Viewpoints from Aussie Cuisine

  • Markets are indeed entertaining but at the same time it is promoting good and healthy cooking, it gives an opportunity for producers to connect with the public and raise their appreciation for fresh and locally grown produce.

  • Over the recent years a closer relationship has developed between producers and chefs. That cooperation has had a huge influence in the improvement of our food and our culinary evolution. Generally, chefs recognize that the good quality produce is a major contributor to the uniqueness of Australian Cuisine

 

This article is a part of Gault&Millau’s “View Forum” Debate at the Melbourne Mise En Place Trade Exhibition.

The topic at hand is The influences of city (urban) food-markets to promote and foster appreciation of our fresh produce. The following represents some of the findings from this debate.

Do city food-markets merely provide entertainment or do they provide opportunities for city slickers to regularly shop for fresh produce?

Markets are very powerful marketing tools for healthy and professional cooking and are fertile grounds for “growing” passionate foodies who appreciate craft-fully cooked meals at home or in restaurants. Often we see the same people visiting the market which creates a sort of a community feeling.

The hustle and bustle of food-markets creates positive and happy atmosphere, cooked food from food vans and stalls, cooking demonstrations from VIP chefs and music from local talents are elements of entertainment and many provide great educational values.  Making “shopping at markets “a popular and even a family friendly outing, especially over the last two decades, has supported our farmers and raised the appreciation we have of their labour of love and their high quality produce. Indeed, shopping at markets has become trendy and to be a “foodie” is now very cool.

Farmers Markets

Are you regularly visiting food markets for inspiration and product knowledge?

Markets can be a valuable conduit between producers and chefs. On occasions, chefs have been invited to visit the farmer and see the production and appreciate the terroir. With that comes respect to the produce and an understanding of the importance of sustainability of our productions.  Such connections are beneficial for the chefs and the producers and can result in long term cooperations.

Many chefs are controls freaks and they like to smell and feel the produce and with that they learn how to deal and treat it. Producers like to talk to chefs and chefs are eager to extend their knowledge. On their quest to get the best produce chefs also visit interstate markets and are able to compare quality and seasonality. Produce markets have become more trendy and more numerous in the last 15 years and that gave our chefs an opportunity to add more freshness and more variety to our culinary evolution.  However, it is not always feasible to adapt and change the menu according to the markets produce and the seasonality quickly enough.

Often chefs are very busy and cannot always go to the markets as it is very time consuming and they are ALWAYS in a hurry.

In Attendance

Ram Bhandary – Chef at Bacash

Heidi MacCregor – Producer at Bread and Cake

Anita Dealy – Producer

Shaun Quade – Chef at Lûmé

Paula Bantock – Food Writer

Dane Richards – Food Writer

Fritz Gubler – Gault&Millau