After 3 years of flat chat catering we went back to where we met and sat on the red dirt under star dust.. .. #lightningridgelove #emuinn#campfire #woodstove #campfirecooking#notvfortendays #outbackbeauty #lightningridge
As 2017 comes to a screeching halt and the dawn of 2018 is peeking around the corner, we are taking a moment to rest after a very busy time on the Mid North Coast managing a 7 day operation for the last 15 months .. We met some incredible people, learnt a lot about running a small business and have relocated back to the coast in Newcastle to be closer to family and focus on Functions & Event catering .. A big heartfelt thank you; to our loyal, hard working crew - the new faces that were keen to learn & the familiar 'old' employees returning to the QKC fold, the suppliers who still came to us when we weren't local & the new local suppliers we did business with, the customers who loved us more than once and especially South Newcastle Rugby League Club who reached out to us when we needed it most .. As is the tradition each New Year's Eve of saying goodbye to the old year and looking forward to the new, we will be sitting quietly with loved ones watching the horizon grateful for how far we have come & excited for what is ahead .. Happy New Year to all of you who walked through our doors & a safe Silly Season too .. It's a jungle out there ..
Gavin Larkin's love & honour for his much loved father Barry started the R U OK? campaign back in 2009 after Barry tragically ended his own life.. Gavin had a passionate belief that just a conversation could change a life .. and while he collaborated on a documentary to raise awareness he realised it needed more than this, it needed a nation wide campaign .. R U OK? Day was born..
In June & July this year the hospitality industry lost 2 of its shining stars to heart attack and suicide .. The effect it's had on the Chef world is wide spread with the recent not for profit Hunter Culinary Association showing its solidarity earlier this month at their Spring seasonal luncheon by the volunteer Chefs wearing the R U OK? shirts and donating their raffle proceeds towards this great cause..
The Restaurant industry can be unforgiving, whether you are just starting on as a dishy or are running your own business.. The pressure of walk in bookings on top of your booked ahead customers, rising food costs, unpredictable staff, fickle customers, stressed out management, keyboard warriors, dietary trends, split shifts, weekend work, award wages, hot pans & sharp knives can compound the pressure already in place from ATO liabilities (majority of stock purchased is GST free yet every meal you sell includes GST), insurances, superannuation accruals, suppliers needing to be paid .. And this is just inside the work arena, add to this any stress you are experiencing outside of work ..
It's emotional, physical and financial log rolling at its finest and hospitality isn't for the faint hearted and the mentality of 'just push on Chef' can take its toll ..
R U OK? day is today, but is not limited to just today .. Australia's suicide rate is at its highest with 65,000 people trying to take their lives every year and everyday we need to ask it, you never know what is going on in someone's life, regardless of the sparkly facade they present ..
And it's ok to say that you're not ok.. We're all in this together ..
Lifeline 13 1114
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
Kids Help Line 1800 551 800
GriefLine 1300 845 745
Time flies like an arrow and fruit flies love a banana .. We've been trading for almost 4 months in a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week .. It's been a little hectic for the both of us, a full house relocation plus menu planning & printing, employing & training staff, uniform ordering, website & logo design, rostering, book keeping, new unfamiliar kitchen feng shui, new Cloud based POS system, apron & tea towel daily washing, outside catering gigs, stock control, emotion control in the face of the rare grumpy customer and trying to keep the house clean and the pet pooches not feeling abandoned ..
We've found our feet and some incredible, loyal, talented staff and work alongside the crew of the Country Club who make our early days and late nights that more enjoyable .. As one friend said, 'You're killing it' though at times we felt we were killing ourselves .. #firstworldproblems #youreapwhatyousow #smallbusinessowners #nothingbeatsanap
This time last year we were both at cross roads with our careers .. When we met we originally had a dream of running a spit roast business with karaoke .. marinade and serenade in the rural Hunter Valley.. but here we are .. about to embark on an Italian themed restaurant on the coast ..
We battled the crazy elements on the weekend and did a meet & greet with the fine folk of Tea Gardens and were so blown away with the welcome and we had a lot of laughs ..
On Monday Steve was a guest of Unox at the Hunter Culinary Association's 7th Annual Food Fight flying the flag for Queen's Kitchen and catching up with long lost apprentices, Chefs and colleagues .. He's now inspired to train apprentices again to follow his and these legends' footsteps through the Culinary world ..
3 cheers for the Queen's Birthday long weekend ..
Only a few weeks ago a friend randomly mentioned Tea Gardens Country Club were looking for caterers .. So we did a little road trip, had a peek at the area and met with the Club Manager ..
Our house went on the market last week, and we are sorting our 'stuff' and packing it up for either our new home, the rubbish or the local charity bins ..
Steve found treasure, his recipe in a magazine from 2005 ..
From July we will have relocated to the beautiful town of Tea Gardens, lock, stock and barrel ..
The Tea Gardens Country Club & Motel will be our new place of work and we are so excited to be establishing an Italian themed restaurant providing heart felt good food
The season has changed, and already we have stocked up on our firewood supplies for home .. and visits to the cool room to cool down at work are non existent ..
We were honoured to serve breakfast on Anzac Day for 170 at Souths after the dawn service..
William Joseph Gagie (Steve's maternal grandfather) was a Sergeant in the 2/3 Pioneer Battalion in Syria, Palestine and El Amein from 1940 to 1943 ..
Richard (Dick) James Corney (Justine's paternal grandfather) was a cook for the 2/17th Australian Infantry Battalion in Tobruk, Syria plus El Amein from 1942 to 1945 ..
Not sure if they crossed paths .. but the hierarchy in 2016 between Steve & I in the kitchen is similiar ..
Lest we forget ..
It's a new year and we have managed to stop and catch our breath over the last few weeks.. We handed out vegetables for Xmas presents due to our cool room clean out and made colourful salads for Xmas lunch that had our family feeling upbeat in the aftermath of the annual meal instead of the usual slump .. We've eased ourselves into January with a few small functions and are fine tuning our menus and marketing ideas plus exploring new dietary ideas ..
We wish everyone less stress for 2016 ..
As some say, it is the silly season.. Some also say it's the season to be jolly.. Although the year is winding down we are really busy with bookings for year end celebrations, but we are keeping a smile on our faces ..
Justine met Steve in a kitchen on the outskirts of the outback in 2012, fell in love 5 days later & married on St Valentine's Day in the Hunter Valley in 2013.