Sharing food ideas 

Shared Tables Lunch

As sponsors, we recently attended a lunch hosted by Shared Tables at the renowned Taxi Kitchen in Federation Square.

Shared Tables is a food service organisation who brings people in the hospitality industry together by hosting networking events at restaurants across Melbourne. It is a great way to experience all the amazing food and wine on offer in our magnificent city and connect with people in the industry.
With a focus on culinary trends, innovation and supporting Victorian cookery students, Shared Tables acts as a forum for chefs to exchange ideas in a relaxed environment. University Food Group (UFG) has been a part of Shared Tables since its inception in 1994 and has a long-standing relationship with Gerard Doherty the founder.

Cooked meat on round white plate with brown sauce

At lunch we had the opportunity to showcase our latest range of slow cooked sous vide meats and Loui Marcocci, Director of UFG, shared a few words.

“Our aim is to always be at the forefront of food trends and assist chefs and operation managers in delivering world class protein. The industry is forever changing – I remember years ago delivering half cows, full lambs and pigs to hotels and restaurants. Then I was asked can you bone, roll, put some rosemary in the middle, can you do portion control, larder trims, centre cut, and more. I saw the evolution and desire for industry operators to find more convenient solutions to save time in the kitchen but not to the determinant of quality. So the natural progression for us now is to say “chef how do you want it cooked” and then you can add your own spin on it in your kitchen. It’s not about taking away jobs, its addressing labour and skills shortages and looking at it from an open mind”.

Cooked meat on round plate with cooked greens

Celebrity Chef Shane Delia and owner of the highly successful Maha venues added. “We have a strong partnership with Loui who understands about scale and getting your margins right. You can try to wing it, bluff it or you can work with someone who knows what they are doing like Loui.

“It’s always a balance between getting the best product on the plate every time and making the operational cogs turn more efficiently and consistently. That requires a different set of skills, I will vouch for Loui on that.”