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Restaurant Association of New
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kitchen products
Restaurant Association of New
NZ Chefs Association
Hospitality Business

Top NZ talent displayed at Olympiad 2020

Dominic Muollo-Gray, a WelTec student, has been named as one of the top young chefs in the world after he placed at the Young Chef Olympiad 2020 competition, held in India earlier this month.

Muollo-Gray, who has almost completed his New Zealand Certificate in Cookery programme, represented New Zealand at the annual event and was placed 11th out of 55 competitors.

The Young Chef Olympiad event was launched in 2015 and is now the world’s biggest young chef culinary competition. This year the theme was sustainability in hospitality, recognising the role of young culinary talent in leading the sustainability revolution. The contest spanned five cities in India over six days: Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune and Goa.

As well as being placed in the top 20, Dominic also won the Plate Final and the Best Prepared Recipe Costings. For the Plate round, Dominic had to produce four portions each of a vegetarian starter and a prawn main within just two hours.  WelTec chef tutor Frank Prskawetz, who coached and accompanied Dominic to the event, said Dominic produced the best dishes and won comfortably.

The best prepared recipe costings round was compulsory for all 55 competitors, who had to use a costing programme designed by Michelin-starred chef John Wood, who was also a senior judge.

Dominic was also a finalist in the Sustainability Awards for which he prepared a power point presentation explaining the steps WelTec takes to be more sustainable.

“According to judges I spoke to, Dominic just missed out on the grand final. He did a fantastic job in very challenging conditions with very long hours, heat and lot of travel,” Frank said.

“The breadth of his awards demonstrates what a great chef he is – he can not only make it look beautiful, but he showed strength on the business side too. We’re delighted he did so well.”

WelTec has a long history in competing at regional, national and international levels and its Professional Cookery programmes are recognised internationally as a benchmark for quality entry level chef training.

The post Top NZ talent displayed at Olympiad 2020 appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Crown Melbourne terminates Heston’s lease

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal Melbourne has been dealt another blow, with Crown Melbourne terminating the venue’s lease.

It was initially believed the restaurant would remain open and operational, however Crown has confirmed Dinner by Heston’s tenure is no more.

“Tipsy Cake has asked the court to appoint a liquidator, on the basis that it is insolvent,” said a Crown spokesperson. “In these circumstances, Crown has taken steps to bring the tenancy to an end.”

The news comes after the restaurant entered voluntary administration in December 2019, with owner Tipsy Cake Pty Ltd appointing BRI Ferrier as administrator just days after the company missed a deadline to back-pay workers.

BRI Ferrier reports employees have been short-changed $4.47 million, but the amount is believed to be much higher as calculations are ongoing. A sum of $435,000 in entitlements related to the closure of the business is also owed.

“The circumstances of this matter are disappointing,” said Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker. “The Fair Work Ombudsman will liaise with the provisional liquidator and other relevant stakeholders in order to assist the employees to recover their entitlements.”

While employees have been underpaid for the majority of the restaurant’s four-year lifespan, The Sydney Morning Herald has unveiled new details about the relationship between Tipsy Cake and Crown.

SMH reports Crown paid $1.97 million a year for the restaurant’s intellectual property, with a Crown employee setting up a “blueprint” for the initial engagement of staff.

Crown was not involved in the “ongoing payment of workers”, however the blueprint was “applied over several years and resulted in the underpayment of employee wages”, according to BRI Ferrier’s report.

In a statement to SMH, a Crown spokesperson said Tipsy Cake was “responsible for its own operations and employed its own staff”, but the company will offer assistance to current workers to find employment within Crown.

An Australian Federal Court hearing will go ahead shortly which will encompass case management and a potential order for the company to be shut down for good.

Image credit: Crown

The post Crown Melbourne terminates Heston’s lease appeared first on Hospitality Business.

UK employer name & shame scheme returns

Hot on the heels of the latest Australian high profile chef scandals regarding hospitality industry worker pay, now the UK government’s scheme of naming and shaming employers who fail to pay National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage is set to resume following a review of the scheme.

Paused in 2018, the recommended changes will see naming rounds occur more often, but the threshold has been increased from £100 ($200) to £500 ($1000)– and businesses that underpay by less than £100 will have the chance to correct their mistakes without being named.

Employers offering salary sacrifice and deduction schemes will no longer be subject to penalties if the scheme brings payment below the National Minimum Wage rate. However, deductions for uniform and other items connected with the worker’s employment will continue to be penalised.

The UK government is also widening the range of pay arrangements available to businesses employing ‘salaried hours workers’, so that those employing workers who are paid hourly or per day are less likely to be caught out due to differences in employees’ hours from one month to the next.

These changes are expected to come into force on 6 April 2020, subject to normal Parliamentary approvals.

