Monthly Archives: May 2018

Commercial Refrigeration for Coffee Shops

Running a catering business is not easy. If you have your own restaurant or café you will understand the importance of high quality, reliability and efficiency in every aspect of your business. This is especially true for commercial refrigeration and freezer appliances.

Commercial fridges and freezers are essential pieces of equipment, needed to ensure the food is stored correctly at the right temperatures and kept safe from contamination of any kind. There is no short cut to storing food correctly. In addition to stringent health and safety regulations, commercial kitchens are busier, larger and demand more from their appliances. This is why it is so important to have the right equipment. In a commercial environment, domestic appliances just will not do.

By working with a reputable supplier, you will have a wide choice of appliances to choose from. Chest freezers, large low temperature fridges, over the counter fridges, display cabinets, and more. They will all be available to choose from in a variety of sizes to suit your business needs, and the size of your premises.

For coffee shops, delicatessens, restaurants, canteen kitchens, and food manufacturers, the need for high quality fridges and freezers is an investment in the business. And it is not just so that the food meets safety standards. No cafe or restaurant wants to serve its customers sub-standard produce.

When you are looking for a new appliance for your business, look for a supplier that has a reputation for providing customers with the best choice of the most reliable and well-made appliances. You will need a fridge or freezer that is robust, and economical as well as efficient in its design and its operation. In a busy kitchen, there is no time to be struggling with a faulty door or trying to access foods from a badly designed fridge.

The best suppliers of commercial refrigeration are specialists in their field. They will understand the appliances inside and out. But they will also have an in-depth understanding of the catering and food preparation industry. It’s essential so that they can supply the right equipment to each of their customers. No two cafes or restaurants are the same. They all have different requirements whether they are size restrictions, budgetary concerns, or the different foods they prepare and sell.

By working with the best, you will be able to buy the best, and have the confidence in knowing your money was well spent on a vital investment for your business. Don’t make the mistake of trying to save money by buying second hand or cheap alternatives. Your business, and the health of your customers,is too important. Instead, look for a company that understands your needs and the aspirations of your business, a company that prides itself in providing value for money by supplying the very best appliances.

Refrigeration and freezing equipment for any commercial kitchen or food retailer is as important as the food produce itself. There is little point sourcing high quality local produce and spending hours creating delicious food, if you do not have the right equipment to store it safely and effectively, 24 hours per day.

The Answer To Urban Farming and Food Security

When I was growing up in the UK many years ago, ‘vertical gardens’ wasn’t even a keyword as Google didn’t exist! However, I was lucky enough to live in a small village and to spend many happy hours with my grandfather discovering the wonders of his veggie garden, watching insects skate around on top of the water barrel and eagerly exhuming new potatoes as they mooned their milky white bums up through the black soil. To my way of thinking, my city dwelling friends missed out (I know- I dipped out on fun city stuff too) a few lucky ones had parents who stoically worked an allotment several miles away from their terraced houses but most of the others had to settle for supermarket veggies that struggled to stay fresh in the fridge. My friends were blissfully unaware of what they were missing by not ‘growing stuff in dirt’ and slobbering over those delicious, buttered ‘spuds’. Does this matter? I think it matters a lot – on so many levels.

The world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history – It is estimated that by 2030, 60% of the world’s population will be living in cities – this will have a huge impact on our lifestyles – on the space to grow food, on food security and food miles, on our sense of well-being¹, on our social activities, and the air we breathe will be more polluted than it is already. City temperatures will be several degrees higher due to the urban heat island effect. Sydney’s urban temperature may rise by up to 3.7C by 2050². Apartment blocks and shopping malls will swallow us up and our ‘fresh’ food will be worn out by the time it reaches our plates. Maybe we’ll end up with Food Pills after all and soil – what was that used for?

