Page 20 - Foodservice magazine may 2019
P. 20

“Everyone talks about seasonal and regional food and how great it is, but they’re talking about crops that are supposed to be grown in Europe. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all.”
Charcoal Lane is a social enterprise restaurant operated by Mission Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that supports disadvantaged children, youths and families, and people living with disabilities. The restaurant runs a trainee program in the front and back of house that helps equip young First Nations people for full-time work. The aim is not to train them all to be chefs, but, that being said, four of the last intake of 12 went on to apprenticeships.
In order to educate new chefs on Australian ingredients, dessert is a good place to start, “because the flavours stand for themselves,” says Hampton.
On the dessert menu, a classic creme brulee provides the perfect buttery backdrop to wattleseeds, which are crushed and infused into the cream. The native acacia-tree seed lends a vivid toasted flavour comparable to hazelnuts, chocolate and even coffee. Further down the list, sweet and fragrant lemon myrtle leaves level out
the richness of a chocolate and beetroot cake; and riberries and seaspray add pops of tang and salt to a dessert of native lime sorbet, compressed honeydew and a macadamia crumb.
Pastry chef Gypsy Rose admits she had little knowledge of Australian ingredients before starting at Charcoal Lane last year (this is her first chef job, following a pastry course and cooking apprenticeship).
A. B.

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