UKHospitality has welcomed the proposed revamp, but the trade association has also highlighted the continued potential for administrative errors and called on the government to work with businesses and to produce sector-specific guidance to help employers understand their obligations and prepare for any changes.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “There is no excuse for deliberately paying staff below the National Minimum Wage. It is a legal requirement and it is good to see the government cracking down on rogue employers and highlighting the point that non-compliance is not acceptable.

“The proposals around the definition of salaried workers will help to reduce inadvertent errors by recognising the different ways in which people like to get paid in the 21st century. We look forward to working with government and employee representatives to make sure these new rules work for everyone.

“We believe more needs to be done to totally rule out administrative errors, though. Some businesses have been caught out by admin errors in the past, rather than through deliberate underpayment. We have made this point clear to the government previously and highlighted the potential for employers to make honest mistakes on issues like accommodation offset or staff uniforms. The focus should be on tackling those businesses who knowingly underpay.

“Sector-specific guidance which incorporates the various nuances and needs of vastly different businesses would help clear up any misunderstanding and help employers understand their obligations and prepare for the changes. We hope the government will work with the hospitality industry to promote compliance.”

The post UK employer name & shame scheme returns appeared first on Hospitality Business.

NZ Chocolate Awards return!

The first Saturday of March will see an esteemed panel of food professionals lead by international chocolate judge Elle Coco, smell, taste and assess a selection of New Zealand chocolate to find and name the country’s finest.

Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal winners will be named on Tuesday 31 March and the NZ Chocolate Awards Supreme Winner will be announced on Tuesday 21 April.

The NZ Chocolate Awards were successfully held in 2017 and 2018 and had a year off last year. Awards organisers extraordinaire Kathie Bartley and Nicola McConnell – owners of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards – established the NZ Chocolate Awards in 2017 in partnership with Intermedia NZ. Late last year they acquired 100% ownership of the NZ Chocolate Awards and started accepting entries from the beginning of February.

Judging will be conducted across five categories; Bean-to-Bar, Flavoured Chocolate Bar, Filled Chocolate – truffles and bonbons, Bark or Brittle/Dipped Fruit and Nuts and an Open Class. All Gold Medal winners are considered for the Winner of their category. Top scoring Gold Medal chocolate from Bean-to-Bar, Flavoured Chocolate Bar, Filled Chocolate and Bark or Brittle/Dipped Fruit and Nuts will be re-tasted and the highest scoring will be awarded the title of NZ Chocolate Awards 2020 Supreme Winner.

Organiser Kathie Bartley says she’s excited about the return of the awards. ”We hoping the Awards  support the country’s growing ranks of artisan chocolate producers by providing a focus on the quality of chocolate made in Aotearoa. We’re also keen to educate consumers and give them confidence in buying local craft chocolate by providing an assurance of quality by awarding Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals which chocolatiers can display on their packaging.”

“We’re especially excited about the timing of the Awards with medal winners being announced just before Easter. We hope its an opportunity for chocolate makers to showcase their creativity by entering their specially created Easter Eggs and Easter chocolate confectionary in the newly created Open Class judging category.”

Online entries for the 2020 NZ Chocolate Awards open on Saturday 1 February and must be completed by 5pm Friday 28 February 2020. The entry fee is $100 plus GST per product.

The NZ Chocolate Awards 2020 Supreme Winner will be announced at a Champions Party in Auckland on Tuesday 21 April, this is a joint event with the winners of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards. Tickets to this party will be available for purchase, initially to Gold Medal winners and then extended to other medal winners and entrants and the public.

The Supreme Winner of the 2020 NZ Chocolate Awards will join esteemed alumni from the previous two Awards. 2018 Supreme Winner, Hogarth Chocolate, Buttered Toast & Sea Salt and in 2017 Best Chocolate Bar, Honest Chocolat Salted Caramel & Buckwheat Milk Chocolate Tablet and Best Filled Chocolate, Jo’s Sublime Chocolate Salted Sesame and Caramel Bonbon.

The post NZ Chocolate Awards return! appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Mixed message from Michelin

Of the 3,435 restaurants in the Michelin France’s 2020 guide, just about 50 made the cut.

Despite the protests of an increasing number of chefs, earning a star from Michelin is still a goal for many restaurants. But this year, the guide introduced a different designation—the sustainability clover, which highlights chefs and restaurants “who have taken responsibility by preserving resources and embracing biodiversity, reducing food waste and reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy.” It’s a little clover shaped emblem. Michelin is best known for its stars, but the guide features other symbols … and not just the obvious Plates and Bib Gourmands. Some examples include grapes, which signify a notable wine list, “three crimson rays,” which denote an interesting view, and a “patio parasol,” which means terrace dining. Now, another new symbol is joining the fray to highlight restaurants that are “embracing more sustainable gastronomy.”

