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NO-BREAK GLASSWARE

Durable, Safe and perfect for your restaurant or home kitchen.Not only is this range of champagne, wine, tumblers, beer and specialty glassware safer to use than glass, it also offers the appearance of traditional glass.


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Trends vs Traditions this Christmas

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

It seems every year there are some new trends when it comes to Christmas…

So what do you have planned ? A new colour scheme ? A new tree ? or are you sticking to your family traditions and getting all the ornaments out of storage, that you’ve collected over the years. 

I decided to take a look at what is new this year in the way of trends, not that I plan on keeping up with the Jones’s, but I like to stay in formed and add just a couple new pieces.

Minimalist seems to be the main trend this year for Christmas.  Using black and white, and neutral colouring's in your decorations with a real emphasis on the dark bottle green tree.  Also white trees seem to making more of an appearance and the use of green decorations against the white.  I love this idea swapping the green in the tree to the decorations.  Tinsel seems to have disappeared a little, or at least kept to a real minimum, and I must say I am OK with that, I love that we are focusing more on individual decorations and not just covering our trees in shinny glitz…

  Photo Cred : Little Green Leaf Design Photo Cred : Little Green Leaf Design

Separate from this we are seeing lots of pastel colouring, pink is not my cup of tea – I personally don’t think it belongs near Christmas, but hey everyone can choose the décor and colouring that works for them. It seems that pastels are in, pink, lilac, green and blue’s together making an almost Rainbow Tree seems to be on trend for 2018.  

Although Christmas to me is a time for Family Tradition I also get that us Aussies like to modernise things and put our own little spin on how we want to decorate and celebrate what is important to us…

But a BLUE CHRISTMAS tree, I don’t mean blue baubles and tinsel I mean the actual tree… I am not sure where this trend has come from but I can't do it... For me Green or White are the colours of the Christmas tree and WHITE only because of the concept of a ‘White Christmas’ we all love pretending it’s a snowy white tree … If you haven’t seen the ‘blue tree’ search it you just have to see it for yourself - ‘blue Christmas tree in google and hit images –  It’s just too much for me, every shade you can imagine in a tree.

Naturally, snow flakes are on trend too with the white colouring's being so popular this year and who doesn't love a snowflake, the bigger the better I say.  Gold is forever a Christmas favourite, it hasn’t gone anywhere in fact this year if you have gold you need a lot of gold. 

Last but not least a favourite little trend I stumbled upon for your tree, is adding the chunky knit blankets we all know and loved over the cooler months this year to the base of your tree as a tree skirting to cover the legs. Very clever – loving this idea.

If all of this has overwhelmed you, and between, work, school function, Christmas shopping and the rest of your day to day chaos, you have no idea how you are will ever find the time to pull together a tree this year.   An alternative trees, may be just what you need, it’s a trend that may just save the day.  You know the felt tree stuck to the wall with stick on decorations the kids can do - it will also entertain them for weeks.  The cardboard cut out tree made arty, a tree created by lighting twisted into a tree shape on the wall… think outside the box and just tell others it’s a new trend… keep things simple use the minimalist approach !!

Photo Cred :- Fresh Design Blog - Pinterest Alternate Tree - Photo Cred : Fresh Design 

So this Christmas keep things simple, it all comes down to personal taste and suitability for your décor at the end of the day.  If your home is modern with neutral colouring's adding a bright blue tree might not suit.  You may love the idea of a pastel rainbow tree  or a simple traditional green tree with white, grey and black decorations may suit best.  If you have kids and your all for a traditional tinsel tree with red, green and gold – go for it, tradition is always in when it comes to Christmas.  Do what is right for your home and family and keep it as chilled and relaxed as you can. 

Have a very Merry Christmas from all of us at Hospitality Products and enjoy your Christmas planning it really can be a lot of fun.  For more tips and sneak peaks into our Christmas - follow us on Instagram or Facebook while we continue to look at different ways to incorporate Christmas decorations into our table settings and more this season.

 

Allison - Hospitality Products 

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What is Molecular Gastronomy Anyway ?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Molecular Gastronomy - What is this ? What does it mean ? Don’t worry I was as confused as you might be when I first heard this term.  My first thoughts were - Molecular is obviously science based and Gastronomy I associated with Gastronorm Pans - ha ha ? Therefore assuming it was food related ? ‘Science Food’….. I thought to myself and then I searched for more information.  So Wikipedia states

Molecular gastronomy is a sub discipline of food science that seeks to investigate the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur in cooking. Its program includes three areas, as cooking was recognised to have three components, which are social, artistic and technical.

