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16 pages on

Spicy Sri Lanka





Gönül Paksoy’s

squid stuffed

with aubergine


Apprentice forum

The vital ingredient

Olive & learn

Poster inside

Top flight tucker

The height of enjoyment

Left to right:

• Saskia Beer - Black Pig, Barossa • Chui Lee Luk - Claude’s, Sydney • Bethany Finn - Urban Bistro, Adelaide • Alex Herbert - Bird Cow Fish, Sydney

• Belinda Franks - Belinda Franks Catering, Sydney • Dominique Rizzo - Pure Food Cooking, Brisbane • Lauren Murdoch - Felix, Sydney • Christine Manfield - Universal, Sydney



There is one overwhelming common link

between these eight celebrated chefs

whose culinary diversity is limitless.

They are all PorkStars. With gastronomic

offerings ranging from intimate fine dining

to enormous elaborate events, these

PorkStars utilise the noble pig from nose to

tail - and everything in between. There’s no

better time to get some pork on your menu.

Be a PorkStar. www.porkstar.com.au




Olive & learn

NEW! Educational poster

from the AOA on pages 50-51



16 Come on get crackling

Travel Companion – Gourmet travelling to Sri Lanka

18 A Feast for their Excellencies

20 Sri Lankan tea tour stirs chefs

24 Culinary Art 2011 – Food for art’s sake

27 Strong and hot – a tea judges first hand commentary

36 Airline Ambience The Turkish Way

38 Turkey’s miles and smiles come Down Under

42 Mile High cooking – Seeking top flight chefs for the sky

44 Refresh your inner tyrant – dining at the Last Train to Bombay

46 Trawling for answers – Fish Forum for chefs

50 Olive and learn – Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil educational guide

56 The Vital Ingredient - Apprentices

64 Succulent Kiwi invasion

68 Executive Chefs Club Report – with the big end of town ‘chefs’





28 Dilhan Fernando, Dilmah Tea

29 Gerard Mendis, Chefs Guild of Lanka

30 Rohan Fernandopulle, Colombo Hilton

40 Keerthi Hapugasdeniya (Happy)

41 Rachithri Fernandopulle, Ritz, Paris & Paul Bocuse Institute

42 Madhawa Weerabaddhana, Chefs Guild of Lanka

34 Gary Johnson, Sydney Hilton

40 Uroš Urošević, Serbian Chefs Association

41 Kevin Snook, Author A Boy After the Sea 1 & 2

43 Sibel Benli, Four Seasons, Istanbul on the Bosphorus

45 Jeffrey De Rome, KABLES

45 Sarah Vickery, Four Seasons, Sydney

48 Don Elford, Acer Arena

49 Martin Koestlin, Acer Arena

52 Dietmar Sawyer, Berowra Waters

53 Richard Millar, Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa

54 Mark Sweeting, Rational Q & A

67 Martin Koestlin, Eloma Q & A








baked gypsy bonito

wra ped with spring

Subscribe now!

A great resource!







So you wan to become a chef

is private or public best?


Gonul Paksoy’s Turkish

onions and tomato p el

Refrain from grain

Green pass for beef on grass



The fu l cycle on dishwashers

and hygiene

RRP $6.95


A Food Lover's Guide

Comfort of cold steel

Chefs and their ergonomic knives

Highly commended "Best Professional Food Journal"


An initiative of the Food Media Club Australia Inc.




Mel Nathan


Mel Nathan


Jonathan Porter


Dan Bowen – Pro Artwork

02 4984 7941


Bill Ranken


Jarrod Baker

Elliot Vonthethoff

Bernd Uber

Nissanka Petiyagoda

The opinions and views of the writers are not necessarily those of

the publisher. Material appearing in Food Companion International

is copyright and reproduction in whole or in part without express

permission from the Editor is prohibited. All rights reserved. ©

Food Companion International

Level 9, Park House, 187 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia

Direct 0413 616 683 Facsimile +61 2 9223 7761

FCI magazine is available from selected newsagents throughout

Australia as well as direct subscription.

For all Editorial or Marketing/Advertising enquiries please contact Mel

Nathan on mel@foodcompanion.com.au

The who’s who and what’s new

in the world of chefs and food.

You have to admit, in a world where ‘lifestyle journalism’ is in demand, it’s not

only helping epicureans refine their choices but they are becoming more expert

as consumers and more discriminating, which has been a good thing.

For professional chefs, Australia is now a global destination and chefs are working

to budgets like they never have before. Food is now about entertainment and is an

essential focal point in our lives, and there is a need for a meeting place to share all

these views. All the downbeat news in the world cannot stop us from finding notable

ways to celebrate…like launching a new chefs club (like ours!).

That’s right, at FCI we have formed a new club for Executive Chefs – a meeting place

and forum for leading chefs locally and on an international level for comrades who

share the same interests and activities in the food world.

Under the auspices of Food Companion International, hundreds of world class chefs

have met for some memorable afternoon and evening extravaganzas. You will notice

in this edition we have attracted a broad section of new and innovative producers

and purveyors including; giant crabs from Alaska, tuna loins, sustainably grown

Australian prawns, avocados, food solutions and more!

We have kicked off the season with a comprehensive report on Colombo’s, 14th

Culinary Art festival with interviews and behind the scene glimpses that bring the

Sri Lankan food and high tea experiences to life.

Read about ‘Apprentice – the Vital Ingredient’ – which was the venue for the inaugural

meeting of Australia’s young chefs, a forum with findings supporting apprentice

chefs held at Garfish Restaurant, and you will learn about how the apprentices view

the industry as well as the ideas of some key leading and international players.

I hope you enjoy the range of subjects that we have covered because variety is the

spice of a culinary person’s life!

Culinary regards,

Mel Nathan.


“Squid is a seafood which sets no

limits upon your creativity. You can

form it into any shape you wish.

Indeed, I have seen a celebrated chef

flatten it out and manipulate it into

a highly geometric shape.”

Gönül Paksoy





By Bill Ranken

We’ve been to

some marvellous


All the world’s a stage and some of our own culinary entrepreneurs and applauded kitchen performers have disappeared or reinvented

themselves with a flurry because of the new version of “Guess who’s coming to dinner”… keeps the kitchen cast busy and customers happy.

We’re always finding notable ways to celebrate…gala launches, extravaganzas with visiting and local chef sand producers…we’ve taken some

snaps of the parties and players.

‘Physical’ Milk launch at Museum of Sydney

Deborah Hutton & Sara Groen

Leila McKinnon

and David Gyngell

Deborah Thomas

Jo Casamento

Leila McKinnon with

Parmalat’s CEO, Craig Gavin

Melissa Dixon &

Phobe Adams

Sandra Hook and Mark Kelly

Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, President’s lunch at Sydney Showground

Red Oak’s

Janet Hollyoak

(Winner of

Best Beer) with

Ken Leacy

Elizabeth Black with

Tara Riches

Executive chef of RAS Tim

Browne with Eddy Cancini

Bread Winners

Tracy Nickl and

wife Vicki

Graham Crouch with

Hunter White (RAS Councillor)


Paul Judge

Chief Judge

Graham Latham


Crystal Bay Prawn winner Erwin Vidor

President Glenn Dudly

with wife Jennifer

The Eight launch party, Chinatown


Bianca Venuti

with Ryan Lisson

Mark Longley

Jess Tancred and

Chris Smith

Nill Franks and Dee O’Loughlin

Glenn Wheeler

Helen Sham

Ho with Mary


Ella Wright

with ABC’s

Tony Delroy

Glenn Marie Frost,Kerry Ann Kennerly, Carmen Duncan and Maria Venuti

Celebrity Dentist, Steven Tracy

Eight owners Henry

and wife Chilli Tang

Twining’s High Tea at The Observatory Hotel

Stephen Twining

& Alan Jones

Mike Munro

and daughter,


Variety Chairman

Bruce Newey Mel


Lindel Barker-

Revell ( Tea Leaf

Reader) and

Warren Garrett.

Stephen Twining with Celebrity

chef Jason Roberts



David Zhang with Chef Kenichi

Makiko Karasawa, Yang Yang and

Monsier Sakai

Iron Chef Sydney visit,

Sydney Hilton and Spicy Sichuan Restaurant

Chef Sakai!

Chef Chen Kenichi with

Grant Jones from

The Daily Telegraph

Chef Kenichi with Jarrod Baker




Michael Zhang and Peter Li, Spicy Sichuan chefs Press conference at Sydney, Hilton

Pheonix Restaurant

Anita and Alice

at your service

Sonia Sultan

with Maria

Schreuer Maria Nguyen


Christopher Snellilng

with publicist Angie Lee Councillor Kwok Melissa Leong

Mark Schreuer, Vincent De Luka

(OAM) Ashley Johnson and Moe Sultan



Deadliest Catch,

Alaskan Crab dinner with ‘Time Bandit’ fishermen

Andy and Jonathan – funny, brave, easy going, hard

working, sincere and pranksters!


Chef Daniel Fountain

Andy Hillstrand

Jonathan Hillstrand


Bar Pizza


David Evans and Francis Martin Wayne and Sarah Cooper Justin Melvey Kim Kilbey

Sarah Langham

and Sarah White

Michael Brayshaw

and Adam Colley

Food 4 Media’s Chris Matthews

and Luke McFarland

Sun Herald’s

Shelly Horton

Peter Evans with Italian Street

food expert Massimo Mele



Bulley Farm

Oysters at Vaucluse House

Egged on by

the Old Man

Mark Bulley, Hastings

River Oysters Supplies

“Dad, is it really necessary to be up this early?”

“If we want to catch the tide, then yes.”

Wow, the Sydney Rock oysters

were to die for!




Oyster goers Vaucluse House


It’s a 5 o’clock start with dad. Great. The sun’s rays haven’t even hit our house yet, “Aren’t

weekends supposed to be for relaxing?” I ask, teeth chattering, “Tell the tides that,” Dad says as

he gets the frost off the windscreen of the F100 aka ‘Effi’. Our Dachshund Jack Russell cross Zuni,

or as Dad calls her, “fur ball’’, groans, waiting for Dad to let her jump up into the truck so she

can get over to the oyster shed to ‘guard’ it. We say our goodbyes to the rest of the family, they

mumble back an inaudible ‘bye’, then we all jump in the truck to catch the car ferry.

On the ferry Dad outlines or jobs for the day. “We’re stripping,” he says with a smug grin, the

same grin I have inevitably inherited. For all the confused people – like the first time I heard mum

and dad talk about it – it is when you strip all the babies oysters which have been caught on slats,

which are made from pipe cut into quarters then stacked with gaps on top of each other. Not as

interesting as it originally sounded hey?

Stripping is quite an extensive job, considering there are around 20 million eggs per Sydney rock

oyster spawned throughout February and March. Luckily for me only about 5% of the oysters settle

on the slats, the rest are eaten by predators.

Now it’s 6 o’clock, we’ve just arrived at the shed. It’s going to be a long day.

By Mitch Bulley (15), son of Mark Bulley owner of Hastings River Oyster Supplies, Port Macquarie.

Simon Rowe from Oceanwatch

Presenter Mark Bulley RHS explaining how

to shuck an oyster

Be open

to closed


Next time you cook mussels, make sure you don’t waste

those that remain shut – that’s what the Australian Mussel

Industry Association wants you to know. Dispelling

the myth that you can’t eat mussels that don’t open

(apparently first put in writing by Jane Grigson in the

1970s) mentioned by ABC’s Simon Marnie recently at

Finefish Restaurant in Neutral Bay. In recent advancements

with mussel packaging, a closed mussel is not necessarily

one that will make you sick and your nose will know when

a mussel is not safe to eat. The AMIA’s research suggests,

however, that this myth is rather widespread, and with

approximately 10% of mussels remaining closed after

cooking, this results in up to 370 tonnes of mussels wasted

every year. Hoping to reduce this waste, they’ve created

a mascot, Murray the Mussel (pictured here) or check him

out on youtube.com if you’re not yet convinced or for a

fact sheet by visiting www.australianmussels.com.au

Elliot Vonthethoff



Dinner at SCEC

Executive Chef Uwe

Habermehl working

with his team

Fashionable dinner tables

Ton van Amerongen

Simon Lomas, F&B director,

and Mel Nathan

Broadcaster Glen Wheeler

with Lyndey Milan and to left,

his son Dane Wheeler and

Natalie Ayoran, marketing

director E-Travel Blackboard


represented in the

SCEC collection

Michael Johnson

and John Firth-

Smith catch up

with architect

Phillip Cox

Phillip Cox, the SCEC’s architect

and designer, with Sheridan Rogers,

broadcaster, chef, journalist.

Colin Lanceley, celebrated Australian

painter who is represented by a massive

work in the Centre’s public spaces.



Oswin RibEIRO,

Executive chef at RadISSON Blu, Sydney

Oswin Ribeiro Executive Chef

of Bistro Fax at

Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney

Born? In the hyper City of Mumbai in 1970 with a Portuguese ancestry.

Favourite cuisine? No butter chicken for me. My all-time favourites are

Regional Indian, and regional Italian and have recently enjoyed trying

out Australian Native Flavours to better understand the history behind

the land. What’s new at the hotel? Our High teas will set your mouth

watering with adorable pastries and delicious aromas of that are full of

colour and creativity. We do morning and afternoon teas. Ingredient

obsessions? I enjoy cooking with ghee for its full flavour, Baramundi as it

is a very versatile fish and it’s also available in south India.

Isabella Manfredi, Julie Manfredi Hughes

and Stefano Manfredi

Grant Jones and Rosanna

DJ’s ‘Little Bam Balam’

and Sammy Nethery

Di Manfredi 10th

Birthday and Pop Up Café

Annabel Hampshire and

Victoria Selin

Sydney Chef Scott Mason

Issy, Steve and Julie


Jessica Vaughan

and Nick Freeman

Red tomatoes!

Mark Patrick with Melissa

Hoyer and Victor Tiffany

Steve Manfredi and Issy


Janna from Adpro




GlASS Brasserie at Sydney, HilTON

Culinary philosophy? To make sure that the food you make is not too out

there and that it’s well cooked, that you use the best produce you can use.

Favourite kitchen tools? My Ronan slow cookers and a sharp knife. Early

influences? I grew up on a dairy farm in NZ with my mother and father,

we grew everything on it, made preserves, jams, sauces, killed sheep, pigs,

cows, turkeys and produced our own eggs. They were believers that we

lived off the land, I learnt lots. Career turning point? When I got into

fine dining then meeting Luke Mangan. Purveyor tip? Don’t settle with

the same product, you should always be looking for better and tastier food.

Vatsanya and Makiko Karasawa,

Crystal Bay Prawns

Hyatt’s Publicist Sandy


ANZ Stadium’s John

Deane always laughing

Shane Horner, Alliance

Catering with MLA’s Clair


Executive Chefs Club Socials

Unilever’s Mark Bayliss with

John Deane, ANZ Stadium

Matthew Curran,

John Boston Beer

Eddie Cofie from Sydney’s

Olympic Park Venues

Paul Butler

and Hartmut Kehm

Peter and Jenny Kantorovich Oswin Ribeiro and

Jeremy Clark from

Radisson Blu

Mel Marshan, MLA with Venessa Barnes,

Top Cut Meats and Christian, Simplot

Lime and Kumquat


Refreshing non carbonated non alcoholic

drink with a low energy value

Blackberry, Blueberry and

Wild Strawberry flavour

Refreshing non carbonated non alcoholic

drink with a low energy value



Refreshing non carbonated non alcoholic

drink with a low energy value

Refreshing non carbonated non alcoholic

natural mineral water.


Come on, get crackling!

Mitch and pig


Nino Zuccali

Earning a porkstar tag means being gastronomically savvy,

cool, dazzling and special with pork writes Jarrod Baker.

Few ever needed official ‘lamb-bassador’ Sam Kekovich’s Australia Day endorsement to

eat lamb. Or, took up Paul Hogan on his offer, thanks, but I think we’re happy with

the prawns. Australians need little convincing to eat meat, or any protein for that matter.

Ok, so for a rare few, Australia’s Porkstars may need a little introduction, but for those in

the food world it is more than likely not required. Young, talented and with a touch of flair,

the program is motivating a new army of pork enthusiasts in restaurants around Australia,

outside and in the kitchen with their own special recipe, one dish at a time. Now in its

sixth year the program celebrates the culinary wizardry of Australian chefs’ work with pork

in the kitchen and about fun and energy.

“Chef’s who have a passion for pork suddenly have permission to put it on the menu and

the Porkstars personify the excitement and energy the events portray and the meat

has gone from an afterthought on a restaurant menu to an absolute mainstay,” says

Mitch Edwards, from Australian Pork.

The versatility of pork and vast differences in taste that accompany the various

cuts have always been an exciting feature of the protein for chefs, as they

continue to experiment and become more extravagant (depending on who

you talk too) with all parts of the pig, including the nose and tail – which are

appearing more and more on Australian menus.

The hesitation of using the more unfamiliar cuts and pork products on the

restaurant floor is also slowly evaporating, as are many of the myths and

misconceptions around the cooking of pork. So don’t be surprised if your next pork

dish is served underdone, or with a hint of pink. For Australia’s other prominent

proteins, the market is dictated by the producers - they decide the cuts and educate

chefs on the most effective and efficient method of cooking.

Pork represents all these things and everything in between; there are different

connotations for different cuts of meats, if you ask Mitch, who spearheads the Porkstars

program. “Smallgoods such as Jamon Ham and Italian Sausage are quickly gaining a

reputation of their own and a growing number of fans, in restaurants and Australian home

kitchens. Similarly pork belly, is assuming a meat staple status of its own, outside of the

realm of what we know as conventional pork”.

“Just recently we took the entire kitchen out to one of our suppliers at Bowral, in Sydney’s

Southern Highlands and actively immersed the young chefs into the entire pork production

process – from pen to plate. We’re still eating the amazing cured pork products they cooked

on the day.’’

Porkstars is a unique format of promotion and the repercussions resonate well outside the

premium-end dining restaurants who are increasingly dictating our culinary trends.

This is especially true given the growing popularity of commercial television shows like

Masterchef and Iron Chef just to name a few. Regardless, the Porkstar tag is a badge that

justifies brilliance, worn proudly by a growing number of chefs championing the product

through their passion, skill and flair in the kitchen.

Pork is a product that we are all familiar with, a product that is celebrated culturally around

the world, and a product we know and love. And, thanks to porks official ambassadors,

as Australian’s cipher through a myriad of delectable proteins, it is no longer ‘piggy in the

middle,’ but in fact, pork is taking centre stage. Porkstars take a bow.



Food styling

People and events

Felix Halter Photography


0413 414 394


A Feast fit for

their Excellencies

A meeting place for culinary artists in Sri Lanka and Australia, which

serves as a competitive professional platform for chefs to pit their

talents against each other, writes Mel Nathan.

Chefs excel at Culinary Art 2011

Held July 29 to August 1 at the Bandaranaike Memorial

International Conference Hall, the bi-annual event showcases

local chefs talents and culinary skills, which otherwise would

only restrict them to their respective restaurants and hotels.

The event also benefits from the ethnic differences of the country

and ranges from mild and subtly flavoured dishes to hot and

spicy ones.

As Sri Lanka lays the foundation for a world-class tourism

infrastructure, the arrival of business tourism has stimulated the

renewed demand for luxury food and beverages. There was an

internationally recognised panel of judges, both from Sri Lanka

and overseas, who are highly qualified, to assess talent in the


P.D. Fernando Consul General of Sri Lanka presents his dish to

the Hon Governor of NSW Marie Bashir

Consular Cook-in at ‘Our Big Kitchen’ Bondi,

Sydney, Australia

To celebrate the visit of the Governor of NSW to ‘Our Big Kitchen’,

invited guests, a mix of consuls-general, consuls and vice-consuls

met in a spirit of fellowship to share the labour of feeding the

hungry in an extraordinary setting; a community kitchen run by

volunteers that supports the emergency services. Epicurean and

Consul-General of The Republic of Sri Lanka, Dayasri Fernando

was up for the challenge at this year’s inaugural event, preparing

a dish that captured the flavour and mood of their homeland. The

challenge consisted of preparing and cooking for eight people

including Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, Governor

of New South Wales. Fernando told FCI that the experience was

a bit ‘nerve wracking’, “but I really enjoyed being involved,

my menu was all about Sri Lanka including; a Brinjal eggplant

curry.’’The remarkable initiative was created by the Yeshiva

Centre several years ago using donated labour and materials

and operating according to the highest professional standards.

Its work has been endorsed by a prime minister, successive state

premiers and opposition leaders.

P.D. Fernando Consul General of Sri Lanka with former Leader of

the NSW Legislative Assembly Hon John Aquilina MP




Visit www.srilankaexpo.com

Sri Lanka Expo 2012 -

Great opportunity to

benefit from Sri Lanka's

high quality export

products and services

Janaka Ratnayake

Chairman and Chief Executive

Sri Lanka

Export Development Board



28 to 30 March, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s exports will receive a huge boost with

the Sri Lanka Expo 2012 initiative, which will be

an international event. This mega trade,

investment and tourism promotion event will

showcase the best that the island paradise has to


Expo 2012 will be organized by the Sri Lanka

Export Development Board (EDB), which aims to

drive the national economy through export

growth. It will be held from 28th to 30th March

2012 at the BMICH in Colombo under the theme

"Partnering with the Hub of Asia." This theme

is in line with the Mahinda Chinthanaya vision of

the President of Sri Lanka who has given the

leadership to initiate a grand scheme of

progress and development in the country.

The main objectives of the event are to promote

and re-position Sri Lanka’s trade, investment and

tourism, and instil confidence in the country’s

high-quality products and services among

international buyers.

Expo 2012 will be a unique combination of an

exhibition, symposium and corporate events.

Every endeavour is being made to make it a

va l u a b l e b u s i n e s s e x p e r i e n ce fo r a l l


The EDB Chairman and Chief Executive Janaka

Ratnayake said Expo 2012 will act as a catalyst to

achieve Sri Lanka’s export target of US Dollars 15

billion by 2015. “Parallel to the exhibition, there

will be a symposium with the participation of

eminent international business leaders as

keynote speakers," he added.

With over 300 stalls, the exhibition will showcase

a wide array of high-quality export products. It is

expected to attract over 1000 buyers from

strategic markets around the world.

According to Mr. Ratnayake, exports of some

countries exceed 100% of their Gross Domestic

Product (GDP). “We are looking at a model of that

nature, and knowledge and services will play a

pivotal role in achieving this objective,” he said.

Among Sri Lanka’s major export products and

services promoted by the EDB are Apparel, Tea,

R u b b e r Pr o d u c t s, G e m s & J e w e l l e r y,

ICT/BPO/KPO, Food & Beverages, Spices, Fish &

Fishery Products, Coconut Based Products,

Electrical & Electronics, Printing and Stationery,

Boat Building, and Professional Services.