The new literally and figuratively green pictogram—referred to as “the green clover”—looks, as the name implies, like a five-leaf clover, and it’s intended to “promote the chefs who have taken responsibility by preserving resources and embracing biodiversity, reducing food waste and reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy,” Michelin wrote in the announcement. This extra designation of environmental friendliness can be added to any restaurant already in the guide with a Plate, Bib Gourmand, or  stars. reports that over 50 restaurants were awarded the designation in the most recent Michelin guide to France, and while the company cites things like permaculture gardens and a “bio-waste recycling program,” it’s unclear what the criteria is to be awarded a clover.

“The ideas, methods and know-how developed by these chefs will thus help raise awareness of an entire sector to its customers and the general population,” said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of Michelin Guides.

However, Michelin, a tyre company, could probably do more by not encouraging diners not to drive around so much and look at safe ways to recycle and reuse the rubber.

The post Mixed message from Michelin appeared first on Hospitality Business.

CAUTHE Conference comes to Auckland 

Hundreds of international experts in tourism, hospitality and events are meeting in Auckland.

More than 280 academics are at the Auckland University of Technology for the 30th conference of the Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE) this week.

It is only the third time the annual conference has been held in New Zealand, and the first time in Auckland.   It’s also the largest so far, with more papers set to be published out of it than in previous years.

“We have an enormous amount of pride in hosting this conference, particularly in AUT’s 20th year,” co-organiser Dr Tracy Harkison says.

“It’s great to showcase the strength that we have in the fields of hospitality, tourism, events and culinary arts at our university.”

The theme for this year’s conference is 20:20 Vision: New Perspectives on the diversity of Hospitality, Tourism and Events.

“Hospitality is very diverse at the best of times, in terms of culture, religion, ethnicity, and countries – even when looking simply just at East and West or at how we celebrate,” Dr Harkison says.

“The world is a global village and it’s great to see what other people are doing; to look at the shared successes as well as the issues that everyone is facing.”

The post CAUTHE Conference comes to Auckland  appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Ritz-Carlton completes return to Australia

Marriott International has completed its goal of returning the Ritz-Carlton brand to Australia with the marquee formally opening its 100th location in Perth.

The 205 rooms and suites of Ritz-Carlton Perth were five years in the making and feature as part of a sparkling new development at Elizabeth Quay in Perth’s CBD.

Overlooking the Swan River the hotel’s accommodations are headlined by the 277-square metre Ritz-Carlton Suite which offers separate sleeping, living and entertainment areas with floor-to-ceiling windows maximising the views. Guest facilities include multiple food and beverage outlets led by its signature restaurant Hearth which offers new interpretations of the great Australian barbecue. The complex includes 2000 square metres of conference and event space including the Elizabeth Quay Ballroom.

The post Ritz-Carlton completes return to Australia appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Asia’s top 50 restaurants

Celebrated Japanese chef Yoshihiro Murata has been named the recipient of the prestigious American Express Icon Award 2020.

The coveted award, voted for by the 300-plus members of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, honours culinary icons who have made an outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry. Fittingly, Chef Murata will be presented with the American Express Icon Award in his native Japan during the eighth annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony on Tuesday March 24, when the region’s most acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs will gather in Takeo, Saga Prefecture, to celebrate the 2020 edition of the list, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.

Considered the master of Japanese kaiseki, Yoshihiro Murata is the third-generation owner and chef of Kikunoi, the highly revered ryotei in Kyoto. Comprising 11 private rooms, the century-old restaurant offers 12 elaborate courses, each one immaculately presented and crafted to showcase locally-grown seasonal Japanese ingredients. A guardian of Japanese culinary traditions and craftsmanship, Murata reinforced his reputation as the king of kaiseki when he opened Roan Kikunoi (also in Kyoto) and Akasaka Kikunoi (Tokyo).

Across the three Kikunoi restaurants, Murata has earned a combined seven Michelin stars.

In the early ‘70s, Murata travelled to Paris to study French cooking. While mastering the techniques of French cuisine, he became aware of the many misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding Japanese food. Returning to his homeland, Murata dedicated himself to educating diners from all over the world on Japanese culinary traditions and nurturing the next generation of Japanese chefs. In 2004, he founded the non-profit Japanese Culinary Academy to facilitate educational programmess and cross-cultural exchanges between Japanese and Western chefs. His in-depth courses in Japanese culinary traditions have been attended by world-renowned chefs including David Chang, Claude Bosi and Michael Anthony. Murata has also authored definitive guides to his national cuisine, including Kaiseki: The Exquisite Cuisine of Kyoto’s Kikunoi Restaurant

(2006), and Japanese Home Cooking with Master Chef Murata (2010).