Vertical gardens, installed for use as urban farms, can play a vital rescue role by maximizing unused, vertical real estate (walls and rooftops) and by establishing urban farms on our doorstep, we can support fresh food production and combat pollution of our cities. Plants have an amazing capacity to clean our air. Fresh produce, from as many vertical gardens and roof gardens as is viable, will improve our health while soothing us with their lush aesthetic beauty. The benefits of organically grown produce, picked from your vertical garden minutes before it lands on your plate gets the gold award for both taste and nutrition. Did I mention that children eat what they grow? Do we need to address childhood obesity? Oh and don’t forget that ‘messing about in real dirt’ bonus. ‘Nuff said.’

It doesn’t matter who you are, there’s a vertical garden system that you can use for urban farming. One particular steel vertical garden system is strong enough to hold large volumes of soil and thus provide large, dig – in beds in which vegetables and herbs thrive. Water does not evaporate as quickly from large pockets of potting media as it does from small pockets so water consumption is lowered. Extreme temperature swings are reduced in vertical gardens that hold large amounts of soil, lessening root ‘shock’. If city dwellers started to grow more produce with vertical gardens, food miles would be reduced, food security would be assured and restaurants and cafes could delight their diners by tapping into a seasonal supply of fresh food right before their eyes! Urban foodie, Sally, in apt. 403, the Primary School on the corner, the tiny courtyard at the back of Pete’s restaurant or the Aged Care chef desperately trying to feed his residents on $9 a day – all these people have a range of vertical garden systems from which they can choose to produce an abundant harvest – many come in DIY kits. Food prices will keep rising if we don’t pay attention to growing UP in our cities.

The use of vertical gardens for urban farming can involve a whole community AND save money – and I’m not talking about grand scale projects on the roof of a car manufacturing plant. An official audit of a project³ which involved bringing gardening joy back to just 46 older people in a single borough in south London, has concluded that it could have saved the taxpayer as much as £500,000 ($1,042,318) a year in just one area. The potential savings were calculated using standard estimates of the cost of NHS care for reduced medications, visits to doctors, A & E and decreased number of hospital admissions as well as fewer visits from health and social workers.

I believe that the installation of vertical gardens need to be supported on every scale, in shopping malls, on rooftops, on balconies, in courtyards, Aged Care facilities, hospitals, restaurants, schools and even in public city spaces. With a little smart planning, an option to participate in community urban farming will see young and old benefit from a life enhancing activity that yields a luscious harvest that is literally ‘off the wall.’

Sydney Restaurants, Cafes and Cocktail Bars

Australian cities offer a wealth of great eating and drinking options, with everything from sophisticated five-star restaurants to casual modern cafes and intimate, funky bars.

Sydney is the nation’s look-good, feel-good metropolis (sometimes nicknamed Emerald City). Fast-paced, deal-driven and traffic-laden by day, it’s a sparkling, balmy playground at night. Both The Economist and Monocle acknowledged its warm, mostly relaxed and cosmopolitan ambience by ranking it among their Top 10 ‘liveable cities’.

Once you’ve taken in the spectacular harbour and the ocean beaches, head further inland to enjoy the places where daily living gets done. The most interesting spots are scattered around the city, not grouped together in tidy formation, so be adventurous.

From the sometimes grungy but vibrant inner-west to the immaculately groomed avenues of the harbourside eastern suburbs, Sydney’s neighbourhoods are anything but homogenous. To find the best the city has to offer think in-between; seek out unexpected places tucked into the hidden folds between the waterways and the clogged arterial roads. If you get the balance right, it should feel like one big weekend, all week long.

Here are some of the best eating and drinking treasures in this bustling, buzzy, sundrenched place: For a splurge, a major occasion dinner or to wow visitors, you can’t go past Icebergs Dining Room & Bar at Bondi Beach. As globe-trotting NeoNeighbourhood Chief Experience Officer Verity Byth puts it, “There is simply nowhere else with this view, atmosphere, food, wine and service all at once, all the time.” In a word: Extraordinary.

