Welcome to a Taste of Taste

Brian and I are passionate food lovers - we have created our own food lover's paradise - Taste Gourmet Grocer and Cafe at East Gosford on the NSW Central Coast. It's a gourmet grocer and provedore, a deli and hamper store and an award winning cafe, open 7 days. We'd love you to drop in an say hello - and join in our love affair with fabulous food!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Great savings for you with our new 2011/2012 Calendar!

We’ve created our NEW 2010-11 Calendar and what makes it so special, is that each calendar contains gift certificates valued at up to $450.
These Calendars have been specially designed by us for you, our special Food Club members and are available in a very limited number and for a limited time only. You can buy them for yourself or as a gift!

Each month features one or two special offers which we know will delight you and gives you significant savings. The Calendar is now available right now! We are printing only a very limited number because the offers in the Calendar are so generous.

The Calendar costs just $20 and gives a special 13 months of bonus offers, discounts and free meals valued at over $450. We expect the Calendars to very, very popular - they make a lovely gift - so please come in and secure your calendar.

The calendars are A4 size, printed in full colour with a laminated cover and have a wire spiral binding.

They contain gift certificates totalling over $450 in value and will make a great gift for family and friends (and for yourself!) 

Please ask to see the Calendar when you are next in! (but don't take too long or they might all be gone!)


We're OPEN all over the Long Weekend!

We're open all this Long Weeekend!
Friday 8.30am - 5.30pm    Saturday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Sunday 8.30am - 5.00pm    Monday 9.00am - 4.00pm

Welcome to winter on the Coast. It has been the coldest (and I suspect wettest) May for many years but the good news is that here at Taste we are ready for it!

But before we tell you about June events, a really big thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate our very special 5th birthday during May. We have had a very busy month and we have been thrilled with all the good wishes.

Many of you who came in during the last week of May will have received our birthday gift envelopes from our Birthday Roulette - remember you have until 14 June to return your Birthday Roulette prizes (and even a few days after - we’ll be lenient about this)!

We also have lots of ideas to keep you warm and well fed this winter, beginning in June with our Winter Warmers Month in the Cafe

We have our Winters Warmers Menu packed with great curries, lamb shanks sticky date pudding and great hot chocolates, and it’s not just to eat in the café.

We are stocking the fridges and freezer with cosy comfort foods such as soups, casseroles and curries to eat in, take away and take home.

With MasterChef on everyone’s lips, everyone is wanting great gourmet goodies so come in and see the new products and our gorgeous new hampers.

We’ve also got our free 8 page Master Chef Food and Recipe Guide so make sure you pick up a copy and you can win in our $1600 Master Chef competition - enter in store now!

A reminder too, that we’ll be open each day over the Long Weekend, with great food, friendly service and awesome coffee so make sure you come visit for a leisurely breakfast or lunch or late cake and coffee.

Towards the end of the month we’ll be hand out End of Financial Year Bonuses! These are always very popular and will give you a fun way to finish the Financial year!

Remember, we are open seven days, yes, even Sunday, and it’s warm, cosy and friendly in here!


Brian & Michele

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Coming up in April

The cooler wet Autumn weather is a great excuse to enjoy some comfort food and no one does comfort food better than the Italians. That’s the inspiration for this week’s special menu – our Taste of Italy menu is proving really popular and the slow roasted lamb shanks with more than just a hint of red wine are selling faster than we can cook them. We actually do slow cook them for up to eight hours so they literally fall off the bone! 
We have lots of macarons available too, fresh baked and so delicious, they really are addictive. If you haven’t tried them you really are missing out. We also have special take home packs which feature all seven delicious flavours! Mmmm!
TASTE OF ITALY MONTH -  April is our Taste of Italy month - enjoy all gourmet things Italian! We feature special Italian dishes on our menu, and we’ll have tastings each weekend of all things Italian. Come check out our new Italian foods for you to cook at home: pasta sauces, rustic Italian pasta, olives, tapenades and a new range of olive oils. Try our Autumn Italian Menu with lots of great pizza and antipasto! And in true Italian tradition, as always there is great coffee. 
Slow Roasted Lamb Shank with Mushrooms, Red Wine and Rosemary - A large tender lamb shank, slow roasted in red wine, mushroom, rosemary & tomato sauce with rice
Taste of Tuscany Melt - Basil pesto, salami, roasted capsicum, Spanish onion, sun-dried tomatoes & baby spinach topped with tasty cheese on thick sliced bread
Taste of Naples Supreme Pizza - A crispy individual base topped with pesto, salami, semi dried tomato, Spanish onion, olives, bacon and bocconcini
Taste of Sicily Antipasto Plate - Salami, chargrilled eggplant, semi dried tomatoes, marinated olives, chicken basil penne pasta salad, basil pesto and beetroot dip served with toasted sourdough
Taste of Venice Prawn and Salmon Seafood Pizza - Our crispy individual pizza base topped with avocado, tomato, prawns and mozzarella, finished with smoked salmon, rocket and lime and dill mayonnaise, served with our signature side salad
Mini Choc Dipped Gelato Cones - A selection of mini cones (3) filled with hand made gelato and each one dipped in chocolate! A real Italian treat!
Fig, Honey & Pistachio Ice Cream Stack - A pyramid stack with layers of our fabulous brandied fig, honey and pistachio ice-creams drizzled with preserved figs in syrup

For some time now we’ve been enjoying cooking restaurant quality Atlantic Salmon Fillet at home and they are sooo good, we’ve decided to share them with you. From this week, we have Atlantic Salmon fillets, about 200gms each, premium quality, for just $6.95 per piece. That’s great value - and it’s cheaper than some fish and chip shops are selling battered fish!  The fillets are vacuum packed, frozen and fully filleted. To cook, simply let thaw in the fridge for 3-4 hours then season with salt and pepper, Heat a pan with a dash of quality olive oil and cook skin side down until fish is opaque half thru, then turn and cook other side. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve. Everyone who has tried this great salmon has been back for more! It is a very simple, good value delicious dinner and a great standby to keep in the freezer.

 We’ve also added Barramundi fillets too, these are also about 200gms and can be cooked in the same way as the Salmon. In the next week we’ll be adding Flathead Fillets and Snapper Fillets as well, so start planning some delicious easy meals and in the meantime, come in and try the salmon and barramundi – you’ll be amazed at how good it is!

Pesto Crusted Salmon Fillets
1 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup pesto
1 teaspoon Maldon/Murray River salt crystals
2 salmon steaks, skin on,
steamed broccolini +lemon to serve

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a 6cm deep, 20cm x 28cm (base) baking dish with baking paper. Combine breadcrumbs, pesto and salt in a bowl. Place salmon, skin side down, in prepared dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup crumb mixture over top of each, pressing on lightly with fingertips. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on fish thickness) or until cooked to your liking. Serve with broccolini and lemon wedges.

All the celebrity chefs have their favourites: Jamie’s is Maldon salt (from his beloved Essex); Nigella seems to go for Maldon or other sea salt too; Stefano di Pieri has tied his gondola to Murray River salt; Maeve O’Meara and her Food Lover’s Guide say Australian sea salt is “as good as you can get”; Neil Perry favours sea salt too, but despite their surfing theme, Ben and Curtis mostly go with plain old salt. So what’s with exotic salts?  The slight differences in looks and taste depend on the minute traces of various minerals and on how the different salts are made. Here’s a guide to our favourite salts!

MALDON SEA SALT - Maldon Sea Salt comes from Essex in England, and has large, flaky crystals. It’s made from seawater using only traditional natural methods and is a completely natural product, retaining valuable seawater trace elements such as magnesium and calcium. Maldon now has a smoked salt too! This a great for adding a smokey depth of flavour to everything from steaks to dips!

HORIZON CRYSTAL SALT FLAKES - Horizon Crystal Salt Flakes is an Australian product, also from an underground source of saline water (in northern Victoria). It has a full-bodied natural flavour that leaves no aftertaste or bitterness.