Accepting the honour, Murata said: “I regard this prestigious award as validation of my lifelong goal to share Japanese cuisine with the rest of the world. I am grateful that the members of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants

How the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list is compiled

The list is created from the votes of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 300 leaders in the restaurant industry across Asia, each selected for their expert opinion of Asia’s restaurant scene. The panel in each region is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded ‘gastronomes’, with a 50/50 gender balance in the Academy. There is no pre-determined check-list of criteria, but there are strict voting rules.

50 Best works with professional services consultancy Deloitte as its official independent adjudication partner to help protect the integrity and authenticity of the voting process and the resulting list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. For more details on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants voting process, visit:

The post Asia’s top 50 restaurants appeared first on Hospitality Business.

 Rates decision disappoints tourism industry

The tourism industry is disappointed that Auckland hotels and other commercial accommodation providers will be forced to pay the city’s targeted rate following a High Court decision.

“TIA has consistently argued that the rate is unfair, as hotels receive only a small portion of visitor spend in Auckland. Many other businesses also benefit from tourism, but they are not facing this extra impost at a time when tourism is slowing,” TIA Hotel Sector Manager Sally Attfield says.

“In 2019, Auckland-Tamaki-Makaurau hotels reported an average occupancy of 82%, the lowest occupancy in the city for the last five years. The slowdown will be exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak and, with no new major events scheduled in Auckland this year, hoteliers are not expecting to see any significant improvement in their bottom line.”

The judge’s finding that there is no requirement to demonstrate a proportionate relationship between a ratepayer’s liability and the benefit they receive from the rate itself, is surprising, Ms Attfield says.

“The concern is that this opens the door to councils to impose targeted rates on any group of ratepayers they choose, for any reason.”

In its November 2019 report into Local Government Funding and Financing, the Productivity Commission dropped its support for local bed taxes and accepted TIA’s position that international visitors are already more than paying their way, primarily through the GST system.

The Productivity Commission report said councils already have a wide range of funding options available to them and need to make better use of these, including user pays, rates and debt funding. The Commission said there is also a role for central government funding support, which could be targeted more efficiently to ensure councils can plan and prepare for tourism.

TIA has said supports this position and will work with the relevant agencies to progress the work and recommendations of the Productivity Commission.

The post  Rates decision disappoints tourism industry appeared first on Hospitality Business.

From Mumbai, to London, to Auckland

Chef Tejas Nikam’s culinary journey has seen him plate up dishes to a vast audience and given him the opportunity to work alongside some of the industry’s greatest.

Now, in a testament to his dedication and pursuit for quality by fusing international flavours with New Zealand produce, Tejas has been named as one of four Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ambassador Chefs for 2020. This coveted ambassador role will see Tejas drive innovation and creativity while promoting excellence using New Zealand beef and lamb.

Tejas is the executive chef at Vices & Virtues, a Christchurch restaurant which celebrates local and sustainably sourced produce as part of its menu, which he has carefully curated to reflect todays modern cuisine. The menu changes seasonally, with current stars of the show including the delectable sous vide Angus eye fillet and the sustainable line caught fish, alongside Wairiri Buffalo Burrata and artisan baked breads.

Located within the Sudima Laneway complex (also home to the 5-Star Sudima Christchurch City and Moss Spa), Vices & Virtues gives diners the ability to be virtuous with modern and healthy dishes or indulge their vices with a wickedly sweet dessert. Vices & Virtues is owned and managed by HIND Management, which manages the national chain of Sudima Hotels, and Moss Spa.

Tejas’ interest in food began as early as the age of ten when he started cooking with his father. Combining international flavours with New Zealand produce is something Tejas has learned from one of New Zealand’s top chefs, Peter Gordon. It would be safe to say that the pivotal moment in Tejas’ career was being part of the opening crew of The Sugar Club in Auckland in 2013.

“Working with Peter Gordon has shaped my career and helped me to get where I am today,” says Tejas. “To follow in his footsteps and be named as a Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chef is one of the highlights of my career.”

Beef + Lamb New Zealand has been highlighting the wealth of talented chefs in New Zealand for close to quarter of a century. To date they have showcased the skills, craft and creativity of over 80 Ambassador Chefs. Lisa Moloney, Food Service Manager at Beef + Lamb New Zealand, has been overseeing the Ambassador Chef programme for over a decade and was quick to highlight the calibre of entries this year. “We were delighted with the high level of creativity and enthusiasm from chefs around the country who sent in applications. Not only were chefs putting together well thought out beef and lamb dishes with interesting flavour combinations, but the level of execution was very high,” says Moloney.  “With such a high standard, it was a tough decision whittling it down to four chefs.”

The post From Mumbai, to London, to Auckland appeared first on Hospitality Business.


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