All posts by mjonescfsp

Australian Food Standards Update

The Australian food safety standards were recently released with a new updated version. Not a lot has changed from previous versions, and in my view they really missed an opportunity to improve training and compliance standards.

I’ve cherry picked a few items below that are interesting.

You can download your own copy here.

Australian Food Safety Standards

extract: from standards 2.2.2 re training

(1) A food business must ensure that persons undertaking or supervising food handling
operations have:
(a) skills in food safety and food hygiene matters; and
(b) knowledge of food safety and food hygiene matters, commensurate with their
work activities.
Persons supervising or conducting food handling operations must possess the skills and knowledge
in food safety and hygiene matters required to handle food safely.

“Specific mandatory training in food
safety and hygiene is not required by this clause, as it is recognised that skills and knowledge may be
gained in different ways.”

?!?!?!! What! ‘not required, ‘may be gained in different ways’ Like how?! I’m sorry , I don’t see people in the hospitality industry spending their weekends reading and studying the details of food safety, systems, procedures, issues and concerns…if you don’t take the industry away from the workplace and train them in this area then we are asking for trouble…and its exactly why standards are SO LOW THESE DAYS , the lack of awareness, knowledge and understanding not only of food safety by operators but also the legal and business ramifications is poor to say the least.

They really missed an opportunity to really put some firm black and white minimum training standards in place here…the wording they used is weak and ambiguous at best.

extract: from standards 2.2.2 re mobile and temporary food stands/stalls 

This one could easily take up pages…needing to keep it brief… ‘How’ are a few trestles, esky, all laid on on some dirt, with a bit of cold water and detergent in a plastic sink, in anyway comparable to properly designed commercial kitchen or food van?

The answer is that they are not. I love local food markets/stands/stalls/vans etc , but even in among themselves  this group is widely different in standards. It’s not uncommon to see a description as above competing with an operator who has a correctly designed and built trailer or van worth tens of thousands of dollars. Correct refrigeration, waste management, hot water, santised surfaces, vermin control, v’s $500 of health risk.

Again they  missed the opportunity to get some decent standards in place. Once you start reading the 3.2.3 standard it’s clear that most mobile or temporary food stands haven’t got a chance at meeting many of these standards, yet they are increasing daily, most with poor standards.

4(2) When complying with subclause (1), the proprietor of the food business must answer all
questions asked by the appropriate enforcement agency in relation to the matters listed in
subclause (1) in the form approved from time to time by the relevant authority under the Act.

This read as …’we have wiped our hands of this issue and concern and will handball it off to the local council inspector, we really don’t want to know about it!’

extract: from standards 2.2.2, re food storage temperatures

General best practice for refrigerated storage
To make sure that cold food remains safe during storage, proper refrigeration is essential. For best
practice, businesses should ensure refrigeration equipment is operating and used correctly using the
following measures:
• Food temperatures are checked with a probe or infra-red thermometer to make sure the food itself
is at the required storage temperature, rather than relying on the refrigerator’s temperature gauge.

Great advice about not relying on the actual fridge display temperature as these can be hugely inaccurate , but so are infa red thermometers …it all depends on what is aimed at! I can get massively different readings just by pointing at items and areas. They are good for a quick guide, but they  are ‘loose’ to say the least.

‘Some food businesses may have temperature monitoring devices installed which provide an
ongoing measurement of chilled storage.’

Well they missed the boat here…if you have a device that measures and records your storage temperatures (and one that allows live 24/7 viewing of those temperatures) you know EXACTLY what your storage temperatures are , all the time AND you have evidence, should be mandatory minimum standard.

Without the above, there is no quality, independent, verifiable evidence, it’s basically just a bunch of numbers jotted down on a piece of paper , by anyone, anytime, with no meaning  and really wouldn’t last 5 minutes in a legal challenge.

If food manufacturers and major supplier/producers have accurate verifiable digital standards in place , why isn’t the wider food/hospitality industry doing the same?

There is a large section of 3.2.2 dedicated to temperature , monitoring and control, both of stored and cooked foods. To comply with the requirements as they are written is a seriously labor intensive job. I see areas such as health care, complying to it, general hospitality not.

3.2.3 deals with design and build.

My pet hate, not a new one, it’s always been in the code, the one that I wish architects would investigate at the commencement of a project rather than the end, because 9/10 times they have not allowed enough space.

(b) provide adequate space for the activities to be conducted on the food premises and for
the fixtures, fittings and equipment used for those activities

this also has always been there ….

The design and construction of food premises must:
(a) be appropriate for the activities for which the premises are used;

upgrade to ventilation codes…i have covered the new style canopies in other section on this site… but this is the one a LOT of new operators get caught with….they are Falsely (normally by real estate letting agents)  that the ‘old kitchen’ will comply with what their new plans are . BS!!!  in many cases that old exhaust canopy will need to come down…= big cost.

This is often also the case for plumbing/sewerage, just because there is commercial trade waste on site DOES NOT mean that it is suitable for your operations needs, especially if you are renovating and or upgrading facilities from an older premises….in many cases it will require an expensive commercial trade waste upgrade….a hydraulic consultant is the only person who can tell you this, and they can only tell you this in conjunction with your kitchen design and menu and anticipated volume of business .

The Building Code of Australia for Class 2 to 9 buildings (ABCB 2016, which includes commercial
buildings) — Part F4 on Light and Ventilation states that a commercial kitchen must be supplied
with a kitchen exhaust hood complying with AS/NS 1668.1 and AS 1668.2 -2012 where cooking
apparatuses have power inputs above specified levels (e.g. where any cooking apparatus has
a total maximum electrical power input exceeding 8kW or a total gas power input exceeding
• AS 4674-2004 — in addition to referring to the Building Code of Australia and standards AS/
NZS 1668.1 and AS/NZS 1668.2, this standard covers provision of an extraction system where
a dishwasher or similar equipment vents steam and causes condensation on walls and ceilings.
Change in ventilation system needed when a food premises changes hands
A business purchases a pre-existing food premises and begins operating in it using the
existing fit out, including ventilation equipment. Over a few weeks, the proprietor notices
that a greasy film is appearing on the walls and ceiling around the cooking equipment.
This shows that the mechanical ventilation that was suitable for the previous business is
no longer adequate. It needs to be upgraded or replaced with a system that will effectively
remove all the new business’s cooking vapours.


