal. It is no different in these Asian countries. There are a number of "rules" around eating with chopsticks. View full article →
November 10, 2018

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Alternatives to Plastic Straws | Make a Small Change - Have a Big Impact

How often do you sip your drink with a plastic straw? It's quite a common occurrence in the hospitality industry, most cafes and restaurants provide plastic straws with drinks because its convenient for customers and cost effective for the business. What some people don't realise, is that straw can actually cause a lot of damage to our environment. It may feel harmless, and you might think it'll be ok because you disposed of it in the garbage... but where does it go, what does it do to our planet and what can we do in our hospitality industry instead? 

Why is Plastic & Plastic Straws a Problem?

The facts

  • In Australia, we use on average 3 billion tonnes of plastic every year, and only 12% is recycled. Of this 3 billion tonnes, 130,000 tonnes end up in our waterways. 
  • 85% of Australian Sea Birds are affected by plastic- this includes choking on plastic, being wrapped and stuck in plastic and starvation from ingesting too much plastic.
  • 95% of plastic packaging in Australia is discarded after 1 use
  • Plastic straws can take 200 years to decompose. Every plastic straw you've ever used in your life will still be here, even once you're gone!
  • When plastic begins to decompose it releases harmful toxins into the environment, polluting our earth. 
  • The US used 390 million plastic straws PER DAY in 2017 
  • Straws are the 11th most common form of waste found in the ocean

What Can We Do to Reduce Plastic Straws? 

Stainless Steel Straws

Stainless steel straws are an excellent alternative to plastic. They are safe to drink from, easy to clean, and a convenient size to fit in your handbag. These straws come in multi packs with a cleaning brush to ensure your straws are crystal clean. Stainless steel straws are quite popular now and are available in a number of retail stores including Kmart and Amazon. 

Bamboo Straws

Bamboo straws are a natural solution to the plastic straw problem. Bamboo straws as the name suggests, are made from 100% sustainably grown and produced bamboo. These straws are reusable, and also biodegradable when you decide to throw them away. A number of online retailers are now stocking bamboo straws including Bamboo Straw Australia and Island Buddha

Paper Straws

Paper Straws are eco friendly, and completely safe for human use. They are available online and in some retailers such as Base Warehouse for purchase. 

Every plastic straw you say no to can have a huge impact on the environment. When you order your next drink, ask for it without a straw. Think about investing in some bio degradable or eco friendly straw options!

October 31, 2018

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A Guide to Glassware: Bar Basics

Choosing glassware for your drinks at home may seem like a pretty straight forward task, but have you ever paused to consider why red wine is served in a different glass to white wine, or why martinis are in different glasses to Mojitos? wonder why your drinks on a night out come in all different kinds of glasses? 

 

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September 26, 2018

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Your Restaurant and The Internet

Using the internet is a daily occurrence for the majority of society in this day and age. The internet allows us to connect further, communicate faster, and make plans with ease. Today, customers of the hospitality industry desire convenience and speed. It is assumed that business's will have websites, and also have an online booking and or ordering system. It is assumed businesses are on the internet. 

Search engines like Google are excellent at suggesting restaurants, cafes and takeaway locations within a certain distance of you. Try Googling "Cafes near me" and see what pops up. It uses your exact location to provide a selection of cafes within your location. 

In order for your business to appear however, you need to have an online presence;

  • Hire a web designer to create your business a website. There are a number of website programs that you can use for a DIY website, but how much easier is it when someone does it for you?! 
  • Register yourself on Google My Business. This way Google knows you exist 
  • Add yourself to Local Search.
  • Add an online booking system so people can book a table at your restaurant easily. 
  • Allow online ordering.

Companies such as UberEats and Deliveroo are successful because they recognise the busy nature of people today, and have tapped into this desired convenience market. They are also online! It's a simple idea that has proven to be very effective. Simply choosing what you want for lunch on an app, and having it delivered to you at work, keeps people very satisfied. You can reach out to UberEats and submit a form to have them register you as an UberEats restaurant partner. This would be an effective way to have more people eating your food. 

It might seem like a hassle getting your hospitality based business onto the internet, but the benefits are insurmountable. The internet is the modern phone book, and this is where people will primarily be finding you without literally going past your shop front. There is a world of potential customers out there waiting for a business like yours to jump in front of them. 