Attractive accommodation and travel packages

will be offered to attract prospective buyers and

investors to the exhibition. The EDB recently

launched the official website of Sri Lanka Expo

(www.srilankaexpo.com) to provide online

registration facilities for them.

Sri Lanka Expo 2012 is expected to be a very

successful event. It will be a window of

opportunity for foreign buyers hoping to

benefit from Sri Lanka’s lucrative and rapidlygrowing

export market.

Sri Lankan Exports:

Value for the Global Market

Sri Lanka, geared to become the wonder of

Asia, proudly offers a wide range of high

quality products and services with green and

ethical practices for the global market.

Apparel, Tea, Rubber Products, Gems &

Jewellery, ICT/BPO/KPO, Food & Beverages,

Spices, Fish & Fishery Products, Coconut

Based Products, Electrical & Electronics,

Printing and Stationery, Boat Building, and

Professional Services are among those

exports available.

The Sri Lanka Export Development Board is

dedicated to creating export growth and

competitiveness through global awareness

of what Sri Lanka has to offer.

For enquiries:


Tel : +94 -11-2303973, +94 -11-2303974,

+94-11- 2300712, +94 -11- 2300675,

+94 -11- 2300722

Fax : + 94-11-2305212, +94-11-2300715

E mail: exposec@srilankaexpo.com

Sri Lanka Consulate General - Sydney

Tel : 02-92352582

Email : slcgsyd@bigpond.com


No. 42, Nawam Mawatha, Colombo 2, Sri Lanka.

Tel: +94-11-2300705-11, Fax: +94-11-2300715 Website: www.srilankabusiness.com


“A stand out when drinking

Dilmah tea are the elevations,

valleys, rainfalls, and the

importance of picking times

and the processing. Taste the

purity and clean flavours of

their single region teas, like

the Watte range, they have

some very exciting flavours of

the exceptional range and in

their t-series.”

Bernd Uber.

Sri Lanka Tea

Tour Stirs Chefs

Twelve chefs from a dozen countries found their way to Dilmah tea country,

Sri Lanka is the experience of a lifetime writes Bernd Uber.


To kick start the culinary tour, a warm welcome by Mr Merrill J

Fernando, the founder of Dilmah and sons Dilhan and Malik

close by his side, met us for welcome drinks at the T-Bar, at

Colombo’s, prestigious Hilton hotel. The journey we were about to

embark on was initiated with a warm welcome by local people including

children, orphans, schoolchildren, the underprivileged, and the blind,

all under the care of the MJF Foundation. Dilmah’s headquarters in

downtown Colombo was our first official tea tasting, where the food

matched various teas. It was just heavenly.

Mr Merrill J Fernando having a

chuckle in the plantation with chefs.

Then onto a most colorful welcome we received by Sri Lankan

children in national costumes, down the road along the river, not

far away. They greeted us with perfect English and we enjoyed their

poems and traditional dances which were very heartfelt, it brought

a tear to my eye. Without being aware of it, we had started our

transformation. The next day was all about smelling, hearing,

tasting and seeing through our own eyes the culture of Ceylon

at the fish market in Nagambo. Some of us ventured out to sea

with local fishermen on ancient looking sailing boats. It was after

this, that we started using Dilmah tea in everything to do with

show cooking and food preparation along the way, and what an

exciting discovery it was.

A super fresh tuna was bought from a fisherman, as well as fresh

vegetables and herbs cooked by our team of chefs in authentic

clay pots, what aromas to start with and flavours at the end.

Later on another show cooking session at Jetwing Beach Hotel,

right at the water’s edge, as the sun was going down.

One of the highlights for me was the visit to a cinnamon plantation. It was

all hands on, right from the cutting of the trees, to the cleaning, peeling

of the bark and further processing. Sri Lanka grows the majority of the

world’s cinnamon. Along our journey we learned, experienced and tasted

how the different elevations, regions and rainfall and crucial picking

times are affecting the end product - the tea we enjoy. More show cooking

at Mankada, a local craft centre, sponsored by the MJF Foundation Centre

of Empowerment, followed by a native Sri Lankan lunch.

On our jeep safari in the Udawalawe National park we were lucky to

observe families of wild elephants with calves. Then overnight at Kulu’s

campsite, breakfast the next morning was along-side the river and then

half submerged to our knees as the river rose due to water being released

from the hydro up-stream, what memories!

“In Holland I try to do

everything in a sustainable

way and Dilmah taught me

so much about it. I saw one

of Dilmah’s tea plantations

without use of pesticides”

Chef Frank van der Zande.

The cinnamon plantation tour was all hands on, right

from the cutting of the trees, to the cleaning, peeling of

the bark and further processing.


On the Jeep safari in the

Udawalawe National Park we

saw wild elephants with calves.

The massages were great!

(pictured Chef Peter Kuruvita)

Off to an elephant transfer home, where

we observed the ritual of baby elephants

getting their daily meal. Once grown up,

they then will be released into the park

again. This also is a project of the MJF


All along on our journey we experienced

the freshest and most exciting teas on earth,

absolute tea heaven. Then two nights at

Galapita, an eco-friendly resort, accessible

only via a dangerous looking hanging

bridge, but worth the crossing. Our huts,

four posts and a roof, were situated mostly

on top of huge rock boulders, overlooking

the landscape. Kero lamps for lighting to

find our way around in the dark made it

extra adventurous.

A morning dip in the wild water served well

as the perfect morning waker-upper!

That evening under torchlights we enjoyed

a singalong with the local staff and we

performed a song in our own language, all

dressed in sarongs. Oh, I had the luxury of

a 6am massage and body steam followed by

a session with a yoga master the next day,

I felt fantastic.

Another highlight was the visit to the

school for the deaf and blind, also funded

by the MJF Foundation and situated in the

most underdeveloped region in Sri Lanka.

Watching the children eat at breakfast, I

could see it was being prepared in a large

aluminum tub, sitting on three rocks with

a wood fire underneath, while a Dahl type

meal was cooking. This was ladled into

plastic tubs for us to take into rooms where

the children were sitting. We portioned

some of that onto their plates with a bread

roll. As a special treat they also received

a chipolata type sausage,

Always hands-on when

it comes to marketing the

business, Dilhan Fernando.

the first time they had

ever tasted something like

this. I sat next to a small

blind boy, broke up his roll

onto the dhal so he could

enjoy it.

We joined in to have the

same treat. As a beverage

the children drank between

3-4 plates of cold water

as they each washed their

plate under a running tap,

and then to be put it away

for the next meal. A very humbling and

sobering experience, we were so touched,

so many with tears in their eyes.

The next day, we were off to play cricket

against a blind and deaf team, laughable

one might think at first. To be fair some

of us had to be blindfolded, one eye for

some, both for others, some had small slits

in their blindfold to give them restricted

vision. We had a ball with built- in rattles.

To cut the story short, we lost badly! Again

we were entertained with local dancers in

colourful costumes.

Off to Nuwara Eliya to the Hill Club, one

of my favourite places in Sri Lanka, with

warm days and cool nights, green lawns

and beautiful flowers all year round. We

enjoyed the hospitality here; they put on

the most charming high tea on the rolling


It was a high and beautiful elevation

at a place we visited called Summerset

Estate. Now under the watchful eyes and

supervision of the beautiful and colourfully

dressed local women we picked tea on the

steep embankments. So this is where it all

starts, the exciting journey of this great

beverage is here. We were shown through

the processing plant to observe all the

stages that need to occur, from the freshly

picked leaf to the final product, in a matter

of hours.


Chefs and the Teamaker attendees:

• Peter Kuruvita, Flying Fish, Sydney Australia

• Frank van der Zande, Umoja Restaurant, Netherlands

• Rohan Fernandopulle, Hilton Colombo, Sri Lanka

• Shahid Latif, Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts, Maldives

• Bernd Uber, WACS, Melbourne Australia

• Tomas Rimydis, Diverso Restaurant, Park Inn Kaunas, Lithuania

• Robert Schinkel, Dilmah Tea Sommelier Champion, Netherlands

• Simon Gault, Masterchef judge, New Zealand

• Jaroslaw Uściński – Restaurant and Catering “Moonsfera” Poland

• Mukul Agarwal, Hilton New Delhi/Janakpuri, India

• Shane Yardley, Bistro Lago Hilton Hotel, New Zealand

• Radim Gerlich, Aromi Catering, Czech Republic

• Matías Palomo, Sukalde Restaurant, School and Catering, Chile

• Mario Holtzem, Member of de Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe, Belgium


Jackfruit, a large fruit can be eaten fresh as a fruit or

cooked as a curry. Within the coarse, green skin, there are

hundreds of succulent yellow segments, very Sri Lankan!

Healing powers of Sri Lankan spices

Little fish are sweet!

Rustic carrots, Sri Lanka style

Back at the Hill Club us chefs headed down

to the gardens to check out the vegetables,

fruits and fresh herbs for the tonight’s

tasting menu. Every course was enhanced

and flavoured by tea, either by an infusion,

smoking, in a farce or in a coating/crust.

The menu was designed according to what

the garden could supply. The only major

ingredient not sourced from the estate was

the local fillet of beef.

The chefs had dinner with all the Fernando

family and with Mr. Merrill J. Fernando

at the head of the table. This dinner will

always remain memorable for me. The

company, the ambience of the club and

the fine dining experience with Dilmah

tea enhancing every aspect of the food,

was absolutely awesome. During the meal,

many award-winning teas versions were

served. I think Robert, our tea sommelier;

“in flames” enjoyed doing his very

impressive cocktail act. This could only

be followed by a great band and fantastic

entertainment by some of the chefs and

our host singing on the microphone.

From there we travelled to Tientsin

Bungalow, part of the Ceylon Tea Trail, the

only property in Sri Lanka that is a member

of the Relais and Chateaux group. We

enjoyed participating in a real Dilmah high

tea experience amidst a most beautiful tea

plantation, in the most perfect surrounds.

Mr Merrill J. Fernando enlightened us with

some of his philosophy on High Tea, I

mean Real High Tea, with Dilmah tea, very


Many places serve reasonably good food

items making up the requirements of a high

tea, but let themselves down by using low

quality teas, insufficient varieties available

and staff not having the knowledge to

enlighten customers about the origin of the

tea, elevation where grown, its character,

and its suitability to match food. The next

stop was the ancient capital Kandy, we

visited the temple there, a most sacred place,

and a cultural and spiritual experience. Our

journey came to an end when we arrived

back in Colombo.

Preparation started for a charity gala

dinner for the Dilmah Global Distributors

Conference with cocktails and dinner in

the Grand Ball Room, and grand it was.

Every chef had a station with helpers

(Commis) in the Ball Room and served a

table of ten with a tea inspired 4-course

menu, sensational. What a finish to an

experience that I feel has changed the lives

of us chefs in a very positive way. It made

us more appreciative of what we have (but

don’t really need), and being more caring

in general. And of course we learned about

Dilmah, the tea, the ethics, the people, and

the great MJF Foundation, which makes it

all worthwhile.

Once having the privilege of experiencing

all of the above, the flavours, the ethics

and the MJF Foundation, you cannot

enjoy any other tea but Dilmah. We have

now returned to our own countries and

have become ambassadors and disciples of

Dilmah. I still drink coffee, but now I drink

a more extended range of teas, all Dilmah.

I seem to need a stronger flavoured tea as

the day progresses. The enjoyment is even

greater knowing that drinking this great

beverage will do so much good for so many

needy people, mainly children, through

the MJF Foundation.

The best tea comes from Ceylon, and the

best tea in Ceylon is Dilmah tea!



Dilmah High Tea

gastronomy competition

Food for art’s sake

Culinary Art 2011

You’ll find the art of festive foods in Colombo, writes Mel Nathan.

Apanel of chefs, distinguished guests and food writers

and critics preside over the competition, tasting and

rating each dish and each chef as they present their

dishes. Since we couldn’t pack you into the suitcase and smuggle

you aboard, this report is our way of sharing the adventure.

Culinary Art began 22 years ago, starting out as Salon Culinaire

in 1989 which was held annually with merely 150 chefs

participating from your 5 star hotels then graduating through

to regional hotels. It then became a bi-annual to accommodate

the increased participation in competitors as well as exhibitors.

As a result the gigantic event now has so many more talented

chefs, bringing recognition to their own establishments,

fostering enthusiasm and pride in their expertise that provides

encouragement for further advancement. Not only a benchmark

event but also a rich food and wine industry event for busy

chefs, apprentices, epicureans, restaurateurs and hoteliers on the

island. Today the competition attracts more than 25,000 visitors

to observe and view over 1300 competitors and many exhibitors

within the food world.

The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall

(BMICH) is the premier location on the paradise isle where

Culinary Art is held every two years. This year’s show again will

see through many medals and awards presented in the following


Most Outstanding Chef

Most Outstanding Apprentice

Most Outstanding Pastry Chef

The Best Hotel Team


There are 30 coveted trophies on offer for the chefs and food professionals and now the event two new

exciting segments introduced including High Tea and Creative Coffee designed to address changing market


Chefs Guild of Lanka

The Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka is Sri Lanka’s Association of professional chefs is an organisation truly dedicated

and committed to the professional development of all chefs on the continent and is the principal organiser

of the gigantic event. It was initiated by founding member chef Neil Grow in 1988. From small beginnings

they have grown over the past two decades and boast over 150 hotels on the island. The Chefs Guild of

Lanka received its charter into WACS The World Association of Chefs Societies at the World Congress in

Frankfurt in 1992 as the 37th member nation.

Mission statement

To expand the goals of chefs and cooks and to create new ideas to further enhance their professional

status around the world. To focus on training and development for chefs and cooks by setting up training

institutions in developed and rural areas in cookery, pastry and bakery. To promote high quality products

and technical knowledge, organise workshops and training courses by linking professional bodies to create

awareness of the importance of culinary art.Create links of friendship, professional co-operation and

mutual understanding.

World Association of Chefs Societies

WACS was founded in October 1928 at Sorbonne in Paris and is the global voice on all issues relating

to the culinary profession. The first congress has participants from 17 countries. Today, the global body

has 72 official associations as members. As a professional, non-political organization, WACS is dedicated

to maintaining and improving worldwide culinary standard cuisines through professional development,

education and training.

Colombo Hilton welcomes you

Home to two of the country’s most celebrated chefs; Gerard Mendis and Rohan Fernandopulle. I always

enjoy staying here - it’s the best business hotel in town, where the executive suites are immaculate and offer

superb views to the sea and it’s close to the beach. Well designed, nice gardens, bars and excellent service,

staff here are well trained and exemplify the culture of hospitality which Sri Lankans are famous for. The

string hoppers at breakfast time are to die for! Catch up with friends over an afternoon High Tea designed

by Dilmah Tea in the famous Thorana Lounge. If you’re looking for top notch Sri Lankan fashion or a sari

then stop by at Odel, Barefoot and Ganesh. Hail down a tuk tuk; it’s more scenic - but agree on the price first

as the taxi drivers usually don’t use their meters. The locals here in Colombo are as warm as the climate.

Bohoma Isthutuie

I would like to thank the organising committee of Chefs Guild of Lanka, Hilton Colombo and Consul-

General of The Republic of Sri Lanka, Australia for providing this opportunity to learn and live the exotic

lifestyle and food culture. It’s been one of the most delicious times in my life and you can do it – if you can

spare a whole week in Sri Lanka.

We’ve provided photos of our musings as we traverse to the continent again for Culinary Art.



The Paradise Isle

Here’s a famous Sri Lankan Cocktail recipe

made in 5 minutes offered in homes around

Kandy writes Nissanka Petiyagoda (Peti).


1.5 oz of the finest quality Ceylon Arrack

0.5 oz of Benedictine

2oz fresh ripe Passionfruit juice


Shake and then strain

Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry.

ANECDOTE Some years ago a week prior to Culinary Art

a frantic hotel general manager announced to me he had

presented a ‘‘sensational’’ cocktail to some tourists.

His barman was sent up a king coconut tree, to mix Arrack in

to some of the coconut water in the fruit while on the tree.

The courageous barman was then gently lowered by a pulley


Sensing that he was seeking some approval, I asked him to

bring along a coconut tree and pay the Fire Brigade to stand-by.

On another occasion, little prior to commencement I was asked

whether a “limbo” stick could be set on fire so the barman

could juggle two bottles of spirits while passing under. I asked

him to try it elsewhere once he had the fire brigade and an

undertaker standing by.

After a hard day’s judging, a competitor asked me how his

cocktail with 9 ingredients had scored?

I told him he should have had 20 and drunk it all so he

would be famous by morning in the obituary columns in the




Judges Bernd Uber and Mark Hellbach in action at the

Dilmah Tea event. In Association with World Association

of Cooks Society – the global authority on food – and the

Chefs Guild of Lanka Dilmah hosted the Dilmah Real

High Tea challenge as part of the Sir Lankan premiere

food event, Culinary Art 2010.

Strong and Hot!


nothing like being

a judge in the Dilmah

Real High Tea competition

writes Bernd Uber.

hat a category to judge,

“Wand a real life situation,

at a table setting for 4 diners who

are actually judges. The competitor

brings in everything except the table

which is already supplied. There is a

team introduction, for example; from

Sheraton Hotel and what their theme

for their high tea showcase will be,

including a description of the food,

table decoration and dress. He/she then

explains the teas on show, discussing

their characteristics, where it was grown,

what altitude it came from, and how to

enjoy drinking it, whether it is suited to

drinking black, white, with cream sugar,

honey or with jaggery.

The next step is partnering the right

morsels for the afternoon tea with the

right selection of Dilmah teas. This is

sometimes a difficult task, as Sri Lanka

English is usually not their first language,

so the pressure is on. With judge’s eyes

constantly fixed on them it’s not only

nerve racking, but quite a challenge.

I have seen some great teams over the

years, we gave a team a top mark of

99/100, where the one point deducted

was for a slip with the correct temperature

being too high for green tea. In most

cases when it comes to judging, the food

is always quite delicious, but sometimes

lacking tea knowledge; mainly on the

quality, variety and tea etiquette, which

would make it a memorable experience.

Dilmah is investing in overcoming this

shortfall by staging this category, first in

Colombo, and about to stage a national

competition within the Australian

market in August, 2011.

by (judge) Bernd Uber.




Dilhan Fernando

Dilmah Tea

Dilmah claims to be the world’s

first truly ethical tea, in that all

packaging profits are retained

in Sri Lanka and fund the MJF

Charitable Foundation for the

benefit of tea estate workers, the

community and the future of the

ailing Ceylon tea industry.

T-bar to paradise

If you respect it for the right occasion, selection and brewing

time, your tea will give you the most amazing pleasure.

My ingredient obsession

is fresh mint and ginger in

tea and creative tea infused


Born? Sri Lanka. Education? Studied at Stonehurst College, Lancashire, UK.

About the tea? Dilmah, acknowledged by the flagship Ceylon Tea brand, has in

a relatively short period of 15 years, represented quality in tea, against the trend of

commoditisation by major multinational brands. It has also secured a place among

the top five international tea brands. Favourite cheap eat? The Cricket Café in

Columbo. Colombo. It’s fast, furious and serves great beer. What keeps you going? Tea

and I am totally consumed by it, and my children. How can we keep attracting

young people to drinking tea? Bring style that’s often lacking and to inspire

tea with cuisines. Most useful book? There wasn’t one but now you can find a

new one, The Dilmah Way of Tea. On Sri Lankan cuisine? Artisanal and neither

hot nor conventional but piquant and spicy in a sophisticated way. Describe

Dilmah’s t-Bars? The Dilmah t-Bars are the company’s most recent innovation,

designed to bring style with quality, to tea. Dilmah t-bars have so far been opened

in over 25 different locations in Europe and Asia. Ingredient obsession? Mint

leaf and ginger in tea. Countries travelled to last year? I travel a lot. I enjoyed

launching the first International School of Tea at the Institut Paul Bocuse in

France. An initiative designed to share the Dilmah family’s love of tea across the

globe. The idea is to train students and foster awareness of the art of serving and

enjoying tea, and like wine, to understand the harmony between dishes and to

create original menus based on tea using its various flavours, as well as cocktails

with and without alcohol. Favourite thing about Sydney? I like to chill out

down at Circular Quay. Sydney is the best capital city and I love the people. We

enjoyed eating at Flying Fish at Jones Bay Wharf, and mingling with some of

Sydney’s food and wine people including; Lyndey Milan, Catherine Saxelby, Nick

Doumanis from Grant Burge Wines, Sue Shepherd and Ian ‘Herbie’ Hemple. Is

Flying Fish showcasing Sri Lankan food? He’s doing great and adapting well to

creative Sri Lankan cuisine favourites in contemporary ways. On a philosophical

note? It’s about your whole business going beyond commercial objectives and

to make your business a matter of human service. Dilmah conservation and the

MJF Charitable Foundation fulfill the humanitarian service and environmental

commitment of Dilmah. A minimum of 10 per cent of our global profits go

to charity, mostly inspired by children. How was Dilmah built? My father is

celebrating 21 years of Dilmah and a lifetime devoted to tea. Back in the 1950s he

wanted to offer tea drinkers the finest tea on Earth. While doing so, he desired

to make his a genuinely ethical brand. It took nearly four decades for Merrill

to fulfil his mission, and in 1988 he launched his family tea - Dilmah - the first

producer owned tea brand in the world, handpicked, perfected and packed at

source and shipped within days to tea drinkers around the world. On Merrill? For

his birthday, he never plans anything, but something always comes up. A couple

of years ago we attended a Blind Cricket party, which was great fun.



Gerard Mendis



Esprit de culinaire

Sri Lankan cuisine has diverse influences prepared with many spices (used

liberally) with a distinctive taste, the memory of which is hard to erase. Once

you are introduced to our cuisine you will always tend to crave for it.

Born? December 29th, 1956 Years in the business? To test your mental arithmetic, from the

tender age of 17 years. Best Kitchens worked? The Middle East. Favourite cheap eat? Pol

sambol (coconut sambol) with string hoppers, a really simple Sri Lankan dish. What keeps

you going? My diverse interests with agriculture, plantation and forestry, camping, wildlife,

music and entertaining. Advice to future young chefs? The road is hard and long but work

hard, be dedicated and you will reap a bountiful harvest! Most useful cookbook? I have

read a couple of books. However I experiment and come up with my own recipes. How we

can we keep attracting young chefs into the food world? By showcasing the talents of

young chefs and offering higher wages and offering attractive fringe benefits. Celebrity chefs

must play a role in driving home the message that chefs will always be in demand in a world

of interesting challenges and routines constantly. Favourite thing about Colombo? Despite

all the adversity that it faced in the recent past, the city is still alive! Also I’ve been working

overseas for many years and conclude that not only Colombo but the whole of Sri Lanka

is one of the best countries and destinations by world standards. Career you would have

pursued if you did not become a chef? Architect or a musician. Early influences? My

mother who is a talented seamstress and a homemaker. Her creative and artistic abilities drew

me to experiment in the kitchen at home at a young age. Art was also a passion, and I enjoyed

sketching and painting which has influenced me with my pastry techniques and creativity.