MURRAY RIVER GOURMET PINK SALT FLAKES - Murray River Gourmet Pink Salt Flakes were already a pantry favourite but they leapt to fame as the salt of choice in the Masterchef kitchens. This salt is harvested from pure underground saline waters in Australia's Murray/Darling River region. The naturally occurring minerals create a high quality salt with a unique flavour and appearance. Murray River Salt is tapped from pure underground saline waters that have been present for thousands of years in Australia's Murray Darling River region. To use this delicious salt at the table, place in a small finger bowl and crumble over food.

FALKSALT FLAVOURED SEA SALT -  From Sweden we have a new range of flavoured Salt Crystals! Falksalt make four flavours of Natural Sea Salt crystals, including Natural, Smoke, Rosemary and Chilli. The Rosemary is delicious sprinkled over oven roasted potatoes and the chilli adds a real dash to barramundi fillets. One of the most popular salts at the moment is Himalayan Natural Pint Salt! This salt is mined by hand, and stone ground. It is not processed with chemicals and has no preservatives and additives. As the name suggests it is mined in the mountains of the Himalayas and the colours ranges from white to deep red, mostly coming as natural pink!


EASTER WEEKEND 2011 - We are planning a really fun Easter and this year for the first time, we will be open every day over Easter including Good Friday. This year the holiday break combines with Anzac Day to create a super 5 day long weekend we we’ll be open every day from 9am - 4pm each day!

Celebrate your Easter with a visit to Taste Gourmet Grocer and Café. Bring your family and friends in for breakfast, brunch, lunch or coffee and enjoy our celebration of chocolate.

EASTER GIFT GIVING - We’ll have Easter Eggs, Easter gifts and baskets, a great selection of chocolates, great chocolate tastings, giveaways, competitions and more! We have gift packs of Easter Cup Cakes, macaroons, home style baked biscuits and biscotti and handmade chocolate truffles. We also have handmade dark chocolate clusters and Paddington and Dolci Doro handmade chocolates. Our Easter chocolates will be in store from Monday April 11

SCHOOL HOLIDAY FUN -  It’s also school holidays during April and we have a special promotion for the kids and remember we always have free colouring in!

ANZAC DAY - We will be opening from 9am - 4pm on ANZAC Day, Monday 25 April. All veterans and serving Defence Force personnel will receive their coffees free on ANZAC Day.

COMING UP IN MAY - May is going to be a huge month. We’ll be celebrating our 5th birthday with lots of great activities including competitions, special menus and prize giveaways. AND WE HAVE SOME BIG NEWS AND SOME SURPIRSES TOO! More about that in the coming weeks!

 Plus it’s Mother’s Day too, we’ll have special menus and free gifts for Mum during our special Mum's Week!  And Masterchef 2011 kicks off on May 1 and we’ll have a great Master Chef competition where you can win delicious prizes.

See you soon

Michele & Brian

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The carols are playing, the Christmas lights are twinkling, the Christmas tree is sparkling and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at Taste Gourmet! So, to help you get the Christmas spirit:

You're invited to:
Taste Gourmet's

Join us for a special tasting of our Christmas Cakes, Puddings, Mince Pies, Christmas Sauces, Hams and more, plus see our range of Christmas hampers and; gourmet gifts! Many of our Christmas goodies are in limited supply so shop early to make sure you don't miss out!

We'll have our special Christmas menu in the Cafe (our usual menu will also be available), Sam will be here with live music both days and we'll have tastings all day of our delicious Christmas foods. And if you buy (or get us to create for you) one of our stunning Christmas Gift Baskets (valued at $25 or more), we'll give you a $25 Cafe Gift Voucher which you can add to the hamper or use for yourself! (Did you know that we can create a hamper for you on the spot? You choose what you wish from our shelves and we put it together for you ON THE SPOT, in a lovely basket complete with ribbons and Christmas decorations! You pay for the products you choose plus a small cost usually $5.00 for the basket)

We have literally dozens of new products for Christmas on the shelves and they are selling very quickly.
For Christmas we have a delicious range of hand made Christmas cakes from Taste Gourmet and from Emmaline's Country Kitchen. Also from our own range comes our traditional Christmas Puddings in three sizes, Rum Balls and three varieties of hand made Shortbread. We have really delicious Mince Pies, some gift packed and some in take home packs. And from West Gosford's own Limar Nougat, we have a gorgeous selection of French style Nougat in three flavours. We will have hand made White Christmas, White Chocolate Cranberry & Pistachio Fudge and much more. We have a range of nuts, nibbles and choc coated nuts perfect for Christmas entertaining and gift giving. For celebrating, we have some great suggestions. How about Nicholson Fine Foods Essence of Wild Hibiscus, or Kurrajong Foods Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup. Fancy a Christmas cocktail, try our new range of Kicks Cocktail Mixes - just add water, alcohol and freeze! From Emmaline’s Country Kitchen there is Rocky Road and Dark Chocolate Prunes and Rocky Road, as well as Milk Chocolate Ginger. We also have a new selection of the Belgian chocolates and truffles and a lovely range of gift boxed biscuits. We now have the full range of hand made jams from Alpine Berry Farm - there are more than a dozen flavours including marmalades. Plus there’s heaps more so drop in soon!

 We can make it easy for you to entertain effortlessly this Christmas.
We have great gourmet platters at great value prices, making your life easy. Just call ( you can order and pay by phone to make it even more convenient) or come in and we’ll have it all ready for you to pick up - freshly made with our best quality meats cheese and antipasto, taken directly from our own kitchen & pantry. But booking close off on December 15 so you need to talk with us soon.
Pick up a copy of our Taste Gourmet Platters brochure in store or check out our web site www.tastegourmet.com.au for platters details and pricing. Please don’t hesitate to ask our staff if you have any questions.


"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas;
Soon the bells will start,
And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart"

Brian and Michele

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eat like a Master Chef - we have Macarons!

Yes, you read that correctly. The most sought after food of the year - MACARONS - as seen on MasterChef, are now available every day at Taste Gourmet Grocer & Cafe to eat and take home!

We are really thrilled to tell you that we have a stunning range of MACARONS baked fresh for us in six flavours:
Pure Dark Chocolate
Rhubarb & Apple
Rose Water & Strawberry
White Chocolate

The MACARONS will be available to eat in the Cafe, or to take home, but be quick because we have a limited supply and they will not last.

Now in store we have lots of great ingredients you saw used on Master Chef:
Vine leaves, Truffle oil, Ghee (clarified butter), Vinocotto, Verjuice, Fenugreek seeds, Wasabi paste, Harissa pasta, Persian fairy floss (in 6 flavours), Red wine veal jus, quality stock, Sea salt flakes, Pomegranate Molasses, Rose Water, Orange Blossom Water, Mougrabieh (extra large) & Israeli Couscous, even spatchcock, duck breast, duck maryland and quail.

So, if you are stocking the pantry here's what else we've added to the shelves
Horseradish, Gelatine Sheets, Chestnuts, 00 Farina Flour (for pizza base), Semolina Flour (for pasta making), Callebaut Chocolate (milk & dark) and Duck Fat.
Billingtons English un-refined sugars including light molasses, dark muscavado and cane sugar
Wasabi Paste, Rice Wine Vinegar, Seaweed, Udon Noodles, Rice Paper, Nori Rice Seasoning, Palm Sugar, Soba Noodles, Rice Noodles, Black bean Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, Honey Soy Marinade
Hot Chilli Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Plum Sauce, Sweet Soy Sauce, Sweet & Sour Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Cumquat Marmalade Rhubarb, Raspberry & Vanilla Jam, Bonne Maman Fig Jam, Quince Jam and Cherry Jam, Wild Rosella Jam, Cumquat Marmalade, Orange, Lemon & Mandarin Marmalade, Seville Orange & Whiskey Marmalade.
Spices and herbs including: Bay Leaves, Oregano Leaves, Italian Herbs, Green Cardamom Pods, Cumin Seeds, Coriander Seeds, Habanero Chillies, Dried Thai Chillies, Chilli Flakes, Chilli Powder, Black Peppercorns Brown Cardamom Pods, Garam Masala, Mixed Spice, Mustard Seeds
(Remember, this isn’t all that we have, it’s just SOME of the NEW products now available)!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do you need some warming up too?