In all there is 225 pages of content, a lot of is it also ‘examples’ and ‘training’ its actually a really good document and one that everybody that is ‘professionally’ involved with food should get to know. I keep a copy on all my digital devices and am constantly going to back to it ‘just to be sure’.

My Grief and much of the commercial food service industry’s grief is the clear lack of ability for local council inspectors to follow this guide correctly, they all are supposed to be following it.

Food Safety is no different in Nth Qld than it is Tassie. Yet time and time again i see new premise licences issued to new builds that clearly don’t comply to all of the standards, some but not all. And the worst is ‘existing premises’ that are so far off the standards it’s scary.

I have seen some of the ‘check lists’ that are used by various local authorities, they are brief. But what I can’t understand is that within meters of each other different premises can be so widely different in standards, (which also equals operators costs), it’s grossly unfair to the operator spending the money to comply as best as they can, it’s costly to comply.

Local politics  has a lot to do with it also, I won’t go into specifics, but i have seen it first hand played out, by players at the top. The local inspector often has their hands tied, and cant ‘really enforce’ because of such.

‘Food premise inspections and approvals should be carried out by independent bodies in my view, this keeps politics out of the way.’

An example where design can impact food safety.

A Chinese Restaurant on the Gold Coast that put caustic soda in the salt shakers!!! (yep true story*) …end of the day the chemicals and food should not have been stored anywhere near each other! If the design achieved this the chance of mix up would have been seriously negated. Those types of chemicals shouldn’t have even been in the kitchen ! OR? was the Salt (food) being stored in the chemical area?? That place had several inspections in recent times…I wonder if they were ever pulled up on it, initially its a design fault, then user fault, my guess the design didn’t have a dedicated chemical area out of the kitchen.

Good design can’t stop these things happening 100% but it certainly can make it really hard for it happen, to the point of only being able to be blame human error. (which still should have been avoided!)

*same happened in a chicken franchise WA few years back.

Good design not only can means increases in inefficiencies, improved sales and profitability , but it’s also paramount in achieving good food safety.

download your copy of the standards here,


Technology upgrades to temperature monitoring

Temperature monitoring technology leaps forward.

New updates in IOT temperature sensors means even more reliability, better ranges, security and ability to update firmware via the internet. Here’s the tech.


IOT temp sensors

ALTA – Leading Enterprise Grade
“Internet of Things” Solutions

Best in class remote monitoring solutions for business.

Superior Wireless Range

1,000+ ft. non-line-of-sight through 12-14 walls.

Long Battery Life

10+ years powered by 2 AA batteries.

Monnit Encrypt-RF™ Security

Integrated bank level security (256-bit exchange and AES-128 CTR on all messages).

Onboard Data Memory

Store up to 512 readings per sensor.
– 10 min heartbeats = 3.5 days
– 2 hour heartbeats = 42 days

Future Proof

Over-the-air updates allow products to be updated remotely.

FCC / CE Certified Module

Highest performing RF module for OEMs providing diverse enterprise IoT applications.

100% Comprehensive Solution

No additional hardware, software or subscriptions are required.

ALTA is the only wireless sensor platform on the planet with 10+ year battery life and over 1,000 feet wireless range (non-line-of-sight). ALTA 900 MHz products use frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS), and ALTA 868 and 433 MHz products are frequency-agile, providing better RF interference immunity in the most demanding applications.

ALTA products use Encrypt-RF™ bank level security, featuring a 256-bit exchange to establish a global unique key, and an AES-128 CTR for all data messages. So security is maintained at all communication points from sensor to gateway, gateway to software, and back again.

Integrated on-board data storage allows for days, weeks or months of time-stamped data logging.

Over-the-air (OTA) updates allow ALTA products to be updated remotely making them future-proof, to learn more about automated temperature monitoring , click here 

i-temp temperature monitoring

Domestic V’s Commercial

Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated. To assume that what may seem common sense  is often a mistake  in the hospitality industry.

The hospitality industry industry is perhaps unique in that its the one industry ‘that everyone thinks they can do’.  And many want to for various reasons, run their own cafe/restaurant/bar/ pub etc. Aside from cash and capital  to commence there are very few barriers, very little legal minimum requirements for skills, training or experience. And with this in mind its one industry that really  does struggle with people having a crack, but with little ‘real’ or ‘practice knowledge or experience’ …which is why so many struggle, learning as they go with expensive mistakes, often failing.

In many situations new comers to the industry would be well advised to watch/study/copy the big boys , they have already done the research/study and learnt from their mistakes.

Which is how this topic comes about….the too often seen mistake of new operators thinking they are saving money by cutting corners on equipment and appliances.

The thing that always still amazes me to see especially in smaller cafe type operations is the amount of ‘domestic’ appliances people are trying to work with.

If one was to study the major players in the industry you would see that they all use only the best quality commercial equipment to suit their operations.

The numbers add up quickly.

Recently a manager explained to me that their recently refurbished establishment was going to have to get the carpet replaced already (it wasn’t very old, like 2-3 years approx)…but then he explained in one section alone they calculated it was walked over around 10,000 times per month! The numbers surprised me ,  I knew how may people they seated and how busy they were, but i only ever had seen a couple of hundred people in there at any one time, 10,000, really?  I quickly did some maths and yes those numbers added up, the punters turned over several times a day, they are open 12+ hours per day 7 days a week…wow, its amazing how the numbers add up.

And this where quality/reputable/established brand manufacturers of kitchen appliances get it. They know their machines are going to  get worked really hard for long periods of time, often 7 days a week,  sometimes be available for use 20 hours a day and by multiple different operators.

To borrow some analogy from Menu Master Microwaves, a domestic microwave may get used 3-5 times per day maximum ( I would say this is very high use for the average home). A commercial machine is designed to be used say 200 times per day!

So the domestic machine may get used 1000-1500 times per year. If you placed that machine in a busy commercial environment it could achieve those numbers in one week!

The same goes for refrigeration, I’m amazed how many cafes try and pass off domestic refrigeration in place of commercial. The numbers of door openings per day for domestic for sure would be higher than 3-5 but no where near the volume of commercial.

It really simple layman’s terms think about how whisper quiet your domestic fridge is at home. How tiny the motor is, how little heat the motor produces. Now have a look at a standard 1 door commercial drinks fridge, noisy massive big motor, heaps of heat coming off the motor, yet internal capacity not that much bigger than a large domestic ref/freezer.

Its really simple when you look at the motor size, they are engineered and designed to meet a set of performance demands that are much higher than any domestic machine. There are of course many other specification and design differences between the two, but in summary they are designed for different purposes and standards of performance.