Favourite Sport: 4 x 4 Motocross off-roading and rifle and pistol target shooting. Ingredient

obsession? Chocolate. Countries travelled to this year and what you learned? Dubai

- That our Sri Lankan culinarians are making the grade where ever they go. India - The

vast repertoire of the cuisine and something more interesting; it’s designed to satisfy ‘human

physiology’. How would you describe Sri Lankan cuisine to Australian chefs? How did

Culinary Art start out as a competition? Culinary Art started out as Salon Culinaire in 1989

which was held annually with merely 150 chefs participating from your 5 star hotels then

graduating through to regional hotels. It then was held bi-annually to accommodate the

increased participation in competitors as well as exhibitors. As a result we have more talented

chefs, bringing recognition to their establishments, fostering enthusiasm and pride in their

expertise and providing encouragement for further advancement within their fields. Today

the competition attracts more than 25,000 visitors to observe and view over 1300 competitors

and many exhibitors within the food world.

Not only the brainchild of the prestigious Culinary

Art event, Mendis has held the position of Executive

Pastry chef at Colombo Hilton’s hotel and the most

respected personality of Chefs Guild of Lanka.

Sri Lanka boasts culinarians with very high reputations




ROHAN Fernandopulle

Executive Chef, HilTON Colombo

Sri Lankan


Being a part of Dilmah’s Chef

and the TeaMaker Tour was an

experience. Sri Lankan teas can

be as diverse and different as the

backgrounds of chefs.

Sri Lankan’s young

gun apprentice Rachithri

Fernandopuille winning

“Best Apprentice Award

at Culinary Art 2010”

I love our fresh seafood

and the herbs and spices

we use in Sri Lanka.

The Curry Leaf Restaurant at Hilton, Colombo.

Experience I started out as a lab technologist with

Haycarb producing activated carbon, then along

the way fell in love with cooking and joined a small

resort hotel on the south coast, then with Hilton,

Colombo, the rest is history. I have been fortunate

to work in all sorts of kitchens in Europe, Middle

East and Asia. Best kitchens worked? Patin

d’or in Luxemberg, a 2 Star Michelin restaurant.

Favourite cheap eats? Babath and Pittu, has the

best Sri Lankan and Indian food in town. What

keeps you going? Admiring the progress of my

apprentices and a glass of scotch to wind up the

day. Advice to future young chefs? Stick to the

basics and do it right and all the other things will

fall in place as you go. Favourite kitchen tool?

My Pacojet. Most controversial menu item?

Foie Gras Hoppers. Most useful cookbook?

Art Culinaire. Early influences? My Mother. On

classic vs modern cuisine? I’m always enjoying

new tastes of classic and admire modern cuisine.

Career you would have pursued if you had not

become a chef? A chemist. How can we keep

attracting teens into the food world? Give them

good food, make them to love their food, create a

culture to have a passion for cooking. Describe

the cuisine at Hilton? We have 6 restaurants

ranging from small to large and including a fine

dining and a banquet room offering traditional

Sri Lankan through to the modern state of art

cuisine. We cater to 13 satellite kitchens within

the property. Career turning point? Meeting my

wife who gave all the support courage to pursue

my culinary career. Favourite sport? Cricket.

Happiest moments in my life When my daughter

Rachithri took up cooking as her profession. She is

currently at the Institute of Paul Bocuse in Lyon,

France. Saddest moments in my life When my

son gave up first class cricket after captaining Sri

Lanka under 17s National side to pursue career

in finance! Purveyor tip? Purchase the best

ingredients from the most reliable purveyors and

form a relationship with them.


classics with

modern at Spoons




Keerthi Hapugasdeniya ‘Happy’

Body and soul food

Culinary Art 2011 was crowded with over 1300 chefs wielding knives and shaking

sauté pans. It’s the biggest culinary test outside of the Culinary Olympics.


Born? Sri Lanka. Education? Diploma in Business Management, Catering and Hotel

Management Airline experience? 20 years in the airline industry working as a chef in

corporate and quality assurance, I consult with airline companies on a day-to-day basis.

Biggest job? I have worked in many kitchens including this enormous restaurant in Zurich

called the Bahnoff Buffet where we served between 10-15,000 a la carte meals per day.

Favourite cheap eat? Renzo’s Café and Bar in Dockland, Melbourne. What keeps you

going? Young family, food, the buzzing culinary airline business, there’s never a dull day.

Advice to future chefs? Guys go and get it. It’s a beautiful industry we’re in and there’s lots

of opportunity around the world. In the past 25 years I have never had a boring day. Most

useful cookbook? The book of Ingredients by Philip Dowell and Adrian Bailey Advice

to young chefs? It’s the best job in the world. You can walk into any kitchen anywhere in

the world, you will never run out of a jobs any day any time or any where. Meeting happy

people along the way, and when you serve good food, you feel great. Favourite thing about

Colombo? My hometown, lots of hustles and guzzles, lively and warm, it’s a party town with

good people. On Sri Lankan cuisine? Ours is a bit like Greek, Italian or Indian cuisine, it’s

all about the food that your mother and grandmother cooked. Favourite sport? Cricket, it’s

my second religion. Ingredient obsession? Cinnamon for its taste and medicinal values.

Sri Lankans say if you are not eating anything just chew a piece of cinnamon. Countries

travelled to last year? I have travelled to over 25 countries, it’s always nice to see different

cultures and behaviors’. In Sri Lanka chefs can adapt to our cultures quite easily. Describe

Sri Lankan cuisine? Lots of different flavours, healthy alternatives and holistic. Everything

prepared has a meaning to your diner’s body, soul and palate. Try some recipes and research

into the ingredients. Our ingredients are very adaptable to any foreign palate; but watch the

strength of herbs and spices and then later, you can introduce new flavours, but not forever.

We always strive for authentic flavours and dishes that we ate from our grandmothers before

you introduce any type of foreign foods.




Rachtithri Fernandopulle

Ritz Paris and Paul Bocuse Institute

Rachithri Fernadopulle putting Sri Lanka

on the international culinary map.

Sri Lankan - world renowned for its

valued culinary spices and healing herbs


Born? October 25th in 1990 Education? My culinary career started out at Winstone Hotel

School, Sri Lanka. Then felt I wanted to build my education on a stronger foundation, so I

applied to the Institute Paul Bocuse in Paris, which is the best in the world and where I’ll

be studying for the next few years. When I got my acceptance in the mail, words could not

describe the happiness I felt. It was my dream to study here, much more than what I could

ever ask for. Best kitchens worked?

Ritz in Paris right now and not

forgetting Hilton Colombo as it was

Colombo plan

Paris, a city where you can

make your dreams come true.

my first kitchen. Favourite cheap

eat? Pizza Advice to future young

chefs? It’s a very hard job, but as my

father says if you have the passion for

cooking, the sky is the limit. Do what

you like and like what you do! Favourite kitchen tool? My knife. You’re already an

‘award-winning chef’ where did you win? I won ‘Best Apprentice Chef in Sri Lanka last

year at Culinary Art 2010. Favourite thing about Paris? A city where you can make your

dreams come true, the French gastronomic restaurants are the most amazing things that

I have seen in France. Favourite thing about Colombo? It’s my home town, its heaven

on earth I would say and everything in Colombo is special for me, especially the beach.

Most useful cookbook? I don’t read a lot of cookbooks but I watch a lot of episodes

of cooking series where I get lot of knowledge and ideas. My favourite is Masterchef

Australia. Early influences? My dad, I always wanted to be like him - a great chef and also

my mum who discouraged me of being a chef because I wouldn’t be able to find a husband

according to her. She taught me how to make traditional dishes. On classic vs modern

cuisine? Modern dishes are based on classical dishes but now everything is changing;

people invent more and more new dishes. Classical dishes are fading day by day - you need

to know traditional recipes first to go forward. Career you would have pursued if you

hadn’t become a chef? A ‘Top Model’ which my dad would never agree to. Describe

how culinary art event has had an effect on your career? It influenced my career

immensely by giving me a huge acceptance from some of Sri Lanka’s most prestigious

chefs and hotels. It also helped when I applied to the Paul Bocuse Institute. I didn’t have

much experience, but feel now I have this new confidence. I gave the competition my

heart and soul. Favourite sport? Swimming. Ingredient obsession? Foie gras. Future

plans? I want to be a Michelin Star chef first – it will be long hard path and I’ll do

whatever it takes to achieve this. I’d like to return to Sri Lanka to open a hotel school with

a restaurant like an Institute Paul Bocuse that is recognized worldwide.

My passion and determination is to be one

of the leading chefs in the world.

Merrill, Dilhan and Malik Fernando with Chef Paul

Bocuse Chairman of the Institut Paul Bocuse where

Rachithri Fernandopulle is currently studying.


MadHAWA Weerabadhdhana



Chef ‘Maha’

Chefs at their sharpest

Through demonstration and exchange of culinary skills

Culinary Art is promoting the growth of chefs in our country.

Born? 1963 Education? Management Dip Professional Cookery,

Graduate Ceylong Hotel School of Tourism. Best kitchens

worked? Restaurant Zeughauskeller-Bahnhoff, Switzerland, SAS

Palais Hotel, Vienna, Heritance Ahungalla, Sri Lankan, Copthorn

and Millenium Hotels. Favourite cheap eat? Hoppers with Lunu

miris (chili smabal). Advice to future young chefs? Being involved

at Culinary Art ’s long journey, and to learn from mistakes and to

be guided onto the right track. It’s all about winning, dedication,

commitment, having a positive attitude and being willing to accept

defeat. Favourite kitchen tool? My chopping knife and whisk.

How does the judging work? You always need to understand the

category you’re judging and the rules. Judges are always briefed

with the criteria first then passed on to a head judge then a jury of

two before they provide the best result within fairness and accuracy.

Favourite thing about Colombo? It’s a city like no other. A mix of

everyone’s needs. The quality here is cheap and cheerful to expensive

and only a few minutes away from everything and anything. Your

role with Culinary Art? I have been the event director since ‘96, and

work alongside with a dynamic committee. We’re multi-skilled and

not known just for our cooking. On classic vs modern cuisine?

Classic from the past has changed the face with Asian influences

now. The spice and condiment market has created some unique

mixes and dishes for the high-end gourmet market. How can

we keep attracting new people into the food world? Food

culture could be incorporated into junior high schools then getting

students involved with culinary and tourism food related events on a

government level. On this years event? We had the highest number

of entries with chefs taking up the battle for gold, silver and bronze.

Who are the people behind culinary art? Gerard Mendis and

the Executive Committee including 20 regional chefs and President

chef Morugama, and vice is Nalina Narampanawa. Favourite sport?

Cricket. New categories this year? • A new face to the Dilmah

High Tea/gastronomy category. • Live hot cooking has two new

categories; meat and poultry and also fish and seafood. • Gourmet

delicatessen snack menu – where competitors produce 5 cold

appetiser snacks, 5 main

course snacks and dessert

involving fruits and ice

cream. • Non-Professional

category - 3 tier wedding

themed cake, for epicureans

not necessarily chefs. How

many competitors for

Culinary Art 2011? We

got 2118 entries and about

1381 chefs.

Sri Lankan culinarians







Send me all your resumes! I would love to

have more Turkish chefs working in Australia.

Winners are grinners -

Gary Johnson winner of AHA’s

‘Chef of the Year 2011’ for New

South Wales and Australia.

Hilton Sydney’s Executive Chef Gary Johnson has a focus on regional Australian

produce and “simple excellence” in the kitchen. He believes local high-quality

produce is best served fresh, yet skillfully prepared to enhance natural flavours.

Born in Australia, Gary began his career in Queensland, where he completed

his apprenticeship and held Executive Chef positions at leading resorts, such

Lizard Island and Hamilton Island Resort before travelling overseas.

After moving to Europe he worked with such luminaries as Raymond Blanc,

John Burton-Race and Anthony Worrell Thompson in the UK then Switzerland,

France and Germany. Gary returned to Queensland where he furthered his

career as Chef De Cuisine and Co-Owner of Two Chefs Restaurant (awarded

3 chef’s hats) before venturing overseas once again. Followed was positions

at Four Seasons London and the Maldives as well as the celebrated Ciragan

Palace Kempinski Hotel in Istanbul.

Gary now leads a team of 50 chefs at the Hilton Sydney, who cater up to

3000 delegates across 23 function rooms, where the cuisine reflects Gary’s

passion for using local produce to create international flavours. Hilton Sydney

is renowned for its innovative events where Gary has developed unique

concepts involving Kitchen Theatre, Healthy Meetings and incorporating

preferred dietary requirements in all seasonal menus. With a career spanning

over 30 years, Gary has been an inspiration to young chefs and cooks the

world over.

Born? Brisbane. Education? Brisbane

Grammar School. Experience? 12 years

international; 30 years in the kitchen. What

keeps you going? My love of good food and

“best of the season” ingredients. Advice to

future chefs? Love your job and you’ll never

have to work a day in your life. Favourite

kitchen tool? My razor-sharp Japanese cook’s

knife. Favourite thing about Istanbul? The

markets are fantastic! We spent many days

there, always well fed and came home with

some beautiful carpets and crockery. Two

other things that bring back fond memories

about Turkey in general was the fact that the

summers were so hot and in winter it snowed.

We loved being able to take two holidays every

year: one for swimming, mezze and raki on the

bay at Bodrum during summer, then the other

with hearty casseroles and red wine at the ski

lodge in the winter at Kartalkaya. How can we

keep attracting chefs into the food world?


Modern Australian Cooking Classes in the Palace kitchen on Saturday mornings.

The 155 chef strong, brigade on the steps

at the Ciragan Palace Hotel Kempinski, Istanbul.

My razor sharp Tojiro chefs knife.

Encourage them to eat out and travel

internationally. Appreciate and enjoy good

food. Favourite thing about Sydney? The

buzz of the city and the myriad and diverse

range of restaurants. Most controversial

menu ingredient in Istanbul? Sumac. A

little overworked in some areas. Although,

yoghurt goes with just about every meal in

Turkey. Most useful cookbook? My own

- I’ve collected some great recipes from

around the world over many years; all tried

and tested. Career turning point? Being

mentored as an apprentice and encouraged

to compete. Once you begin to win medals

at salon culinaires, it’s an adrenalin rush.

It became my hobby within a career and

culminated in two tours to the culinary

Olympics in Germany; 1988 and 1992. It

taught me tenacity, creativity and a great

eye for detail. Describe working in Turkey

as a chef. They say it is the third greatest

cuisine in the world along with French

and Chinese. You can see where so many

other nationalities have derived some of

their own dishes from the basics in Turkish

cuisine. You work six days a week and 12

to 15 hours a day as an expat but, you will

be rewarded with the loyalty and respect of

your team and a deep appreciation for time

spent relaxing on your day off. I got the job

at Ciragan Palace hotel through a friend

and had to cook for the general manager

and management to create and cook eight

different entrees and mains for lunch;

two plates of each, 32 in total. I had the

morning to prepare with a commis to help

me for only four hours. Yes, I got that job

and worked in Istanbul for three wonderful

years. Favourite sport? Running. You

need to be fit to work hard; mentally and

physically. I can do it anywhere; anytime

and it’s great to relieve stress. I can “zone

out” on long runs. Do chefs in Sydney

have access to most Turkish ingredients

and where is the best place to buy? Yes

we do. Auburn is the best place to shop

(some great restaurants too). Purveyor tip?

Develop a relationship with your purveyors;

personally and professionally. They are

partners in your business and success.




Do & Co Academy Tour, Istanbul writes Mel Nathan.

More passengers are waking up to the benefits of having

Do & Co on the menu; state-of-the-art headquarters

that include cabin simulators representing Turkish

Airlines B-777 First class, A-340 Business class and B-737 Economy

classes. On a recent headquarters tour I learnt that coloured

background lights not only add dramatic effects to the cabin but

also the way you see your food.

We’re flying with Turkey’s best regarded airline, Turkish Airlines,

book your flight, and order your meal and a good wine or Raki

to open up your senses to your surroundings. As a passenger, I’ve

always used all five senses to tell me how good an airline is.

What you see – well presented staff, attractively presented and

well groomed; What you smell – great smelling food, pleasant

smelling staff; What you hear – friendly well spoken staff, pleasing

background music; What you feel – comfortable seating, airconditioning

and lighting. And of course what you taste.

All of the sensory inputs act cumulatively in a positive or negative

way to give the sum result of the flying experience. The smart

passenger will use this human factor to their benefit by targeting the

ambience to the intended clientele. Much like a car manufacturer

targets cars to different consumers.

Bad illumination weighs heavily on the negative of the ambient sum

equation. It’s an individual thing for sure but by way of example we

can make it clear – a passenger wishing to enjoy $150 Australian red

with a rare scotch fillet it’s hardly going to transcend to that dreamy

consciousness of gastronomic oneness when a bright down light is

zapping over your head.

Try instead candlelight, sitting simply in your seat, gently caressing

the meal, the glass of red, and your loved one. Helping take your

focus to what really matters. Candle light has a naturally warm

colour temperature – around 1800 degrees Kelvin. Which in

small doses is perfect for that intimate ambience in a fine dining

experience you may wish to nurture, but we are going for the flying

experience, not at a fine dining restaurant experience. One can now

finish the dining-area illumination with simple, yet clever effects.

Artworks may be gently washed with a number of lighting sources

and installation methods. Point sources of light add dramatic

effects to sculptures and well textured surfaces.

Do & Co want to provide illumination which gently draws your eye

to the good stuff (the fillet steak, the glass of red, and your partner’s

beautiful eyes – or whatever you consider their best features). This

is what one’s mind wants to focus on during the flight, thus the

illumination should do everything to assist this.

Turkey is fortunate to have world class chefs thanks to Do & Co, so

it makes sense to use them – it’s why they’ve been in the top 2 in 2

years for the Peoples Choice Best Economy Class Onboard Catering,



• Customer satisfaction increased from 49% to 93%

(98% in 2010!)

• 25 million meals are served per year, servicing more

than 60 airlines

• Turkish Airlines to become one of the leading quality

service airlines of the world

• Double digit savings for Turkish Airlines compared

to the past

• Market leader in Turkey (approximately 70 %), one of

the fastest growing markets

• Most modern cabin crew training center in Europe

• State of the art interior design to reflect quality as

essential part of our common company culture

• Dedicated training sessions

• General attitude / personalised hospitality programs

• Intensive cabin service training

• Special galley courses (F&B and heating and plating


• 3 independent classrooms

B- 777 First class

A-340 Business class

B-737 Economy class

• Original galley designs and galley equipment (ovens,

coffee makers etc.)

• Real food training and service style simulations

• Full video training

• Airline partners include; Turkish Airways, Air France,

Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Etihad, Qatar,

Lufthansa and Emirates.

Perhaps you will choose one of their partner airlines

sometime soon – they would be honoured to welcome

you on-board. For more info on Do & Co the Gourmet

Entertainment Company visit www.doco.com

and Best Airline in Europe and Best Premium Economy

Seats and Best Airline in Southern Best Airline in Europe

with Skytrax 2010 World Airline Awards

A tip for passengers who want to get some of that

intangible, though often elusive thing called ambience

into their flights – and what I did on my very hospitable

Turkish Airlines flight home to Australia.

Accept your meal with a glass of Raki then open up your

senses, it’s about what you taste!

Aircraft simulator in Do & Co headquarters,

Attatuuk International Airport.


Turkey’s miLES

& smiles come

Down Under

How is your Turkish?

Turkish Airlines flies

into Australia for

Anzac tourism

writes Mel Nathan.


basketball star

Kobe Jones is the

new Global brand

ambassador for

Turkish Airlines.

Turkey’s flagship air carrier Turkish Airlines have cemented a long-term alliance with

Thai Airways and Asiana Airlines, entering the Australian market, via an expanded

code share agreement with the fellow Star Alliance members. Turkish airline’s tieup

with the two airlines will result in both co-operating on flight scheduling, frequent-flyer

loyalty programs, airport lounge access and pricing on international routes.

The planned deal with both Thai and Asiana, regarded as having one of the strongest brands

in aviation, will also give Turkish Airlines access to passenger feeds from fast growing markets

like China and India. The joint clout that the alliance now has should mean they can greatly

increase their market share. Turkish Airlines wants to double its share of the high-yielding

business travel market in Australia by 20 per cent.

In 2009 about 60,000 people travelled between the two countries. More than four-fifths of

them were Australians, highlighting the large number of people here of Turkish background

and Turkey’s popularity as a tourist destination. Mehmet Aytekin Turkish Airlines’ director of

Australia and New Zealand told FCI management had been talking to both airlines ever since

with announcement of the Australian Pacific Aviation Summit in Sydney back in 2009, when

Turkish Airlines CEO Temil Kotil paid a visit Down Under as part of a push for the route.

“We could have done a deal a lot earlier but we wanted to take our time and do it properly. The

alliance will give the airlines the chance to jointly submit pricing to companies, while also

helping boost the appeal of Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles loyalty program. It will certainly

strengthen our case,’’ said Aytekin of the Turkish tie-up. “Australia’s Turkish population and

tourism links – fuelled by Anzac tours, are making Australia a market with strong potential.’’

Aytekin is confident that the carrier would be able to compete in the Australian market as

it “covers Europe better” than any other airline. To serve its expansion Turkish Airlines has

ordered 19 aircraft, 12 of which are Boeing 777-300s in a 3-class configuration and 7 of which

are Airbus 330-300s. Turkish Airlines transfers about 30,000 of its passengers a year to Thai’s

Australian network, and Turkish has had a sales office in Australia for 15 years. Aytekin said

a code-share deal with Thai would result in Turkish Airlines feeding some 40,000 passengers

a year to Thai’s Australian-bound flights. As an outcome of the new code share agreement

signed between Asiana Airlines, passengers from Seoul, for example, will be able to connect

on Turkish Airlines’ network to any of its 119 international destinations including routes to

Turkey, Europe, North America, South America, Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

So next time you purchase a ticket to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines, and when the ticket arrives

in the mail you might also notice that you’ll be flying with Thai or Asiana and that it is a

codeshare. It is quite common now days. If you’re wondering about the leg room, the food,

the service, and the plane, well don’t stress, Turkish Airlines carrier will be able to compete

in the Australian market as it covers Europe better than any other airline. In April 2008,

Turkish Airlines became a member of the Star Alliance, which is one of the biggest networks

of individual airlines with more than 31 members. In 2009 the Australian federal government

opened the way for another Middle Eastern airline to enter the hotly contested route between

Europe and Australia after the signing of an air-services agreement with Turkey.