This makes perfect sense when you think of Chef’s like Heston Blumenthal and Grant Achatz - Naturally I knew of these chefs and their creations however the term itself Molecular Gastronomy I hadn't been exposed to.  I recently watched a creation of Grant's online - I shared it with you all on our FB page Tuesday night and I had goosebumps.        I don't know if it resonated more with me coming from a food and beverage background or if it truly was as wonderful as I thought it, I watched it a second time immediately with my almost seven year old and he didn't seem as taken by it but in his words 'I like it though mum'.. If you do happen to watch it via our FB page @hospitalityproducts share your comments and thoughts with me in the comments.

I recall years ago watching Heston's show and I was in awe of his creations, one episode in particular when he created an under the sea feast that was almost interactive.  Another a house, and actual house, hang on in saying 'actual' I don't mean to scale and one can live in it, but you get what I mean - it was built out of food and looked real like.  The guests were able to smash into it and enjoy the amazing tastes he created.  Stained glass jelly windows, caramel chocolate slate tiling on the roof and a sponge chocolate welcoming mat at the main entry.  To view this creation yourself go to he link below. 

https://youtu.be/udkmAbEno5g

Closer to home Executive Sous Chef Stephen Lech has been known to offer interactive desserts at the Intercontinental in Sydney partnering a mortar and pestle with this one of his creations allowed guests to create their own crumble to enjoy. How fun to be part of the whole experience.  Quoting Stephen from the Open Table - “Our restaurants are some of the best in the world and to constantly keep chefs’ minds ticking with things such as this will only keep the industry on an upward trend.”

Syd International chef creation

I couldn't agree more Chefs of today are certainly creative, I often feel I don't want to destroy what beauty has been presented on the plate put before me - Instagram I am sure has shown many a shots where people want to simply capture the art before the creation is destroyed ... I mean - enjoyed.

So with all that we have seen in the above and the knowledge we already have I guess this is all a scientific discipline with physical and chemistry transformation of food.  In other words 'Science of Food'...  whilst the simplicity of this term may work for some, many Chefs adopting this way of cooking and presenting food do disapprove of the term 'molecular gastronomists.'  Many in this field would prefer to be known as 'Modernists' As there is concern that patrons may have a preconceive idea of a 'mad scientist' in the kitchen.  I think anyone with this mindset had been hiding under a rock for far too long... The creations I have seen and the ability that these Modernists have to combine flavours is truly amazing.  Like any Chef the right tools are required and we can of course help in this area with our recently new Molecular Gastronomy category on our website.  We have combined this with Mixology as often there is a crossover of the two when it comes to tools of the trade. So when you are in need of a hand smoker, mini vaporiser, titanium sushi tongs  and more within the kitchen you know we can help you put your creations on the plate, tile, bowl, stand etc... 

Allison - Hospitality Products

https://www.hospitalitywholesale.com.au/molecular-gastronomy/

 

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Trending behind the bar

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

 

uber bar tool image for blog

There is a difference between a bartender with basic bar knowledge and a bartender with real technique and a skill set at mixing premium beverages and creating stand out signature cocktails.

Is this where Mixology comes in? Or do you need to be accredited to be referred to as a Mixologist?  How often are we being served by a Mixologist? Ummm (insert thinking emoji)...  I actually don’t have the answers for you but these are things I have wondered about,  definitely a conversation I will starting next time I order a Gin and Tonic or Whiskey Sour (I don’t really drink the later it just sounded like a good addition to the G&T)..  A recent increase in Molecular Gastronomy products and Mixology glassware and bar tools in recent days has certainly made think more about this.

My understanding of Mixology is that it involves an artistic flair in presentation, and a real knack for blending drinks 'the right way' and coming up with your own standalone ‘signature cocktails’.

Wikipedia refers to a US sitcom and then :- ‘Molecular Mixology is the process of creating cocktails using the equipment and techniques of molecular gastronomy’ – so with that in mind we are also referring to foams, gels and powders… in addition to your high standard bartender skills.

So I decided to have a little look into this art of Mixology.

It is said to have been Jerry Thomas a New York bartender who invented the art of mixology or should we say role even now that is so well known as a paid position.  He began turning heads with his style in service and preparation.  Jerry’s signature cocktail was known as a Blue Blazer, consisting of whisky and only whisky really, ( also boiling water and powdered sugar) the captivating ‘mixology’ addition to this whiskey was the fact that the liquid was set a light and poured between two silver tankards creating an arc of flame. Garnished simply with a twist of lemon peel.  Whilst this held some theatrics mixology today seems to be a little less theatrical and a whole lot more artistic.  It seems to be more about the presentation, atmosphere at the bar and then of course the art of muddling, shaking to blend the perfect cocktail.

It also seems that the days of Sam Malone behind the Cheers Bar is not lost, people do still expect a good mixologist to have a little humor and host quality conversation.  Let’s be clear Sam had enough trouble pouring the perfect beer he was nowhere near today's Mixologists skills behind the bar.