If you are storing food in your fridge you are required by law for that unit to have both external and internal temperature displays, not many domestic fridges meet this. The requirement for the storage system to be at or below 5c is something that most domestic fridges struggle with in the home environment let alone in a hot busy commercial kitchen.

There is also legal requirement for operators to be using equipment that is ‘fit for purpose’ , this is for ANZFSA food safe code. Domestic appliances are not ‘fit for purpose’

An under sized fryer will impact your ability to serve food quickly, and quality and food costs, but it might not have any food safety implications. A fridge that doesn’t hold temperature certainly does, if a Food Safety inspector or Auditor is on their job properly such an appliance would be required to be replaced asap, as its not designed to suit the purpose and application. You would/should  fail your inspection and be at risk of fine or closure until the problem is sorted out.

If you would like to learn more about exactly how powerful and energy sucking commercial refrigeration is , take a look at this resource.

Same applies for ovens,grills and cook tops, selecting the right tools for the job. This doesn’t  always mean biggest is best, sometimes it’s not about the ‘initial power’ its more about the ‘constant usage’.

On top of this there is warranty, service and spare parts to consider, domestic machines are not covered by commercial use. Commercial machines rarely change models, and often keep parts for models that have been around for decades! Domestically, lucky is a)you can get parts at all b) if it can even be fixed c) no chance of finding parts for any models with years against them.

If your looking at starting up your own operation in the hospitality industry , I can’t stress enough the importance of tooling up with the right equipment to the job. When your shopping around, if something is for example is half the price/cost of all the similar items you have been looking at , then it’s for good reason! Avoid it like the plague!

The best way I think people should look at the costs of their equipment is simply ROI. Eg that $25,000 new pizza oven, how much money is it going it make you? If Pizza is mainstay of your operation then you could get that amount of sales easily within one month.

If you only do the ‘occasional’ pizza on your menu, then its expensive and you should be looking at smaller less expensive option, or even dropping it off the menu!

Simple stuff yes, but ‘too may many people get fixated on the cost of the equipment, instead of looking at business systems’, plans, staff, marketing, running costs, labor inefficiencies,  the things that will pay for the equipment and make you profit. Spending days ‘shopping around’ your equipment list to save a few hundred dollars is short sighted and a waste of energy and resources. This energy can be better spent for higher returns in other areas of your business.

The commercial equipment/appliance industry in Australia is loosely regulated to be polite.  Plumbing and Gas being the only section that seems to have quality and standards in place…as for the rest its buyer beware, and because it’s commercial there is very little consumer protection. So if it looks to good to be true, it is exactly that!

Here is some information on the quality of commercial plumbing, dish washing and any appliances that are connected to water and drains are being made to comply with some minimum standards.

It’s all simple common sense stuff.

Changing the beverage game, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Changing the beverage game, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Since the beginning of time, it seems that all restaurants cafes and bars have been limited to their drink offerings by what’s available on the RTD (ready to drink) bottled beverage market.

As a child I fondly recall the ‘slades’ truck rattling around our neighborhood delivering crates of locally bottles soft drinks. Then the big corporate’s of the world wiped these businesses out with mass production/distribution and marketing war chests the size of some nations defense budgets!

In the liquor industry things are not that much better with the bulk of Australia’s beer and wine all coming under the corporate umbrella of a few massive corporations.

Whilst the variety and choice of product out there now has grown massively a few of things haven’t changed.

*Look behind the label/brand, you will see in most cases it’s owned by the big corporations, even when it looks ‘bespoke’ or ‘craft’

*Profit margins are stagnate, and linked to the above controlling the market.

*People actually are aware and care these days. Think about the carbon foot print of that bottle of French bubbly water the next time you order…or the boutique euro beer. The cost of producing let alone shipping and distribution on our environment is massive, it’s a crime really, and really did it taste any better than local? Then there is the ‘wastage’ of the container’s, sure some of this can be recycled, but that is still not great for the environment, for starters  it all has to be shipped back to a recycle center, not to mention the energy and costs to recycle.

*Sugar is quickly going down the same path as the tobacco  industry, bottled soft drinks and RTD pre-mix’s are full of it, in very high amounts. Customers are looking for low sugar healthier alternatives.


How the game is changing.

1.Independent machinery that can chill/serve beverages ‘of your choice’, and importantly is not owned by the beverage supplier.

  1. Compact high-volume system solutions, machines that are smaller than a domestic under bench bar fridge that can dispense over 250 ltrs of chilled beverages per hour!


independent beverage systems


Water: No need to purchase any water be it still or bubbling when you can have high quality filtered local water, direct at your bar. No transport, no storage, less floor space, no packaging, no waste. No matter if you charge for your water or not, you are still in front.

sparkling water on tap

Soft Drinks: Ditch the nasty sugar companies, select low sugar locally produced flavour syrups, or even better make your own! Or simply flavour with fresh fruit/s, no sugar required at all, choice of flat water or bubbling.  Healthy, no freight, no transport, no storage, less floor space, no packaging, no waste. And the profit margin? MUCH higher when you make your own!

home made soda

Beer: Unless you have been living in cave lately, its pretty clear to see that Australians actually do have beer taste, consumers are looking for locally brewed, interesting and different flavours, and they are a wake up to the big brands purchasing the medium craft brands to gain that market. Customers want the beer brewed down the road, by real people in real business.

The same system that do our bubbly and flat chilled water can also be used to dispense keg beers, perfect for small batch brews. The restaurant/bar /café can change flavours/brewers to any time they want, as they own the dispensing equipment they are not locked into supply contracts.

The ability to offer ‘real’ craft beers is a massive drawer card for customers, and the ticket price at the cash register is higher than commercial product.

craft brew tap system

Wine: By the Glass, what!, wine you ask? Its always going to be bottled! Nope, and I’m not talking casks either!

There are many producers now making ‘keg’ wine and these systems can dispense chilled whites, or ambient reds also, and for all the wine snobs out there, the taste through the tap for the same wine compared to the bottled version is often MUCH better! There is no oxidization occurring with half opened bottles and the slight aeration of the wine as it’s poured from the tap enhances the  flavour.

Again, no freight, no transport, no storage, less floor space, no packaging, no waste. And the profit margin? MUCH higher.

