Monday, July 12, 2010

Supporting Local Business Owners !!!

Since starting Laughing Chef ..(technically it was started last December with the launch of the Laughing Chef Christmas treats), I have been on the look out for  business owners. I have found myself walking  into local Organic stores and chatting  to the owners about where and how they started, I always leave feeling like I am part of a club now the “small business owners club” and it is a great feeling.

So in saying that I have listed some amazing business'  and each blog I will include some more local business’ to look out for.

The first business I came across mainly because it is where I received my Remedial massages from and was referred by a friend is called Synergy massage located in Reservoir Victoria. Owned and Operated by Melanie Creek , this is one business lady that deserves to be known.

Melanie is a master at her craft and knows exactly what she is doing and offers all clients a professional and warm yet friendly manner.

I remember the first time I went to get a Remedial Massage and met Melanie and wasn’t sure how good the massage was going to be ( I was a sceptic and still hadn’t had a great remedial massage that made me ohh with “you got the spot”) . However one hour of Melanie working her magic on my back and I can seriously say I have never looked back !!. You can really tell Melanie absolutely loves what she does and this shows as sometimes she can be booked out for weeks so get in quick.

Synergy massage offer therapies, treatments and classes for the mind, body, soul and skin, clients have all of their health and beauty needs met under one roof in a quiet and tranquil setting. Synergy Massage is dedicated to providing all clients with a high standard of professional service, ethics and quality treatment.

Open 4 Days. Closed Sunday, Monday & Tuesday .

Do yourself a favour and get pampered or better yet get a voucher for a friend they will seriously love you for it.

Click on the link to read more about the product and services offered -

The next local business I came across is called Elgaar Farm Dairy. I actually came across this last November as I was desperately looking for Milk in a glass bottle. (Remember the days when the horse and carriage would clop around delivering milk …ooops showing my age ).

Established in 1986, Elgaar Farm  are now recognised as one of Australia’s foremost organic dairy companies.

Situated in the valleys of Tasmania's fertile north, their care for the earth is all part of our philosophy of supplying the freshest, tastiest and healthiest food available. Elgaar Farm’s range includes fresh organic milk (packaged in returnable glass bottles), natural yoghurt, cream, cheese and butter.

Elgaar Farm firmly believe that organic farming principles not only take care of the environment, but also produce healthier and tastier food. Skills of true natural farming, with no need for artificial inputs of pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals are highly valued on Elgaar Farm. Elgaar Farm products are manufactured using only time honoured methods using only the absolute freshest and best ingredients.

The difference with Elgaar Dairies products is that the they include the packaging in the price in the form of a deposit. This means that once you have finished the product, you can simply return the bottle or jar to the place of purchase, and get 20c or 40c cash back! We then wash, sterilise and refill the bottles and jars our customers return. Each bottle and jar averages nine "cycles". Amazing!

Not only do you not pay for something that you would only dispose of, but you end up with a better tasting product, and also help reduce packaging waste.

The deposit for Elgaar Dairies glass containers is 20c for jars and 40c for bottles (milk).

Among the various products one of my favourites is the Elgaar Milk(pic right) which is as fresh and pure as milk can be. Freshly milked every morning, pasteurized, chilled and packaged in glass bottles and hastily sent on its way to you. Elgaar Farm milk is not homogenised, which means that our with full cream milk the cream will rise naturally to the top.

So next time you go to your local supermarket or Organic Store keep an eye out for Elgaar Farm.

Ok the last business I will talk about before including a delicious recipe for you is called DTU Management . DTU Management and Victoria University have combined to create the International Sport Education Program providing students and athletes from around the world the opportunity to study and experience culture in Australia whilst training under the guidance of internationally acclaimed sports coaches which is called ISEP - International Student Education Program.

I caught up with the man behind it all Daniel Trenton (3rd from left) who won the Silver medal at the Sydney Olympics in Taekwondo, was appointed Taekwondo Head Coach for the 2004 Athens Olympics and is now currently running DTU Management - ISEP with the involvement of Victoria University.

Now being a Red Belt in Taekwondo myself I was intrigued at the business concept and chatted  with Daniel Trenton before he jetted off to China for DTU -ISEP business to find out exactly what ISEP was all about.

Daniel advised me that ISEP was about Providing supreme quality, guidance, and support as we offer students and athletes from around the world the best in sport specific education and athletic direction. Students will have a unique opportunity to realise their academic, career and sporting dreams.

ISEP sports specific pathway program caters for Taekwondo students worldwide, including applicants from Korea, Australia, Taiwan, China and many more.