So what else makes for a great mixologist, tools, ingredients, talent?

The Boston Shaker has to be one of the preferred tools to any mixologists, then I would assume you’d be reaching for the ever popular Hawthorne Strainer or Muddler, the first used to retain the ice when pouring, the second a critical component when wanting to increase the flavors of citrus, mint etc through the muddle process.

When it comes to ingredients, ‘fresh is always best’ and from my time behind a bar many, many years ago ‘home/bar-made is also always best’ making your own syrups, grenadine, enhanced spirits (ie  with vanilla bean, citrus etc).  The Amateur Mixologist is someone I enjoy following on Instagram, he recently shared a cocktail creation using a rum that he had enhanced with finely chopped raisins, the idea of this just wowed me….  And of course made me think of Rum and Raisin Ice Cream back in the day every old person I knew used to order it form the Ice Creamery (now I sound old referencing it).

Here is the cocktail created by 'The Amateur Mixologist' with a cucumber curl ..

Amiture Mixologis 1

Then when it comes to garnishes the world of garnishes has come a long way, from wedges of citrus to hibiscus flowers, edible flowers, feathers, cucumber, burnt citrus, and more.  There is still some tradition though when it comes to cocktails like martini’s (olives), Bloody Mary (celery stick), Margarita (lime), Old Fashioned (Orange peel) you see what I mean.  Little changes like what you might dress the rim of a glass or the type of glass I guess can change in today’s modern day, but a martini with no olives or a bloody mary with no celery is just sacrilege.

What can we expect next time we step out to the trendiest bar in town. No one knows but there is little whispers of trends and personal touches that may be just become new bar trends..

There has been talk of the wellness sector hitting our bars, you’ve surely heard about some recent trends like Tumeric Latte’s and Fermented foods becoming more popular all in Gut Health. Well the cocktail world may start seeing Celery Margarita’s and Fermented Gooseberry Cocktails – recently making an appearance in Nashville and Los Angeles.

Amiture Mixologist 2

Another pic from 'The Amatuer Mixologist' shows the use of Cherry Tomatoes.

The world is forever changing and with sustainability and cutting down on waste in so many areas, behind the bar may just be one area we need to start considering.

Take Fig + Farro in Minnesota, USA – They are a vegan/vegetarian bar that has a real focus on fighting climate change and reducing their carbon footprint so much so that their bartender serves wine and some cocktail on tap, beer from cans cutting down on glass bottles and wasteful packaging, and all spirits and syrups are made either in-house or handcrafted locally.  Pretty impressive I must say!!

Whilst there is a mix in bars of tradition vs modern day cocktails, I see a trend that one day soon most bars won’t be listing any of the traditional options, in particular the more modern bars of today.  I think it will become ‘out with the old and in with the new’, whilst this may be a little sad, customers ordering a Manhattan or a Cosmopolitan probably isn’t in the foreseeable future or at least not on a regular basis.  Maybe this is just coming from a Surfers Paradise setting with the occasional city ventures, or following too many Mixologists on Instagram but it seems this is the way of the future when it comes to cocktails.  More traditional settings I am sure will stay traditional.

No one really knows but I for one am very excited to see all that is to come in the Bar and Mixology Industry.  New bar products and tools are coming online with us here at Hospitality Products.  We have stayed with traditional glassware that is forever popular, Libbey,  Stolzle, Schott Zwiesel, and Bormioli Rocco and then take on new modern trends in glassware like the Jakobsen Design range.  It’s going to be exciting to see these products in use with professionals in the industry, we look forward to seeing and sharing your work.  Cheers !

Molecular Gastronomy :- https://www.hospitalitywholesale.com.au/molecular-gastronomy/

Cocktail Glasses :- https://www.hospitalitywholesale.com.au/beverage-service/stemware/cocktail-shot-glasses/

by Allison Duck - Hospitality Products

http://www.hospitalitywholesale.com.au

 

 

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History of glassware

Thursday, August 2, 2018

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There is very little known about when someone first attempt to make glass however it was believed to have been in Egypt around 4000 years ago.  Historians tell of a Phoenician Sailor who reached a beach near Israel and set up to cook a meal.  He propped a cooking pot on some blocks of ‘natron’ (a naturally occurring alkali substance) they had on board as cargo, and cooked the meal over an open fire. 

Later realizing the beach sand under the fire had ran into a liquid stream and cooled and hardened into glass.  Pretty amazing hey !...  As idealistic as this story sounds it has been thought as an untrue encounter.  Some say the sand from the beach they reference would be too hard for glass making and the fire simply not hot enough. So how was glass first created.?? 