 Coffee: Surely not?! Yep coffee. The two big trends in coffee that are hear to stay are ‘cold brewed chilled coffee’ and ‘espresso martini’ and guess what both can be dispensed by the same system with all the advantages listed above.

espresso martini on tap

Other Drinks: There are very few limitations, healthy brews such as kombucha are popular iced teas and even pre mix cocktails.

Rent: is expensive in the industry, one of the single biggest costs, just as it is also for the beverage manufacturers. They LOVE it when you store their product on your premises at your expense!

The floor space that commercial refrigeration occupies, then the back up storage in the dry store and or waste areas is insanely expensive, and that without adding up the massive electricity bill of that ‘free fridge or two’ (THOUSANDS of $$$ per year).

‘It’s a no brainer if you own a cafe, restaurant or any business that serves beverages in any sort of decent volume you really need to be looking at these systems’, beverage are possible the most profitable part of your operation, and if done correctly can be even more profitable.

I have worked with customers that implemented these system into their operations, and confidently tell me every time , ‘best thing we ever did’ even ‘now we are making good profit’!

Learn more about these systems here.


Monitoring Food Storage Temperatures – Using tech to help the Chef

TEMPERATURE CONTROL RULES Why is Temperature Control important?

Temperature control is important because harmful bacteria are a hazard present in many of the foods handled in catering businesses.

They also tend to multiply rapidly at temperatures above 5c, the higher temperature and longer the time exposed to the temperature the faster the bacteria growth . As bacteria are invisible to the naked eye and cannot be physically removed from food, all we can do is control their numbers.

There are two main ways in which temperature can be used to achieve this:

  1. We can destroy harmful bacteria, or reduce their numbers, by cooking or reheating and
  2. We can control their growth by keeping food hot or cold.

Lets look at cold.

The following practices are recommended to keep food safe. Your refrigerator should operate at an average of 5°C or below. These temperatures would then be the Critical Limits for Refrigerated Storage. Refrigeration of food temperature of 5°C or below is effective in controlling the quick multiplication of most bacteria in perishable food. It is recommended practice to operate refrigerators and chills at 5°C or below. Freezing of food should be done at -18c.


Time and temperature.

Just because food storage exceeds 5c for a short period of time does not mean that bacteria instantly grows at a rapid rate, your refrigeration being above temperature for a SHORT period of time is not dangerous.

Scientifically it has been shown that bacteria on high risk foods rapidly increase when the food is above 5c for periods exceeding 2 hrs, at 4hrs the food should be discarded.

The issue arises when refrigeration is cool but not cold! Eg A prep cabinet running at an average of 8-10c instead of below 5c. Whilst the bacteria won’t grow as quickly as if the food was at room temperature it will grow and at a dangerous rate, and this is where most hospitality operations get caught out.

I see so many refrigeration units that constantly run in the 5-10c zone, it’s scary. And to be honest in a hot kitchen environment it’s often difficult for small refrigeration units that have doors constantly being open and closed, especially with ingredient wells in the top to maintain correct temperature.

If you are only checking your refrigeration twice a day then you are assuming or guessing that the other 99% of the day the temperature is correct.

Aside from correct food safe procedure, ensuring proper refrigeration temperatures can result in improved shelf life of product and general quality of.

Food manufacturers and major suppliers don’t make guesses or assumptions that all their refrigeration temperatures are correct 24/7/365, they use digital technology to ensure it is, and it’s also far more economical to have technology to this and provided accurate records than employ staff to do so.

Using technology to help Chef’s

The ‘IOT’ world (internet of things) has arrived and its now entering the commercial kitchen space. Basically IOT means things that are connected to the internet , and hopefully add value to our lives.

We can now add temperature sensors to all refrigerated storage areas in the kitchen and have those sensors talk to the internet.

We can tell the sensors how often to talk to the internet and when to be alarmed about a set of data. From that we can direct the sensor to do something.

Basically if the sensor see’s that your coolroom is running at a temperature deemed to be too high for too long we can ask it to tell us, in most cases many people, normally via  SMS text and or email to a smart phone/pad or computer.

As long as the customer has access to the internet they can see current and past history of temperatures of their entire site at the push of a button form anywhere in the world!

With this information the kitchen manager/chef/food safety supervisor can make a decision on what needs to be done, could be a simple as shut the coolroom door properly , or check the food and perhaps discard.

The sensors collect  massive amount of data, basically they are checking your refrigeration temperatures 24/7/365 and then they are storing this data for future access or better still to produce a weekly report as evidence that food storage temperatures are at correct temperatures.

The minimum standard in Hospitality is to collect data samples twice a day , in some health food service sectors it maybe every four  hours. If you  have a lot of fridges this can be a very costly exercise, time wise, time=money. Why pay staff do do it (that may or may not do it correctly if at all!) when technology can do it for you?

Not only can technology do the task for a fraction of the costs of human labour it does it ‘independently ‘ , ‘accurately’ and with lots of data and evidence that can actually be called a ‘fair sample’ of evidence. Twice a day is nothing, it’s less than 1% of the day the other 99% is unaccounted for !

For further information on automated temperature monitoring visit 

Hydraulic Planning and Commercial Kitchens

For new comers that haven’t built a commercial kitchen before the ever oppressing list of associated professionals required can be daunting. One of those is the the Hydraulic Engineer, in layman’s terms the person that plans all the plumbing requirements both for the kitchen and the entire site.

As well as planning all correct plumbing drain requirements they will often also cover correct tap ware specifications (all though we normally cover this also) they will specify other items  required also such as RPZ Valves, Sink arrestors , correct floor wastes as per building codes (in association with the kitchen designers requirements), hot water systems , grease traps and any other associated plumbing concerns.

The Hydraulics engineer works closely with the local council/authority to ensure correct plumbing requirements meet with the local town planning guides.

An application for a new ‘Food Service Premise Licence’ has two main components  of paper work the Kitchen/bar Plans to Australian Standards provided by your food service consultant AND the Hydraulic Engineers plans.

The Hydraulic engineer(HE) cannot even start his plans until he has received the final kitchen/bar designs, and equipment specifications.  We provide the plans in CAD format to the HE they then can draw them design and specification over the top of our plan.

We normally look over the HE plans for the kitchen and bar once completed to ensure all appliances and requirements have been covered.

Why is all this important in the scheme of things? 

It’s very because if the hydraulics are not dealt with correctly the environmental damage that can be caused to the community can be massive. A recent example of what happens when it all goes pear shaped is the recent London Fat Berg! The Foodservice & Restaurant industry was heavily blamed for the fat build up because of poor or lack of any grease trap/collection being done in large.