As I am writing this on Friday night it is dropping down to 10 degrees outside, and I am glad to be warm and cosy here in the café. I’m also thinking about the lunch I have enjoyed of tender Butter Chicken Curry and fragrant moreish Thai Yellow Duck Curry, both of which are on our menu and part of our Take Home gourmet range.
We’ve got a big range of winter warmers such as curries, soups, tagines and slow cooked meals like lamb shanks, to enjoy here in the Café, or to take home and re-heat. Here's a "taste" of our selection: Italian Beef Lasagne, Pumpkin, Spinach and Ricotta Lasagne, Slow Roasted Lamb Shanks with Red Wine and Mushroom Sauce, Butter Chicken Curry, Lamb Rogan Josh, Beef Madras Curry, Moroccan Chicken and Chickpeas, Thai Green Chicken Curry, Thai Red Beef Curry, Thai Yellow Curry with Roast Duck, Potato & Leek Soup, Roast Pumpkin Soup, Pea & Bacon Soup, Creamy Mushroom Sauce, Italian Beef Bolognaise Sauce, Classic Napoli Sauce, Chilli Beef Sauce and much more!
A special thanks for all the great feedback about our totally revamped gourmet grocer section with new layout and new shelves, and hundreds of new products. If you've been searching for some hard to get ingredients, make sure you pop in or call because most times we'll either have what you need or we can get it for you. We’ve been looking after a lot of budding Master Chef’s who are whipping up a storm at home in the kitchens.
By the way, speaking of MasterChef, we still have copies of our free 8 page Master Chef Food and Recipe Guide so make sure you pick up your copy and you can win in our $1500 Master Chef competition - enter soon! The show is down to the final ten and heading towards the climax so there are only a couple of weekes left to get your votes in and maybe win the great prize on offer.
And here's anothe great reason to come see us this week: Brian is feeling generous and he's handing out his End of Financial Year Reward which entitles you to a free meal. You need to make a purchase in the shop or cafe to get one, and he'll stop handing them out on Friday so be quick.
In the Café, we’ve had increasing requests for more low gluten options so we’re creating a special low gluten menu, which will be available on request from this coming Friday. And despite Australia's sad early exit, we're still excited about the World Cup, so our delicious Taste of the World Cup menu with food representing lots of the World Cup finalists countries is still available.
We’ll also be celebrating France’s Bastille Day on July 14 with a special French inspired menu.
We’ve again been nominated in two upcoming awards: the Food Channel’s national I LOVE FOOD Awards and the Central Coast Express Advocate Awards (We’ve twice won this award for Best Café). We’d love to have your vote - we’ll be emailing you details on how to vote as soon as voting opens.
And just a quick reminder that we are in the Entertainment Book for Central Coast and Hunter and that’s good news if you purchase a book from your local school or fundraiser. Using a voucher from the book gets you a free meal to the value of $30 when you buy and pay for a second meal.
Remember, it’s warm, cosy and friendly in here!
Brian & Michele

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Welcome to winter on the Coast.
Big news this month – we have totally revamped our gourmet grocer section with new layout and new shelves, and hundreds of new products.
With MasterChef on everyone’s lips, we’ve has a gourmet revolution so come in and see the new look and all the new products.
We’ve also got out free 8 page Master Chef Food and Recipe Guide so make sure you pick up a copy and you can win in our $1500 Master Chef competition - enter soon!
We also have lots of ideas to keep you warm and well fed this winter, beginning in June with our Winter Warmers Month in the Cafe
But before we tell you about June events, a really big thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate our very special 4th birthday during May. We have had a very busy month and we have been thrilled with all the good wishes.
Many of you who came in during the last week of May will have received our special $200 gift certificates gift or you may have envelopes from our Birthday Roulette - remember you have until 14 June to use your Birthday Roulette prizes (and even a few days after - we’ll be lenient about this)
It’s our Winter Warmers Month - as winter approaches, we are stocking the menus and the freezer with cosy comfort foods such as soups, casseroles and curries to eat in, take away and take home.
The Soccer World Cup kicks off in South Africa on June and we’ll be joining in the fun supporting the Socceroos with flags, balloons, our special Taste of World Menu and your Ticket to the World Cup promotion.
A reminder too, that we’ll be open all over the Long Weekend, with live music on Sunday and Monday, so make sure you come visit for a leisurely breakfast or lunch or late cake and coffee
Remember, it’s warm, cosy and friendly in here!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Tribute to Mums

One of the most special celebrations for the year is Mother’s Day and Sunday 9 May will be a really special day in the Café. In fact, we think Mums are so special, we’ll be having Mum’s Weekend with a special Mum’s menu, free gifts and more. There’ll be live music both days from 12.30pm.

It Mum’s Weekend in the Café
We have a Special Mother’s Day menu
Every Mum gets a free Taste Gourmet gift certificate to the value of $25 plus a FREE ROSE (thanks to A Dozen Roses at East Gosford)

Things Mum Would Never Say
"How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far back?"
"Yeah, I used to skip school a lot, too"
"Just leave all the lights on ... it makes the house look more cheery"
"Let me smell that shirt -- Yeah, it's good for another week"
"Go ahead and keep that stray dog, honey. I'll be glad to feed and walk him every day"
"Well, if Rahul's mamma says it's OK, that's good enough for me."
"The curfew is just a general time to shoot for. It's not like I'm running a prison around here."
"I don't have a tissue with me ... just use your sleeve"
"Don't bother wearing a jacket - the wind-chill is bound to improve"

Mother's Dictionary of Meanings
Dumbwaiter: One who asks if the kids would care to order dessert.
Feedback: The inevitable result when the baby doesn't appreciate the strained carrots.
Full Name: What you call your child when you're mad at him.
Grandparents: The people who think your children are wonderful even though they're sure you're not raising them right.
Independent: How we want our children to be for as long as they do everything we say.
Puddle: A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes into it.
Show Off: A child who is more talented than yours.
Sterilize: What you do to your first baby's pacifier by boiling it, and to your last baby's dummy by blowing on it and wiping it with saliva.
Top Bunk: Where you should never put a child wearing Superman jammies.
Whodunit: None of the kids that live in your house.

Dedicated to our Mums: Heather & Estelle

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Very exciting April at Taste Gourmet

We started April with a very busy Easter and a fabulous response from all of you to our great new coffee from Toby’s Estate. It’s true: the Central Coast's coffee is now even better!
We’re giving our baristas even more training to make sure your coffee is the best it can be. We’re also enjoying a bigger, better and more beautiful coffee machine, a sleek black Italian beauty!

We have lots happening this month, April is our Taste of Italy month - enjoy all gourmet things Italian! We feature special Italian dishes on our menu, and we’ll have tastings each weekend of all things Italian.

We’ve put together a fabulous prize pack which you could win for your Mum this Mother’s Day. The prize includes a gourmet gift basket and lunch for 6 at Taste Gourmet, goodies from Magnolia Home & Gift, roses from A Dozen Roses, a makeover & photo shoot from Imagine Images, luxurious massage from Hair & Beauty Central, gym membership from Planet Fitness, hair cut & treatment from Celebrity Hair & Fitness and more! It all adds up to a total prize value of over over $1400! The prize will be drawn the Thursday before Mother’s Day!
Just tell us why YOUR MUM IS THE BEST and the best entry will win Enter in store right now!

Speaking of great food, IT’S BACK! Master Chef returns with the 2010 season premiering on Channel 10 on April 19th. We are very excited and we know you will be too, because we are celebrating with a Master Chef competition with a prize so good you too will become a Master Chef! In fact, we’ll help you discover your inner Master Chef, just by entering the competition.

It’s also school holidays during April and we have a special promotion for the kids.

We will be opening from 9am - 5pm on ANZAC Day, Sunday 25 April. All veterans and serving Defence Force personnel will receive their coffees free on ANZAC Day.
We will open on Monday 26 April (which is the official Anzac Day Public Holiday but not the commemorative day) from 9am to 4pm.

In May we’ll be celebrating our 4th birthday with lots of great activities including competitions, special menus and prize giveaways. And it’s Mother’s Day too, we’ll have special menus and free gifts for Mum during our special Mum's Week!