This completes the Australian and Turkish puzzle. “We want more of the Australian market

and this will give us that”, Aytekin told FCI. He expects the flights will bring in many tourists

from Turkey and be able to serve Australians desiring to visit Turkey for Anzac services.









Filmed at Southbay Studios in Los Angeles, the

commercial was directed by Laurance Dunmore

that features Kobe’s interaction with Turkish

Airlines’ famed “Flying Chef” aboard a long-haul

flight. In a competitive exchange, Kobe and the

chef dare each other to switch roles—Kobe as chef

and chef as basketball player. The result is a

light-hearted competition in which both realize

the skill required of each other’s professions.


Dr Temel Kotil with the Turkish Airline brigade


Republic of Serbia

Republic of Serbia






Uroš Urošević


and Culinary FedERATION of Serbia



Being a judge in a gastronomic event

is a very difficult and exhausting task.

But the most beautiful experience is

when you meet and taste national

dishes of different countries. You also

have the opportunity to congratulate

them for their success.

Kulinarska Federacija Srbije - Culinary Federation of Serbia





Balkanski Kulinarski Kup

Balkan Culinary Cup

11.-13. April ÁàëêàíñêèéÊóëèíàðíûéÊóáîê




Genex Impulse Hall

Hotel Continental

G o l d e n B a l k a n C h e f

Best Serbian chef & pastry chef


Golden Team & more awards



Drage kolege,

Pozivamo Vas da uzmete uèešæe u predstojeæoj manifestaciji

Balkanski Kulinarski Kup

Drugi po redu Balkanski Kulinarski Kup, održaæe se od 11 do 13 aprila 2011 godine u Beogradu, u

prostorijama Genex Impulse Hall-a hotela Continental, Vladimira Popoviæa 10, 11070 Novi Beograd

Domaæini i organizatori festivala su Kulinarska Federacija Srbije, Kulinarska Asocijacija Srbije i

Asocijacija Šefova Kuvara Srbije.

Cilj manifestacije je da na jednom mestu okupi profesionalce iz ove oblasti, kako iz Srbije i Republike

Srpske, tako i iz zemalja Balkanskog regiona, Evrope i Sveta, radi razmene iskustva i unapreðenja struke

na globalnom nivou.

Na ovom šampionatu æe za razliku od prošle godine, uèešæe u takmièenju pored individualnih takmièara

imati i nacionalni timovi iz zemlje i inostranstva, kao i regionalni, restoranski, hotelski i juniorski timovi.

Na ovom takmièenju, se pored izbora za najboljeg kuvara i najboljeg poslastièara Srbije, održava i

takmièenje za najboljeg kuvara Balkana.

Oèekujemo Vas,

Kulinarska Federacija Srbije

Dear Colleagues,

We invite You to take a part in upcoming


Balkan Culinary Cup

The second Balkan Culinary Cup will be held from

11 to 13 April 2011 in Belgrade, in the premises

of the Genex Impulse Hall, Hotel Continental

Belgrade, Vladimira Popovica st. 10.

The hosts and organizers of the festival are the

Culinary Federation of Serbia, Culinary

Association of Serbia and the Serbian Chefs


The aim of the event is to gather in one place

professionals in this field, both from Serbia and

the Serbian Republic, and from the countries of

the Balkan region, Europe and the World, to

exchange experiences and improve the

profession on a global level.

This championship will be unlike last year, aboard

individual competitors, next competition will be

open for national teams from the country and

region, as well as regional, restaurant, hotel and

junior teams.

At this competition, we choose the best chef and

the best pastry chef of Serbia, and also the best

chef of Balkan, Golden Balkan Chef.

We are looking forward to see you,

Culinary Federation of Serbia

Óâàæàåìûå êîëëåãè,

Ìû ïðèãëàøàåì Âàñ ïðèíÿòü ó÷àñòèå â

ïðåäñòîÿùèõ ñîáûòèé

Áàëêàíñêèé Êóëèíàðíûé Êóáîê

Âòîðîé Áàëêàíñêîé Êóëèíàðíûé Êóáîê áóäåò

ïðîõîäèòü ñ 11 ïî 13 àïðåëÿ 2011 ãîäà â

Áåëãðàäå, íà Genex Èìïóëüñ çàë è Continental

Hotel, Âëàäèìèð Ïîïîâè÷, 10, 11070 Íîâè


Õîçÿåâà è îðãàíèçàòîðû ôåñòèâàëÿ êóëèíàðíîãî

Ôåäåðàöèè Ñåðáèè, àññîöèàöèè êóëèíàðîâ

Ñåðáèè è Àññîöèàöèè ãëàâ Êóëèíàðíûå Ñåðáèè.

Öåëüþ ìåðîïðèÿòèÿ ÿâëÿåòñÿ òî, ÷òî ñáîð

ñïåöèàëèñòîâ â ýòîé îáëàñòè, êàê èç Ñåðáèè è

Ðåñïóáëèêè Ñåðáñêîé, è èç Áàëêàíñêîãî ðåãèîíà

è Å â ð î ï û , ä ë ÿ î á ì å í à î ï û ò î ì è

ñîâåðøåíñòâîâàíèÿ ïðîôåññèè âî âñåì ìèðå.

 ýòîì ñåçîíå â îòëè÷èå îò ïðîøëîãî ãîäà â

êîíêóðñå â äîïîëíåíèå ê îòäåëüíûì

êîíêóðåíòû íàöèîíàëüíûõ êîìàíä èç äîìà è çà

ðóáåæîì, à òàêæå ðåãèîíàëüíûå, ðåñòîðàí,

ãîñòèíèöà è þíèîðñêèõ êîìàíä.

Íà ýòîì êîíêóðñå, ìû âûáèðàåì ëó÷øèõ øåôïîâàð

è ëó÷øèé øåô-êîíäèòåð èç Ñåðáèè, à

òàêæå ëó÷øèå øåô-ïîâàðà èç áàëêàíñêèõ,

Çîëîòîé áàëêàíñêèõ øåô-ïîâàðà.

Ìû áóäåì ðàäû âèäåòü Âàñ,

Êóëèíàðíûå Ôåäåðàöèè Ñåðáèè


Born? Belgrade, Serbia in 1981. Best kitchens worked? I’ve

seen a lot of different kitchens and I have been employed in

more than 15. My training ground was; Intercontinental, Slavija

Lux in Yugoslavia. I’ve worked in more than 10 restaurants, and

certainly the best cuisine. I have been here at Zabar Restaurant in

Belgrade for the past six years. This kitchen is where I have made

my biggest and most beautiful edible art. Favourite cheap eat?

Foods eaten with a spoon, beans with smoked meat, cabbage with

lamb, paprikash or goulash. Advice to future young chefs? Young

cooks should be valuable, they should always learn, watch how

others are doing, make a parallel between what they want and what

they certainly will not work in the future, not to be conceited, they

should accept advice, to observe colleagues and to be sure at any

time in their own kitchen keep the situation under control. They

must be dignified representatives of our profession and always need

to know, that in the first place responsible for the health of each

guest. Most controversial menu item? Liver of catfish. Favourite

thing about Belgrade? Beautiful buildings like the famous temple

of Saint Sava. In terms of socialisation, the most striking is the

night life on the shores of two beautiful rivers, the Danube and

Sava Rivers, where there are many different restaurants, night clubs

and discotheques that are open every day. Most useful cookbook?

Pelaprat, from author Henri – Paul Pelaprat, published in 1935.

Early influences? Different flavours of food, which remind me of

the period of childhood that I spent in the countryside, the simple,

fresh, mild, organic, natural flavors, with dishes prepared on the

wood stove. How can we keep attracting chefs into the food

world? We have to prove to them that in our business, knowledge

and professional work, appreciate and reward well, we need to help

them and motivate them. And all of our students need to show

to look forward to their success and that between us there are no

professional secrets. On working as a judging chef? We’re here

to help young chefs to go the right way to gastronomy and with the

aim of exchanging experiences between chefs from different parts

of the world. Culinary competitions are a practical forum. But, the

most important is that in any event, the competitor receives an

explanation from the judges for their food, because if you made a

mistake, you must know that it would not be made again. Supplier

tip? Require only the highest quality, and then negotiate price.



Kevin Snook

Author of A boy after the sea 1&2

Home from the sea

My obsession ingredient is using anything seasonal with a zero carbon footprint!

Born? England in 1957. Education? Secondary school/hotel catering college –

Bournemouth, City and Guilds. Best kitchens worked? Moulin du Mougins in France,

a three Michelin Star restaurant. Favourite cheap eat? Artisan barbecued burgers.

What keeps you going? Ongoing desire to be creative, I am always sourcing new

organic products. Advice to future young chefs? Be prepared to work very, very

hard and you will reap the benefits later. Favourite kitchen tool? Chef’s knife. Most

controversial menu item? Bear in British Columbia, Canada. Favourite thing about

Bray on Thames? It’s a culinary mecca and visited by foodies from around the world.

It’s quaint, historic and world renowned. Recommendation of any purveyors?

My local farmers. Most useful cookbook? Noma by Rene Redzepi it’s exciting and

about modern approach to cooking today. Early influences? Chef Roger Verge. On

classic vs modern cuisine? Every young chef should be taught classic cuisine first and

foremost as a vehicle to learn modern techniques, that I totally embrace. Career you

would have pursued if you didn’t become a chef? A vet or a photographer. How

can we keep attracting chefs into the food world? By mentoring and encouraging

team spirit. There’s a television show that was created by Michel Roux junior, called

‘Service’. It is one of the best shows I’ve seen. The contestants then go to work in

the industry, excellent!! Describe A Boy after the Sea and why chefs would love a

copy? It is a wonderful coffee table charity book with a great cause. Supported by some

of the best chefs in the world today. Stunning photography illustrating some innovative

recipes. Career turning point? When I left working for an employer and started my own

restaurant in Canada followed by many private catering opportunities around the world.

Favourite sport? Formula one racing. Purveyor tip? Keep your prices honest.

If Sea Bass is not available [when in Australia] we suggest to

chefs to buy Barramundi or a Snapper. You’ll be unlikely to get

any notification about it being line caught, not promoted in too

many places. However UK also uses the term ‘wild’ and as point

of definition regarding fishing technique/sustainability.


Mile High


A new Etihad chef concept

to transform inflight dining,

writes Mel Nathan.

a great time now for chefs wanting to be involved with an airline with vision, who


have successfully consolidated, stabilised and planned for the future.

People choose an airline for the in-flight product and the inflight service, which is very

much part of the overall factor of choice. A good airline will never compromise food

quality; their theory is that they are deemed to ensure their passengers are nourished

while transported in their cabins, so if they are required to uplift food and beverage

then they must do it properly, add some flair and maintain quality.

While the top criteria for airline choice is scheduling, then safety, you may be surprised

to learn that a close third is the inflight products (food and wine).

I look at the food being served as part of the overall entertainment package on board

an aircraft, food creates discussion, anticipation and helps make time fly, (no pun)

especially for long haul traveling.

Food served on airlines has come a long way and with innovation improving so

significantly over the last few years or so, now boasting galley equipment such as

computerised convection ovens, frying pans, toasters, rice makers and even in-flight

espresso machines, of course these are fitted to serve passengers at the pointy end of the

aircraft. The inflight chef is also seen to be taking the front end market very seriously.

The national airline of the United Arab Emirates, based in Abu Dhabi plans to transform

inflight dining this year, with an aim to employ 100 new qualified international chefs

to manage the galley and offer the ultimate freshness in product along with exceptional

plate presentation. They have already started looking for fully qualified people with

formal culinary training and experience in esteemed hotels, restaurants and culinary

institutions from around the world. So jump to it, this could be your next career move!

Etihad’s personal chefs will tailor make dishes based on the guests particular taste and

preference in its Diamond first class cabins.

The chief executive officer of Etihad, James Hogan, said the introduction of this special

new position on board Etihad flights represented a major departure from traditional

inflight service and would cement Etihad’s position as one of the world’s most

innovative airlines. “We will, however, continue to push the boundaries so that we

continue to impress and surprise our guests. The introduction of highly skilled chefs

will enable us to make a dramatic shift in the way we serve our guests.”

Acclaimed chef Thomas Ulherr has been appointed to the position of corporate

executive chef. Among his numerous accolades, Thomas is a three time Gold Medal

winner in the IKA Culinary Olympics. Imagine working with a pro like that!

The new chef service will start to be introduced on selected routes from October and

will be fully available on all flights offering first class by the end of the year.

To apply with Etihad’s new Chef program go to: www.careers.etihadairways.com

Werner Kimmeringer, the guiding force

behind the sensational cuisine on offer

at Etihad Catering.

A day in the life of an inflight Chef

with Etihad by Werner Kimmeringer

The rollout of Etihad’s innovative

inflight chef concept is well under way,

with a number of chefs coming from

Australia. The day starts as it would

for any professional – in the kitchen

organising the galley, greeting guests

and checking food quality. In one-onone

interaction with the guests, inflight

chefs will discuss the menu in detail,

make recommendations for food and

wine pairings and take guest orders.

They then prepare the dishes and direct

the service.

Etihad’s Diamond First class guests will

have a designated ‘chef’s larder’ where

the inflight chef can tailor-make dishes

if a guest fancies something different

from what they see on the inflight

menu. In the kitchen, chefs will have a

selection of culinary tools to put their

training and expertise to excellent use,

such as a whisk to prepare a dressing

or flavours to add to a sauce. More

base sauces will be available onboard

– and the chef may even sauce the

plate in front of the guest. Additionally,

inflight Chefs will serve a vital role on

the ground – working on menu design

for inflight and lounge catering and

ensuring a consistent culinary vision

whether throughout the complete

guest journey.




Director of Public RelATIONS, Four Seasons

HOTEl, Istanbul ON the Bosphorus, Turkey

PR nous

Life is all about the memories in your basket

and we are here to create a lasting one.

Born? Istanbul. What keeps you going? My passion to enjoy life, meet new people and

make them happy keeps me going. Why is PR so important? Because communication

is important. You need to make sure you have a clear message communicated to the

public to protect and enhance your reputation in the eyes of the public, especially in

today’s world. Accessing information is very easy and fast, so we, as PR professionals,

have a more important role than ever as we are the ones sharing company news with

key target clientele. We have to be using a wider range of communication channels

and we need to be more quick. All is about being efficient communicators. Who do

you admire in the industry? Value for people and service passion is what I admire

in the industry. I love meeting new people from all around the world. Making sure

that they return home with memorable experiences from your country and hotel is

what matters. On working with celebrity greats? Four Seasons has a well-deserved

reputation for respecting and protecting guest confidentiality and this is especially

important for our celebrity guests. Our main goal is to provide a personalised service

to each guest, meaning paying attention to every detail to ensure an enjoyable stay.

As a company, we are familiar with the needs of our celebrity guests and we show the

utmost care for their comfort and privacy at each Four Seasons hotel. From PR side,

it definitely needs a good understanding of the guest confidentiality as we are the first

persons press will contact to gather any kind of information. This is a challenge we

face. On the other hand, working with celebrities is for sure quite enjoyable.

Chef’s Notes by Mel Nathan

n the European bank – flowing

O through Istanbul’s history and

heart – Four Seasons Hotel, Istanbul at the

Bosphorus gives a 19th-century palace a

fresh, eclectic spirit. Their alluring facilities

include a chic urban spa. Fine restaurants

and pools by the quayside overlooking the

Asian shore with its passing ferries, yachts,

tankers, cruise ships, speedboats, oil rigs,

fishing boats, aircraft carriers, military ships

and even the occasional rowboat vie for

space on Istanbul’s busiest artery.

I had a hankering for some good Turkish

grub. I was very fortunate to eat with Gok

who is the Executive chef of Four Seasons.

Mehmet Gok born in Amasya in the northwestern

part of Turkey, prepared a wonderful

combination of flavours using the sum

of Istanbul’s most local foods done in a

modern way. The menu was seasonal with

Gok procuring mainly natural and organic

foods to carefully preserve all the classic

flavours into a universal dimension through

a post-modern approach, I wanted to keep

eating! To finish off a leisurely walk around

the hotel to admire the impeccable flower

arrangements and paintings that adorned

the walls, was a treat. You won’t find a

more charming


than Four


Istanbul on the


Executive chef,

Mehmet Gok

Pool Bar and Grill

Nathan joined Mehmet Gok for lunch,

where they discussed Ottoman/Turkish/

Anatolian food tastes in his own kitchen.


Refresh your inner tyrant

Last Train to Bombay

They’re not chefs but royalty writes Jarrod Baker.

ommon knowledge, Sydney does not lack diversity in its dining


options, and most cuisines have found a home. Crows Nest on

Sydney’s North Shore can lay claims to such status, with 15 Indian

restaurants within walking distance of each other. For Harry Virk,

restaurateur and owner of Last Train to Bombay the diversity of India

is the key.

“I don’t compromise with Indian food to please the Australian palate,

I serve only authentic Indian food, and why you see maximum

Indian diners coming to eatery,’’ he says. “What’s great news for

diners is that India is so vast and so varied in its combination of

regional flavours and techniques it can be difficult to find that real

authentic taste of India, especially in Sydney.’’ A typical Indian eatery

in Australia usually only offers the flavours of the north or south with

nothing much in between – each slightly different with their use of

ingredients and a select number of dishes replicating local favourites

more often than not, of the head chef’s home region.

“The best Indian food comes from royalty, and stays with royalty,”

said Virk. “These recipes that have been passed on for generations and

are exclusively enjoyed by the elite and are a popular choice for our

own loyal customers.

The eatery also employs a former chef who worked for Raja Patiala

(famous among rajas in India for having 364 wives). “Nihari goat

shanks, a favourite dish of Raja Patiala is one of our dish highlight’s a

king’s dish, made for Kings,” says Virk.

Whether fine dining or simply eating with family, the kitchen here

is in constant pursuit of producing consistent tucker like it has been

for generations and can be placed within Indian regions known and

respected around the world for the local cuisine. Chaat, from the

street eateries in the north is, ‘‘very popular among women in general

but specifically expectant mothers,’’ given the presence of functional

tonics and minerals, as it says on the menu.

The jungle chicken is popular with local restaurant goers. A

gypsy-style chicken curry cooked on the bone, and in mustard oil

(cholesterol free) is a specialty of the house and a dish Harry enjoyed

as a child growing up on a traditional Indian farm. The Last Train to

Bombay is a combination of the best of India – its cuisine, its culture

and of course its people in an affordable restaurant that caters for the

fine diner just as easily as it does for the average restaurant goer. Virk

offers the best of every variety of Indian food for Indian families and

all fine diners; country and city, north and south, including; original

Indian street food and sweets.

Last Train To Bombay

469 Pacific Highway, Crows Nest, Sydney. Phone: (02) 9460 6664



Jeffrey De Rome

chef de cuisine, kables, four seasons

Kable guy

We buy freshly caught line and wild caught fish ranging from Palm Beach

down to Wollongong. We ensure that it’s respected all the way to the plate.

Best kitchens worked? Rockpool for influences with Asian and

Chinese flavours, and with chef Paul Gayler at the Lanesborough,

London; he is a global sauce expert and known for his innovative

vegetarian dishes. Favourite cheap eat? Four in Hand,

Paddington I like Colin’s rustic influence and on Sunday’s

afternoons they just do really good pub food. Favourite kitchen

tool? My Maurice Opinel knife. It’s small with a timber handle,

and rounded blade, sturdy, rustic, practical, the simplest knife

in the world that was born at the end of the XIXth century. It

saved the lives of seamen and mountaineers, and once was used to

escape a sinking vessel by carving steps in the ice with this knife.

Picasso used it in his workshop. Favourite thing about Sydney?

I love the Asian influence, so Golden Century, BBQ King and

going to Cabramatta. Most useful cookbook? The old Rockpool

cookbook, I took it to London with me, I love reading it. On

classic vs modern cuisine? I believe we are now at the level of

any premium-end dining establishment in Sydney – at the moment

we’re doing a ‘Duck for two’ come and try it! On KABLES cuisine?

The food here is the same quality of Rockpool. Cooking from ‘nose

to tail’ fits strongly into my ethos. How can we keep attracting

chefs into the foodworld? TV shows are good, but would like to

watch more programs targeting the professional chef, like ‘Great

British Chefs’. Career turning point? When I went to London to

work as a chef, I worked 100 hours a week. I returned to Sydney

I lined up a job at Rockpool. 10 years ago there was a long list to

work there. Ingredient obsession? Pink Salt from Murray Lake,

it’s the most amazing salt for me. Purveyor tip? Don’t refrain from

using smaller food producers and purveyors.


Sarah Vickery

director of public relations,

four seasons, sydney

Sarah Vickery

What is the personality of someone in PR? Generating high-value

publicity is extremely fulfilling and rewarding, you need to be an

excellent communicator both professionally and personally. A good level

of confidence is always an asset since much of the job entails meeting new

people and attending networking functions. Overall if you’re enthusiastic,

passionate about your product or service, friendly, flexible and creative

you should enjoy plenty of success. A personality in your industry that

you admire? Cate Blanchet. Advice to future PR consultants? Having

started out my career as a radio and TV journalist, I think public relation

professionals could be educated in how to write as well as learning what

makes a good story. Forming good relationships, understanding what a

journalist needs and respecting deadlines are all very important. Career

highlights? I worked in Public Affairs for the Australian Defence Force

with media management for a ‘Thank the Troops’ event on Garden

Island, Sydney Harbour attended by former US President, George W

Bush and the former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. It was a

media scrum, I’ve never worked with so many secret service officers, it

was on the world stage, exciting times.


Michael Grinyer from King

Salmon Australia

Scientists Simon and Andy

from Oceanwatch

Sustainable Chef Tom Kime

Trawling for answers

At Food Companion International’s lively seafood debate at Sydney Fish

Markets, fish was not just on the menu – it was firmly on the agenda writes

Jarrod Baker and Elliot Vonthethoff.

Brazil and Chinese seafood

cuisine, was enjoyed by the


We hosted a lively sustainable

seafood forum while enjoying;

Brazilian tapioca cheese bread, sweet peanut

rolls, guava paste and, of course, a seafood

galore including; the award-winning NZ

king salmon, Crystal Bay prawns and

Hiramasa kingfish served up in traditional

Brazilian style. Some of the industry’s key

players, from fishermen, scientists, food

media, government heads through to

fishmongers - not to mention an array of

top chefs – gathered at Fisherman’s Wharf

restaurant for an animated and in-depth

debate about sustainability, food security

and the future of our fish and seafood.

Walking past the impressive display of

exotic fish species residing in the live tanks

that flank the entrance to the Fisherman’s

Wharf Restaurant, one could think that

they we were in the wrong place for a

forum on the future of sustainable fishing

in Australia.