London fatberg 2017

Other things that can trigger the need for a HE and new plans.

This is where a lot of clients get caught out with extra expenses, especially the classic ‘upgrade’.  In many situations the establishment has been around for years, decades even, initially it may have been servicing a small market and business, small kitchen, small dishwasher etc. Times pass, business increases often dramatically and the time comes for a much larger kitchen and facilities, this will include often a larger Dishwasher system, Combi Oven/s Fryers, more sinks, different locations etc and of course a lot more customers.

Net result the requirement to upgrade the water/hydraulic waste facilities on site this can be a significant cost to the project, yet it’s unavoidable.

Even smaller players can easily get caught out, simply upgrading your Dishwasher to a larger model, changing the menu that can mean equipment/cooking changes. For example the site changes from a small Cafe doing Coffee/Cake to a Burger Store , the Hydraulic requirements and outputs will vary greatly, for sure there will be the need for a HE to be involved and possibly some major capital investments to the  property.

In most cases the local council/authority requires new HE plans anytime there are plumbing changes on site (new Sink, Combi Ovens etc)

Read more of the disgusting mess here, if you dare!

To Drain or Not to Drain?

Actually shouldn’t even be a question on a new build or a refurbishment. The Australian Code CLEARLY calls for commercial kitchen floors to have correct floor falls to drains, so that ‘pooling of water does not occur’.

I recently visited a  newly refurbished club kitchen, the floor was a disaster! Drain locations in all the WRONG spots and NO FALL to any of them! In fact the only fall was to the corners of the room under benches , exactly what the health inspector doesn’t want, the local inspector must have been asleep when he inspected this one to reissue the food premise license, clearly it was a fail.

How to fall? When the new floor is being prepared a filler level are applied around the  perimeter  of the room and in other key areas that slope TOWARDS the drain/s, so when a for example a bucket of liquid is thrown on the floor all liquid heads to the drain. There are correct Australian Standards that dictate the angles required etc.

Too much fall/angle can lead to challenges for equipment and appliances also, in some cases requiring modification to front castors/legs or plinths to compensate the angle.

What sort of floor drains? In bigger busier kitchens I prefer floor trough grates, (must be able to remove the ‘Ant Slip’ grate and wash floor cleaning typically in front of Combi Ovens, Brat Pans, Dishwasher areas , other areas simple ’round’ floor waste drain grates are fine. Not a fan of the ‘square’ floor waste drain covers they tend to catch mops, and have corners that are easily raised etc.

There is a fair bit of building preparation required for these drains, and in some cases (raised concrete slabs) it is not always possible to have ‘troughs’ as there is too much structural integrity lost by the large cuts in the slab required, this is when the smaller round drains need to be used. The building engineer will make this call.


Rotisserie Cooking Spectacular , whats Old is new Again.

Food mirrors fashion at times, and like fashion its not uncommon to see the old become new again.

I picked it with ‘real BBQ’ back in 2007 when 99% of Australians had forgotten or didn’t know that  that cooking over wood/charcoal fire was, now everyone knows its 100 times more flavorsome, tender, juicy and engages the of all the senses, wonderful.

The current Sous Vide trend….is being treated as if it is brand new…it’s been around for decades its not new, it is however a far more popular cooking method than ever before.

Rotisserie cooking be it over Charcoal or Gas was super popular decades ago, every town in Australia had a ‘charcoal chicken shop’ which is the most basic example of it.

But then came the ‘marketers’ !! They told us that the Combi oven was a far superior cooking tool, more power efficient, faster cooking, easier to cook with, more versatile, easier to clean, more compact, programmable defined results…all 100% true facts and statements.

What they will never tell you or admit as its against their interests is that food cooked in these ovens, lacks flavour, texture, aroma and theatre. Yes the food is super moist and consistent no questions about that. However it’s a ‘little too perfect’ , its almost likes it is photo shopped with that super nice (remove all  the blemishes and wrinkles) airbrush look.. you know the one,  like that airbrushed photo that you got caught out on once on that tinder date !! haha!

The food businesses that I see doing the best currently and also charging good prices and are booked out more often than not are ones that have ‘unique’ cooking points of difference, and also are a lot more honest and respectful of the ingredients and the processes involved.

The french love these types of cookers, they also love their chickens, especially roasted, in fact they take poultry to an entire level we could only dream of in this country.  They respect and honor the food and the process, they ‘dine’ they don’t ‘eat’  and spend a lot of effort ensuring the best quality produce and ingredients. When this much effort is applied why would you bastardize the dish in a mass produced clinical food factory oven? You want to cook it slowly with love and care, letting it baste in it’s own wonderful juices… want to make a spectacle and big deal of the entire thing.. watching things cook is the ultimate in food porn, especially when you smell and see the juices basting… cue Nigela Lawson about now!

Respect the ingredients/produce and process….it’s so far from your local supermarket deli that’s for sure! And it’s also how you can charge 2-3 times what your local supermarket does for their factory hen churned out in the combi steamer.

If roasts are part of your menu then it’s hard to go past the  flavor and spectacle of a proper Rotisserie, massive value and a unique point of difference to make your business stand out from the crowd.

Yes, there is more work involved, Yes there is more organisational and cooking skills involved, but the end result is well worth it. One thing that hasn’t changed in cooking over the years is that ‘short cuts’ and ‘cheats’ are exactly that, if you want good food it does take time, effort and skill, sadly it doesn’t magically happen in between add breaks on master chef!

Commercial Kitchen Design Rotiserie
Commercial Kitchen Design using Rotisol rotisserie

To see more about this type of cooking watch this video, (click link) and from the master himself Mr Gordon ‘Fkn’ Ramsay!, Sorry couldn’t find Nigela on a rotisserie!

Commercial Kitchen Design Rotisserie

commercial kitchen design gordon ramsay demonstrates rotisserie cooking
Gordon Ramsay demonstrates rotisserie cooking




When its so Hip and Gen ‘Y’ that its well, hmmm…..

A lighter read, I’m lucky enough to get around to quiet a few different places, both professionally and as a customer, unfortunately the lines blur at times!

There is always something that I learn or pick up, trends or even thoughts, these notes are not designed to bash or shame a place , occasionally i ‘may’ promote a place if its really special.

This is a TRUE story.

