Thursday, September 01, 2005

Dining Downunder in 39 countries

Dining Downunder, the Australian TV cooking series which features our authentic Australian cuisine and ingredients, is set to replay on the ABC Asia Pacific network in October.

We are inviting companies that already export to the Asia Pacific region to become involved with our Strategic Marketing Program. We understand the difficulties of establishing and maintaining a brand overseas and more importantly the costs that go along with it. So we really add value to a highly cost effective media buy and keep your investment working for years after the television exposure.

The show, along with your commercial positions will be shown 5 times a week for 13 weeks and then we provide the opportunity to keep promoting your products for the next 2 years to retail and food service markets during our scheduled Australian cuisine promotions throughout Asia.

Information about our program can be downloaded from here on our website.

A snippet from the show can also be viewed on-line.

We apologise for the short deadline, but indication of participation is required asap. Please indicate your company's involvement by emailing or phoning (02 9554 9477 or 0415 164 536) Dan Clark now.

We look forward to taking your product to market on Dining Downunder.

Technorati tags: Dining Downunder, export, ABC Asia Pacific, brand building

Breakfast in Australia

I thought that I’d put together a range of breakfast ideas to show how innovative Australian ingredients can take a pedestrian menu to deliciously decadent heights. Incidentally, in the menu below, the Yakajirri is a spice mix made from bush tomatoes (akudjura) blended with garlic, Alpine pepper and dried conventional tomato flakes. Oz lemon is a lemon myrtle mix perfectly balanced for flavour with dried wild lime, lemon aspen and aniseed myrtle. It even makes a superb infusion either on its own or sprinkled over a good strong coffee (remember LA Story’s “I’ll have an espresso with a twist of lime”). The other reason to drink Oz lemon as a tea is when you’ve been out screaming all night at a bar and the throat’s a bit raw. It’ll heal a sore throat in just a few sips.

breakfast buffet

  • mini bagel with oven roasted tomatoes seasoned with Yakajirri topped with wild herb ricotta and basil
  • Tasmanian smoked salmon, rocket & crème fraiche frittata dusted with Oz lemon
  • traditional Burcher muesli with poached apple, rhubarb, King Island lemon myrtle and maple yoghurt, scorched almonds, served in a glass
  • coconut rice with wild lime syrup and fresh mango
  • mini Wildfire spiced bagel with ham, tasty cheese & Wattleseed mustard mayo
  • Aussie toast with Alpine pepper bread soaked in egg and served with sour cream and lemon aspen syrup
  • Belgian waffles drizzled in Wattleseed syrup with lemon myrtle and maple yoghurt
  • melon, watermelon, sweet corn, sago and thick vermicelli in fresh coconut milk with slivers of fresh coconut flesh seasoned with Oz lemon

cooked breakfast

  • mushroom, wattleseed & aniseed myrtle omelette with mintbush marinated fetta & wilted baby spinach
  • soft boiled truffled eggs in bowls with bacon & Alpine pepper sourdough toast soldiers
  • Oz lemon pancakes with riberry confit & snow sugar
  • Red Desert dusted potato latkes with smoked salmon, rocket & horseradish cream
  • lamb cutlets in Illawarra plum sauce with your choice of eggs
  • eggs Benedict with Yakajirri hollandaise with aniseed myrtle brioche
  • grilled pineapple slices seasoned with Alpine pepper and served with rosella yoghurt and an Oz lemon tuile and blueberries
Naturally, you can make the above ideas as glitzy or mundane as you like to suit the style of your café but whatever, you can bet your clients will rave about the food and flavours. I know this as fact because we get amazing feedback from the Australian cuisine promotions I run with my chef colleague, Benjamin Christie, in destinations all over the world. And there's the build up of interest and demand from Cherikoff Australian Ingredients and our on-line store.

This article first appeared in Cafe Biz magazine (Aug 05).

Edna's gone but the lesson's there

I know it’s been a few weeks but I'd like to wish Jennice and Raymond Kersch from Edna's Table all the very best in their new ventures. Their Clarence St restaurant closed its doors recently and with it, another chapter in the development of Australian cuisine.

Raymond had a passion for arty food and his dishes were always visual masterpieces. From his self-made uniforms to the Aboriginal inspired restaurant decor the eatery oozed a visual theme which could only be Australian. That Edna's Table lasted so long, is testimony to food being eaten first with the eyes before the palate tests the meal.

My frustration with many restaurants using my collection of indigenous ingredients is that meals can look great but lack that Wow! factor which makes them valuable in terms of culinary expression. I have a tested belief that there should be surprise (and science) in every dish created and great dishes can be conceptualised well before the hob is hot and the mise en place is started. I have written previously on the merits of delivering the 7 tastes - sweet, sour, salt, bitter, aromatic, pungent and Maillard as well as maximising the textures - in every dish and the benefits ensuing from tantalising all our senses of taste and mouth-feel. How much better is a dessert with all of these notes than one which is just sweet? What about a salad which lacks half of the flavours - it's probably one tenth as satisfying as another salad which has them all.

Consider the Caesar salad which is indisputably the most popular salad/light meal in any Caucasian food outlet in the world. A well made Caesar has all of the component tastes and lessens in appeal as the pungent anchovies or the Maillards of well-fried bacon are left out. A vegetarian Caesar needs a lot of thought in adding back the Maillard products.

Think of a creme brulee and ensure that there's bitter and pungency from the burnt sugar (the crunch), aromatics and Maillard products from Wattleseed (if you can bastardise a French dessert with Polynesian vanilla, why not Wattleseed) and salt in the cream (smooth firmness as well). How much better is it with some sourness from an accompanying fruit garnish? The same applies to the Australian classic – the Wattleseed pavlova (soon to be available as a ready-made, frozen dessert).

So with Edna’s gone where is the Australian food industry’s iconic restaurant now? Well, out of the ashes comes the 15 strong Black Stump chain at one end of the market, Deep Blue Bistro at Coogee Beach and Gunya at Redfern.

But you’ll have to wait for my next blog for more details ...

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