Geoff Allan and Professor

Robert Kearney

Roshan Rodrigo, Cique

Bar with Peter and James,

Bavaria Hotel Group

Theo Kailis, Sontari Foods and Makiko

Karasawa,Crystal Bay Prawns



• Be able to demonstrate your own environmental sustainable plan

• Source your product from reputable purveyor who can identify where the product has been sourced

• Introduce seafood on your menu that is under-utilised and promote it

• Look at Wild and Aquaculture as different options

• Get your staff excited with information that enables them to ‘sell’ to the customers

• Promote the health benefits of eating seafood

• Understand the facts about what eco-labels you might use

• Train your staff on all issues relating to this

• Look at what is in season and buy it

Yussuke and Executive chef Yomoda

of Observatory Hotel

Patrick Calao, MSC


• Expect everyone else to be sustainable if you are not

prepared to make the changes yourself

• Buying the same species of seafood all the time

• Buy more than you need

• Fail to discuss your seafood options with your


• Promote one eco-label

• Act on opinions

• Waste seafood

Roy Palmer of Seafood Experience Australia (SEA) kicked off

proceedings with his thought-provoking - and often controversial

- analysis of an industry worth $43 billion worldwide, suggesting

that while sustainability must be addressed, it is imperative that

we all continue to buy seafood with confidence. Professor Bob

Kearney (Emeritus Professor of Fisheries at the University of

Canberra) carried on in a similar vein, highlighting the fact that

fish consumption is still far more environmentally friendly than

that of livestock, while claims of overfishing are not just rubbish,

they are socially irresponsible.

The crowd inside suggests otherwise – amongst them Roy Palmer

CEO of S.E.A, Bob Kearney, Emeritus Professor of Fisheries at the

University of Canberra, Sean Presland of Sake Restaurant and Bar,

Wayne Hulme from Joto Fresh Fish and English chef- author Tom

Kime. All are present to take part in a lively debate on the present

health and future sustainability of the Australian fisheries.

It turns out that the ‘rare’ species on display at the restaurant

entrance may in fact be a lot safer than assumed. Industry veteran

Bob Kearney delivers an informative address on the health and

management policies of Australia’s fisheries, based in sound

scientific data. His general message is that fish stocks as a whole

are very healthy and well managed, largely due to the fact that

we have sole control over them, as opposed to the ‘tragedy of the

commons’ in European waters where several countries may fish

the same area. Bob explains that the Commonwealth’s policy of

fishing stocks to the maximum economic yield (the point at which

the costs of further fishing is greater that the increase in revenue)

is higher than the maximum sustainable yield, and that although

these fisheries have less fish than an unfished population, they are

more efficient and productive, with higher breeding and growth

rates. Bob goes to great lengths to explain how resilient marine fish

species are, and that “ it is vital to understand that a classification

as “overfished” normally means that the sustainability of seafood

supply has been threatened and not the survival of the species.” On

a less positive note, he points out that wild fish stocks will not be

able to support the rising demand for seafood in Australia, as they

are already being fished near their maximum yield.

The general consensus is that demand for fish globally and locally

is rising steeply and will continue to do so – and that wild stocks

will not be able to provide for the demand. Aquaculture will need

to fill the gap, but, at this forum at least, no one can agree on

whether farming fish has a sustainable future.

Next to come to the fore were the three main sources of Australia’s

fish and seafood – namely aquaculture, capture fisheries and

imports. Speakers including Research Leader of Aquaculture Geoff

Allan and SEA’s Norman Grant discussed the merits and otherwise

of each method, coming to the conclusion that, while not entirely

problem-free, aquaculture is still the most appropriate solution to

ever-increasing global demands.

So what conclusions were drawn from the lively event and the best

way to go forward? Like any great debate there were inevitably more

questions raised than answered. In terms of the role of the chef in

the constantly-evolving battle for sustainability, there is certainly

much to be said for leading by example; many of Sydney’s chefs are

already working to promote and market sustainability themselves,

and buying produce from sustainable sources.

Roy Palmer said “Chefs are an important process of our market, they

are our marketing tools and who pass onto diners about informed

choices about the seafood that they are consuming. Chefs need to

get the facts on where their supplies are coming from and need

to use their knowledge and experience to find ways of presenting

under-utilised species to the consumers. Everyone can be a winner

along this pathway.”



Don Elford

Acer Arena



Passion and sheer passion keeps me going.

Born? Armidale in December 1954. Favourite kitchen tool? My

spatula. Favourite thing about Homebush? It’s fabulous walking

tracks and car park stairs for exercising! The accessibility for the

greater population of Sydney and it’s the people from the north-west

who purchase tickets more than anyone else in Sydney. Snapshot

of entertainment at Acer? We’re Australia’s number one Awardwinning

indoor arena in Australia and number three in the world.

We’re also the largest indoor entertainment and sporting venue

in Australia, boasting the most technologically advanced lighting

and sound equipment with leading edge design. We accommodate

audiences up to 21,000 situated at Olympic Park, the demographic

heart of Sydney; the venue has ample public transport and is adjacent

to a 3400 carpark facility. Function spaces range from the main

arena (2500 to 21,000 seats with a 3600m2 floor) to sophisticated

function rooms, each with impressive architectural features. Early

influences? A local band The Shades in Boorowa in the 60s and

70s and The Beatles, but the biggest is the Doobie Brothers for the

Tom Johnston horn arrangements and unbelievable guitar parts.

You must own the recording of What Were Once Vices Are Now

Habits. Career turning point? Financial moments and nearly losing

my property, it toughens you up. Favourite sport? Socialising and

attending sport games with friends regardless of gender. Cricket is a

bit special though.

Elford, a big

supporter of The

Doobie Brothers

Acer’s Damien Smith,

Don Elford and Martin Koestlin



Martin KOESTlin

on his lAST 11 years at ACER ARENA

More than hot dogs

We’re a multi-purpose venue, serving fresh, tasty and vibrant cuisine in one of

the most exciting and innovative indoor entertainment venues in the world.

Born? 4 June 1960 in Radolfzell, Bodensee,

near Lake Constance border near Germany/

Switzerland. Best kitchens worked? Acer

Arena for over 11 years and Montreux Palace

Hotel, Switzerland. What keeps you going?

Excitement, every day is different, nothing

boring. Cheap eat? Brown bread, butter and

chives. Favourite kitchen tool? Sharp knife,

sharp chef, blunt knife... Advice to future young

chefs? Ask, ask and ask your executive chefs,

and then listen to what they say. The only stupid

question is the one that you don’t ask. Favourite

thing about Homebush? I get to pushbike to

work, there’s plenty of open space, it’s easy to get

to, and only 20 minutes from everywhere. Most

useful cookbook? Pauli. Early influences?

Eckart Witzigmann, Paul Bocuse. On classic vs

modern cuisine? Use classic as a base to work

towards modern. They complement each other!

Career you would have pursued if you didn’t

become a chef? Nothing else, since I was 12

years old I always wanted to be a chef and I still

love it. How can we keep attracting chefs

into the food world? You must have a passion

for food. You’ve either got it or not. Describe

the cuisine at Acer Arena? If your tastes take

you beyond burgers and hot dogs, you can enjoy

an award winning array of meals and beverages

catering for a variety of tastes in three restaurants.

We also offer premium dining experiences that

includes a show ticket*, and a sumptuous three

course dining experience for corporate and VIP

guests including; 42 fully air-conditioned private

suites accommodating 18 guests. Some artists

coming and going at Acer? Acer Arena is

one of the most exciting and innovative indoor

entertainment venues in the world, the ideal

destination for major events, functions and

conferences. We’re now Australia’s #1 Arena and

some of our performers include; Justin Bieber,

Miley Cyrus, Dolly Parton, Leonard Cohen,

Santana, Beyonce, Disney on Ice and Red Hot

Chili Peppers, Career turning point? Opening

the Vines Resort in Perth in late 80s. I worked

with the most brilliant team and management,

we made a huge success. Favourite sport? I

do enjoy a good soccer match - with Germany

winning of course Ingredient obsession? Fresh

herbs, I grew up with the freshest of produce,

my mum used to grow over 40 different herbs in

the garden. Purveyor tip? If you start with great

produce the battle is half won.


Australian Extra

Virgin Olive Oil

Why you should be using it in your kitchen

• Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (AEVOO) is among the best in the world.

• 95% of Australian olive oil is extra virgin olive oil.

• Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from perfect olives, picked by hand or

mechanically, crushed as soon as possible after the olives are harvested.

The olive oil is extracted without the use of chemicals or excessive heat.

• Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) must be free of taste and smell defects

and be very low in oxidation. No refined olive oil or other types of oil

(eg Canola) is permitted to be present. It is the healthiest and freshest

olive oil available.

• Like fine wine, premium quality AEVOO retains flavours and aromas

unique to the region in which they’re grown.

Use Australian extra virgin olive oil (AEVOO) to cook just about anything.


• Food fried in extra virgin olive oil has

a lower fat content because less is

absorbed during frying.

• AEVOO stands up well to high cooking

temperatures and has a high smoke point –

the better the oil quality the higher the

smoke point. Substandard and lower

grades of olive oil smoke quicker.

• The nutritional value of AEVOO is not

altered through heating.

• AEVOO increases in volume when heated so

less oil is required when heating and cooking.

• AEVOO can be used in any type of pot, pan

or wok!

• AEVOO is not chemically altered and

is the only edible oil that is unaltered,

unlike Canola, vegetable, sunflower,

peanut, flaxseed and rice brand which

are all processed.

• AEVOO can easily and effectively

replace butter or margarine.


• Always store AEVOO in a cool, dark, dry

place with the top on.

• AEVOO will oxidise if stored near heat

or light which hastens the loss of health

benefits as well as taste.

• Extra virgin olive oils can be reused but

every time you reuse it, the oil will lose

some of its taste and aroma.

• You can refrigerate AEVOO – it might be

cloudy but it will come back to its natural

state at room temperature.

Code of Practice

Australian EVOO producers who adhere to strict

guidelines in producing their extra virgin olive

oil display this Code of Practice symbol which

means it is certified Australian Extra Virgin

Olive Oil, meeting the AOA’s high standards

through tasting and testing. It is the guarantee

of authenticity and quality.


For more information go to


AEVOO’s are created from an array

of cultivars sourced throughout the

Mediterranean Basin. Resulting in flavours

that are:

• rich and robust

• pungent

• fruity

• light and fresh

• herbaceous

• citrus

• spicy

• sweet

• Only AEVOO is “Australian Extra Virgin Olive

Oil”. Olive oils named ‘pure’, ‘light’, ‘virgin’ (as

opposed to extra virgin) and ‘refined’ are in fact

adulterated and refined – they are not “pure” at

all. New Standards introduced in Australia for

Olive Oil have removed the terms “Pure”, “Light”

and “Extra Light”. Pomace is the cheapest grade

of oil and is extracted using solvents.

• AEVOO’s are fresher than European oils, just

by virtue of geography. They can get from tree

to table more quickly and with the extended

harvesting times throughout this country you can

have access to fresh AEVOO nearly all year round.

Remember Fresher tastes Better!



Dietmar Sawyer

Fame on the waters

You have to stay true to your restaurant, and if it’s

around for long enough, it takes on its own life.

Born? Gruyere region in Switzerland from the German speaking side – we go back there

every year. Education? We didn’t take work experience back then, like we do now. First

job was at The Savoy in London, and I won Chef of the Year then at 20 I became a Head

Chef. Favourite cheap eat? Ravi’s Indian in Crows Nest for their Jinga Peshawari,

freshly hand picked Prawns marinated in “‘secret’’ marinade and simmered to perfection.

What keeps you going? Coffee and my four children. Advice to future chefs? Move

on after about three years and make yourself valuable, even on your day off. A lot of

people don’t know how to get into the industry. TAFE is a good concept but you don’t

learn enough. Most useful cookbook? Great Chefs of France. Favourite kitchen tool?

My knife. I do not have one set knife but I do have some Macs, and my Victorinox

knives are best for boning and butchery work. Favourite thing about Sydney? Living

on a deep waterfrontage and fishing with the family. Our chefs like fishing off the

balcony next to the kitchen in their breaks, sometimes it’s the whole brigade. Favourite

sport? Skiing, I like the black runs, and watching rugby union. On Classic vs modern

cuisine? You need to learn classic cuisine first and be inquisitive, read and ask questions

constantly, without this we cannot develop. Describe Berowra Waters’ food? Sensual

and intellectual flavours and more market driven. Career if you had not become a

chef? Archeologist. Produce highlights? Yabbies and marron. Career turning point?

When I was 19 and left Europe I met a New Zealand girl and ended up in Australia. Early

infuluences? Anton Mossiman, Michel Roux and Alain Ducasse. Cuisine philosophy?

Never sacrifice anything for taste, we keep growing and learning. Do you like to be

sustainable and like cooking with kangaroo? Yes I am always looking for types of

fish like a good Murray cod and have been working with kangaroo for years and years

now, seared carpaccio works best. Do chefs need a unique selling point? Yes but it

shouldn’t be gimmicky. On signature dishes? I prepare a chilled vichyssoise, ossetra

and salmon caviars, beignets of Hawkesbury oysters. But signature dishes are not chosen

by chefs, it gets written up on the menu and you can’t take it off. Your customers create

it. How has the culinary world changed? Back in the days when I was cooking there

were not many independent restaurants, most chefs gravitated towards five star hotels;

it was a good place to start and where all the best chefs worked. Now it’s the other way

around. Working in hotels you can please everyone, in restaurants you are more of a

statement. Chefs or restaurants, which should receive all the fame? You have to stay

true to your restaurant, and if it’s around for long enough, it takes on its own life – Forty

One was that. Here at Berowra Waters, it was Australia’s first internationally renowned

restaurant. Retrospect and future? In April last year we closed Forty One after 17 years,

which was a huge success, then opened up a new style of bistros called Adlib Bistro. The

first one in Lindfield on the North Shore was formerly Tables in Lindfield. We’re staying

on with Berowra Waters and business will be the same with six chefs, five services, three

days a week. Purveyor tip? Buy and cook it in season, it will always taste better.



Richard Millar

KAVA it up

My cooking is basically built on the 5 basic tastes;

sweet, salty, sour, bitter and the umami concept

– umami meaning “pleasant savory taste” and

utilising the best local produce found in Fiji and

presenting it consistently well.

Born? Melbourne, Australia. Best kitchens worked? The Point of Melbourne, Sheraton

Grande Resort in Miyazaki, Japan, Dava Restaurant & Martini Bar @ Ritz-Carlton

Resort Bali now Ayana. Favourite cheap eat? Ta-ke Japanese Restaurant in Bali for

excellent sashimi and nabe and Degraves coffee in Hardware Lane, Melbourne for their

sensational coffee and eggs. What keeps you going Running up to 50km a week and

the living by the belief of “it does not matter what you did yesterday, but what you do

today that counts”. Advice to future young chefs? Learn and understand the basic

fundamental skills of cooking and develop a good discipline and work ethic. Favourite

kitchen tool? My Japanese knives. Most controversial menu item? Kava pannacotta

(native Fijian plant root). Favourite thing about Fiji? The friendliness of the people and

running around the beautiful beach of Natadola and surrounding area. Best purveyors?

There are many. Adi Chocolate Fiji for the best couverture, Reddy’s Ducks for excellent

Peking and Tony from Lautoka for micro greens really standout. Most useful cookbooks

Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking, Shunju: New Japanese Cuisine and Art

Culinaire Magazine from USA. Early influences? There are too many to list who have

helped influence my career, but the message is always similar: “cook from the heart”.

On classic vs modern cuisine? Learn the classics and why they are classic then evolve

and apply your own style. Career you would have pursued if you didn’t become

a chef? Something to do with sport: golf, cricket or triathlons. How can we keep

attracting chefs into the foodworld? Honesty, integrity and passion. Your cuisine,

you’re working on? Conducting tours of our producers for our chefs so they are better

educated and for all of us to learn more about how Fiji’s food is produced, we might even

bring it as an in-house cooking event at the hotel one day. I am also interested in the

five tastes such as sweet, salty, sour, bitter, Umami. Umani is a ubiquitous taste and not

at all exotic. Umami makes savoury food more delicious – that certain extra something

that you just can’t describe. Career turning point Working in Japan. Favourite sport

Running and triathlons. Ingredient obsession Spices and fish.




Competition breeds success

Coda’s Adam D’Sylva with

Rational’s Mark Sweeting.

An executive chef cannot pass up the world’s only Self

Cooking Center ® - there is nothing on the market like it.

Chefs that buy Rational?

Peter Gilmore, Guillaume Brahimi, Justin North,

Gary Johnson, Andy North, Andrew McConnell,

Cheong Liew, Simon Bryant, Jacques Reymond,

Philippe Mouchel, Maggie Beer, Guy Grossi,

Adam D’ Sylva and then there are the other

thousands of chefs using Rational every day who

are all as equally important.

Which size should I buy?

We have a variety of size options available 6,

10, 20 and 40 trays which are the most common

sizes. Industry sometimes refers to these sizes in

relation to the quantity of 1/1 Gastronorm trays

that it can accommodate.

If you’ve never had one, how can they assist

the growth of your business?

For chefs who have never had their own Rational

Self Cooking Center® then imagine this. It’s a

single intelligent piece of cooking equipment

with a footprint that fits in a cubic square metre

that can produce 80% of all your current and

future cooking requirements. Simple to use,

saves time, saves utility costs, reduces labour

costs and reduces food costs. It will tell you what

level of clean it requires based on its daily use

and the time since its last clean it uses cleaning

tablets rather than liquid chemicals, this assists

in managing cleaning costs and addresses OHS

regulations and also protects your investment.

How does Rational handle the commissioning?

For an executive chef this is a very important

process. A Comcater service agent attends the

site to check that the installing tradesmen who

have installed the unit have done this in line

with Australian regulations and manufacturers

guidelines. This ensures that the unit is

calibrated and operating correctly once this has

been signed off the purchasers warranty is valid

and the chef is able to safely operate the unit.

After this we always offer on-site basic operator

training on all Rational Self Cooking Centers®,

which is conducted by a Rational chefs of

which we have 8 locations around Australia.

Additionally we also offer monthly training days

and “Chefs Line” a number that all Rational

owners can call 7 days a week to talk to one of

our Rational Chefs to seek cooking advice.

Are Rational probes accurate and easily


That is a very interesting question, executive

chefs have to be very aware of this one, as

we do not have probes breaking because of

probes it comes from the operators. Probes are

only there for cooking purposes only they are

not a tool to fork a 4 kilogram piece of roast. It

should always be put back into its’ holder before

slamming the door.

What can the Executive chefs expect to hear

in the future about Rational Self Cooking

Center ® ?

Other than being in our 7th year, there is still

nothing available in the Australian Foodservice

Market that even comes close to the technology

and benefits that it delivers. We’ll focus on a

number of areas including; the environment

and how to reduce utility consumptions. Other

areas are; Occupational Health & Safety and

Food Safety. We always had something exciting

up our sleeves for the executive chefs of

Australia to make their daily life in the kitchen an

enjoyable one, so stay tuned.

What constitutes a great combi steam oven?

Great question, I guess this answer depends

on who you ask. A chef ideally is looking for a

combi oven that is reliable, delivering a high

quality consistent cooking result. An owner

is looking for these qualities also but is also

mindful of utility costs, OHS requirements,

service and spare parts and of course the

return on investment, in my opinion all of these

components are equally important.

Is there any flexibility in the oven with regard

to space and flexibility?

Rational offers a number of solutions in regards

to space and flexibility, it is possible with a

number of our table top units to stack them

this is referred to as a combi duo, this allows

Is the Executive chefs club a good

networking opportunity?

Rational Australia believe the Executive

Chefs Club is a fantastic initiative for

networking with industry colleagues, our

Rational Chefs attend on a regular basis

and it ensures that we are always abreast

of current culinary trends but equally

important other executive chefs in the

industry have the opportunity to hear from

us what significant trends and culinary

events are taking place around Australia.

the chefs to have two units within the one

footprint that can be operated separately, this

is extremely popular in a la carte environments

where the Rational’s are the work horses in the

kitchen.Another Rational initiative is our large

mobile units, it is possible to get 20 and 40 tray

units that are on castors which allows chefs in

large establishments to actually move the Self

Cooking Center® to remote function areas and

then operate it, these units are also very popular

with large outside catering companies. We also

offer the Rational finishing system for plated

meals this system is ideal for bulk catering and

functions it delivers a quick, cost effective, high

quality, consistent meal delivery solution.

Boiler units Vs Injection technology what does

this refer too?

In a high performance steam generator system

( Boiler ) as used by Rational, water is heated

up to boiling point 100 °C ,it allows saturated

steam to be pumped into the cooking cabinet

and also allows the Chef to accurately control

the temperature of the steam when steaming

delicate products, the result is better quality

and consistency of steamed products and with

Rational’s CareControl® system the units never

require descaling.An Injection system is the

simplest and cheapest way how to produce

steam. Water is injected into the fan impeller,

the fan impeller distributes the water partially

over the dry heating elements. the water which

hits these elements then converts to steam

these systems can be quite aggressive and can

result is poor steaming results and increased

general unit maintenance.










The only SelfCooking Center ®

“I just select my

desired result. That’s it!”







“Just as I want it,

time and time again.”

Everything from meat, fish, poultry, side dishes or bakery products,

the SelfCooking Center ® recognises product, size and batch and

cooks everything to the point of perfection.

Time for the essentials.




1800 035 327



the vital ingredient

For one night the apprentice became head chef

and culinary industry critique writes Jarrod Baker.

GARFISH Restaurant was the venue

when Food Companion International

gathered a committed group of young

apprentice chefs from around Sydney in order

to turn the tables on their masters. The forum

was designed to better understand what makes

our young chefs tick. They came from a heady

mix of learning institutions including TAFE

and HTN. Attendees were asked to break into

small groups to tackle the issues of what the

positives and negatives of being an apprentice

chef were, and they were quizzed on what their

ideal world would be like. In a platform that

encouraged open debate and discussion over a

carefully selected seafood menu and of course

the appropriate wines, there was an insightful

analysis on the current state of Australia’s food

training institutions and kitchens. Attendees

agreed that success evolved out of an ever

burning passion for the food industry; cooking

and the food itself. Passion that often leads

apprentice chefs around Australia and the

world, chasing any kind of work experience.

“Food is culture,” said one young chef, “and

food is the initial gateway to any cultural



“Food is culture,” said one young chef,

“and food is the initial gateway to any

cultural experience.”

The buzz and chefs are part

of the entertainment at Garfish.

The idyllic location of Manly was the venue for

the apprentice forum, seating up to 140 diners

including a private dining room.

“You always have to eat,” an enthusiastic

young apprentices added.”We will always

have a job, anywhere in the world.” These

apprentice chefs thrive on friendly internal

and external competition, something

that is encouraged by the opportunity

to be innovative in the kitchen. And the

unpredictability and uniqueness of every

day’s work is refreshing and enjoyable.

The night had already proven to be both

colourful and informative but it was the

second course of Hiramasa kingfish with

sauteed kipfler potatoes, pancetta and savoy

cabbage that provided the turning point.

