March 31, 2019

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Basic Cooking Methods to Wow Your Guests

 Unless you grew up with an avid cook in your home, you’re probably like me and often look at recipes with a raised eyebrow and a google browser open to search a number of the words. There are some super basic, super easy styles of cooking that can be done in just about any kitchen. By the end of this blog you will understand some basic cooking methods, to spice up your culinary abilities!

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March 27, 2019

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Reducing Food Wastage | The Ugly Food Market

Globally, food wastage can amount to between 50% and 60% of all food produced which adds up to be approximately 1.3 Billion Tonnes of waste and $400 Billion worth. While a lot of it does occur in the consumption stages of our homes, food wastage happens at all levels of the food supply chain from production to consumption. In the United States, one third of produce on farms goes to waste. This is sometimes to due limited facilities to store the produce, or logistical dramas, but the largest contributor to farm food wastage is the cosmetic appearance of the produce. This sparked the “Ugly Food Movement” where people began seeking out the imperfect foods to use in their own homes.


Australia was one of the first nations to get involved, with large retailers ‘Woolworths’ and ‘Harris Farms’ releasing their “Odd bunch” and “imperfect picks” range. Other major chains around the world including Tesco, Walmart and Jamie Oliver embraced the movement also. An issue struck though with restaurants. While consumers were happy to eat imperfect foods at home, they were still demanding perfect when dining out, therefore restaurants were not adjusting their consumption behaviours.

 How can You Make a Difference? 

  • Shop the ugly market! Fruit and veg doesn’t need to look perfect to taste great. Embrace the odd features.
  • Reduce what you are buying and monitor your portion sizes. If you are always buying a whole bag of carrots and never using them, perhaps start buying 2 or 3. 
  • Any left overs can be refrigerated for lunch the next day or frozen to be eaten on a time poor day
  • Any left over produce i.e. half a sweet potato, part of an onion etc that doesn’t get used when cooking a meal during the week can be saved an used in a ‘Franken-dish’ on the weekend. There are websites and apps that can help you find recipes based on the ingredients you have left over.

 

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. 

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