Infuse Infuse 10 December 2019 | Page 25

Chef and myself, as the restaurant manager. Restaurant CBD won multiple awards and was highly acclaimed and this led to Luke and I owning and operating three award-winning restaurants in Sydney. By 2004, we had over a 100 staff across three restaurants and we were keen to find a way to inspire and motivate our team; what started as an internal conversation around incentivising our staff quickly developed into a bigger idea and in February 2005 we launched Appetite For Excellence, a program that is now recognised as Australia’s leading and most prestigious national awards program for young hospitality talent. As part of the annual awards program, we created a produce tour for the national finalists, to educate them on Australian produce and ingredients – where they are from, who grows them and how they were produced. That was the first time anything like this had been done for young hospitality professionals and I quickly realised that this type of experience was a great source of inspiration for both growers and chefs. I am also the project manager for the Delicious Magazine Produce Awards, a role I have held for 10 years during which time I’ve witnessed the rapidly growing interest in food provenance. What inspires you to do the work that you do at Straight To The Source? T: We never stop learning no matter our age or experience. If a chef discovers something new or comes back from one of our tours inspired, refreshed, energised and having learnt something they didn’t know prior to coming along, then we’ve done our job. Equally, if the producer gets insight from the chefs and has a platform to share their story and educate the chefs using their ingredients, then we’ve done our job. These positive outcomes give us inspiration to keep creating tailored regional tours and managing the movable parts to make the experience come to life both financially and logistically. article continues overleaf... © Dietitian Connection 25 Infuse | December 2019