The young chefs now full turned their

attention to the current apprenticeship

program, because, unlike their stomachs,

their appetite for learning remained

unsatisfied. They agreed that government

grants, incentives and wage top ups were

unrealistic and inadequate. While the lack

of an industry minded governing body

that encompasses standards and basic

requirements leads to an unstable and illguided

learning period. For these apprentice

chefs learning their trade in the current

environment relies on being pro-active,

exploring opportunities outside of their

kitchen, TAFE and expensive private cooking

colleges. A task they can ill afford to do

given their work hours and current wages.

The forum proved to be extremely useful

as apprentice chefs were able to voice some

of the issues that they confront in the

current culinary environment as well as

high-lighting the motivations behind their

choice of career. FCI expressed the hope

that the contributions of all the young

chefs would provide some guidance to kick

start a reinvigoration of the apprenticeship

program, and all attendees left knowing that

their thoughts and ideas were listened to.

Anthea Hastings, a second year apprentice

who attended from The Bathers Pavilion,

said it took her out of the kitchen and made

her realise why she wants to be a chef, she

believed that the industry, needs to have

more of these forums. FCI

Owners Mark Scanlan and Mark Dickey have

operated Garfish restaurants since 2000 including

Kirribili, Crows Nest and Manly Wharf.




Apprentice Notes

Food Companion has compiled a series of positives and

negatives on what the apprentices had to say about working

as a chef in the food world.

Pre Task Forum

All the apprentices were asked each to bring along an object, image or picture that best presented on how

they identify with being a chef. These ‘personal objects’ were brought and discussed at the forum.

The Forum

The apprentice chefs participated in an open discussion and forum. This forum was moderated by a

qualitative facilitator against a structured discussion guide. Participants were encouraged to explore their

thoughts and feeling in a fluid environment.

In Depth Interviews

Interviews were conducted with apprentice chefs who had decided not to complete their training at TAFE.

Post Discussions

Discussions were arranged with qualified high profile chefs.



ACT chefs David Bibo, Ushraf Megeld, Sam

Francis, Ashleigh from Hyatt and Paul Butler.

Stewart Wallace, Executive Chef of Garfish

Restaurants pictured with Marion

Fitzpatrick, Head Teacher, NSI TAFE.

Doing what you love

Constant learning, people, destinations

Responsibility, trust, progressive

Job satisfaction

The food

Inspiration and likeminded people

Constant job to oversee


New standards, innovative industry


Expressing your passion

It’s a big business family

The experience

Gaining all this knowledge and skills

Endless eating!


Travelling & free accommodation with

The Four Seasons Hotel Group

Endless learning

The adrenaline


Meet other chefs

New experiences

Being creative

Producing a rewarding product

Working with a diverse group of people

Good career opportunities and chance

to travel

Feeling of accomplishment

Self satisfaction


World travel

It’s a specialty



No shortage of employment

Paid to do what you love

Experimentation with food

You always have to eat

Expanding growth and opportunities

Experiencing different challenges


The Leading Group

Employer of

Apprentice Chefs

HTN is a not-for-profit

hospitality specialist group

training organisation who

supports and encourages

apprentice chefs, butchers

and hospitality trainees.

If you are looking for an

apprentice chef in NSW, ACT

or VIC - stop looking and call



Terrible wages

Long hours/split shirts

Tension in the kitchen

Personality clashes

Not being appreciated

Not enough recognition

Receiving customer complaints

You have to sacrifice your friends

Working hard to finish off as a chef

and then not getting rewarded

Never having a normal life


Taking drugs and alcohol to stay


Taking a toll on your life ie;

smoking, drinking, not eating or

sleeping well

Affects your mental health and

drags down your energy levels

Restricted lifestyle

After year 4 apprenticeship

nothing changes

All of the above for the items


Mundane and repetitive work

Poor conditions at work

Stress [80 hours is hard work]

Verbal abuse

Your responsibilities

Poor working hours

No social life, abnormal weekends,

lose friends

Working public holidays

Renew the system

TAFE is outdated

Group training methods are too

variable and not consistent

1300 139 108





When FCI told industry they had organised a lively forum involving apprentice

chefs on how they felt about being a chef in today’s food world, we let them

do the talking.

Janet Elms-Smith,

TAFE NSW – Northern

Sydney Institute


“ would like to learn more about

why apprentices choose a career in

cooking, particularly young women,

and the key reference groups that

influence their decisions.’’

We were involved because we

were interested in getting a better

understanding of the issues facing

Gen Y in trades.

To access current and relevant

information about one of our major

training markets.

To assist in the development of strategy

to better meet the needs of apprentices.

Ultimately to provide better, more

effective training programs for


To engage with valuable industries

networks and to better determine and

meet their needs in training.

Iain MacDougal

Hospitality Group

Training in Western



e must recognize that

apprentices are an

essential component in

planning for the future.

Hearing about the forum it’s given us a

chance to have input into making the

apprenticeship system work better and

more responsive to the youth of today.

To see industry recognition that there is

a problem in retaining apprentices and

research produced in a “good practice”

sense that displays that there are actually

some successful models improving

apprentice completion rates. Also it’s all

about higher level skills training for chefs,


the image of industry (working conditions/

patterns) and apprentice completion rates

and to value added apprentice training.

“There is also the issue of celebrity chefs

and their associated television programs.

Whilst you can approach this with

the attitude that ‘any publicity is good

publicity’ it is also flawed in many ways.

Many programs will promote the many

good aspects of food and its ‘easy’ to cook

theories. However, while this has many

benefits for the food industry in general

it also creates unrealistic expectations for

career aspirants. In addition, the ‘loud,

foul mouthed’ chef might provide great

entertainment, but it does nothing to

encourage young people to enter the

industry or allay the long held fears of the

protective parent. We need to promote

the positive aspects of industry to schools

and the general community, particularly

parents. Demonstrate that food is fun,

whilst maintaining a realistic career


“To give chefs a better career then perhaps

we need to concentrate on the need for

supervisory training, or at the very least

some form of training and assessment skills.

It’s not always a glamorous career image

of industry but there needs to be a better

approach to rostering and general working

arrangements. To retain more chefs maybe

we need to look at shares in the restaurant.

Chefs never stop being apprentices but

through the continuum of learning, they

need to think about higher level skills such

as supervision, and maybe Australia needs

to look at master chef models prevalent in

Europe? Adding value to apprentice chefs

and the restaurants could be an industry coordinated

and funded situation. We could

value add a model to expose apprentices

to the “paddock to plate” syndrome by

organising apprentices to visit fish markets,

abattoirs, the fruit and vegetable markets.

TAFEs do not expose apprentices to this.

Buddy systems can help to improve the

current system, but it’s time costly.

“There is a need for a mentoring

system once apprentices qualify and

smart employers will share the financial

incentives given to them by the federal

government for employing an apprentice.

Darren Ho,


Chief Judge

“I commend apprentices for competing in

competitions. If you have two candidates

applying for a position with similar skills, but

one has highlighted competition entry or

industry event participation. I know which

one I would interview. It is the one who shows

passion, interest and willingness to participate

and learn/expand through real experience.”

For long term happiness and security, I

think the money and glory is the Gen Y

interpretation of security. What makes 18-

24 year old apprentice chefs tick is also

something we need to educate employers

about. “As far as offering exchange

programs in other restaurants, they will

travel and do stages overseas any way.

“If the burnout rate of a chef is 32 years

old, then WA has a completion rate of

apprentices of less than 50 per cent and

getting worse due to desperate recruitment

standards due to labour shortages. HGT has

a completion rate of 90 per cent and it does

say something about a successful model.

Adrian Pagano, Gumnut Pattiserie, Mark

Scanlan of Garfish/owner with Tracy Nickl,

owner of Gumnut with Steve Anderson.

Peter Wright, President

of the Australian Culinary


“ ACF would like to develop

a sustainable strategy of

recruitment. Following the

principle of cookery and cooking

in a real kitchen, not a television kitchen, I

would like to find out why young apprentices

burnout with their apprenticeships.”Why

are some TAFE institutions forcing two year

apprenticeships as a solution? Victoria is

currently three years and NSW is four years,

in Canberra they can do it in two years.

It’s all about recruiting career chefs and

not apprentices that are after the glamour

instantly. “Loyalty is rare in this profession

but friendships are forged and great

restaurants are usually run on loyalty and

trust. With chefs giving all their tricks away

to his employer, an apprentice should give

the value that is expected and negotiated;

the apprentice is only as good as his last

meal and if that requires using all the tricks,

then use them. I am sure the customers

will all appreciate it. An employer can add

value to themselves and the restaurant

they work in with apprentices if they give

them a helpline, support them to get them

through their apprenticeship. “We lose

more than 75 per cent of our apprentices

between their first and third year.”Buddy

systems are all about time, it takes extra

effort to be a buddy or find a buddy, who is

going to do it. We need to recruit the right

people not just fill spots, any incentive is

good. For long term long, it’s about job

happiness and security and some the glory.

I am hoping that the forum comes through

with what makes apprentices tick. Working

overseas on stages and exchanges programs

should be open to all apprentice leading

restaurants that make up less than 1 per

cent of apprentices in hospitality, and we

should focus on Asia and forget Europe.

“Reinforcing helplessness with

apprentices is because we are in a world

of halves, apprentices are generally on

low wages, this causes an issue as they feel

under done compared to friends from other

professions. Cable TV, celebrity chefs and

the internet have not helped in increasing

the demand for chefs; I don’t think it’s a

sustainable area for chefs.”

Get involved and participate in as many

competitions to make an impression on

the industry’s most influential chefs and

restaurateurs. It’s your chance to make

the entire industry sit up and take notice!

The Leading Group

Employer of

Apprentice Chefs

HTN is a not-for-profit

hospitality specialist group

training organisation who

supports and encourages

apprentice chefs, butchers

and hospitality trainees.

If you are looking for an

apprentice chef in NSW, ACT

or VIC - stop looking and call



Reinhold Forster,

Director of Futura


oo often we are not working

smarter; rather a lot of reliance

is placed on sheer physical work

and stamina. Provide clearer

goals to educate the industry overall as

profitability and productivity often depend

on fresh thinking – this does not work

for someone who works 16 hours every

day. It can be glamorous, but like all jobs

there is good and bad, but being a chef is

always flexible with the possibility to work

anywhere around the world.”Progress for

chefs is good. Moving around from job

to job ie; is it normal to move to another

restaurant every two years and this has

never been any different. Chefs stop being

apprentices when they are performing

under competency based training. They

can become chefs quicker depending on

their work performance. “With chefs giving

all their tricks away to their employer, well

it’s not really an issue as the menu always

changes and you’re developing all the time.

If you hold on to the few secrets you have

it shows immaturity anyway. Adding value

to apprentice chefs and the restaurants is

going to be done by making the whole

training system and requirements more

transparent and accessible. “Buddy systems

do help in improving current systems,

1300 139 108





this is logical anyway as it involves all

participants. “There are no kickbacks for

extra training when on the job. “In relation

to what apprentices want in the long term

for job happiness and security, I think it

varies anyway but the ‘burn rate’ of long

hours on low pay does not contribute. Gen

Y issues need to be considered and there is

the other side of the coin where they may

expect too much and don’t contribute

enough.”I think we should be offering

exchange programs for young chefs not

only in leading restaurants in Europe but

to also good employers within Australia to

keep chefs alive. I also believe that stress

leads to lack of planning and therefore the

same mistakes are repeated continuously.

“Cable TV, celebrity chefs and the internet

have helped in increasing the demand for

chefs and increased business overall and

expectancy of customers. “When it comes

to the luxury of portable superannuation,

when chefs don’t have it, this is an issue

on a national basis and is currently being

looked at by the government – the issue

will be how it will be regulated and the

possible impact on business expenditure.

“As far as chefs being licensed, I believe

electricians are, yet a chef, but with poor

knowledge or bad ethics they are capable of

killing a lot more people at one sitting than

an electrician would, but who will do the

licensing, how will it be policed and how

do you keep it updated?”As far as restaurant

owners asking for a qualification rather

than just paying a wage, again similar

to above what is required, who would be

teaching and delivering it and how do you

keep it current? There is not enough health

inspectors a many would slip through the

system. Self assessment and self governing

standards and training within the industry

may be another alternative.’’

Q: Can training agencies and the

restaurant chain offer cash or in-kind

incentives to make chefs stay in their

apprenticeship for their four year


A: Not really under competency based

training – I only did two years

apprenticeship it still works

Q: How many chefs are entering and

leaving the trade ie; the current

statistics on the growth of young chefs

and the fall-out from TAFE.

A: By going and checking with ACER

research figures.



Q: When do chefs stop being apprentices?

A: When the term of their apprenticeship is

complete and they are deemed competent.

Some apprentice chefs may be eligible for

early completion if an employer considers

them competent in all aspects of the industry.

It is not uncommon to apply this process to an

apprentice who has gone beyond employer

expectations in terms of their commitment and

culinary skill level.

Michael Bennett, chief

operating officer of Hospitality

Employment Solutions


hen we heard about the

apprentice forum, we

were interested in hearing

about determining the

general wants and needs of apprentices

to assist industry with future recruitment

and retention strategies. To gauge the

understanding of the pathways that

apprentices have in their chosen career,

beyond an executive chef’s role and to

obtain feedback regarding the structure

of the apprenticeship and the associated

training delivery modes et cetera. “HTN

is a ‘not for profit’ industry-based group

training organisation and is the largest

group employer of apprentice chefs and

hospitality trainees in Australia. Established

with the support of state and federal

Georgie Esdaile and

Alex Kearns of Glebe Point Diner

Q: Specialist training programs at NSI that are motivating young chef’s include?

A: There are a few, programs like Appetite for Success that allows our apprentices

access to flexible training incorporating professional and work life balance as well

as the opportunity to develop long lasting professional relationships with their

mentors who are mainly top chefs in leading Sydney restaurants.

Q: How cable TV, celebrity chefs and the internet has helped in increasing the

demand for chefs?

A: Demand for chefs have definitely grown. The TV and celebrity chefs have all

“glamorised” the cookery world, but at the same time it may have given people a

false sense of security that everyone can cook and ‘have a go’. Many students are

disillusioned with what the food world is all about. This may be due to the ‘Master

Chef’ phenomena or simply through just being misinformed. At NSI, we provide a

secure and safe environment for chefs so they can learn and develop themselves,

so in time they will come to love their job and in turn make it their profession.

governments and key industry stakeholders,

HTN currently employs in excess of 500

apprentice chefs and hospitality trainees

throughout southeast Queensland, NSW

and the ACT. HTN enters into a training and

employment contract with apprentice chefs

and hospitality trainees and then places

them with ‘host trainer’ establishments

for structured skills development. There

are currently 200-plus host trainers within

the HTN network; ranging from high

profile restaurants and hotels through

to small cafes and institutional caterers.

“Apprentices have the opportunity to

experience a variety of host establishments

throughout the training period as opposed

to training in just one establishment for the

four-year duration of the training contract.


Hun’s recruitment process determines that

HTN apprentices are firmly committed

to pursuing a career as opposed to ‘a job’.

“They understand the commitment that

is required to our unique industry. The

host trainer is released from the industrial

relations issues and administrative

problems associated with the employment

of an apprentice or trainee. Hosts are also

not committed for the full duration of the

four year employment term, as HTN is the

legal employer. This flexibility is beneficial

to both parties: The host trainer may only

Werner Kimmeringer,

Executive Chef

of Etihad Airways


o what is a terrible wage? You are

learning something and when you

first qualify you may at first be not

so productive, but you get food

and drink, laundry and uniforms provided

and its all tax deductible. Maybe the hours

you’ve worked compared to a bricklayer –

don’t forget he may need to travel hours

sometimes to get to his job. “It is easy to

make quick money early but you will not

gain the experience and will stay at a certain

level forever. And as far as long hours, it’s all

true but it is up to you what you will take

away from these long hours, if you want to

be 9 to 5 you will need to change jobs. “The

food industry is the most sociable industry

on the world; it is only unsociable in the

beginning until you have gained friends

in the industry. These days it does not

matter as every thing is 24/7. “You may be

tired because it is so sociable and you are

out into the early mornings. Working in

confined spaces can have two sides to the

story depending on the premises – a small

space will make you work efficient and if

you loose friends – than they are not real

friends. “Working on public holidays has its

benefits – you can be off when others are

at work. “Tension and personality clashes

in the kitchen, well it takes two to tango

and unfortunately there are people in the

industry who do not care, but usually

someone will appreciate it. “If you’re not

getting any recognition – recognition will

come sooner or later, sometimes it comes

from your peers rather than the boss but

it is even better from the peers. “And

have duties commensurate to a particular

apprentice year and the apprentice benefits

from exposure to more than one venue

style and practice and qualifies with a

diverse repertoire of culinary skills. “HTN’s

industry experienced field consultants visit

the host and apprentice regularly to assist

and support training development where

possible. HTN is proud to have employed

and supported in excess of 10,000

apprentice chefs and hospitality trainees

since 1.

receiving customer complaints – where

there is a smoke there is fire, complaints are

important feedback tools to improve and if

you think you have a restricted lifestyle –

you will be miserable in the best place in

the world. You may have to have to sacrifice

your friends – but as you lose, you gain, it is

up to both parties to foster friendship.

“Working hard to finish off as a chef

and then not getting recognised – did

you know that our job is a never ending

learning, but if you have the basics the

learning is all new things and fun. If you

think social is partying all weekend and it

is more important than building a career

then you’re probably in the wrong job.

“And if you’re taking drugs and alcohol to

stay awake – then you’re definitely in the

wrong environment – these are all excuses.

Taking a toll on your life ie; smoking,

drinking, not eating or sleeping well, all

these items are not mandatory during the

chefs apprenticeship, it’s your choice? If

it starts affecting your mental health and

drags down your energy levels – try to do

some sport, buy some flowers and visit your

grandma. And finally if after your four years

training and nothing changes, then you

will be earning more money, will be able

to move to the next level and pass on your

experiences to the other apprentices so they

have it better.

“If it starts affecting your mental health

and drags down your energy levels – try

to do some sport, buy some flowers and

visit your grandma.”

Werner Kimmeringer,

Etihad Airways, UAE.

The Leading Group

Employer of

Apprentice Chefs

HTN is a not-for-profit

hospitality specialist group

training organisation who

supports and encourages

apprentice chefs, butchers

and hospitality trainees.

If you are looking for an

apprentice chef in NSW, ACT

or VIC - stop looking and call


1300 139 108




Kiwi invasion

Wellington food and Capital Restaurant with

chef Tom Hutchinson comes to town, writes

Elliot Vonthethoff.


LG’s sold two weeks of

dinner booking out in hours!

Epicureans clamouring for

one of the tables reserved for walkin

customers at the former Bayswater

Brasserie in Sydney’s Kings Cross, it looks

like us Sydney folk might actually harbour

a fetish for all things New Zealand,

hidden cunningly behind countless poortaste

sheep jokes. On the other hand, it

could be due to a well-executed media

blitz, however I think it’s the result of a

fantastic idea.

Taking advantage of the recent trend for

pop-up events, this temporary restaurant

provided a chance to sample some of

Wellington’s finest food, and at $29 a head

for 3 courses, amazing value. I’m feeling

lucky to have secured a seat. It’s chef

Tom Hutchison’s second night behind

the stoves, cooking for over 200 covers in

under four hours in a temporary kitchen.

He admits that he was ‘a bit like a deer in

the headlights’ at first but quickly got on

top with the help of his team and tonight

he’s handling the numbers admirably.

His food is honest, well-cooked and

flavoursome, with a simple approach that

allows the New Zealand produce he’s used

to cooking really shine through.

Highlights for me were the sweetly cured

gravlax of king salmon (although the

wasabi panna cotta beside it could do

with a little more oomph) and a well

spiced puck of venison rillettes. My main

of line caught New Zealand snapper

with scallops and jersey benne potatoes

(a variety exclusive to NZ) was very well

executed, with a glass of fine Geisen

sauvignon blanc white to match, but the

dish of the night is definitely the goat’s

curd cheesecake for dessert. It comes in

the form of a just-set mound of whipped

goat’s curd, sour cream and cream

cheese, topped with poached rhubarb

and amaretti crumbs. The sweet and sour

rhubarb marries perfectly with the rich,

tangy cheese, with pleasant bitter almond

notes and crunch from the amaretti

crumbs. It’s light and deliciously well

balanced – a great way to end the night.

We’re on the treadmill still, and Tom

has time to come out for a chat, despite

the frantic service. His passion for good

produce is no surprise. He raves about a

few products we don’t really get access

to here – Tio Point oysters and Mt Cook

alpine salmon are among them. He also

displays a deep love of his craft and

stresses the importance of working in a

happy kitchen. The result is happy food

and happy customers – my editor, and me

among them, having thoroughly enjoyed

this wonderful slice of Wellington.

New Zealand

born chef Nick

Kennedy, at

Glebe Point diner

works with NZ

produce as much

as he can!


Tom Hutchison

Best kitchens worked? I’m loving the

Capital now, but must add, Two Rooms,

Wellington, The Sugar Club, London,

Blakes, Melbourne, and Restaurant Le

Mimosa, France. Advice to future young

chefs? Put your time in, in good restaurants.

Soak up the talents of the people you work

with. Learn the classical and traditional

methods. Your own food will evolve over

time, and it must be underpinned by a real

understanding of the classical methodology

of cooking, and understanding of balance

and flavour. Favourite thing about

Wellington? Wellington is based on a

360 degree harbour which means that if

you are hardy enough, you can get in the

water and dive or fish every day of the

week… if you are not in too big a hurry

to go to work. Wellington is also a hub of

artisanal producers with great integrity.

You can get heirloom produce, boutique

beer and wine, amazing small goods,

game, and an awesome array of FRESH

seafood. Describe dining at WLG? Fast,

fun , friendly. Can we use an F word

for how cheap it is???? Advice to future

young chefs? Put your time in, in good

restaurants. Soak up the talents of the

people you work with. Learn the classical

and traditional methods. Your own food

will evolve over time, and it must be

underpinned by a real understanding of

the classical methodology of cooking, and

understanding of balance and flavour.


Do you work

in Cookery or

Food & Beverage

An exciting and industry driven program, Appetite for Success, is now

seeking nominations from people working in the Cookery and Food &

Beverage industries looking for a successful career path.

The Appetite for Success program provides you with a high profile mentor, Industry networking

opportunities, flexible workshops/masterclasses and a tailored learning plan to develop your business and

leadership skills.

Students need to hold a Certificate III or above. Cost $1274 for diploma or $1528 for an Advanced

Diploma over 2 installments.

Want more information?

