Don’t call me a food court
ONCE the poor cousin of fine dining, the humble food court has undergone a transformation.
At Westfield Sydney, it is described as a ”food atrium”, complete with big-name chefs and price tags to match.Star City in Pyrmont will follow, opening a fine dining precinct as part of its $960 million redevelopment to be completed later this year. The combination of entertainment, retail and fine dining is well established in Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo, but restaurant consultant Lana Noor believes Sydney consumers may be a little harder to convince. ”And while at Star City you have the Lamborghini brigade, who won’t blink at spending $50,000 in a night on gambling, they’re not there for fine dining, they’re there to gamble and make money. But Star City’s owners, Tabcorp, are not deterred, attracting a number of celebrated restaurateurs to its new dining precinct. ”[We wanted] to create an outstanding and memorable dining destination that rivals any great city in the world,” a spokeswoman for Star City said. Westfield Sydney plans to expand its dining facilities following the success of its upmarket food atrium on level 5. A rooftop bar, restaurant and cafe will open on level 7 later this year with the restaurateur chef to be announced soon.
Sun Herald 5th June
Duck is becoming an endangered dish in Queensland as MasterChef drives up demand. Some restaurants may even be forced to take duck off the menu. Owner-chef Michael Hehir of Gympie restaurant Capelli on Duke says he is unable to get his full supply of organic duck. He had hoped to have duck confit on the menu for a Flavour Fest dinner in July but will not be able to owing to dwindling supplies. His duck comes from Bendele Farm at Kilkivan. Owner Sarah Sterns confirmed the shortage. Sterns says recent television shows are great supporters of fresh food but it was often difficult for producers who do not mass produce to keep up. “It’s driving us nuts,” says Daniel Bouher of Food Wine Concepts, which supplies 20 Brisbane restaurants with fresh organic duck, as well as quail and rabbit.
Sunday Mail 5th June
An evening with a Vue to lifting the spirit
IT’S AN inspirational night-time view of Melbourne from the top of the Rialto. Couple that with cooking from celebrity chef Shannon Bennett and music from Pete Murray and you have the perfect setting to celebrate an inspirational program. Royal Melbourne Hospital’s music therapy program, now in its 14th year, uses music to lift the spirits of cancer patients. When the program needed a venue for a fund-raiser, the relocation of Bennett’s restaurant, Vue de Monde, proved to be a coincidence too good to resist. Vue de Monde is shifting from Little Collins Street and reopening on the Rialto’s 55th floor on June 20. Before that, however, is Tuesday night’s fund-raiser – the ideal ”pre-opening event”, in the parlance of the restaurant business. ”All of Shannon’s philosophies about food and the soul resonated with our philosophies about music and the soul, and off we went,” said the program’s manager and sole full-time therapist Emma O’Brien. ”The whole aim is to have more music therapy staff at the bedside. We just need the people power.” About 150 guests, including cancer patients and their families, will attend the soldout event. Matt Preston of Channel Ten’s MasterChef will be master of ceremonies and comedian Adam Hills will perform.
Sunday Age 5th June
Digital code stirs quicker coffee hit
Paper loyalty cards are facing a digital mutiny as cafes and coffee lovers ditch them for “quick response” codes and smartphones. QR codes are square-shaped bar codes that can be scanned using smartphones. Already popular in Melbourne and Sydney, the codes are beginning to replace traditional loyalty cards in Queensland coffee shops using a new app, eCoffeeCard. So far, nine cafes across Brisbane, including Chocolate Soldier on George St, have adopted the new technology. Chocolate Soldier manager Dane O’Hara said feedback had been overwhelmingly positive, with many regular customers downloading the app while waiting for their coffee. Tim Taylor, eCoffeeCard’s operations manager, said the codes were slowly becoming “more mainstream”.
Sunday Mail 5th June
Hollywood stars are churning out their own cookbooks
HIGHLY creative chefs may be the new global celebrities, but more traditional stars are getting in on the act by penning their own cookbooks, with some surprising results. Who would have expected Gwyneth Paltrow to be channelling domestic goddess Martha Stewart without even the hint of a movie role in the offing? The star has recently released her own family cookbook – Notes From My Kitchen Table (Pan MacMillan). Paltrow is no stranger to health writing – her fans eagerly follow her sometimes controversial earthy blog Goop.Com which is chock-a-block full of folksy advice on everything from gardening to travelling. Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria has also joined the culinary fold with her recent cookbook, Eva’s Kitchen – Cooking With Love For Family And Friends. Even actress Alicia Silverstone is making it as a cookbook author with her ambitious publication The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide To Feeling Great, Losing Weight, And Saving The Planet. Also in the celebrity cookbook category is cancer survivor and singer Sheryl Crow, who recently released the tome If It Makes You Healthy: More Than 100 Delicious Recipes Inspired by the Seasons. Australia is certainly right up on this international trend of celebrity chefs with Olympian, Cleo Bachelor of the Year and Celebrity MasterChef winner, Eamon Sullivan set to launch Eamon’s Kitchen in September.
Sunday Telegraph 5th June
Chapel St steak restaurant under fire for provocative ad
A FLYER for a popular Chapel St steak restaurant has come under fire after using an image of a woman in a short skirt to promote meat. The promotional card for Steer Bar and Grill features a woman’s legs posing provocatively in a mini-skirt with the words: “Find a great bit of skirt at Steer.” On the reverse side, the restaurant advertises its various cuts of steak, including skirt, by renowned chef Paul Wilson. Social commentator Melinda Tankard Reist said the flyer invited men to see women as objects. “Essentially this type of advertising directly compares women to a piece of meat,” she said. But Mr Wilson, who has contributed to various Melbourne dining institutions, including The Botanical and The Newmarket, said the flyer was only meant to promote an actual type of meat, without degrading women. “Our mantra here is to showcase a variety of cuts and one of the best cuts of steak is skirt,” he said. “This is to show that steakhouses are fun and to be lighthearted. Many of our clientele are women and they frequent the restaurant … and do not view this as offensive.”
Sunday Herald Sun 5th June