We’ve been making our website easier to use, adding more information and menus so check it out: http://www.tastegourmet.com.au/

Many of you have been enjoying our fun Friday nights with dinner and live music, remember you can also just pop in for a coffee or takeaway too. There’s great food and coffee, relaxed comfortable atmosphere and the cool sounds of Sam Bannerman playing fabulous acoustic guitar and laid back blues, soul and pop.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Easter Thursday 8.30 - 5.30
Easter Friday CLOSED
Easter Saturday 8.30 - 4.00
Easter Sunday 8.30 - 5.00
Easter Monday 9.00 - 4.00

We love Easter, it's a great time to spend time with family and friends, to indulge in great food and fabulous company, to enjoy some great leisure time and, yes, OK, indulge in some chocolate without too much guilt! We're inviting to to spend some of your Easter with our Taste Gourmet family, our fabulous friendly staff, our lovely customers and oue special brand of food, coffee and live music.
We've got the Easter spirit, so please come celebrate your Easter with a visit to Taste Gourmet Grocer & Café. Bring your family and friends in for breakfast, brunch, lunch or coffee and enjoy our celebration of chocolate. We’ll have visits each day from the Easter Bunny, a special Easter menu with Easter Lamb, Easter seafood and our special Chocoholics Menu, Easter Eggs, free tastings, competitions where you could win a $50 Easter Gift Certificate and more and every child gets a free Easter Egg.
If you are travelling away this Easter please be safe. If you are staying in town, why not come in a join us, bring your family and friends and we’ll celebrate Easter together!
Here's what's happening over Easter!

CELEBRATE EASTER WITH US - We’ll be open over the Easter long weekend - Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We are closed Good Friday.

MEET THE EASTER BUNNY - The Easter Bunny will be here on Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday

ENJOY GREAT FOOD AND CHOCOLATE - We have a selection of Easter Chocolates, Easter Eggs and Bunnies in store and we’ve created some very special Easter Baskets, we also have our new Autumn menu and a special Easter menu with lamb, seafod and chocolate - see below for details.

TOBY'S ESTATE COFFEE - We are getting a great response to our Toby's Estate Coffee - we have had some great compliments and we really are trying hard to make the Coast's best coffee even better! We also have Toby's Estate Fairtrade Organic Coffee. And yes, you can buy the beans from us!

GREAT LIVE MUSIC ALL WEEKEND! - For your Easter entertainment, Sam Bannerman will be here making music with his guitar on Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday afternoon. .

EASTER KIDS COLOURING COMPETITION - Fun Easter colouring in for the kids - and every kid over Easter gets a free Easter Egg!

Get all the details here Whats Happening

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Inspiration from the Best!

I was fortunate in the past few days to spend some time with some of the best and most innovative restaurant owners and chefs in Australia. It was a great opportunity to find out what is happening on the broader food scene - and it is not often you get spend time with people of this calibre. In particular I was thrilled to meet and talk with people such as Sydney chef and restaurant owner Matt Kemp about his beautiful two-hat restaurant Restaurant Balzac in Randwick.
I've been a fan for quite a while now and I love Matt's approach - his restaurant philosophy is simple – sensational food at affordable prices packaged in a suburban location. His food and restaurant has attracted some of the best reviews I've read. Brian and I am looking forward to celebrating my approaching birthday with a visit to Restaurant Balzac for Matt's wonderful degustation menu and matching wines!
It is always exciting to spend time with people so very passionate about food and service and I came back very inspired by his committment to always giving his customers the best food and dining experience that he can. And although our food is more modest, that's what we work hard to do here as well.
It's not often that you get to be in the room with a two hat chef (actually there were several very highly acclaimed chefs in the room) and I found a whole new level of inspiration which I am applying to our new menu.
One of the biggst trends in dining now is share plates and tapas style food and although we have had share plates for a while now, our new menu will see a special share plates and modern tapas style section to offer you an even great choice of great food.

Also exciting for us is a recent review from the website http://www.urcaferulz.com/. Thanks guys - it was very nice to get such great feedback!

Taste was recently awarded the 2009 True Local Business Awards Café of year. So the question is, did they deserve to win? We decided to put them to the test on the day after boxing day and went boldly to have breakfast. First impressions of the ambiance etc were good. The shop is airy and well laid out and the whole gourmet grocer feel reminded of the Red Hill district in Brisbane. The feeling is one of a café/grocer the buzzes with exciting and unique food ideas. A big sign, hanging at the door invited us to take a seat, because they have table service, yay!! Bonus points there. We were greeted quickly by a waitress who was genuinely happy to be there and wanted to serve us. She took our order and even thanked us for it. The coffee arrived in timely fashion. The Amanti bean is not a very commonly used bean around here and I had come to think of it as second grade, however Taste managed to espress the flavour from the bean very well. While the flavour wasn’t bold, it was woody and different and satisfying. The food was delivered by a different waitress who was even more sincere and thanked us again, during the meal she returned to check that everything was good and after the dishes were cleared she came back to check if we wanted to order any thing else. Hallelujiah, real service at last, I hear the trumpets sounding!!! While we are discussing the food, the quality was great, the portions were just right and it was presented nicely, nothing flash, just nice and tidy. So it would appear that Taste Gourmet Grocer and Café deserves the award of Café of the Year 2009. In fact I would even vote for them myself. Congratulations Taste.You do it the way it should be done. 8.9 out of 10.

A reminder, our new menu will be happening in the next week or two - stay tuned for the launch!
Oh, and if you are inspired to visit Restaurant Balzac, check out their website complete with menus! www.restaurantbalzac.com.au

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


The popularity of great hand made cheese is expanding rapidly. It’s a global demand for interesting cheeses with authentic flavour and character and there are now so many in the fridges it can be hard to choose.

Here at Taste Gourmet we select the best authentic artisan cheeses from Australia’s small but exciting farmhouse cheese makers. The cheeses we stock are created by wonderful traditional skills - we wanted you to meet a couple of the passionate and inspiring characters who make them.

We asked Woodside Dairies in South Australia and Binnorie Dairies in the Hunter Valley to tell us more about how their cheeses are made.

We'll feature Binnorie Dairies in this blog and Woodside Dairies in our next blog.

Binnorie is owned by Simon and Sally Gough, Simon set up the Dairy about seven years ago.
Binnorie is in the Pokolbin wine region, Hunter Valley. They specialise in fresh style cheeses made from both cow and goat milk.
Binnorie has a simple philosophy - do it well or not at all. Opened in 2003, there range of specialty cheeses are already considered a benchmark in the industry, combining textures and flavours rarely seen in the Australian food landscape. By focusing on fresh style products that can be used in a myriad of dishes, Binnorie products endeavour to inspire both chefs and home gourmets alike to new levels of creativity.
Simon Gough is the cheese maker and we asked him to share some secrets of cheese making with us.
Why did you start making these products?
When I first started making cheese around 15 years ago, it seemed to me that cheese platters were becoming less and less popular, so I concentrated on making cheeses that could be used in dishes rather than just at the end of the meal. We have a core range of around 20 to 25 products, but regularly have a bit of a play with other special orders.
What makes your products special?
The milk we use is the same as the milk that heads off to the large processors. Where our product differs is that we combine some technical expertise (I have a degree in Microbiology) with some very traditional recipes that I have picked up while working in factories in Europe (and backpacking through Syria). One other factor that I believe is important is to concentrate on textures - a small change in texture can make a major change to how the palate picks up flavours.
What is your favourite product?
I have a number of products I really enjoy, but it depends on what I am using them for. I would choose the Marinated Fetta to put through a salad, Duetto (a blend of Gorgonzola and Mascarpone) as a dessert style and the Washed Rind to sit down with some pate and a glass of wine.
What’s the best thing about being a cheese maker?
What I enjoy most is creating products that can be used as part of somebody's dish. It gives me a buzz to hear when people have used my cheeses as a base ingredient to create a new and different taste sensation - e.g I have had one chef stuff my Labna balls with an olive, cover in Japanese breadcrumbs and deep fry as a finger food, another use the duetto to make a blue cheese icecream and served this with poached pears. Whilst it is enjoyable to create new products, it is far more pleasing to me to help others in their creativity.

Simon gave us this recipe; he says it is a simple dish, but the heat from the mushrooms slightly softens the fetta and really brings out the flavour. A great side dish or a really indulgent breakfast!