On the Coast recently we picked out a great looking cafe  for some lunch, place was super cosy, cute and looked really great, in fact I really liked what they did with some simple interior design tricks to an otherwise bland spot. Menu was Ok, typical cafe , all as expected no surprises, service super friendly and nice, place wasn’t too busy.

All good , till we ordered drinks,, Coffee, Tea and a kids Chocky Milk.

“coffee machine is playing up will be a bit of delay” …no rush that fine…these things happen.

“oh and the hot water thingymajig on the coffee machine isn’t working either , so we cant do a pot of tea”!!!!

Well I cracked up laughing in my head, bit my tongue, then watched as she waited for response… which was delayed due to bewilderment …”yes we cant boil water as the coffee machine is broken so we cant do tea, what else would you like?”

My partner and I looked at each other ….with that look of mind reading and smiled at the dear Gen Y hipster who was really trying , just that clearly her brain was stuck… alternative was ordered.

WHAT!!! Its a fG%^$!! Cafe , you have a stove, you have pots, you have a microwave, major shops nearby, go buy a kettle….you run a cafe but can’t boil water!!

We were in hysterics of laughter , but felt sad for the poor GenY espresso mistress, she probably has never heard the sound of a kettle  whistle , let alone a billy boil…as for the rest …45min wait, average(actually below) and no idea that a 4 year old does not require 600mm size portion of chocolate milk!!

I guess the moral of the story is invest in getting the basics right before the expensive fancy fit out….its all about repeat business in cafes, food & drink is the game, not fancy decor, if you cant boil water your’e in trouble!

can’t boil water


Fine Foods Australia 2017

Fine Foods Australia 2017, the food service and hospitality trade show was back at the new look ICC Sydney, and it was bigger, than ever before , more brands, suppliers, product, information so much so that i honestly can say I didn’t get to everything and everyone, and that’s with 2 full days on site.

The new International Convention Center Sydney

In a very rare statement , i will go out and say I saw a LOT of new product and ideas this year, in fact heaps, too much to actually cover here! There were new offerings from existing suppliers and new suppliers with new product and a lot of QUALITY product that had been well thought out.

A trend through out many of the information sessions was embracing new technology to help your business and how technology will impact the industry, from how social media marketing such as Tribe can add massive marketing power to an operation for very little to how robotics will impact. A well known ‘futures’ speaker addressed the senior leaders of the equipment industry at a presentation about such, and No2 on his list was IOT and Sensors! I was asked to present further information on the talking food stage and with an audience that included chefs, catering managers, hospitality teachers and local health inspectors the message was clear, technology is the only way you can ensure accurate data and recording keeping economical. using technology to help food safety

Equipment trends, cooking with charcoal and wood was definitely up there. Personally i find the trend to be an old one as its taken nearly 10 years to catch on! I was promoting the benefits of this type of cooking using Grill Dome Kamado’s  , back in 2007! I’m glad chefs have finally woken up that wood, smoke, and sealed cooking = flavour!, even if the suppliers  are 10 years behind!

Fantastic Charcoal Oven/Grill combinations from Spanish manufacturer Josper (this type of cooking is very common in Spain) and these guys have been doing it since 1969.

Josper oven and grill Sydney 2017

Not only is the flavour, aroma and visual presentation better with wood/charcoal cooking its much better for the environment. The equipment requires no water/plumbing/drainage no power, no gas its fueled by naturally sustainable timber, the left over ash can be used in compost also, fantastic for the garden, and in most cases the fats that are expelled during cooking from meats are burnt off on the coals as you cook so there are no fats going down the drain. Added to this the thermal build properties of equipment designed for this purpose are always extremely thick/insulated/ often with stone hearth and heavy cast, which means amazing heat retention, in the right unit you can cook all day and night on just a couple of loads of charcoal and timber, Wood/Charcoal Cooking is much more environmentally friendly  than most of the cooking equipment we use commercially. And importantly the equipment is built to last for many many years, unlike the current industry trend where they design and build with replacement market sales in mind. 

There is a draw back to all of the above in Australia though, and that is our exhaust canopy rules and regulations, keeping it really short, currently you require a separate canopy and duct system, and that can add a lot of money onto set up costs.

A fantastic shiny red cooking suite by Mareno looked amazing, not as practical as what it actually looks but a real eye catcher.

Mareno fine foods Australia

There was a massive range of food service display equipment some really high quality also, one item that is common in the USA and not here in Australia yet is the grab and go open deck, sealed top display, I can see this really taking off, especially this unit that was really well spec’d and built.

Grab and Go Cafe display

Warewashing, always the part where everybody rushes past, i’ll admit its hard subject to get passionate about! There was heaps there and a lot of innovation. Under counter machines made in black stainless which helps with that ugly s/steel glass washer in view of the public and matched the black bar fridges. Bin Washers, a vertical 2 door up right multi level dishwasher, looks just like a 2 door drinks fridge, (i’m not placing any bets on the success of that concept, 1Hr wash time and super expensive)

Almost water less pot washing by GRANULDISK using tiny pellets that blast the soiled containers, pretty radical , but in Europe and other countries where they are really serious about the environment (unlike Australian Government )  saving water and chemicals is a big  thing, so big that the Marriot hotel group are ordering these in volume and have been awarded  a green hotelier award, in fact many hotel chains in Europe are using these  , the maths on water/chemical and power savings is astounding.

GRANULDISK commercial Kitchen Design Australia
Commercial Kitchen design inspects GRANULDISK

Auto sensing exhaust canopy systems, using a sensor it can tell when it needs to adjust fan speeds, so when nothing is cooking its very low, saving power and noise, then when things crank up it senses the odors and emissions and adjusts the fan speed to suit, no more noisy kitchens during prep time!

auto sensing exhaust systems

What else caught my attention?

Fantastic dry aged beef cabinets, beautiful deli slicers, multi purpose compact brat pan/pasta cooker/bain marie a machine i could use in just about every kitchen design! Display fridges with no center mullion and frame less glass doors allowing massive visual display, Retro look fridges, countless wood fired grills, refrigerated display drawers, excellent build quality and spec display cabinets, heaps of induction cookers, Solid Teknicks  Australian made steel pans (awesome design build and excellent for induction) , pressurized multi cooker stirrer kettles, Shepherd filter savers,  (award wining)

There was also a huge range of new imported brands of cooking and refrigeration equipment , most of which did not need close inspection as the quality (or lack there of) could be seen from a long way away! I’m always looking for new brands/suppliers and equipment , but the trend by many to try and import in a cheaply and poorly built knock off a regular brand is frustrating. Typically these suppliers target first time mums and dads operators, newbies to the business if you like that simply don’t know better and can’t see any problem with a fridge or oven that looks the same (if you don’t look too hard) being 25-30% of the cost of a reputable established brand/supplier. What results is the inexperienced operator purchasing purely on price , suffering huge losses in breakdown costs, energy costs and then having to replace all that rubbish they purchased initially with quality, its foolish false economic savings.