For a cool night out with friends, the first stop should be Madame Fling Flong in Newtown. A glamorous little upstairs nook, it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek ’80s, with sexy red everywhere except for the funky mix of vintage chairs. Staff are attentive and the atmosphere encourages lounging, with cocktail in hand.

To find out why Sydney chefs and their fusion dishes are such a force on the world stage, head for Universal in the nightlife precinct of Darlinghurst. Culinary wiz Christine Manfield puts flavours together in a way that will surprise you. “Get your palate ready for a ride through all the sensations that characterise Asian cuisine, done in a way you’ve never known them before,” says Byth.

To get a feel for Sydney’s laidback café lifestyle, visit Fifi Foveaux’s, in the lively and diverse neighbourhood Surry Hills. It’s become a local institution by getting right what so many others seem to get wrong. It has great coffee, service that’s sassy in a good way, and quality eating, whatever time of the day.

Perth Restaurants, Cafes and Cocktail

The Australian city of Perth is a fascinating mix of creativity, money (thanks to the mining boom) and a determined independence that comes from the fact that most of the nation’s other major cities are a five-hour flight away.

Visitors to Perth are in for a treat, with every kind of food and drink experience on offer, from five-star restaurants to seductive wine bars and cafés that make the most of the city’s alfresco climate. Here are some of the best in the most interesting neighbourhoods:

For a bar you’ll never want to leave, put Must Winebar, in the foodie area of Highgate, on your list. It doesn’t put a foot wrong. There’s quality wine, well executed tapas, a relaxed yet cosmopolitan atmosphere and a very convivial crowd. What’s not to love?

If you’re looking for a café where sustainability matters, make a beeline for Source Foods in evolving Northbridge. The clean, contemporary lines of the décor are a perfect fit with the simple goodness on offer on the menu.

To see a master chef at work, go to Shige Sushi Bar in South Perth. The décor is basic, if authentic, but the food is sublime. Acclaimed Sydney restaurateur Tetsuya Wakuda is rumoured to rate it very highly and other sushi enthusiasts will happily concur. Chief Experience Officer, Verity Byth’s insider’s tip, is “sit up at the bar, offer Shige-san a glass of your wine, watch and learn. There’s nowhere else like it.”

For a great find even the locals don’t know about take your friends to Annalakshmi on the Swan at the Barrack Street Jetty. Few restaurants run completely on love, but this one does. They supply fabulous home-style Indian vegetarian food, you “eat as you want, give as you feel”, making a voluntary donation for the meal. The prime river views are a bonus.

To see the future of Perth’s café culture make the trip to Fremantle, where Tonic is a beacon of contemporary design and food, providing all-day breakfasts and great fair-trade coffee. The lovely hand-painted screens are by the owner, Vicky.

Commercial Juicing For Cafes

A big change has come over cafes and fast food restaurants in a few years. Its not fair trade coffee beans, or latte art – it’s the fact that they now often sell fresh juice, made while you wait. This health revolution fills the hole in bad diets, lacking in fiber, vitamins, and fresh unprocessed foods. If you are in the hospitality industry, or are considering entering the business, have you considered the viability of a fresh juice bar? Many establishments have successfully added a commercial juicer to their array of equipment, and now make a handsome profit from fresh juice.

Juice sells – just go into any food hall, or health food shop, and you will see a steady flow of customers, from young to old. Females aged 15 – 30 are the median buyer, probably representing the most health conscious demographic, but there is more to consider than just point of sale profit. Adding a juice bar will bring in new customers, who will inject money into the business, from themselves and the other people they attract.

All you will need to do as a business operator is find an appropriately sized juicer machine, set up a counter to work at, and find a source of fresh ingredients. Most cities have distribution chains that cater to supermarkets and grocers, and will happily supply boxes of celery, carrots, fruit, and oranges, just to mention a few.

The juicing itself is not hard – it will take some organization (pre washing and cutting the most popular ingredients before customer rush-hour), but if you are already operating a food preparation or service business this will not be a big problem for you.