Chef Julio Azzarello of Sydney’s Gourmand Providore is interviewed by Carolina Holzmeister from Aussie Cuisine.

Julio Azzarello works as client liaison at Gourmand Providore. He keeps his customers abreast of food trends and market updates, seasonality, availability and pricing. He manages his production kitchen making and distributing both sweet and savoury items. He has been in the hospitality industry as a chef, restaurant and coffee shop owner and an event caterer for over thirty years. He worked as a chef lecturer at Le Cordon Bleu for two and a half years.

 Viewpoints from Aussie Cuisine

  • Local chefs use Sydney markets as their primary place to source products. Fresh produce markets play a huge role in shaping our AussieCuisine and most chefs would acknowledge the contributions from the producers for their successes.

  • The vast quantity and quality of seasonal fruit and vegetables coming through the markets on a regular basis enables chefs not only to purchase fresh produce but also purchase cost effectively.

  • Regular market updates are available on the various markets websites. The trick is to stick to Australian produce in season and make the menu a reflection of the ever-changing fresh ingredient list.

“Chefs that care and cook with both their heads and their hearts will always use fresh local and seasonal produce. They understand that the produce is at its best when it is in season and when it is grown ethically and in the closest proximity to the end user. Fruit and vegetables in peak season will always be more cost-effective and be more flavoursome than imported produce.”

Customers

CH: Who are the customers of Sydney markets?

Chef JA: There are several layers of customers at the markets. Firstly, the vendors or stall holders are customers of the farmer. Then you have the providores or wholesalers, who are the vendors’ customers. Clubs, Pubs, Restaurants and Hotels are the wholesalers’ customers. On a parallel path, there are the buyers who purchase for large grocery chains and specialty fruit and vegetable shops. There are also the” Mum and Dad” shoppers who buy directly from the stallholders on a regular basis.

Distribution

CH: What is a typical distribution for Sydney markets?

Chef JA: There are two basic distributions. The primary two are via wholesalers to food and beverage outlets and via direct purchasing where the food and beverage outlets come to the market and purchase directly from vendors.

Australian cuisine

CH: What part do Sydney markets play in shaping Australian cuisine?

Chef JA: Sydney Markets plays a huge role in shaping cuisines. With the vast quantity of seasonal fruit and vegetables coming through on a regular basis ensures chefs are always ahead of the game. Regular market updates are available on the various Sydney Markets websites. Providores will also keep their customers abreast of new fruit and vegetable varieties.

Sources

CH: Other than Sydney markets, where is produce sourced?

Chef JA: Sydney chefs use Sydney markets as their primary place to source products. On some occasions, chefs may be able to purchase directly from the farm gates but this will more often involve one or two specialty items and not in sizeable quantities.

Fresh, seasonal and local produce

CH: In the restaurant scene what reasons would chefs have to use fresh, seasonal and local produce as opposed to imported produce?

Chef JA: Chefs that care and cook with both their heads and their hearts will always use fresh local and seasonal produce. They understand that the produce is at its best when it is in season and when it is grown ethically and in the closest proximity to the end user. Fruit and vegetables in peak season will always be more cost-effective and be more flavoursome than imported produce. On some occasions, chefs will look for imported goods such as mangoes from Mexico or asparagus from Peru or Thailand. This usually happens when these products are out of season and have been committed to on a printed menu. The imported product is still a good standard but it does lack the freshness and flavour of locally sourced produce and in the case of fruits from the U.S. they also come with a huge price tag. The trick is to stick to Australian produce in season and make your menu a reflection of the ever-changing fresh ingredient list.

Image:

Who are we? (2 July 2016). Gourmand Providore. Retrieved from http://gourmandprovidore.com.au/about-us