It is now thought that longer periods of experimenting with silica sand, quartz pebbles and an alkali is more likely.  Possibly those that worked with ceramics and metal work were inspired to create glass.

No one knows exactly how but we are thankful to have this unique substance we know and use today ‘glass’.

Enameled glasses appeared in the second half of the 15th century and performed as footed flasks and low beakers. 

The earliest ‘goblet’ representation shows influence from the Italian Renaissance, with rich coloured tones.  

In the 16th century Venice export trade was an extraordinary achievement with clear colorless glass being manufactured and referred to as ‘cristallo’ due to its natural crystal look.  Opaque white glass threads were created soon after and used for decorating the glass.  This was popular however this process then became complex. The threading became embedded into the clear glass used to build the wall of the vessel and soon became a lacy white pattern completely covering the exterior.  Other decorative options came along changing the ‘cristallo’ look, things like dipping the glass in water while hot, rolling it against glass fragments to products a crackled surface and engraving with a diamond point - still popular today.  Glass was now very prevalent and the workers were sworn to secrecy, they were not to leave Venice nor teach their trade to others.  Close by in the town of Altare near Genoa very similar glass was being created and unlike Venice they were encouraged to teach their methods and established glass making houses throughout Europe in France, Spain, Portugal and Germany.  Their glass was so alike to the Venetian style that nowadays it is impossible to tell the difference.

Although a  likeness among glasses of the façon de Venise, certain countries created their own styles worthy of mention,  Spain were not only skilled however also created unique shapes in green glass, followed by Barcelona’s king of enamelled decorations of green and gold.

Diamond point engraving occurred in the Netherlands at this time however it was simple and stiff, it wasn’t until two sisters Anna Roemers Visscher and Anna Maria Van Schurman offered Latin and Greek scratching’s, almost calligraphy and decorative flowers and insects on glassware with such precision that this effect was likened by many.

    

As we reach the 17th century a classic German shape of wine glass is created and known as Krautstrucnk or Cabbage Stalk and surprisingly it survived the 18th centurary and with modifications is still used in present day.  I personally would like to see a modern version as I am not to keen on the look of the original.

In the later half of the 18th century engraving took a slide and technical skill of enameblling was practiced.  Cylinder Drinking Glasses in bright opaque colours was favoured. A Bohemia technique rose in the late18th century known as the ‘gold sandwich glasses’ or Zwischengoldglaser often beakers or two layers of glass fitting one over the other created into a goblet.  This is a familiar look of something I recall us having in our wine cabinet when I was small and I really like the style. I am sure for some even now in present day this would be a style they would favour. 

 

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By the 19th century American pressed glass was an influence towards finer glassware. Fire polishing was used to give a surface of blown glass and designs became more complexed. The New England Glass Company was an employer of many European craftsman, using this pressed glass process, they were producing a wide variety of decorative pieces and later became Libbey Glass Company we still know of today. Cut glass is characterized by a series of facets produced by cutting, this design offers great brilliance and reflecting power. Whilst developed in Germany in the 17th century – the pressed glass method introduced in the 19th century offered a cut glass look in appearance at a lower cost.  Therefore setting a decline for demand of cut glassware.

So here we are in modern day and where are we now with glassware manufacturing. If you search it on Wikipedia you are advised that there are two main methods Float Glass which is a process that produces sheet glass or Glass Blowing that produces bottles and other containers. So what is actually entailed in Glass Blowing I know it sounds obvious but it is truly an art.  Yes you form a bubble by inflating glass but what happens then, well it’s a chemical reaction that allows the molten glass to gradually harden as it loses heat.  There are two forms known as free-blowing and mold blowing.  Free blowing is still used today particularly in artistic creations. Mold blowing has certainly modernized today to allow fast production of glass objects worldwide. In saying that where would be today without the production of glass.  We honestly use glass continually every day, even more so with today’s environmental concerns and the removal of plastics in the home, glass is nontoxic and transparent and simply and easy solution.

Here in Australia we have been making glass since the late 19th century mainly for brewers, winemakers, and preserving jars for companies like IXL Jam Factory. By the 1920’s Australian Glass Manufacturers had glassmaking in Sydney producing crystal cut, pressed, and blown glass even household pyrex.  The glass that we produce and import to use here in Australia is impressive.  To those back in the 17th century and beyond I am sure it is almost space age some of the funky styles of glassware used today.  A newly released range for Hospitality Products is the Jakobsen range, if you are yet to experience this glassware you should check it out (link below).  The range is impressive and full of personality and a glass suitable to everyones taste or requirements. My favourite the Lark and the Fugu.  Pictured here Quido certainly one of the most popular choices. 

Glassware today in the modern world really is an expression and an experience. No longer is it simply a vessel to hydrate from. 

Jakobsen Range

Hospitality Products - Full beverage service

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