For more information, call or visit Sydney Institute: (02) 9710 5948 www.sit.nsw.edu.au/appetiteforsuccess

North Sydney Institute: (02) 9448 6281 www.nsi.tafensw.edu.au/appetiteforsuccess





Eloma’s Live Steam System creates steam within 3

minutes, wow and the preheating of a boiler is no longer

necessary, it uses about 45% less energy compared to a

boiler system combi.

What constitutes a great combi steam oven?

• Easy to use operations

• Fast action on service calls with your local


• Spare parts available in stock

• Units quick to heat and steam

• Energy efficient

• Low maintenance

• Track record

• Options for different trays

• Great reliability

Who are the executive chefs who use/purchase

Eloma today?

Eloma is established in over 50 countries. Eloma

customers range from 5 star hotels, premiumdining

restaurants, airline caterers, convention

centres, large clubs, trains, ships and even


Clients include Mandarin Hotel Bangkok,

Norbert Kostner, William Wongso (One of the

greatest Indonesian Chefs), Ferran Adria, (el

Bulli one of top 5 Restaurants of the world),

Burswood Casino, Perth and Martin Koestlin,

MAK Catering Hire, Sydney.

What sizes are available and what are they

designed for?

We have 6, 10, 20, 24 and 40 tray combis and

due to our unique boilerless technology we have

designed a 6 x 2/3 GN combi steamer. Eloma

combis are utilised in all kitchens, butcheries,

heavy duty food production kitchens, TV

kitchens and off-site catering.

If you’ve never had one, how can they assist

the growth of your business?

Opens up new opportunities, for example think

about in a room service situation where you

have semi-skilled staff after hours. An Eloma

combi oven can prepare great food and you get

consistent quality from roasting to steaming.

You will also be reducing the cost of other

appliances as they will no longer be necessary.

When commissioning what can an Executive

chef expect upon arrival of his/her new combi

steam oven?

Eloma insures a professional installation to the

high factory requirement. These requirements

are supplied to the licensed tradesman prior

to installation day to ensure a trouble-free and

smooth commissioning. Chef will be left with a

fully functional, clean unit ready to cook.

Is there any flexibility in the oven with regard

to space and flexibility?

Eloma offers an additional free slide with their

ovens. For example, a 6 tray oven comes with

7 slides. Due to their Vario racks you can use

different tray sizes in the ovens, GN, baker size

and US Sheet pan size. Eloma is also a supplier

of complete convection oven technology, so our

chefs are also able to stack a combi steamer on

top of one of their baker’s ovens. In addition to

this the Eloma Multi Eco Hood operates as an

in-built range hood. This allows you to operate

the combi oven in locations where it normally

would not be possible it also adds flexibility and

height is only + 17cm.

Are Eloma probes accurate and easily


Most definitely. On all Eloma Ovens from Genius

T, Multimax B, and the Joker Series a Multipoint

probe is a standard feature. A Multipoint probe

ensures a very accurate temperature reading in

general. Eloma’s trained service team can easily

replace the probes, but this happens luckily only

very rarely, except in instances of misuse.

What is availability of spare parts like?

Considering, I am the owner of the first Eloma

combi oven in Sydney, I was concerned about

the availability of spare parts. On installation

day a water inlet valve broke accidentally on the

28th of December. The replacement, which is a

non-standard valve, was delivered to me within

2 days and the oven was working on New Year’s

Eve. There are always parts available in Australia.

In the worst case scenario, parts can be flown in

from Germany within 3 days. There is a service in

Sydney where Eloma have mobile 10 tray units

available that are portable and can be used in


How much water is used during a cleaning cycle?

Water consumption during the cleaning cycle

Martin Koestlin has caught the Eloma bug

and recommends to all his industry friends!

Is the Executive chefs club a good

networking opportunity?

This is a golden opportunity to meet up

with colleagues, to discuss trends, products

and opportunities in a relaxed and casual


is a very flexible thing. This depends very much

on the cleaning level you use and the size of the

used combi steamer.

Eloma has European credibility with their

efficiency and energy saving aspects and the

Eloma AutoClean is one of the most efficient

systems in the market place.

What are good and bad points of north/east/

south/west tray configurations?

Plus point of North South: The equipment

is more energy friendly as the heater sits on

the side and the hot air is not forced out of

the cooking chamber once the door opens.

You can use different GN sizes such as ½,

2/3 or even 1/3. Also the footprint of the

equipment is substantially reduced with this

configuration. The West East tray configuration

may be beneficial to someone who does a lot

regeneration of plated meals on grids.

Boiler units Vs Injection technology: what does

this refer too?

Eloma has invented the Boilerless System to

a Live Steam System, it happened a long time

ago. Reason why? The Live Steam System is

a lot quicker for the operation as it creates

steam within 3 minutes and the preheating of

a boiler is not necessary and uses around 45%

less energy compared to a boiler system. Just a

simple point. If you don’t have a boiler there is

no boiler to maintain.

What would a chef do differently to the food

that he/she cooks with in a spitter compared to

a boiler unit? Will it take longer to cook?

There is no difference in terms of cooking

results. There is no time difference.

• Boiler technology – have to flush out the boiler

and refill if not used daily.

• A spitter system is in general much faster to

use as it does not require a pre-heating or

standby mode.


See us at Fine Foods

Stand HY35 Hall 6

Rediscover the joy

of cooking.

For 35 years, combi steamers from Eloma have ensured the love and joy of cooking and

eating remain a great pleasure. The various fi elds of application, ease of use and low energy

consumption, represent premium quality “Made in Germany”. Its most outstanding feature:

the effortlessness at which temperature and humidity is adjusted, guarantees a perfect

cooking result. This comes as no surprise that our combi steamers continue to enjoy

worldwide success.

Eloma GmbH | Innovative Cooking and Baking Technology

Phone: 1300 356 622 (or 1300 ELOMA2) | www.eloma.com.au | info@eloma.com.au



Sky dining

flight paths to gastronomy

Host Prakash


Backstage tour for

Executive chefs at

Alpha Flight Catering,


ACF National


Peter Wright


eamed up with a group of interested executive chefs, Food

Companion International’s Mel Nathan welcomed head

of catering Prakash Chand of Alpha flight Catering with

Australian Olive Oil Association, Fonterra Foods, Meiko Australia

Pacific and De Toni Bakery and Patisserie to showcase airline

products for those with a passion for food.

Host chef Prakash Chand of Alpha Flight Catering told FCI “It’s a

great idea to get all the Executive Chefs from hotels, commercial

catering, airlines and restaurants together every few months to

share our knowledge, ideas and new products in the market from

our purveyors to better the quality of our products and services to

our customers.”

Former chef from Alpha Flight Catering, Cheek Wong Ho, who

flew over for the lunch gathering said it was great to meet some

more executive chefs including product and marketing people.

“Members of the club were very taken by how an airline kitchen

actually runs, comparing it to their roles and what they are doing

in their own catering venues,’’ he said. “Everyone gets something

out of these club meetings. It was good to learn how airlines

function, including; meal setup for each aircraft and loadings for

business, first class and economy. “Regarding the halal kitchen

tour we noticed it came with such strict guidelines for receiving in

stores, including their storage facilities. Going through the various

kitchen procedures with the task of cooking in different kitchens

to maintain very high hygiene standards was interesting to say the


Ho said Chand is a star performer when it comes to running an

airline kitchen. “His non pretentious, no fuss, get down to business

attitude impressed us all. The fascinating part was when we started

to open up about purchasing and maintain products within

the various budget restraints and choosing the right purveyors

and price.’’

Nathan said it was good to see more members joining the Club

so that they could exchange views and ideas on the industry and

“keep the spirit of Australia progressing”.

The Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil discussion with Dr Richard

Gawel and Robert Armstrong opened up the chefs’ eyes giving

them a myriad of ideas about new applications with their AEVOO’s.

They all knew the organisation AOA has been around, but never

did any leg work to find out more information about them. Some

were guilty and said that “they would never ever use European oils

ever again”.

Shane Horner, executive chef from Spotless/Alliance Catering

Australia told FCI that he knew using an AEVOO was like any other

fresh ingredient. “You need to be careful when opening fresh olive

oil, as the quality starts to decrease which can affect the whole dish,

and in some cases ruin the dish,’’ he said. “Ten years ago when I

worked at the Hyatt in Perth, if you were buying the best it would

be Joseph olive oil – but now it’s all changed. There are so many

brands on the market, it’s good news,’’ said Horner.


Dr Richard Gawel


When it’s the

Size that Counts

Fonterra Foodservices has a wide range of dairy products packed in portion controlled

sizes – ideal for hotels, motels, catering, school canteens, airlines and health/aged care.

Contact your local Fonterra Sales Representative or visit www.fonterrafoodservices.com.au

to find out more about the complete range of portion size products.

Mainland Tasty 21g

Bega Strong & Bitey 20g

Bega Tasty 20g

Western Star Portions 8g

Western Star Medallions 8g

Western Star Portions 7g

Anchor Milk and Skim Milk 15mL

Ski D’lite Combo Pack 100g



Halal kitchen tour was action packed!

Alto’s Robert


Kruno Velican from The Westin, Sydney said it was

“such a great opportunity to eye ball producers in

one meeting for us high end volume sales chefs who

all talk to one another’’.

From a Fonterra perspective the chefs thought the

company was much more than just cheese, cream

and butter. Using parmesan instead of mozzarella

in lasagna’s was ‘unheard of’ said chef Eddie Cofie,

executive chef of Sydney’s Olympic Park Venues.

Cofie said that he will be definitely switching to

Mainland’s parmesan. “The puff pastry got a big

wrap too and the chefs enjoyed having an eye to eye

conversation with chef Peter Wright.’’

Prakash from Alpha liked the Mainland parmesan so

much that the next day he asked his chefs to do an

experiment on a dish where cheese normally wouldn’t

crumble. He was surprised by the result as it not only

crumbled, but also went golden brown. So Fonterra

definitely won a customer with the company already

ordering a minimum 20 kilo’s of parmesan a week.

Tim Browne, executive chef of RAS Showgrounds

said it was “such a great experience to see a different

style of catering for large volumes. From sourcing,

preparation and then watching it delivered to the

plane showed the logistical challenges faced, through

to the final execution, it was amazing”.

Making some significant contribution to the session

was Meiko’s Lawrence Hickey, who had the ear of

some discriminating listeners on hand when it came

to the washing up demo in the hot kitchen. In Europe

more chefs are turning to Reversed Osmosis washing

systems which is now saving owners heaps on their

staff wages and chemicals, so polishing glasses has

never been this easy.

Also a big thanks to Alistair Dunlop, general manager

of customer sales, who helped in assisting with some

footage of UK chef Heston Blumenthal, when he

tried ambitiously to cater on a BA flight. “It was a

showcase within itself,’’ one chef said. “When it

comes to airline catering you never think about

what’s going on behind the scenes, you might

complain and about the food and say it’s only an

airline meal but it’s worth noting that most of the

products you consume in the air are not the same

you consume on the ground.’’

And last of all, Executive chef Peter Wright, the

National President of ACF Australia who did a

wonderful presentation for Fonterra Foods – easy

going and liked by so many of his peers, was scared

to death to be put in front of so many great chefs he

told FCI.

Klemen Popit with

Checkwong Ho

Tim Browne

RAS Showgrounds


The clean solution

The Reverse Osmosis System from Meiko...

Polishing glasses has never been so easy


1300 562 500


relax indulge

Indulge in a unique Sydney

Harbour experience on board

MV Enigma. This luxury 65ft

motor yacht is the perfect

option for your next Sydney

Harbour cruise with its first

class facilities, five star service,

customized menus and

overnight accommodation



Mob 0418 600 835




Indulge in a unique Sydney Harbour experience on board MV Enigma. This luxury 65ft motor



Sydney Harbour Cruise on MV. Enigma

It’s always a challenge cooking

for a food-savvy public, but try doing

it for your peers, says former Acer

Arena chef Martin Koestlin

Hi Chef,

Want to meet some of Sydney’s other executive chefs?

This time we’re cruising in style!

In conjunction with the luxury 65 ft vessel MV Enigma and Food

Companion International it’s on!

We are having a lively chefs table and a culinary experience

presented in a very unique way with a group of 20.

Eat canapés, drink and network whilst viewing some of the

spectacular sights, have fun with Sydney’s other executive chefs.

Onboard chef Martin Koestlin, in conjunction with Food

Companion International, will be in charge of the food for the day.

Presenters: Meat and Livesstock of Australia, Top Cut Meats, Simplot,


When: Tuesday February 8th, 2011 at 3pm

Meet: Wharf in front of Harbour Kitchen & Bar, Park Hyatt Sydney.

Address: Hickson Road, the Rocks

Dress: Casual attire.

Time: 3-6pm.

Look forward to seeing you!

yacht is the perfect option for your wedding day on Sydney Harbour with its first class facilities,

five star service, customized menus and overnight accommodation packages.

For more information visit www.mvenigma.com.au or phone 0418 600 835



Gippsland Fresh beef is a Natural Beef

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Galley proof

When the executive chefs gathered on Sydney

Harbour for a relaxing harbour cruise, there were

more than management issues on their minds

writes Elliot Vonthethoff.

John Deane and

Mel Nathan

Chef Koestlin’s



Red curry spiced flank steak with

mango chili salsa served on Asian


Sugar cured oyster blade with fennel

remoulade in poppy seed tartlet shells

Wild mushroom tartlets with crème

fraiche and lemon aioli

Flat Iron steak sandwich of pickle

brisket on sourdough with red onion


Smooth sweet corn broth with basil



Individual tirra-misu

Hand made truffles

Individual macaroons

On board executive chef

Martin Koestlin

Among the top chefs were Paul Butler from the National Press

Club ACT, Peter Van Es of Amora Hotels, John Deane of

Stadium Australia and Gavin McKevitt from Sydney Entertainment

Centre. Cooking on board was Martin Koestlin, former Executive

Chef of Acer Arena.

Martin had a busy afternoon ahead serving up a myriad of canapés

to a secondary cuts theme – his brief from the MLA and Top Cut

Meats was to utilise secondary beef cuts to demonstrate their

versatility to all on board.

We enjoyed canapes such as sugar cured oyster blade and mango

salsa, flat iron steak sandwiches and a delicious massaman curry

made from bolar blade. With so much meat to serve in a limited

time, from a small galley, Martin was impressive, although he did

that with so many chefs around, he might have been able to get a

little help!

He pointed out that there’s not so much difference between catering

for 20 on a boat and catering for 5000 in a stadium – planning,

preparation, organisation and quick thinking on the day is what

gets you through successfully.

Up on the top deck, chefs were discussing the fortunes of various

hotels properties, comparing sizes of their hotels, capacities of

function room and dining spaces. Kazi Hassan, Executive Sous at

Sheraton on the Park captured the overall flavour of the day - “It

was a great opportunity to communicate with the chefs away from

the kitchen. It was a pleasure to talk to like-minded chefs who

understood the operational challenges that we go through, day

after day.’’

“I also got a great snapshot of how the airline business works, chef

Prakash Chand at Alpha Flight Catering runs the business and am

looking forward to the next Executive Chefs Club; and he will be

hosting it!

The business representatives present also found it valuable with

Erwin Magat of Nespresso saying, “It gave us the opportunity to

speak with chefs in an informal, casual and fun way.’’

“Some important leads and opportunities were created by the

event,” he added.

Mel Marshan of MLA said: “Chef Martin Koestlin truly showed us

some truly global flavours and that by sourcing only top quality

ingredients – you’re not just limited to loin cuts.’’

“His masterpieces and classic cuts used on the day used were flank,

oyster blade, bolar blade and brisket, performing as well just as

a loin cut but much less expensive. The event definitely had the

other chefs on board inspired and thinking about how they could

utilise these cuts in their businesses.’’

All good things must come to an end however, and MV Enigma

had to pull up anchor and head back to land at Rose Bay. Chocolate

truffles were circulated as we headed back and as the guests

disembarked all were eager to find out when and where the next

Executive Chef meeting would be.


Introducing Beef Masterpieces by Meat & Livestock Australia.

A red meat revolution inspiring you to create your very own

masterpieces with classic beef cuts.

For more information, talk to your wholesaler or visit




Kazi & Thiyagi

Elite chEFS take

brew on board

Michelin Star restaurants are lining up for their Nespresso

as chefs including; Heston Blumenthal, Juan Mari Arzak,

Georges Blanc and Shannon Bennett turning to the

delicious brand writes Jarrod Baker.

Food Companion International’s recent Executive Chefs Club aboard

the luxury 65 ft vessel MV Enigma, brought together a collection of

“passionate chefs who appreciate the highest quality and delight in the

ability of creating moments of pleasure as customers, whilst sailing around

glorious Sydney Harbour”, said Renaud Tinel, general manager for Nespresso

Oceania. The chefs in attendance sampled the variety of 8 Grand Cru coffees

Nespresso offer including the Espressos range for the lovers of traditional

coffee and the Lungos and Pure Origins for the more adventurous. Each

capsule captures the premium coffee taste Australians have grown to love,

thanks to the perfectly portioned capsule that delivers consistent taste with

the push of a button.

Just like our connoisseurs in the kitchen, the people at Nespresso are

committed to delivering a culinary experience that delights their customers.

The Executive Chefs Club assisted in facilitating a working collaboration

to enhance the sensory experience, a relationship that is fundamentally

based on quality, consistency and dining pleasures and it seems natural to

collaborate wherever possible. In restaurants sales the company has delivered

on the Gemini premium coffee machine that is tailor-made to the high

standards and volume requirements of its business customers and its chefs.

Nespresso are experts at enhancing the dining experience, especially in

Europe they have many Michelin Star rated restaurants lining up for their

coffee, and it shows, chefs including; Heston Blumenthal, Juan Mari Arzak,

Georges Blanc and Shannon Bennett are actively using and promoting the

brand. Australians undeniably have a love affair with coffee. For most it’s a

morning and afternoon necessity, for others it’s a rare treat and for a small few

it remains a mere curiosity. Regardless, we are blessed with an ever increasing

breadth of choice given the successful rise of coffee giants like Starbucks and

Gloria Jeans, and the popularity of niche blends like Toby’s Estate - who offer

an unrivalled premium range of coffee blends and products.

Beyond bringing us the much admired or envied (depending on your sex)

George Clooney, Nespresso has a suite of innovative offerings including

high-tech machines, a selection of Grands Crus coffees and array of tailormade

services including; the simple insertion of the capsule into the machine

is an important characteristic of the Nespresso machine worth enquiring

about. “Australian coffee connoisseurs are now more interested than ever

in coffee and the cafe experience – the barista, the sensory experience and

the aromas,” said Tinel. “Our success is really testament to the sophisticated

nature of coffee consumption within Australia, and Australian’s love of

premium quality coffee.”

A heady blend

Nespresso tiramisu.

“It was a chance to meet some influential chefs

from the food world in a most relaxed and informal

environment. Overall, we have begun a dialogue with

some 5 star establishments about the possibility of

utilising the Nespresso system, which was beautifully

showcased on the boat. Even the captain of the ship

couldn’t resist the exceptional Nespresso Grands

Crus coffees, as he later purchased 2 Nespresso Citiz

and milk machines for his boat!’’

Erwin Magat, Nespresso Marketing Specialist,

for Australia & New Zealand


Enjoy pure moments of indulgence

with a truly precious coffee

in select hotels and restaurants.




Park Hyatt, Sydney

Peter and Jenny


Hi Chef,

Want to meet more of Sydney’s other executive chefs?

In conjunction with Park Hyatt, Sydney and Food Companion

International it’s on!

We are having a lively chefs table and a culinary experience

presented in a very unique way with a group of 20.

Eat canapés, drink and network at the long table and have fun

with Sydney’s other Executive chefs.

Chef Martin Koestlin

and Bill Ranken

Host Andrew McKee, executive chef Sydney Park Hyatt, in

conjunction with Food Companion International, will run the

culinary workshop featuring the secrets of the versatile and

popular Port Lincoln Tuna loins and Crystal Bay Prawns and Tojiro

knives over a cold beer and wines in an elegant and

intimate way.

Prawns demo and tasting with Makiko, Crystal Bay Prawns.

(peeled, cooked & raw – salt, lemon & soy)

Executive chef of Four

Points Sheraton, Michael


Executive chef of Quay

Apartments, Mirvac, Dwight



Executive chef

Andrew McKee

Walter Keller,

Westin Hotel, Sydney

Tuna loin demo & tasting with Southern Waters Marine How

using tuna – can make profits. Andrew will present ways of

cooking and preparing the delicacy “the loin” showcasing

both belly and back cuts – both with very different palate and

taste profiles.

Alaskan Crab Company presentation and tasting with Jenny

and owner/farmer Peter Kantorovich. Demonstration on ease

of use of this versatile product whilst a lively discussion takes

place with chefs at the long table.

Chefs and their knives demo + lucky door prize

[roll of Tojiro knives].

Over the past few years more chefs are turning to Japanese

style knives, why? Michael Yates and Gary Johnson, Hilton will


Break for canapés, Wine Society wines & John Boston beers /

networking with Chefs & Sponsors

Venue: Meet at the bar at Harbour Kitchen & Bar, Park Hyatt Sydney

Address: 7 Hickson Road, the Rocks

Dress: Casual attire.

Time: 3-5pm.

Look forward to seeing you!

Prakash Chand

Oswin Ribeiro,

Radisson Blu, Sydney

Yomoda, Executive

Chef of Observatory


The catering equipment specialists!

Everyone and anyone, the corporate caterer, venues, mums and dads, hotels, event planners and

for all occasions –Dinner Parties, Exhibitions, Fetes, Festivals, Sporting Events, 21st, Barmitzvahs,

TV Locations, Weddings Florists even renovations sites all in the Sydney metropolitan Area.

Contact us now

Phone: (02) 9789 1567 Fax: (02) 9012 0273 Mobile: 0414 555 411


Catering & Hospitality Specialist


about our

portable combi





King of

the sea

Alaskan King Crab truly deserves its title.

Tongues are already wagging, and the few that

aren’t will be after they try it! The King of Shellfish,

Alaskan king crab writes Jarrod Baker.

Australians have a love affair with seafood

and in particular crustaceans. The king

of all crustaceans, crab forms part of most

fine dining menus, whatever the cuisine.

The delicate flavour of crab appeals to the

gourmet palate, perfectly encompassing the

flavours of the sea.

Alaskan king crab – the king of shellfish

reigns supreme with its unrivalled sweet

flavour and tender texture, just ask Jenny

Kantorovich of the Alaskan Crab Co. Very

few of the chefs who attended the Executive

Chef’s Club at the Park Hyatt in Sydney

would disagree. Jenny and her father Peter’s

lively demonstration substantiated the

Alaskan king crab’s credentials, elevating

it above the products chefs and Australian

diners are familiar with.

“Our product is cooked, cleaned, blast

frozen and packed on the vessel as soon as

it is caught. Diners therefore are enjoying

the freshness of the crab at the source, but

obviously without the rough seas,” said

Peter of the Alaskan Crab Company, who’s

been fishing in the Bering Sea for 20 years.

it. Consequently, chefs expect quality and

consistency and restaurant goers expect

every single bite to delight.