Binnorie Dairy Marinated Fetta
200 gms Field Mushrooms
2 teaspoons Garlic
50 gms Butter
Baby Spinach Leaves
Flat leaf Parsley

De-stem the field mushrooms. Soften butter and mix with garlic. Top mushrooms with garlic butter
Place in oven or under the grill until soft . Top with chopped Marinated Fetta and some chopped continental parsley. Place on some baby spinach leaves and serve.

The average Aussie eats 12 kilograms of cheese a year, but imagine how much more we could get through if we didn't have to throw it out when it dries up or goes mouldy.
The best way to store hard cheeses, such as cheddar, is to wrap them loosely in plastic wrap.
Soft cheeses, such as brie and camembert, need to breathe, so wrap them in a damp cloth or greaseproof paper. If you're planning on using soft cheeses within a couple of days of purchasing them, you can store them in the paper or plastic wrap they came in.
Keep fresh unripened cheeses and stretched curd cheeses, such as ricotta and haloumi, in the brine or oil they're sold in.


Australia has sent it’s biggest team ever to Vancouver for the Winter Olympic Games.

We’re having two weeks of celebrations to encourage you to support our Aussie team with some fun promotions and a great Canadian inspired menu! Our Winter Games promotion is now underway We want you to get right behind our Aussie athletes!

TO GET YOU PREPARED, we’re handing out the Taste Gourmet Winter Games Ticket.

Bring your ticket back in any time during the Winter Olympics and you will win a Gold, Silver or Bronze prize - guaranteed!

Each level has it’s own great prize - free goodies from our Canadian Menu which will be running throughout the Games:
WIN Gold: FREE main meal
WIN Silver: FREE sweet treat
WIN Bronze: FREE coffee

Our Taste of Canada Menu is now availabe with lots of great dishes!
So make sure you come in and collect your ticket NOW, so you are ready for the fun and games of the Vancouver Games, bring it back during the Games, and win great prizes.


This glorious summer weather is just perfect for a romantic picnic for two! And now, you don't have to worry about the food, or even the picnic hamper. We've got it all organized for you!

We’ve expanded our great catering menu and added a special new section - you can now order and enjoy a delightful picnic basket - we supply great fresh delicious food and you can even use our great new picnic sets.

Picnics can be prepared for Two or Four or more people.

All foods will be packed in our special Picnic Hamper Carry Basket. We also include our Deluxe Picnic Set with shoulder strap, stylish plates, cutlery, wine goblets, salt and pepper shakers and a wine/bottle opener. A deposit is required for use of our picnic carry basket and set, which fully refunded upon return.

OR We can also pack your food in re-useable insulated bags (which are yours to keep) and provide plastic plates, cutlery, napkins and glasses.


Just out of our production kitchen are new batches of Green Tomato Pickles, made with our own home grown tomatoes.

We've been growing a bumper crop of smaller tomatoes which we have been picking wheile still green and cooking right away to make our pickles.

This is my grandmother’s recipe from the 1920’s and is really fabulous. The only change we've made to the recipe is to reduce the somewhat extravagant amounts of salt, otherwise it's just like Nan made it.

Our green tomato pickles are bottled and sold under our own label and are available for tasting on our new tasting table in store from this week!

Serving suggestions: Fabulous teamed with ham off the bone, rare roast beef, corned beef, or chicken.
Try serving over warm chicken skewers or add sour cream for a moreish dip.
Serve as an accompaniment to barbecued or roasted poultry, meat or fish.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Holidays at Taste Gourmet

Happy New Year to all of our friends and customers. It's been a great year here for us, winning Central Coast Café of the Year, and introducing live music on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.
We’ve also continued to have the support of you, our loyal customers, and we’ve continued to gain new customers and friends. We have also been joined by some truly awesome staff and we feel very grateful to be part of this wonderful community.
To celebrate the New Year, we have a free gift for every customer in our always fun No Peeking promotion. (have you got your free gift yet?) See below for more!
To celebrate the holidays we have our holiday seafood special menu available, just perfect for holiday indulgence.
We are having a stocktake sale from now to 14 January. Discounts will range from 20%-50% on selected items.Enjoy the holidays and drop by and see us!
We are closed New years Day then normal trading resumes, and we’ll have live music every Sunday afternoon and Friday night too!
We thank you all for your support and look forward to serving you throughout 2009.
We wish you all a safe and happy holiday and a prosperous and happy New Year.

Michele and Brian

What's Happening at Taste:

Now to 14 January
New Year Stocktake Sale
We still have a few goodies left from Christmas and we are having a stocktake sale on these and other goodies from now to 14 January.

Now to 14 February
Your Free Gift - No Peeking
We really appreciate your support throughout the year and we have a special gift for you! We are running our very popular NO PEEKING Promotion again right now.

6 to 26 January
Summer Holiday Seafood Menu
To celebrate the long summer days, join us to enjoy our Holiday Seafood Specials Menu (we will have our usual Menu as well). We will feature great fresh seafood, with our seafood platter, prawn and salmon stack, seafood salad and surf & turf gourmet pie!.

Now to 26 January
Buy Central Coast’s Own Gourmet Tastings
Want to take home some of our own locally made Central Coast gourmet food? Check out our tasting table for Taste Gourmet’s own hand made Central Coast Gourmet food - free tastings daily!

23 to 26 January
Australia Day Long Weekend
On the Australia day long weekend, (22-26 January) we will have five days of Aussie food tasting, recipes and Australia Day menu specials.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Christmas is almost here and we got our present early with a win in the Central Coast Business Achiever Awards for Best Café. We were thrilled to win again (it’s the 2nd time in 3 years) and very excited. We want to thank our awesome staff - definitely the best on the Coast - and all of you who support us and voted for us!
We’ve got a special reward for you, we’ve voted YOU the Best Customers on the Central Coast so drop in a collect your Best Customer reward.
And we also excited because Christmas is almost here and we have everything you need for a great Christmas - great food, great gourmet gifts and a great place to shop and relax.
We have a great special Christmas menu featuring your favorite Christmas seafood - come in a try oour delicious generous ocean Tasting Platter, our Christmas tasting Plate with turkey ham and prawns and our special new Prawn, Smoked Salmon & Avocado Stack. Mmmmm!
To make it easier, we are open for dinner, coffee, takeaway and late night shopping on Friday nights. And we have live music with Sam Bannerman from 5pm Fridays.
Whether you are planning a big family get together, a casual or small intimate Christmas, Taste Gourmet Grocer will have all your Christmas food right up until Christmas Day!
And once again this year, we've written our Taste Gourmet Essential Christmas Food and Gift Guide. The Guide is FREE and has all our great Christmas food, gift suggestions, hampers, recipes and essential tips to make your Christmas fabulous and hassle free!
Now available in store is our Christmas range - Christmas cakes, traditional puddings, panforte, shortbread, mince pies, rum balls, hand made White Christmas, Gingerbread, Turkish Delight, Shortbread and much more.
We’re creating a range of hampers in store and you can also select from our shelves and we’ll make yours on them spot for you. And we can deliver them anywhere in Australia!
To give you more time and eat and shop, we’ve responded to your requests and we’ll now be open until 5pm on Saturday and Sundays. And we have live music Sunday afternoon from 12.30.
We’re also open almost every day over the holidays (just closed for the public holidays).
From all of us to all of you, we wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and a sparkling New Year.


Now to Christmas Eve:
Monday - Thursday 8.30am - 6pm
Friday 8.30am - 9pm (open for dinner, shopping, coffee & takeaway)

Christmas Eve - Thursday 24 December 8am - 5pm

Christmas Day - closed
Boxing Day - closed

Sunday 27 December 9am - 5.00pm
Monday 28 December 9.30am - 3.30pm Tuesday 29 December 9am - 4pm Wednesday 30 December 9am - 4pm New Year's Eve - Thursday 31 December 9am - 3pm

New Years Day - Closed

Saturday 2 January 8am - 5pm
Sunday 3 January 8.30am - 5pm

Normal Trading resumes
Monday 4 January 8.30am - 6pm

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Taste Gourmet’s Holiday Essentials Kitchen Planning Guide

To make the season a bit brighter and a little easier, we've collected some of our favourite all-purpose tips to help you better enjoy your time in the kitchen this holiday season.