It’s also really bad for the environment producing poor quality, high energy equipment that  really just ends up in the tip in a short time, that’s land fill, and more resources wasted building crap again! There should be a law against anything that is manufactured clearly below certain minimum standards, we do it with cars, but not other items.

Catering equipment is an unregulated market in Australia, there is no real standards protecting  consumers with regards to quality its pretty much open slather , anyone can import what ever and see if they can make a quick buck, buyer beware.

‘If it looks to good to be true, it probably is!’

Having said all the above it is still very frustrating with some lines just how expensive some of our equipment is, with google its pretty easy to see how much the same thing costs overseas! The way the industry is set up (and controlled by a few massive multinationals)  and low sales volumes and high freight here in Australia the end user is faced with little choice but to pay. So I totally understand why people try and come up with more economically priced solutions.

As per usual at these shows a showcase lot processed mass volume foods , that I rushed past.  This years food trend,  lots of wheels of cheese, heaps of wheels of cheese , it was Pecorino /Chedder/Parmasan overload this year! Couple of stand outs food drink products below.

Espresso martini machines, best ready to go product was ONYX coffee spirits , and award wining flavour Pearls from Peninsular larder.

espresso martini
Maximum visual merchandising True Refrigeration 

There were also some great information sessions during the event, I’m always surprised more people don’t attend these, self education is not a strong part of the hospitality industry! In particular i sat in on a great ‘food waste’ session,  in Australia we are very wasteful, we don’t recycle well and much of that has to do with the fact that waste is cheap . One statistic that was researched and documented found that 60% of food waste within the industry comes from the customers plate! And the number One  reason why the food was  left behind/wasted, ‘there was too much food!’

Fine Foods Australia 2017




The ‘Crisis’ of shortage of Chef’s in Australia

The great Chef’s Crisis

It’s been well documented in recent times by different media groups, here are some examples.

I can recommend listening to this sound cloud/pod cast by Christine Green, she really nails a lot of it, I’m yet to read her book, I think it would be a cracker with all her tales! This discussion is really good, you can listen here.

and her book is available here


Some others that have covered the subject also, no solutions on this one just observations from a very experienced and respected Chef

some deeper thinking

This local Australian media article isn’t bad either, although ironically the same organisation  is guilty of what so much of the food media do with ‘glamorizing ‘ what is not actually glamorous

This article goes deeper into the mental stress of the industry

Rather than go on about the negatives of the massive hours and working the hours that everybody else is having their fun time , I thought I’d highlight a couple of issues below and an idea or two how to keep your great chefs ‘long term’ .

On the Positive side : 

My advice to young chefs the same that was given to me year years ago :

“always cook with someone else’s money , and IF you wanted to do your own thing ‘ be the 3rd one in’, *topic for explanation later time.

I would add ‘Travel’, the one thing that the industry and trade can provide is the chance to see the world, and often with that have your rent paid , which makes the crappy $$ so much sweater!

Lastly,  ‘its totally ok to crank some loud and heavy tunes during prep time’;  ‘food fights are good for mental health’;  and don’t play with front of house staff!

And before it all gets to depressing to the point of horror at the thought of people having to cook their own food, here is a classic mood lightener.


  • Money, the money I made and what was available starting in the 80’s compared to now when taking CPI into consideration is terrible, it hasn’t even kept up with inflation.  Anyone that has an eye on the $$ and wants to make good money cooking, really needs to be looking offshore for their career.


  • Media, through a plethora of tv shows, the media have turned a hand full of chefs into celebrities, rocket scientists, social commentators, marketing money making machines, health professionals, political activists and everything in between, they could save the world if the food media gave them a chance!


  • Over sensationalizing the reality of what really is the industry and highlighting the 000000000000000000ooo00000000000000000 1% that get that level of media opportunity  (lets face Mr Oliver would be the first to admit he’s a very lucky chap, just happened to be in the right place at the right time and ran with it, good luck to him, ‘lubly jubly’ as he would say!) but it’s so far from what is the norm, it  couldn’t be further from the truth, it paints a VERY UNREALISTIC picture of what life behind the pass is really like.


  • A lot of Chefs will say just pay us more… those that say this are highlighting their ignorance of ‘commercial reality’. Wage/money can only be linked to profit, and MOST food businesses don’t make money or if they do very little, so there isn’t enough left over to pay more. For Chefs to ‘earn more’ they need to be cooking in operations that make their money less off the food and more off other areas, be it alcohol, gambling, accommodation, fees, whatever it may be.


  • Busy profitable food business (that can make money) are ‘Physically’ and ‘Mentally’ are demanding and the fact is as a Chef gets older it’s harder to maintain, so how do you keep them on board?


  • Hours, well they are crap, that’s all there is to it, but does it always have to be 10-14 hr days  for days on end before you get a day off?  If your working on a fortnight roster sometimes that can mean 10 days straight. Then when you get that day you basically and up in a coma on the couch because you are physically and mentally exhausted? I would recommend to most medium to large operations consider shaking it up a bit, why not offer 4 days 10-12 hrs per day , 4 days off roster, if you cant pay more then perhaps offer a lifestyle, it’s not always about the money.


  • Training, the current method of training due the Federal Governments apprenticeship/certificate system being linked to financial incentives to  training  organisations and business owners , has resulted in a  INFERIOR level of training than decades before. I say this particularly with Food Safety, Workplace Safety, and Commercial Acumen which just doesn’t seem to be touched on. Food/Menu/Cooking  variety, flavors and presentation is at much HIGHER levels than the past, but the business side of it is poor. Kitchen/Business Management just isn’t covered or taught, so it’s left up to the individual to find their own training. I also say this with background and experience in the training sector, its a model that is fundamentally flawed and broken ( I wrote a detailed submission to the powers that be back on the day that fell on deaf ears) and guess what? All these years later the ‘training industry’ is now  finally under investigation at Federal political level, but for many the damage has been already done. It’s up to the leaders of the industry to train from within now, invest in their chefs of tomorrow, because we can’t leave it up to the Government for solutions, they already have failed there.