“The nature of the Alaskan king crab

is somewhat different to the crab chefs

might buy here in Australia. They are a big

animal, thus allowing us to pick the crab

meat by hand, which would be too difficult

with smaller local crab species. ”You won’t

hear anyone complaining. Chefs can do

away with the delicacy they associate with

most shellfish, and the dent in their wallets.

Seafood lovers meanwhile, get more bang

for their buck. Everyone’s a winner.

The Alaskan Crab Co participated in the

Executive Chefs Club as an opportunity

to get valuable feedback from the careful

collection of chefs in attendance, most of

whom were existing clients. Already active

post sale, the small team remains eager to

follow the journey of the crab from the

icy waters of the Bering Sea to the dinner

plate, becoming active members in the

cooking process and ultimately the culinary


“We’ve already had some great feedback.

Not only were we able to showcase our

product, the club provided the opportunity

to directly engage with our most important


The Alaskan Crab Co have armed a new army

of ambassadors with a suite of knowledge on

an exciting new seafood product that’s sure

to keep our chef’s busy and their restaurant

clientele happy. Expect to see, hear and eat

more of Australia’s newest King of Shellfish,

the Alaskan king crab.

It’s a simple formula, done well by a

collection of individuals who know the

culinary industry just as well as their

products. Following their 30 years in the

local poultry processing industry, the

Alaskan Crab Co capitalised on their offshore

fishing expertise and local knowledge of the

Australian market, delivering a product that

most chefs would regard as unique. Buying

crab for home or eating crab at a restaurant

is generally dictated by market prices. Why?

Because crab is expensive there’s no denying

Eddy Cofie, Sydney Olympic Venues gets

his first taste of Alaskan King Crab.

Peter Zimmerman, (formerly of The

Westin, now at Le Meridien, Chiang Mai),

Martin Koestlin, Jochen Hess of Four

Seasons and Mike Sheumann of NCEC.





Dandy blades

across the board

Chef and noted alchemist Heston Blumenthal recently

stunned onlookers on a recent Top Gear episode by

performing a daring car stunt involving a cucumber

and his Tojiro flash knife writes Jarrod Baker.

Tojiro knives, not only luxury,

but beautifully crafted instruments.

With over 40 years of experience,

Zen Imports is one of Australia’s

leading distributors in the kitchen industry.

Through years of refinement Zen offers an

extensive range of knives with unrivalled

quality, and at the Executive Chef’s Club

at Sydney’s Park Hyatt some of Australia’s

finest chefs were there to get their hands on

some of Zen’s finest collections, including

the Tojiro Professional Flash Series.

Endorsed by some of the world’s most

celebrated chefs, Japanese knives look

destined to find their way into an increasing

number of kitchens around the globe. In

Australia, our craftsmen in the kitchen are

becoming more familiar with the unique

quality and precision of these artisan tools.

Thinner and sharper than the conventional

European blades most Australians use in

the kitchen, Japanese knives are hard, sharp

The Japanese Kitchen Knife Collection

Made in Japan


1800 064 200


Host Executive Chef Andrew McKee of Park Hyatt, Sydney

accepting his Tojiro knife for hosting the event.

Max Dupont of Tojiro knives with Harry

Callinan, Marriot Hotel, Sydney.

Gary Johnson talking about

using Tojiro knives.

Harbour Kitchen Bar was the perfect

location for the chef get-together.

and retain their flexibility and strength.

“The Tojiro series all feature Damascus

steel. Damascus combines both hard and

soft steel – making a thin hard inner core

with layers of softer steel around it. Each

layer is thinner than paper allowing the

entire blade to flex without snapping,” said

Max Dupont of Zen Imports.

Hands on interaction and intimate

engagement is invaluable in the culinary

industry, especially when it comes to chefs

and their kitchen utensils, and even more

so their knives.

The Executive Chefs Club provided an

opportunity for Zen Imports to gather

insight into chefs’ needs and wants in the

kitchen. Leveraging culinary gatherings

such as these has been an essential

ingredient for their success. Their recipe

is simple; they deliver on these wants

and needs. “Just recently we’ve seen chefs

favour the Santoku knife. ‘Santoku’ means

“three good things,” a reference to the three

cutting tasks it performs: slicing, dicing and

serving. With blades made from 63 layers of

steel and Micarta and steel handles, these

knives have a beauty and integrity all of

their own,” said Dupont.

Zen has already received some positive

feedback from the chefs in attendance,

“Chefs in general have been impressed

with the quality of the knives. Knives are

the kitchens most important tools. Chefs

are initially surprised with the design,

weight and precision of Japanese knives and

eventually they can’t do without one.”

After working with chefs for 40 years, it’s

this kind of feedback that fuels Zen Imports’

global search for kitchen products that

have the chef in mind always. Combining

the latest cutting edge technology with

craftsmanship refined for centuries,

Japanese knives become an extension of the

hand and a purveyor of kitchen brilliance.

2010 Red Dot Design Award Winner - Edgeware Mandoline Premium Pull Through Sharpeners



Host Executive Chef of the Hyatt, Sydney Andrew McKee showcases Mori Tuna at the Exec Chefs Club.


back at the tuna ranch

Designed for raw consumption Southern Waters

is offering chefs vacuum packed back and belly

loins in a collection of cut variations including

Akami, O-Toro and Chu-Toro writes Jarrod Baker.

eing a quota species, the fishing of

B Southern Bluefin Tuna is closely

monitored and governed. The process that

delivers the tuna from the ocean farm to

the plate is completely transparent and

sustainable. A fact James and his team were

eager to highlight at the Executive Chef’s

Club at the Park Hyatt, Sydney.

Tuna comes in many shapes and sizes and

the flavour varies accordingly. For most,

market prices and quality are adjudged on

the tuna’s species, size and core temperature

and fishing method. Restaurateurs take it

one step further and can pay up to $150,000

for a 128kg tuna with desirable muscle

colour, texture, clarity and fat content.

The bluefin Tuna in particular is highly

prized, revered for its quality and the only

species to regularly receive the highest

tier in Japanese sashimi grading. Located

in Port Lincoln, South Australia Southern

Waters Marine is a family owned Australian

business, specialising in the export and

processing of southern rock lobster,

mulloway, yellowtail kingfish and of course

southern bluefin tuna for 20 years. “We

have a specialist facility for the processing

and value adding of southern bluefin tuna

which we sell under the Morituna brand,”

said James Moriarty of Southern Waters

Marine Products. “Our bluefin is wild

caught and then farm fattened on specific

diets in off-shore pens, which increase their

fat and oil content dramatically, enhancing

quality and value.”

And there was even better news to follow,

“We have spent many years on our tuna

loin program and have worked closely with

customers to try to deliver a more versatile

product. We continue to sell directly to

chefs and this helps to keep the price low

by cutting out the distributors. It works for

both parties involved.”

“Harvesting commences around April and

generally goes until September. During

this time we can supply chilled or frozen

product. From October to February/March

we supply frozen product only. There is

an art to defrosting and preserving the

frozen product, however we do supply our

customers with information packs and

instructions on how to correctly defrost and

store frozen bluefin.’’

The team behind Mori Tuna works closely

with chefs on an ongoing basis to ensure

quality and consistency in their product.

These working relationships are initiated at

culinary gatherings such as the Executive

Chefs Club which begin a dialogue to

deliver products chefs love to work with and

customers’ readily order in their restaurants.

All the chefs had a great time and showed

a heightened interest with the sustainably

caught, farm fattened; melt in your mouth

Mori Tuna loins from Port Lincoln, SA.

All Mori tuna is prepared in our EU approved,

temperature controlled processing room and

may be supplied in chilled or frozen form

(as the chefs tasted).

For further information, seasonality and

pricing on their product and tailor making to

your needs, chefs need to get in touch with the

company direct, who are now supplying many

high-end restaurants including; the Rockpool

group, the Hyatt Sydney and a number of

overseas customers, just to name a few.

Exec Chefs Club in full swing

Peter Zimmerman, Martin Koestlin,

Jochen Hess and Mike Sheumann

Oswin Ribeiro, Radisson and Mashiko Yomoda





Hi Chef,

Want to meet some of Sydney’s other Executive chefs?

In conjunction with Hilton, Sydney and Food Companion

International it’s on!

Our host Gary Johnson, executive chef of Sydney Hilton introduced

Mark Bayliss, executive chef of Unilever Food Solutions who

showcased an ingredient and tasting session and footage of “A

night with Marco Pierre White” alongside Vic Cherikoff, of Cherikoff

Australian Ingredients who explained the value of using authentic

Australian ingredients that they are supplying to chefs worldwide.

Value for money is seen as the right quality product in the right

portion size accompanied by the right service for the right price.

It is not just about making something cheaper but what the best

practices are for revenue generating ideas; comfort foods for

uncomfortable times?

“I think there is great skill in being able to take cheaper or

secondary cuts of meats and produce an excellent meal or event;

casseroles and other braised dishes, for example, come to mind,”

Gary Johnson, Executive Chef of Hilton, Sydney.

Venue: Main Kitchen, Sydney Hilton.

Address: 488 George Street, Sydney

Time: 3-5pm.

Session agenda

• Afternoon tea in Glass Brasserie provided by chef Luke Mangan.

• Chef introductions and Unilever Global chef report.

• Ingredient and tasting session.

• Flavour profiles and consistency, blind tasting session with Mayonnaise

(scratch made/Hellman’s Mayonnaise) demi glace (scratch made/Knorr).

• Eco times - what measures are chefs taking in their kitchens in an

economic downturn, ways to combat this and where Unilever can help?

• What I want to feed Hilton guests - talk by Gary Johnson, executive chef

outlining secondary cuts.

• How Unilever Food Solutions can work with our 5 star hotel chefs in the

future, and to add value to your kitchen’s performance.

• How freshness, sustainability and energy saving in the kitchen plays a

major role with 5 star hotels.

• Eat, drink network at the long table and have fun with Sydney’s other 5

star city hotel chefs.

• Casual attire.

Look forward to seeing you!


prosciutto on

crostini with

goats curd and

caper berry


Bianca Ambrush

Unilever’s sensory style




Hi Chef,

Want to get to know some of Sydney’s other Executive chefs?

Rational’s chef

extraordinaire Paul Gruar

Victor talking up

the avo’s!

In conjunction with Sydney Hilton and Food Companion

International it’s on!

We are having a lively chefs table and a culinary workshop

presented in a very unique way. Host Gary Johnson, executive

chef Sydney Hilton, in conjunction with Food Companion

International, and UFS chef aficionado Mark Bayliss will run the

culinary workshop featuring the secrets of the versatile and

popular avocados and prawns in an elegant and intimate way.

“We’ll show you how to get more from all of these products

to help you meet the eternal value for money challenge while

creatively providing inspirational, value-adding menu solutions,”

Gary Johnson, Executive Chef of Hilton, Sydney.

Venue: Meet at the bar at Glass Brasserie.

Address: 488 George Street, Sydney

Time: 3-5pm.

Session agenda

• Afternoon tea in Glass Brasserie provided by chef Luke Mangan.

• Prawns, avocadoes and UFS products to compliment every meal,

every course, every season and every occasion, demo and tastings.

• Backstage kitchen and hotel tour with chefs.

• The product history, geography, myths and latest information +

ordering and handling.

• Mayonnaise, hollandaise, anglaise and béarnaise and E numbers and

natural preservation methods.

• Australian avocados and prawns, their characteristics and seasons.

• Avocados and prawns and their global menu uses.

• More bang for your menu bucks.

• How these companies can do business with Executive Chefs + add

value to your kitchen’s performance.

• UFS products demo and tasting with Mark (hollandaise, béarnaise,

anglaise, mayonnaise).

• Hear latest first hand report on the 2010 WACS convention last week in

Santiago, Chile, Latin America from UFS Exec chef, Mark Bayliss.

• Blind prawn tasting segment followed by an exchange of ideas and

recipes from leading o/s chefs ie; Nobu and Tokyo Salt – what they are

doing with prawns.

• Eat canapés, drink and network at the long table and have fun with

Sydney’s other Executive chefs.

• Casual attire

Look forward to seeing you!

Chef Johnson’s



Crystal bay prawn sushi

with ginger, wasabi

and soy

Prawn and avocado rolls

with lemon mayonnaise

Vietnamese prawn salad

on a spoon


Tempura prawn shooters

Avocado and cheese


Chermoula prawn skewer

with hollandaise


Avocado brulees

Kalamansi and

avocado sorbet

Former Radisson Executive

chef Jeremy Clark with

Roshan Rodrigo




Crystal bay prawn sushi with ginger, wasabi and soy.

“Something I thought that would be

versatile in an elegant way for the chefs”.

Gary Johnson, Executive Chef, Hilton, Sydney

PrAWn’s future

Hot, cooked or raw? Crystal Bay Prawns

to complement every meal, every course,

every season and every occasion.

crYSTAL clear

Adored straight off the barbie or wrapped in white paper, accompanied by

hot chips, these prawns are easily finding their way on to the menus in some

of the finest restaurants in Australia writes Jarrod Baker.

“The Executive Chefs Club is a great opportunity to showcase

what the company can bring to the hotel industry and market

potential is enormous, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, and

so good, we have participated twice,” says Makiko Karasawa.

It’s also an opportunity to introduce new products and gather

feedback directly from Australian chefs and other industry


Crystal Bay Prawns are delivered fresh from the farms of Tropical

North Queensland to some of the finest restaurants in Australia,

including Neil Perry’s Rockpool and Tetsuya’s. Established in 1984,

Crystal Bay Prawns are grown by Seafarm – a fully integrated

aquaculture company built to reduce the impact of a decline in

the number of wild prawns available, while also guaranteeing a

sustainable quality product year round.

Prawns are loved around the world and, even more so, here in

Australia. Australian prawns themselves are an invaluable resource

– available year round, they are one of the cleanest products on the

market and their high quality and consistency is unparalleled.

“Seafarm’s Crystal Bay Prawns are a product that is fresh, clean and

tastes great and a product we are particularly proud of. The club

allows us to identify a process to support the industry and most

importantly the chefs.”

“Our sashimi grade prawn is an unusual product and something

we presented to the chefs at the event. They not only loved the

product, but for some of them they hadn’t thought about serving

raw prawn in a dish,” added Karasawa.

For Seafarm’s Crystal Bay Prawns, the Executive Chefs Club has been

valuable, “We’ve already received a lot of positive feedback,” said

Karasawa. “Chefs have made inquiries about our prawns, as have

their purveyors proving to be extremely useful. It is the beginning

of a mutually beneficial relationship and we will definitely be

attending the next one.”

The prawn

tasting segment

was followed by

interaction and

exchanging of ideas

of the taste and

price including; a

session on what

some of the leading

overseas chefs at

Nobu and Tokyo

Salt were doing

with Crystal Bay





Kalamansi and avocado sorbet

Gary Johnson heading up

the backstage tour of Hilton kitchen

after a lively afternoon tea in Glass.

A fruitful


Food Companion’s lively

chef get together was a

perfect forum to revisit the

versatile avocado and

look at some of its infinite

menu possibilities for

savvy chefs writes

Jarrod Baker.

This amazing fruit can be all things to all dishes.

The versatility of the avocado is unrivalled.



Victor Pisapia, giving Avocado tips and

confidence to chefs that he meets.

Avocado brulees.

Luca Cianoa, [in grey] having a chat to chef Victor Pisapia, the seasoned New

Yorker who has worked in half a dozen celebrated restaurants in the USA,

then to Australia to establish the acclaimed Rattlesnake Grill on the lower

North Shore. He now runs a food experience company involving team building

programs through cooking. He lives and breathes avocados and chillis.

Chefs; Yusuke with Masahiko Yomoda,

Executive chef, The Observatory Hotel,

Sydney and Dwight Peters, Quay west,

Mirvac talking up avocados with Mel


“You can do wonderful things with avocados and they are still considered as a “luxury” item on my menus from canapés to desserts

because of their creaminess and health benefits. Whatever I put them with, it will sell; and I think it’s for several reasons. They

are high in monosaturates and can reduce blood cholesterol; the oil content of avocados is second only to olives among fruits, and

sometimes greater. So, not only are they just a healthy fruit but, they are very versatile and can lend themselves to sweet or savoury

applications and can also be used under or over ripened”. Gary Johnson, Executive Chef, Hilton, Sydney.

nternational chef and avocado aficionado

I Victor Pisapia, joined with Hilton’s

Executive Chef Gary Johnson to showcase

avocados opening with a sensory positioning

that opened the eyes and palate to the flavour

possibilities of the fruit.

Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner,

canapes, entrées, mains or even dessert,

avocado can be the perfect accompaniment

to a meal at home or the key ingredient in

any dish in the finest restaurant.

“We are always looking to expand the

usage of avocados in the kitchen and chef

events allow us to educate on the basics,

the information that’s been forgotten, and

being involved with latest culinary learnings

we all try to keep up with an ever evolving

food industry,” said Antony Allen CEO of

Avocados Australia, the peak industry body

for the national avocado industry.

Members of Avocados Australia include

growers, associated businesses and industry

people, working with all parts of the chain,

from production through to the consumer,

from distribution to the kitchen. Avocados

Australia continually seeks to provide a

healthy, profitable, safe and delicious product.

Plain, salted and sugared balls of avocado

illustrated the diversity of its flavour profile

followed by a shooter and a garlic and chilli

flash-fried treatments - which further defined

directions for more menu possibilities. From

there Gary Johnson and his brigade served

tastings of avocado canapés, entrées, mains

and desserts.

“Australian Avocados has already had a heap

of positive feedback from the chefs. These

conversations I believe are the preferred

method of engagement for the chefs and in

my experience have proved to be the most

effective,” says Allen.

Allen believes that collecting the fertile ideas

discussed at the event by the chefs about

avocados, particularly their unique use in

recipes is a didactic and productive dialogue

that is invaluable and mutually beneficial.

“We are currently putting the feedback

into practice. We’ve identified the need to

establish a comprehensive information source

on avocados. We don’t want any guessing

in the process of producing, supplying and

consuming avocados. In the fresh fruit and

vegetable industry nobody likes surprises,”

explains Allen.

Purchasing and using more avocados this

winter will catch on, as the food industry

is driven much by word of mouth…and

avocados’ peak season is in winter. Tailoring

a seasonal product for chefs and working in

consultation with them, eventually benefits

everyone involved in the spectrum from

production to consumption. With that in

mind, the future is looking ripe for Australian



• Avocados are originally

from Central/South America.

• The first avocado seeds arrived

in Australia in 1840, and were

planted in the Royal Botanic

Gardens, Sydney.

• Avocados are very versatile and

can easily be a star ingredient

at any given meal opportunity,

including warm dishes.

• A simple way of using fresh

avocados is to add the fruit to the

dish later in the cooking process

by warming through just before


• Cooking with avocado is easy

with knowhow. They are suited to a

range of cooking styles including

grilling, frying, baking as well as


• A common misconception is that

cooked avocados will have a bitter

flavour. This will not occur if the fruit

is handled correctly; instead, the

avocado will add a creamy, nutty

element to the dish.

• Avocados are gluten free and can

also be used as a substitute for

dairy and animal fats, so can be

used to create dishes for those with

allergens or vegetarians / vegans.




Chefs on the backstage

tour, Sydney Hilton.

Luke Mangan (centre) welcoming Gary Johnson (left),

Executive Chef, Sydney Hilton and Mark Bayliss (right),

Unilever Food Solutions in Glass for a drink and some

networking before embarking on the hotel tour.

RuLES of crEATion

The Executive Chefs Club brings chefs and their purveyors together to continue

the conversations that eventually bear fruit for diners in the food they eat and

their restaurant experience writes Jarrod Baker.

communicable relationship between chefs

A and their suppliers is an essential ingredient

for any restaurant mix. Mark Baylis from Unilever

Food Solutions who attended the Executive Chef’s

Club at Hilton, Sydney told FCI, “These days it’s

hard to find the time and the opportunity to

network with chefs and other industry peers. For

foodservice manufacturers like Unilever it’s a great

way to gain exposure and renew discussions over

product innovations.”

“The food world is a particularly important

industry where you are always learning. It’s

where new equipment and cooking methods are

constantly changing and an industry that I’ve

now been apart of for nearly 25 years,” he said.

As chefs constantly address a growing list of tighter

regulations they can be assured that foodservice

manufacturers are working just as hard to tailor

their products accordingly. “Our products are

made by chefs, for chefs and alleviate these issues

by addressing chef’s needs in the kitchen, therefore

allowing them to concentrate on the food.’’

For future gatherings Bayliss said, “It would be

great to have more chef interaction with perhaps

next time we try a cooking workshop. This would

add to the experience on the day and ensure the

interactions are insightful and valuable.” FCI

“Thank you for including me at the

Hilton event. It was great to catch

up with some fellow Chefs and it

was fantastic to make some new

acquaintances. Gary’s hospitality was

second to none and I especially enjoyed

Vic’s contribution,” Martin Koestlin.

Our host chef, Gary Johnson of Hilton, Sydney

featured secondary cuts on the menu, starring

Kangaroo Tail Soup and Kangaroo Ravioli. Top Cuts

Meats supplied samples of Kangaroo meat for the

chefs to take home and experiment with.


Get your

customers hooked.

Seared Seared Salmon Salmon Fillet Fillet on Avocado on Pea Pea Mash Mash

Keeping Keeping your your customers loyal loyal means means keeping keeping your your

menu menu fresh fresh and and interesting. With With the trend the trend towards towards

healthy healthy eating, eating, Australian Avocados Avocados have have become become

increasingly popular popular among among discerning diners. diners.

That That means means now’s now’s the perfect the perfect time time to entice to entice new new

customers and and excite excite existing existing ones ones by featuring by featuring

Australian Avocados Avocados throughout your your menu. menu.

From From sumptuous starters starters to mouth to mouth watering watering mains mains

to delicious to delicious desserts, desserts, Australian Avocados Avocados add add a new a new

twist twist to the to texture the texture and and taste taste of just of just about about every every

conceivable dish. dish. For For instance, instance, Avocado Avocado Pea Pea Mash Mash is is

the perfect the perfect match match with with Seared Seared Salmon Salmon Fillet. Fillet.

So why So why not explore not explore the culinary the culinary opportunities of of

Australian Avocados Avocados today? today?






For For details details of upcoming of Fresh Fresh Avocados Masterclass events, events, visit visit avocado.org.au/foodservice



4458_KNORR_Roux_BackPageAd_FCI_FA2.pdf 1 8/03/11 5:36 PM

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For further information on the Unilever Foodsolutions range of products contact your local sales representative or

phone 1800 888 695 or visit our website at www.unileverfoodsolutions.com.au or www.unileverfoodsolutions.co.nz

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