Start with a Clean Slate
Before bringing home your holiday groceries, it's best to de-clutter your kitchen, pantry, freezer and refrigerator. Finishing off leftovers and discarding past-its-prime produce will leave room for all of your fresh holiday favorites. Cleaning your kitchen counters to ensure plenty of work space is helpful too.
Checking It Twice
Review your recipes and check your pantry carefully to help create an extensive shopping list.
The more items you pick up on your first few visits means fewer added trips later on when the shops are really busy.
The Right Tools for the Job
Cooking for more than your household this holiday? Additional guests equal more food, meaning larger pots may be needed along with extra dishes and utensils. Take stock of your supply and pick up or borrow any needed tools before you start cooking.
Make Ahead
Cooking ahead could mean the difference between harmony and havoc. You can start your holiday meal a week in advance, giving you more time to enjoy family and friends and less last minute stress. Desserts are often perfect for making ahead and roasted vegetables, casseroles and stuffing can all be fully or partially prepared ahead of time as well.
Think Big
Sometimes you may be using the same ingredients in various recipes - onion in the stuffing as well as in your favorite casserole, for example. Review your recipes and prepare all of the onion, garlic, cranberries, nuts, etc. at the same time.
Everybody Does Their Share
Cleaning up is easiest when you have help and when you keep up with it as you cook. Try taking a clean-up break every 30 or 45 minutes. Enlist a family member to help (cookie bribes might be necessary) and tackle the job together. Remember that added guests can mean added garbage too. Have clearly labeled recycle containers available and place multiple garbage receptacles strategically around the dining and kitchen areas.
Maximizing Oven Space
Dishes competing for oven space can be tricky. Here are a few tips:
Adjust cooking temperature and time for dishes such as root vegetables and stuffing to find an appropriate common temperature. In general, foods in glass and ceramic baking dishes can be cooked at 15-20 degrees lower than what a recipe calls for. When cooking a lot of dishes in the oven at the same time, make sure to leave enough space between dishes for hot air to circulate.
While the turkey, ham, roast or other meat is resting before carving, warm prepared casserole dishes, vegetables and rolls in the hot oven. Try roasting potatoes, warming casseroles or even roasting the turkey on your barbeque.
Thank Goodness for Leftovers
One of the joys of being the holiday host is having delicious leftovers available for subsequent meals. Here are a few tips to help make sure all of your wonderful food goes to good use. Clear the table and put the leftovers away as soon as you finish eating. Prepared food shouldn't remain out longer than two hours to ensure food safety.
Share the wealth. Have disposable containers available to easily pack leftovers to send home with your guests. If you stuff your turkey, be sure to remove the stuffing before storing the turkey leftovers. In general, refrigerated leftovers should be used within four days. Too much for that time frame?
Freezing is a perfect solution. Frozen leftovers will have the best quality if used within two to four months.
Be sure to properly seal leftovers in airtight containers before freezing in order to avoid freezer burn. Consider storing leftovers in portion-size containers to ease reheating. Take your leftovers and make new, exciting dishes from them

For first-timers or seasoned pros, putting an elaborate holiday meal on the table for family and friends can be daunting, to say the least.
Not to worry, we’ve included some of our favorite tips for Meal Planning for serving a wonderful meal while staying calm, cool and collected.

  • Make Lists: Santa's not the only one who makes lists. It can be challenging to keep all the details of your holiday meal in your head, so we suggest that you get into the habit of creating lists and checking them twice. Write your lists at least two weeks ahead of time, allowing you to add more items as they pop up. Here are a few quick suggestions:
  • Guest List: Write down your guest list so you have an accurate idea of how many servings you need to prepare - then add a few extra servings for last-minute guests and leftovers. As you select your recipes, review for serving size and double or triple the recipes as needed.
  • Menu: One of the most fun lists to create! Write down all of your traditional favorites and any new twists you want to try. After the meal, you can come back and write notes to yourself about what worked and what you would change for next year.
  • Shopping List: With menu and recipes in hand, making up your shopping list is a breeze. Remember to check your spice drawer for any holiday favorites you need such as sage, thyme, cinnamon and nutmeg. Dried spices lose their potency and freshness within six months to a year from the date they are first opened, so spices you used last year may need to be replaced.
  • To-Do List: This one should include items such as "create a centerpiece" and "polish the silver" and "vacuum the house." Write this one up in time to get a couple of things crossed off every day for the week or two leading up to the big day.
  • Cooking Plan: Looking at your menu, put together a two or three day cooking plan. What items can be prepared ahead without a loss of quality? Cooking a turkey? Make sure to plan time for thawing. Also, plan ahead for Christmas Eve dinner so you can focus all of your cooking energy on preparing holiday dishes.
  • Accept Help:There seems to be a false perception that if you host the big meal, you have to prepare everything yourself. Not so. Big holiday dinners are all about sharing good food with family and friends and the stress of constant cooking need not be a side effect!
  • Practice Makes Perfect:This adage couldn't ring truer than when it comes to planning a big holiday meal. If you are planning to prepare new dishes, a practice run may be in order.

Three Citrus and Mustard Glazed Whole Ham
Serving size: Serves 12 with lots of left overs
Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • 6-8 kg Simply the Best Leg Ham on the Bone
  • 1.5 cup Taste Gourmet’s Three Citrus Lime Lemon and Orange Christmas Marmalade
  • 4 teaspoons Simon Johnson Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • (Ingredients in bold available at Taste Gourmet)
  • Preheat the oven to moderate (180 degrees C). Cut through the rind about 10cm from the shank end of the ham in a decorative pattern.
  • To remove the rind, run thumb around the edge of the rind just under the skin. Start pulling the rind from the widest edge of ham, continue to pull the rind carefully away from the fat up to the decorative pattern. Remove the rind completely. (Reserved rind can be used to cover the cut surface of the ham to keep it moist during storage.) Combine the marmalade, mustard and water in a small saucepan, stir over a medium heat until melted.
  • Place the ham on a wire rack in a large baking dish; pour a little water into the dish. Brush the ham with the marmalade glaze. Cover the shank end with foil. Bake in a moderate oven for about 1 hour 30 minutes or until browned all over, brushing occasionally with the glaze during cooking.
Christmas Roast Turkey with Cranberry & Macadamia Stuffing with Gravy
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 220 minutes
  • 30g good quality butter
  • 4 bacon rashers, rind removed, finely chopped
  • 1 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 140g (2 cups) fresh breadcrumbs (made from day-old bread)
  • 55g (1/2 cup) macadamia nut halves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries, rehydrated,
  • 1 Taste Gourmet Free Range Egg, lightly whisked
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 6kg (size 60) fresh or thawed frozen turkey, neck removed
  • 50g good butter, extra, melted
  • 2 tbs plain flour
  • 250ml (1 cup) dry white wine
  • 250ml (1 cup) Chicken Stock
  • (Ingredients in bold available at Taste Gourmet)
  • Melt 20g of the butter in a frying pan until foaming. Add bacon, onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens.
  • Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, macadamias, cranberries and egg and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towel. Fill the cavity with breadcrumb mixture.
  • Tie the legs together with string. Tuck the wings under. Place turkey, breast-side up, in a roasting pan.
  • Brush with extra butter and cover with foil. Roast in oven, basting every 30 minutes, for 3 1/2 hours or until juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer.
  • Transfer turkey to a platter. Remove string. Cover with foil and set aside for 15 minutes to rest. Strain the pan juices into a heatproof jug.
  • Melt the remaining butter in the roasting pan until foaming. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until mixture bubbles. Gradually add the pan juices, wine and stock and cook, scraping the pan with a flat-edged wooden spoon to dislodge any bits that have cooked onto the base, for 5-6 minutes or until gravy boils and thickens. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Strain into a heatproof serving jug.
  • Place the turkey on a large serving platter and serve with gravy.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Christmas has arrived at Taste Gourmet

