QLD Good Food & Wine Show

Pheweee, what a weekend that was! With 4 hours notice of gaining a spot at the Brisbane Convention centre to having set up shop, we mobilised like there was no tomorrow! Lucky we had the bike on hand, a bunch of really great t-shirts ready and a few other odds and ends, the result was not too shabby.

Huge thanks goes out to our volunteers Therese and Lukas for putting in some serious hours and Penny & Charles for helping with the pack-down. We'd also like to thank Adam at the Good Food & Wine show for his support over the weekend, he made the new kids on the block feel right at home.

As you can see in the following images, our Cleaver t-shirt was a hit with the chefs and foodies alike, with George Calombaris generously modelling both the the SFA logo shirt and the 'Cleaver' for a day a piece. Local Chef Alastair McLeod was also looking stylish in his black cleaver with suit coat on day 3 of the event.

IMG_1202.JPG

SFA welcomes Luke Nguyen as a partner

Last week we flew to Sydney to meet with Luke Nguyen at his Riley Street Red Lantern Restaurant to discuss his involvement with Street Food Australia. Luke has agreed to come onboard as partner (rather than Ambassador), which we agreed was too formal/disconnected a name for someone who wants to roll up their sleeves and be actively engaged. Presenting Luke with a SFA workshirt seemed appropriate and he kindly donned the shirt for a photo shoot in the 'Red Lily' bar with founder/CEO Helen Bird.

Luke's involvement will include attending some key SFA events in Brisbane and acting as an advisor for recipe development as well as promoting SFA activities in Australia.

Fracino gas powered coffee machines - LPG option

fracino retro_gas.jpg

When it comes to choosing a gas powered coffee machine to go on a bike cart in Australia, the options are NOT overwhelming. Thankfully Brisbane is home to the importers of FRACINO, a UK designed and fabricated machine which runs on LPG and 240V, either or both! You can go out to Coffee Machine Solutions in Geebung to test the machines with your own beans, call ross for an appointment.

The retro lever machine is definitely the sexier machine, but will little control over water temperatures is only suited to milder roast beans, and the time to pour a shot also limits it to lower volume sales.

The Contempo (which comes only in a 2 group on LPG) is a modern looking machine (read, boring) but can be fine tuned to stronger roasts. With Marty from Blackstar taking control of the grind & machine we tested it with a triple basket using Blackstar Revolution blend (a mix of organic fair trade/co-op grown beans) and fine tuned the grams in, speed out, grams out ratios to get a really strong sweet shot (on milk).

 

Off to Sydney to check out the food trucks

http://www.sydneyfoodtrucks.com.au/

Well done Sydney for doing something, well anything with Street Food. I mean it's not like the rest of the world isn't doing it, and all the trendy foodies in first world nations are having a bash, some with brilliant results and some well, like any business, they go under. City Council's world-wide are trying like hell to regulate something which in most places has grown out of desperation, recession, GFC, war, poverty and ingenuity. I think that our discerning pallettes will over time judge whether this will be more than a foodie craze.

Pilot project = what if it doesn't work out? What guarantees does Sydney City Council give an operator who has invested so much?

Here's the hit list, 3 nights only to taste as much as possible from:

Agape - All-organic spelt pizze and killer chocolate brownies. Twitter:@agapeorganic 

Urban Pasta - Twitter:@UrbanPasta

Let's do Yum Cha - Steamed dumplings and buns from a trailer that folds out into an Asian-style dining cart.

Vegge Patch - Veggo fare, including burgers and veggie chips, fresh juices and house-made ginger beer from a barn-shaped truck that runs on vegetable oil.

Al Carbon - Expect soft-shell tacos made in-truck, filled meat cooked on the spit and incredible salsas. Twitter: @alcarbontacos

Cantina Mobil - Tacos, nachos and burritos. Twitter: @cantinamobil

Taco Truck - Rafael Rashid started in Melbourne and is now revving up in Sydney, offering his take on tacos.

Bite Sized Delights - Pastizzi on wheels.

Eat Art Truck - Progressive barbecue-snacks from former Tetsuya's sous chef, Stuart McGill.  Twitter: @eatarttruck

Tsuru - Suckling pig on steamed Chinese buns with pickles?  Alongside tasty things on sticks. Twitter: @TsuruFoodTruck 

Update

on 2012-06-24 03:14 by Helen Bird

Well, that was not very satisfying, my own busy schedule plus infrequent twitter feed updates, local knowledge descriptions and no MAPS meant that I could never find out where the trucks were with enough time to get to them. It was cold and windy on the Sydney streets at night, and when I thought I'd landed the chance, the truck was running an hour late, so I headed for my friends house and cooked a nice hot meal, inside.

This is really valuable learning, about the importance of communication, reliability and technology to assist a program to succeed. The phone App. still not released might solve some of this, as hopefully it will run real-time GPS updates of the trucks.

Expectation it seems can become your achilles heel, customers expect you to 'be on time', I mean imagine opening your restaurant 1 hour late? So, is it better to have no expectation at all? I mean, no app., no twitter feed, no fixed locations...just pop up and deal with whoever finds you in the moment?

On the other hand fixed locations (even Market food stalls) generally have such a good following because they are in the same place, they turn up each week, rain, hail or shine. Customer service is the backbone of any business, no matter how 'organic' the system, people will always expect a repeat performance or better.