Daniel added that “ Victoria University has expert lecturers and coaches providing the cutting edge of sports education and training for Taekwondo students-athletes. Students will gain access to high performance preparation and coaching in an intensive daily training environment in the lead up to events run by the NSO, University Games and ISEP.”

The comprehensive athletic and education program caters for students from all parts of globe. There have been over 50 Taekwondo students enter the program originating from Korea and Australia with increasing applications from Taiwan, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil and Oceania Countries.

Ending our meeting Daniel mentioned that, “The objective of ISEP is to provide access to the high quality courses that specializes in sports education, training and competition. The course develops students to become effective elite international coaches, efficient and organized sports administrators, successful entrepreneurs and elite sports athletes”

So ISEP delivers a balanced program of education within one of Australia’s leading University’s, training in an intensive daily training environment, and competitions amongst world leading athletes in Olympic style Taekwondo, Poomsae(patterns) and Demonstration.

I mean it cannot get any better than dealing with an Olympic athlete’s and the way Daniel Trenton (pic below) speaks highly of the sport, the people it is a given this business is going only up and beyond. Daniel's  Taekwondo training methods are proven for success. You can instantly see the passion when Trenton speaks and this is evident as his business is only getting stronger.

For information on DTU- ISEP click on the link below.

So you all know that Bastille Day is coming up this Wednesday …I love Bastille day. Actually it reminds me of cooking all day start shift at 8am till 12am and cooking a French feast including pain au chocolat, Brioche, Beef bourguignon and of course the amazing Soufflé.

Next blog I will not only be adding local business’ to check out but it will all about Bastille day and everything French. There will be recipes, French restaurants to check out as well some yummy things I have whipped up!!

So until next time Happy Baking from Laughing Chef !

I will leave you with this recipe it is called a “Tarte au Tantin” I learnt this recipe when I was a 3rd apprentice and loved it then and still do. So easy to make I promise so make it for a pre Bastille day dessert 


Tarte tatin is an absolute classic, created in 1889 at a French hotel run by the sisters Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. This spectacular upside-down tart is rumoured to have been created accidentally by Caroline when she was making an apple pie. Finding that the pan of apples cooking in butter and sugar were beginning to burn, she quickly covered them with pastry and placed the whole thing in the oven. Turning it out once the pasty was cooked, she found to her surprise that the tart was a huge success with the guests. It then became the signature dish of the hotel. Tarte tatin can be made with other fruits such as pears but I love Apple served with Double Crème.


 1 x quantity puff pastry

 4 eating apples (Granny Smith is very good or Golden Delicious you will need about 6 apples)

 125g caster sugar

 100ml water

 25g butter

 1 egg, beaten

 Whipped cream, ice cream or whipped cream with a little icing sugar and cinnamon or Calvados, to serve

1. Make the pastry and allow to chill.

2. Preheat the oven to 200ºC

3. To prepare the apples, peel them with a peeler to keep them in a nice rounded shape, then cut into quarters. Remove the core from each quarter and set aside. Don’t worry if they go brown, and don’t cover in water or they will be too wet.

4. Place the sugar and water in an ovenproof saucepan (20–22cm/8–81/2in diameter ovenproof saucepan) set over a low-medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil the syrup until it starts to caramelise around the edges - about 5 minutes. Do not stir once it has come to the boil otherwise the syrup will crystallise. Once the syrup starts to turn golden, you may need to swirl the pan slightly to even out the caramelisation.

5. Once the syrup is a golden caramel in colour, add the butter and swirl the pan again to distribute it through the caramel.

6. Remove the pan from the heat, and place the apple quarters in a concentric circle around the outside and any remaining pieces in the centre, keeping in mind that the tart will be flipped over when serving. The apples must completely cover the base of the pan; you may need an extra apple!

7. Place the pan back over a medium heat and cook for 10 minutes to slightly caramelise the apples, while you roll out the pastry.

8. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to a round about 2cm (3/4 in) wider in diameter than the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and place the pastry on top of the almost cooked apples. Using the base of a spoon or a fork, tuck the pastry in around the edges of the apples. Brush the pastry with beaten egg then, using a skewer or fork, prick a few holes in the pastry.

9. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples feel cooked when you insert a skewer through the centre.

10. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for just a few minutes before placing a plate on top of the pan and carefully (it is hot!) but quickly flipping it out. Use a plate with a slight lip to catch the delicious juices. Cut into slices to serve. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream or whipped cream with a little icing sugar and cinnamon or Calvados mixed in.

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