Christmas!! Already?? There’s been a lot going on in the world, but Christmas is now only a few weeks away, and it really is time to start getting organized.
To make it easier, we are open for dinner, coffee, takeaway and late night shopping on Friday nights.
Whether you are planning a big family get together, a casual or small intimate Christmas, Taste Gourmet Grocer will have all your Christmas food.
And once again this year, we've written our Taste Gourmet Essential Christmas Food and Gift Guide. The Guide is FREE and has all our great Christmas food, gift suggestions, hampers, recipes and essential tips to make your Christmas fabulous and hassle free!
Now available in store is our Christmas range - Christmas cakes, traditional puddings, panforte, shortbread, mince pies, rum balls, and much more.
We also have Christmas chocolates and biscuits, special pudding sauces, brandy sauce and brandy butter made with real brandy.
Treat your family to a Christmas with all the trimmings, and try our hand made White Christmas, Gingerbread, Turkish Delight, Shortbread and much more.
We’re creating a range of hampers in store and you can also select from our shelves and we’ll make yours on them spot for you. And we can deliver them anywhere in Australia!
We will be having a two massive Christmas Tastings, Shopping & Dining Nights on Friday 27 November and Friday 4 December.
And we’ll be open for dinner and takeaway so you can shop and eat at the same time, in a relaxed and easy atmosphere.
To give you more time and eat and shop, we’ve responded to your requests and we’ll now be open until 5pm on Saturday and Sundays. And we’ll have live music Friday night and Sunday afternoon.
We have literally dozens of new products on the shelves and there will be more and more every day as we get closer to Christmas.
For Christmas we have a delicious range of hand made Christmas cakes from Baylies of Strathalbyn - the cakes come in four sizes and are beautifully wrapped for gift giving.
Also from Baylies comes our traditional Christmas Puddings, rum balls, and three varieties of hand made shortbread.
On the shelves this week will be a delicious range of traditional boiled lollies and rock candy from Eventful Foods. And from West Gosford's own Limar Nougat, we have a gorgeous selection of French style Nougat in three flavors. We have gourmet mince pies, some gift packed and some in take home packs. For celebrating, we have some great suggestions. How about Nicholson Fine Foods Essence of Wild Hibiscus, or Kurrajong Foods Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup.
Fancy a Christmas cocktail, try our new range of Kicks Cocktail Mixes - just add water, alcohol and freeze! In the fridge we have our Gourmet Marinated Olives and Gourmet Antipasto Mix.
Also just out of our own kitchen is: Chilli Tomato Chutney, Classic Red Tomato Relish, Summer Berries & Cointreau Dessert Sauce, Blueberry Vodka Dessert Sauce, Rum & Raspberry Dessert Sauce, Raspberries & Vanilla Bean Dessert Sauce, Mandarin & Cointreau Dessert Sauce, and just in time for Christmas, our Spiced Brandy Pudding Sauce.
And there are more products soon to hit the shelf! From Fuchs Hunter Valley Olive Oil we have Caramelized Balsamic which is really, really good! And their great range of extra virgin infused oils, including Garlic, Mandarin, Chilli and Lime.
New chutneys are now available in the very popular Hanks range specially for Christmas: Cranberry & Orange Jelly for Turkey, Cherry, Seeded Mustard & Ginger for Ham, Apple & Rosemary Mint for Lamb and Onion Marmalade for BBQ.
We have always stocked the fabulous James Road chocolate dipped oranges, strawberries and apricots, and their fabulous Chocolate Fudge Cookies. Now try their old fashioned Boiled Fruitcake. From Emmaline’s Country Kitchen there is Rocky Road and Dark Chocolate Prunes and Rocky Road, as well as Milk Chocolate Ginger. We also have a new selection of the famous Paddington Chocolates and gift boxed chocolates from Dolci Doro.
We also have a lovely range of gift boxed biscuits including from Baylies of Strathalbyn.
We now have the full range of hand made jams from Alpine Berry Farm - there are more than a dozen flavours including marmalades. We also have a great range of chutneys and relishes from Beerenberg and Goan Cuisine. Plus there’s heaps more so drop in soon!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Summer stunner! Serendipity Ice Cream & Sorbet!

Here at Taste Gourmet, we’ve been a big fan of Sydney based Serendipity Ice Cream since we opened our doors. We feature their ice creams and sorbets on our café menu and we sell them (and take them home to enjoy as well!).

Now that the weather is warming up, we thought it was the perfect time to taste ..no I meant learn about Serendipity.

Reading their list of exotic ice-cream and gelato combinations is enough to make you lick your lips with delight. And know that they come our with even more flavors each year is even better.

We caught up with CEO (and daughter of the founder of Serendipity) Sarah Mandelson and asked her about what must be one of the world’s great jobs, running a gourmet ice-cream business!

Who is behind Serendipity Ice Cream?
Serendipity Ice Cream is headed by me, Sarah Mandelson as CEO. I’m the daughter of founder Alix Mandelson. Richard Single, my husband, is Sales and Logistics Manager. We have a dedicated team of 15 to produce and deliver our award-winning products right around Australia.
We’re on Enmore Road, in Marrickville, an inner west suburb of Sydney. All our products are made on site here.

Why did you start making these products?
Serendipity was started in 1966 by my mother Alix Mandelson, a former US diplomat. Alix started making gourmet ice creams at home because the most exotic ice cream available in Sydney at the time was Neapolitan. Allergic to chocolate, Alix found the lack of choice unacceptable and set out to change the situation at least for herself and her dinner guests. Once her guests tasted the fruits of her labour, Alix soon found herself in unexpectedly business – hence the name, Serendipity, meaning: happy discoveries by accident.

Tell us about your ice-creams and sorbets?
We make a huge range of super premium ice creams, sorbets, frozen desserts and dessert sauces. Over 100 flavours are in stock at any given time, and we are constantly developing new ones.
Serendipity’s super premium ice creams are made with fresh milk and cream (not reconstituted dairy products) resulting in better flavour and smoother texture. We blend ingredients carefully to create our own unique recipes using finest natural ingredients sourced locally (where possible) and from around the world. Our super premium sorbets are made with a very high fruit content which gives these products the lusciously rich taste and texture they possess with zero fat - in other words, they don’t taste thin and icy like most sorbets. Richard & I still make our products in small batches and use the best natural ingredients. We are constantly re-inventing the wheel in terms of flavours, but always with exacting standards in mind. Our products are generally denser than most commercial brands, and are lower in sugar, but the main criterion is taste.

What is your favourite product?
My personal favourite is our Belgian White Chocolate ice cream, teamed with Passionfruit & Chili sorbet. This combination has everything: the rich smoothness of white chocolate ice cream, the tangy fragrant flavour of fresh ripe passionfruit, and just a little kick from chili.

What’s the best thing about being an ice cream maker?
The best thing about making our fabulous ice creams is the pleasure such a product brings to the people who eat them. I love watching people drift off in a daydream eating our Death by Chocolate ice cream, or regressing to a second childhood eating Hokey Pokey ice cream.
We have won over 300 medals and now 20 trophies for our range of products. All of our products are made using 100% green energy, reducing our carbon emissions to zero for electricity, and Serendipity is committed to being a sustainable business.

Spring 2009 flavours which Taste Gourmet has in store now are:

Caramel Fudge
Dark Rum & Raisin
Death by Chocolate
Hokey Pokey
Mangoes & Cream
Vanilla Bean

Blood Orange
Fresh Lime
Wild Berry

And, on the menu we have:
Raspberry Sorbet & Cointreau Ice-cream Pyramid
Fig Honey & Pistachio Ice-cream Pyramid
Coconut & Kaffir Lime Sorbet

Serendipity ice creams and sorbets are gluten free (Super Fudge Brownie & Tiramisu excepted, both of which have bakery products containing wheat flour). The sorbets are suitable for vegans, and are fat-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy & nut-free!

“In my view, ice cream is best served on its own or accompanying another dessert – especially hot desserts in winter. So, a simple tarte tatin is transformed into a wonderfully rounded dessert with the addition of either our classic Vanilla Bean ice cream or nutty Macadamia ice cream. In summer, I like serving a scoop of sorbet (like Blood Orange) in a martini glass with a splash of Champagne or a dash of vodka.”

Monday, September 28, 2009

We're a Finalist in the Central Coast Business Achiever Awards

Wow, fabulous news. It's just been announced that Taste Gourmet Grocer & Cafe is a Finalist in the Central Coast Business Achiever Awards for Best Cafe /Casual Dining!

