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HEIA(Q) 2017 Prac Day Out: Investigating the chemical properties of food

Home economics and hospitality teachers from Brisbane and surrounding regions gathered at St Thomas More College, Sunnybank on Monday 27 November 2017 for a day of hands-on learning with chefs Reg Morgan and Damian Tiedeman. Participants selected recipes to prepare, which became their morning tea and lunch.

Participants looked at lower-fat and lower-sugar baked products and using alternatives such as coconut syrup and almond butter to create items such as carrot and almond butter slice, and apple wheatgerm muffins. They also sampled kefir, which is said to contain more probiotics than Yakult fermented-milk drink! As an alternative to egg white for meringues, participants made an aquafaba (chickpea water) foam flavoured with saffron and other spices, and served it with crudités.

After morning tea, teams of participants created soft bread rolls and beef tataki, grilling beef and participating in simple pickling techniques. They learned how to confit salmon in minimal oil, a healthy method that maintains nutrient content. They also poached chicken to tender perfection and sampled delicious ‘poke bowls’ of soba noodles, edamame and sous vide eggs. Along the way they learnt some clever tricks to share back at school.

Desserts were created to finish the day—an avocado mousse and a clever chocolate mousse based on Nutella.

Special thanks go to Tessa Lund and Belinda Ingram and, of course, to chefs Reg and Damian, for creating an excellent day out!


HEIA(Q) 2017 Food Science Days for home economics teachers

In November 2017, HEIA(Q) had the opportunity to work with The University of Queensland to offer two days of food science workshops. Initially the program was just for 35 participants participating in two workshops for the day. That increased to 70 participants when the presenters agreed to run each workshop twice on the day. It then increased to 140, when the presenters kindly offered to repeat the program on a second day. The workshops were enthusiastically embraced by HEIA(Q) members and provided great experiences in preparation for the upcoming Senior Food & Nutrition syllabus. The workshops were attended predominantly by HEIA(Q) members as the initial notices about the workshops were only sent to members.

The University of Queensland (UQ) generously supported the two days of workshops. In addition to a cash grant to HEIA(Q), UQ provided funding for the lecturers’ and tutors’ fees, supplied lab coats (that the delegates were able to keep) and paid for consumables. HEIA(Q) thanks UQ for sponsoring the conference and for making it very affordable for HEIA(Q) members.

About the workshops

The workshops were designed to assist with implementation of the upcoming Senior Food & Nutrition syllabus. They were developed by UQ staff in consultation with QCAA Principal Education Officer Penny Braithwaite—who is responsible for the development of the new Food & Nutrition syllabus—and facilitated by UQ lecturers and food experts Dr Nidhi Bansal and Professor Melissa Fitzgerald. The 2.5 hour workshops were:

Workshop 1Demonstrating food product development stages: Guided satay-sauce formulation, facilitated by Dr Nidhi Bansal
The workshop was designed to develop understanding of various stages of food-product development from idea generation to lab-scale prototype manufacture. Delegates explored the fundamental stages of developing a new food product while applying these techniques to develop a satay sauce through guided formulation. The session was planned to include formulation of a product using selected ingredients, laboratory equipment and testing equipment; and sensory analysis and cost formulation on the product.

Workshop 2The interactions between different components in food quality, facilitated by Professor Melissa Fitzgerald
Participants conducted experiments to explore the interactions between different components in food quality. They first explored the effect of different leavening agents on factors of bread quality, and the second explored how different forces and emulsifiers lead to stability of an emulsion.

The event was most worthwhile in providing our members (and the non-members who attended) with a totally different form of professional development from what HEIA(Q) normally offers. It was also a good opportunity to develop links with UQ and for members to experience UQ’s facilities.


HEIA(Q) acknowledges World Food Day 2017: A walk along the river at Teneriffe

In October 2017, a small but determined group of nine foodies took part in a HEIA-organised food-and-beverage walking tour around the beautiful old Brisbane area of the Newstead/Teneriffe peninsular. Apart from being a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, the event acknowledged World Food Day.

Food day 2 croppedUnder the capable guidance of our walking-talking encyclopedia, the group began their afternoon at the small but exquisite boutique manufacturer, Murielle Vuilleumier Swiss Chocolatier. The Austrian host explained how she and Michael, her business partner and husband, had arrived at their present location and where they source their raw materials. Murielle demonstrated some basic chocolate-making techniques and then had to force everyone to sample a range of her delicate and decadent wares!

The next stop was around the corner and up a small hill, into La Macelleria, which looks like but isn’t a butcher shop at all. Its name actually means ‘the butcher’s shop’ in Italian, which is a snippet of this gelateria’s history. Here the host gave an insight into the care and attention that they put into each of their cloched, silky-smooth ice creations. More taste testing was forced upon the group as well as a tub each to go, to see everyone through to the next stop over the hill, around the corner and down the street. There the tour found The London Club Restaurant and Tavern, a delightful little pub overlooking the river. The group relished sitting on high benches, sipping cocktails and sampling a range of delicious tapas as they watched the world go past.

World food day cropped1The final port of call was the Newstead Brewery near the renovated Gasworks precinct. All their brews are made on site and it only seemed fair that many of the six specialist brews were sampled before selecting one of them to consume as a full glass of cleansing ale. The beers were accompanied and complemented by a range of modern, pub-cuisine finger foods.

All in all, the afternoon was a lot of fun, shared with like-minded home economics foodies who were wonderful company. Special thanks go to Tessa Lund for all the work she put in coordinating the day and keeping the rain at bay.