September 12, 2018

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How to Keep Your Fried Food Golden and Crispy | Magnesium Silicon

Have you ever noticed that your fried food always looks more enticing, and tastes better when the oil is fresh? Have you noticed that after a while, fried foods tend to come out soggy, dark in colour, and oily. It makes sense right? Fresh oil means fresher food. But you can't be expected to replace the oil every half an hour. This would become very expensive very quickly, and is not a sustainable practice. So what can you do to make the most of the oil you have, without compromising your product?

The answer is Synthetic Magnesium Silicate, such as Magnesol. This is a food grade, white powder that acts like a magnet, attracting the byproducts left in the oil such as fats, off odours, and off tastes. By Attracting these byproducts and removing them, the life of the cooking oil is extended. Traditionally, chefs would use regular "filters" to scoop out excess crumbs and food batter, however this doesn't soak up the things you can't see such as water residue, salt, soap etc. By using a combination of both traditional filters, and synthetic magnesium silicate, your oil will remain fresher for longer.

Your customers remember your business based on the service you offer and the quality of food you deliver. Put your best food forward with great quality deep frying oil. Fresh oil means Golden, Crispy and Tasty food. 

Magnesol is competitively priced, and efficient. At approximately $7 for a kilo of the absorbent powder, magnesol is very affordable. Use this product, coupled with one of our high quality, top of the line fryers, and see your business save thousands of dollars every year. 

 

August 29, 2018

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Food Culture Around the World: Australia

Food Culture Australia

Australia is a very multicultural society, with diverse culinary traditions. Just about every kind of international cuisine is available to eat in Australia; from Italian to Thai to Indian and Vietnamese, there is something to tickle all tastebuds. Multicultural tastes heavily influence Australia's food culture, with many Australian chefs creating "Fusions" of multiple cultures. So what makes up Australias food culture? 

Meat

Australia has a long standing tradition of consuming meat, because meat makes up a significant portion of Australias agricultural economy. Many Aussies grew up under the eat "Meat and 3 Veggies" dietary rule. Roasting and Barbecuing meats are typical in Australia, with Barbecues (or BBQs) seen as social affairs, often coupled with beers and a stereotypical game of backyard cricket. Australians love a good outdoor meal, and it is not uncommon to see families picnicking or Barbecuing on a weekend. 

Alcohol

Alcohol plays a big part in Australian culture, with it being a staple at most celebrations, social activities and relaxation efforts. Although the legal drinking age in Australia is 18, there is an increasing trend in underage children consuming alcohol. This is understood to be a result of social occasions, family influence, and peer pressure, because it is considered "un-Australian" to turn down a drink. 

Seafood

Australia is a land 'Girt by sea' so it only makes sense that seafood is a big part of the food influence. Fish and chips is a very common Australian meal, consisting of deep fried fish and hot chips! 

Iconic Australian Foods

Vegemite:

Vegemite is a thick brown spread made of yeast, and full of vitamin B. It is a spread that has been enjoyed by Australians for decades. 

Pavlova:

Pavlova is a really common Australian Dessert. There is an ongoing debate between Australia and New Zealand over which country actually created the Pav, but Australia still likes to claim it! It's a sugary meringue based dessert, often topped with cream and loads of fruit. 

ANZAC Biscuits: 

ANZAC Biscuits are super simple cookies made from Oats and Golden Syrup. These biscuits were named after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. 

Lamingtons:

Lamingtons are made from squares of sponge cake coated in chocolate sauce and rolled in coconut. Lamingtons are a popular Australian treat. 

Tim Tams:

Tim Tams are chocolate biscuits created by Australian company Arnott's. Time Tams are two malted biscuits, with a central cream filling layer, and then dipped in chocolate. They are delicious and now come in many flavours including double chocolate, and caramel. 

Weet Bix:

Weet Bix are essentially biscuits of wheat, and are usually eaten with milk for breakfast. There have been a number of marketing campaigns that are important to Australian Weet Bix Culture including "How many do you do", and "Aussie kids are Weet Bix Kids"

Meat Pies:

A meat pie in Australia is a hand sized pastry filled with some kind of meat. Meat pies are often consumed with tomato sauce, and are considered a convenient take away meal. 

Damper:

Damper is a traditional Australian bread cooked often by Stockmen. Damper is best cooked in the hot coals of a fire. Check out this Damper Recipe. 

Hamburger:

A typical Aussie hamburger consists of a fried meat patty, cheese, egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and most importantly beetroot. 

Sausage:

Sausages or snags, are cylindrical meat products, often made of ground beef or pork. Sausages are regularly cooked on a BBQ, colloquially known as a "Sausage Sizzle". 

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Australians have a very diverse food culture, with lots of influence from neighbouring nations. What are your thoughts?