Sydney’s foodservice professionals were out in force for the recent Foodservice Australia exhibition, with participants praising the quality of visitors and the opportunity to generate business in a tough market.
Foodservice, the trade show focused on national restaurant and catering sectors, featured more than 160 exhibitors and offered a range of specialty events for chefs, food managers and hospitality operators.
Event director Tim Collett said the show aimed to give industry professionals a space to talk and do real business.
“There are a lot of food events around, but this is the one where professionals can take time out from their business and find valuable new connections and ideas,” he said.
Among this year’s new features was Café School, which focused sessions around the booming casual dining sector. Graeme McCormack from the Australian Sandwich Association and international chef Jack Brennan from Food Associates presented popular sessions on sandwich, salad and burger innovations, while visitors were also offered barista classes and given advice on how to grow profit from coffee.
At the Foodservice Association of Australia annual conference, which was held alongside the show, several exhibitors were also recognised. The industry scholarship was awarded to Tim Lucas from Tip Top Food Service; Galipo Food Company was named Food Distributor of the Year; Mars Foodservice won Food Supplier of the Year;
Beverage Supplier of the Year went to Nestlé Professional; Dudson won Tabletop Supplier of the Year; Robot Coupe won Equipment Supplier of the Year and William Angliss Institute was awarded Service Supplier of the Year.
The next Foodservice Australia trade show will run from May 31 to June 2, 2015, at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne. According to event organisers, the show is already 50 per cent sold and promises to be bigger than ever.
Bakers put their best pies forward
Bakers with a penchant for producing perfect pies and pastries once again entered their best creations in the Australia’s Best Pie and the Great Aussie Pastie Competition.
Visitors enjoyed watching the daily judging panel taste-test pies and pasties, as well as several demonstrations, before Quyen Luu from Ray’s Patisserie in Flemington, Victoria, was announced as home to Australia’s best pie. Competition regulars, Clete O’Brien and Sean Carley from Denmark Bakery, WA, took home top gong for the best pastie.
For Clete, the best Great Aussie Pastie trophy now sits proudly next to last years’ Australia’s Best Pie win.
“Denmark Bakery prides itself on competing with our peers and uses these competitions to make our business stronger – it is a way for us to develop our skills and to test our ability to produce a perfect product,” he said.
“Without these competitions we would be going head to head with the franchises that have huge marketing power, so to be able to engage our current and potential customer base with quality competitions such as this is a real bonus for the humble baker and pastry cook.”
Baking Association of Australia executive officer Tony Smith said the standard of entries in the 17 classes was outstanding.
“At the presentation, head judge Ron Taylor said the quality and care taken in the production of pasties and pies had come a long way,” Tony said.
“New this year was a special section for gluten-free pastries, which was also exciting. This was sponsored by our new partners Well & Good and had great support. The winner was a fantastic entry from Meldrum’s Pies in Cairns.
Well & Good owner Sam Barak – who conducted a demonstration on gluten-free puff pastry – said the large number of gluten-free entries in the competition encourages industry to improve pre-mix ranges for professional bakers and pastry chefs.
“Gluten-free baking is still an unknown to many baking professionals, but it is events that help promote a better understanding of the products and possibilities available in this growing market segment,” he said.
Congratulations to the winners of all categories:
• Traditional pastie: Nick Davey, Orange Spot Bakery, SA
• Gourmet pastie: Clete O’Brien and Sean Carley, Denmark Bakery, WA
• Vegetarian pastie: Clete O’Brien and Sean Carley, Denmark Bakery, WA
• Apprentice traditional pastie: Matt Williams, Orange Spot Bakery, SA
• Apprentice gourmet pastie: Matt Williams, Orange Spot Bakery, SA
• Plain mince beef pie: Truc Thi Bui, Ray’s Patisserie (Craigieburn), VIC
• Chunky beef pie: La Van Tran, Ray’s Patisserie (Taigum), QLD
• Beef gourmet pie: Quyen Luu, Ray’s Patisserie (Flemington), VIC
• Vegetarian pie: Trevor Ewert, Bushies Bakery, VIC
• Seafood pie: Ben Shaw, Heatherbrae Pies, NSW
• Gluten-free pie: Graham and Rodney Meldrum, Meldrum’s Pies in Paradise, QLD
• Poultry pie: Jeff Alexander, Tatura Hot Bread, VIC
• Gourmet pie: Wayne Morrison, Bels Gordon Street Bakery, NSW
• Apprentice plain mince beef pie: Chie Kheang Chau, Golden Harvest Bakery, QLD
• Apprentice gourmet pie: John Reminis Jnr, Bakehouse Delights, NS
Melbourne chocolatier sculpts and moulds her way to Paris
The Australian qualifying rounds for the prestigious global bi-annual event for chocolatiers and patissiers, the World Chocolate Masters, was held at Foodservice.
With the theme ‘inspiration from nature’, huge crowds watched as the three finalists created their sculptures, as well as 40 moulted chocolates, 40 enrobed chocolates and two gateaux in eight grueling hours.
Rebecca Cairns from Melbourne’s Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School took the title and will now compete in Taiwan later this year, as well as in Paris at the 2015 World Chocolate Masters. Alecia Chan from Le Cordon Bleu and Sassi Matteo, Choco Bean Catering, were runners up.
The judging panel – executive pastry chef at the Imperial Hotel in Japan, Kanjiro Mochizuki, local talent Adriano Zumbo and previous winner Deniz Karaca – said they were impressed with skill and attention to detail displayed by all entrants.