  • I can see a time when large hotels and food/hospitality organisations start to look at chefs in the same light that a professional football club does. Identify the talent early and sign them up to long programs that will see them stay with the club/business for the best part of their career. Just the same as the football club it would involve many layers of training and support and a structured career plan with performance intensives along the way, especially rewarding long term commitment. Some hotel groups already do this with opportunities for   transfers nationally and internationally within the group.


  • So where are the best ‘professional career chefs’ going , or going to go? In my view they will gravitate to larger organisations, Clubs, Pubs, Mining/Resource Aged care/Health sectors where the businesses make profit or are NFP on the food side, and therefore can invest in better conditions (kitchens/equipment) reasonable hours.  The money might not be higher, but the conditions and security are much higher and encourage long term commitment and opportunities for career advancement.


  • Certainly the evidence is clear in NSW where the Club scene sets the pace nationally and there are some really strong examples of training and investment into the next generation of chefs, backed with industry initiatives such as the It’s certainly an area I would suggest any new Chefs in training be looking to, you will gain experience in large commercial kitchens that a properly designed and resourced, secure employment and income and many of the best clubs offer great opportunities for ‘Fine dining’ , ‘Function’ and Catering along with Bistro work. Some even have their own Pastry and Butchery sections on site, a rarity in this day and age of ‘buy in convenience’ This gives a training Chef a ’rounded’ view and skill set on all types of kitchen work and they will be well skilled to move into any areas of the industry that they choose, from small fancy Restaurants to large scale catering kitchens. In the past you would look to a ‘Hotel’ kitchen for this training , that’s not always the case these days, and training isn’t always high on the Agenda for Hotel Kitchens like it once was.


  • Despite what the media may tell us , the fancy Restaurant with all the hype and media exposure and big named Chef , DOES NOT represent the entire industry and sure does not represent the best career path ‘commercially’ for a ‘Professional Chef’, cooking ‘professionally’ is different to cooking entirely for love or ego. There is a time and place in every commercial Chefs career for both, Ego/Passion and Commercial, getting the balance is the tricky part!

    Clubs training next generation of chefs
Next generation club chefs
  • The Brigade/Army ‘Yes Chef’ culture, is ridiculous, antiquated and out of touch with the modern world, the Culture needs change, especially the totalitarian army style of ranking and abuse!  Is stems from a time and era where menu’s and food were much different, and also the way we treat people! I’ve seen many young chefs broken from abuse by elder washed up worn out ‘cooks’ that frankly had their taste buds inserted in the wrong end of their body, ‘the way many young apprentices have been treated over the years would be one of the biggest factors in the ‘high drop out rate of apprentice chefs’.
  • How and what we eat now is vastly different, ingredients the equipment and resources are  different. For some strange reason we want to hold onto to so much the past, News flash ‘ Escoffier is Dead’ and he died a long time ago, time to move on.


  • The death of the $100k executive Chef ! Back in the 80’s in what common to find European head chefs of hotels and larger organisations earning this sort of money, I know for me it was one of the things that attracted me to the industry , there WAS money to be made when you made the top. These guys were task masters, but they knew their stuff and they could run a kitchen with lots of staff  like well oiled machines, they were tough, but they were respected and they knew their gig. But somehow things changed…management said, ‘ we don’t need these overseas $100k ego maniacs’ lets promote the Jnr Sous Chef to do it on $65k , they can do it, save  us heaps…and that short sighted approach was the beginning of the Rot.


  • Lack of ‘kitchen management’. This is the No 1 issue I find in so many operations, Head Chefs that are too busy ‘cooking’ when they should be spending MUCH more time OFF the tools ‘managing the operation’ be it staff/rosters, menu/costings, suppliers/produce, marketing, food safety, kitchen maintenance , energy costs the lists go on. If a Chef in a busy operation can spend more time on these above items they could potentially save their operation many thousands of dollars.
  • By shaving % off labour costs, % off food costs, %operating energy costs, % of maintenance/repair costs TRAINING New staff, all these small % improvements will add up to FAR greater profit than pumping out extra covers each night. If you can get your senior chef into a ‘executive ‘ position , less on the tools your bottom line will improve, you can train your own staff and guess what your senior Chef might just stay for years to come! Pay them well*, let them run it like a business, and let them spend time training the Chefs of tomorrow. * Incentives are key here, bonus’s for hitting targets, ‘profit’ based, not just ‘numbers based’.


  • Much of the above may seem to be directed at medium to larger organisations, and probably is, but it can still be implemented in smaller operations.


  • Over supply: There is a massive oversupply of eating out options available to us these days, with everyone’s busy lifestyles, long commutes from workplaces etc this is unlikely to change. But it does put an unhealthy  pressure on the staffing pool. And sadly a LARGE percentage of the small start ups will fail, and in the process probably ‘burn’ some poor young chef’s along the way.


  • I have no idea why people that ‘eat out’ think they are qualified to ‘open and run’ a food operation, especially if they come from industries so different, it’s been this way for a while, and probably won’t change . Which is good for people that are selling hospitality business finance and or supplies, not for the staff. My Tip for young or Apprentice Chefs, avoid working in start ups, leave your Ego at home and work with experienced professional operations , go where you can lean and be trained, you also know that  you are at least going to get paid!


  • Bad business managers, underpayment of staff.  Well documented,and its not just the small unknowns, the better known and bigger names are just as guilty, industrial relations is choked up with a back log of hospitality pay issues. Hardly helps attract new players.


  •  For professional Chefs , especially apprentices let the ‘I’ve always wanted to run my own restaurant crew’ do so on their own time and money not at your expense’  OR if you take on such a challenge do so with a ‘risk factor’ built into your wage/pay because statistically you are at high risk of working in a business that is going to go broke, so make sure you get plenty up front, because you will have buckley’s chance of chasing up that missing super and holiday pay once the doors are shut.


  • I feel fortunate to have done much of my Apprenticeship years working in environments where time was spent training me to reasonably high level of skills and organisation, I was lucky to work under some fantastic chefs, and a few not so! Those skills I carry with me and I know (and occasionally do) that I can get back ‘on the tools’ at any time I need/choose to. For those that are still out there busting their backs sacrificing the massive hours and commitment to feed/entertain others  I applaud you, but makes sure you are getting well looked after for your efforts.

          ‘If you think a good chef is expensive, wait until you find out what a ‘cheap’ chef will cost you’