Thank you so much to everyone who voted for us - we really appreciate it!

It's the third year in a row we've been a finalist and we won Best Cafe in 2007. Our much loved Administration Manager Sharon Thacker also won the Employee Excellence Award in 2007.

This is Sharon and Brian celebrating in 2007!

We were also a Finalist in 2008 in the Deli & Gourmet Food Category.


We've also been nominated in the Anthill Magazine "Cool Company" Awards, which recognise Australia's coolest companies! How cool is that!

And Michele has been nominated in the Central Coast Business Women's Awards.

It's been quite a week!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good Food Month at Taste Gourmet

Australian Good Food Month at Taste Gourmet! Taste the best!

Over the coming weeks, we'll be celebrating the achievemnets of Australia’s leading gourmet food makers, the people and the products created with passion and a love of good food.
These products are mainly hand made, with premium ingredients, often sourced from nearby farms and producers.
Most of all, our Australian Regional Food Month is about raising the profile of our farmers and food handlers, the growers who battle the rain, hail or heat to harvest their crops or grow their stock, or the wonderful cooks and chefs that spin their magic, creating tasty delicacies of outstanding quality.
These products are available year round on our shelves and every month we search the country for new and innovative products to bring you. Find them on the shelves and for tasting throughout September & October.
We’ve also interviewed some of our favourite producers so you can get to know them a little better, hear about their products and enjoy their passion!
Over the coming weeks, we'll be featuring profiles on:

Alpine Berry Farms Jams and Marmalades - Mittagong, NSW. Established in 2002 and now winners of 42 awards, the family that grows the berries makes this stunning range of full fruit jams and marmalades.
Hog Bay Apairies, Kangaroo Island, SA. We believe these are the best honeys in Australia; we’ve loved them for years. A range of five gourmet seasonal pure honeys, including creamed honey. This is unique organic honey from the Ligurian bee, only from Kangaroo Island, South Australia.
Doodles Creek Dressings, Bowral, NSW. From the Southern Highlands comes Sarah Ross’s much sought after range of dressings, mayonnaise, and aiolis. Doodles Creek products are French in style and less sweet than Australian mayonnaises, naturally thickened with egg yolks.
Nicholson Fine Foods - Yamba, NSW. From the foothills of Yamba comes these Australian chef made native food products and their signature range of Essence of Hibiscus, glorious hibiscus flowers in syrup. SEE MORE INSIDE
Pastabilities Pasta - Marrackville, NSW. Producing the best fresh pasta in Australia, this passionate Marrickville family supply our fresh fettuccine and spaghetti, and a range of gourmet frozen ravioli and includes filling such as duck, prawns, veal and caramelised beef.
AC Butchery - Leichhardt, NSW. This Leichhardt based butchery specialises in gourmet sausages and you’ll find their most popular varieties, in our freezer. Made with the best premium ingredients, sausage will never taste the same again. They also have their own range of verjuice, which we now have in stock!
Simply the Best Small Goods - Gladesville, NSW. The name says it all, these multi award winning producers supply our ham, pastrami, prosciutto, pancetta, and more. Simply the Best maximise the use of natural ingredients to produce the best quality products. Best of all is the ham on the bone, an award winner. Made from the finest Australian pork, it has a lasting smoky flavour with a gorgeous light, moist texture. Hand carved by us!
Serendipity Ice-creams & Sorbets, Marrickville, NSW
An another award winning gourmet producer, creating glorious rich ice-creams and silky smooth sorbets hand made in dozens of flavours. SEE MORE INSIDE
Bellata Gold Pasta - Tamworth, NSW. This farm family grows the durum wheat, mills the flour and makes the pasta - they call in from paddock to plate and it is the best dried pasta in Australian today. In a stunning range of flavours, an essential for the pantry.
There are many other regional foods on the shelves, and we will feature these over coming months. In the meantime, look out for
Maggie Beer Pastes, Preserved Lemon and Verjuice - South Australia
Joseph Olive Oil - South Australia
Gwydir Grove Infused Olive Oils - Port Macquarie
Lotus & Ming Yum Cha, Sydney,
Goan Cuisine Curries, Pickles, Chutneys and Pastes - Perth WA

We'll be featuringing Gourmet Food Producer profiles in this blog over the coming weeks!

Celebrating our Central Coast & Region Gourmet Food Producers!

These are the best of the best - our selections as the leading local Central Coast and Hunter producers. Supporting our local producers is very important. It helps the local economy, supports local jobs, supports local farmers and helps create jobs for us and our kids. It also gives us a chance to show what we can do here on the Coast.
And it helps the environment - the less kilometres our food has to travel to get to us, the less greenhouse gas are produced in transporting it to us. (Did you know that on average, most of our food travels 1500km to get to us?)
Taste Gourmet, East Gosford, NSW- This is our own Taste Gourmet hand made range of gourmet jams, marmalades, mustards, sauces, desserts, chutneys, relishes, pickles and more, all made in small batches with fresh and natural ingredients. There are more than 200 quality products, each made with love and are to a traditional recipe. Amongst our most popular products are the Roasted Red Capsicum & Chilli Jam, Blood Orange and Cointreau Marmalade, Classic Red Tomato Relish & Caramelised Onion Jam
Binnorie Fairy Cheeses, Pokolbin, NSW - From Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley, we stock two of our most popular cheeses. Created by award winning cheese maker Simon Gough, the Binnorie Dairy makes Labna, a Mediterranean yoghurt-based cheese that has been infused with chilli and rosemary and the "Gold Medal" Marinated Fetta, with distinctive characters unavailable outside the region.
Sweet As (Chocolates), Central Coast, NSW- Wendy Sue Mitchell is the chocoholic behind Sweet As, a collection of the best hand made Coverture chocolates and now available in store. Wendy Sue also creates our mouth watering Gourmet Rocky Road. We currently feature about six flavours of hand made truffles and great shortbread.
Fuchs Estate, Cessnock, NSW - Heading further afield in the region, the Hunter Valley's Fuchs Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oils are amongst Australia’s best. Created by chef John McGain, we stock the Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils, as well as flavoured extra virgin oils - Garlic, Lime, Lemon, Chilli, Pepper, & Mandarin. We also have Fuch’s Caramelised Balsamic.

We feature all these producers products in our Gourmet Grocer selection, at our food store and cafe in East Gosford, NSW Australia.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Good Oil - Olive Oil

Olive Oil, the world’s most commonly eaten mono-unsaturated oil, has been enjoyed for many thousands of years around the Mediterranean. Not only does it taste good, but there is a mass of evidence that a diet based on olive oil can promote longer life and may prevent some of the diseases associated with our usual western eating pattern.

In recent years, medical researchers have turned their attention to the virtues of the Mediterranean style of eating and to olive oil. On closer inspection, this ancient oil has proved to be more than just a source of monounsaturated fat. It is also a rich source of antioxidants - substances now attracting great scientific attention.

What is the difference between extra virgin olive & ‘pure’ olive oil?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is very simply the best you can buy, with an acidity level of less than 1%.
Extra virgin olive oil is essentially the naturally extracted juice from fresh olives. The olives are crushed into a paste, and the oil is physically extracted from this paste without the use of chemicals or excessive heat.

Extra virgin olive oil has a distinctive olive fruity aroma and flavour and it contains natural antioxidants. The aroma and flavour, of olive oil adds complementary flavours to a wide variety of dishes.

‘Pure’ and ‘light’ olive oils are olive oils that have been refined and they lack the aroma, flavour and the natural antioxidant content of extra virgin olive oils. In fact the word “light” refers to their light colour, aroma and flavour.

Which Olive Oil do I choose?
Extra virgin olive oils can be intensely flavoured and can also be strongly bitter and pungent. Many ‘early harvest’ styles fit in this category. Others can be very fruity with only hints of bitterness and pepper, while ‘late harvest’ styles are typically mild with very ripe fruity flavours.
As a general rule, oils with a strong flavour suit strongly flavoured dishes, and mild oils are used in dishes that are delicately flavoured.

Is Olive Oil good for me?
The incidence of heart diseases and some forms of cancer are much less in countries with a high consumption of olive oil.

Olive oil has NO CHOLESTEROL, it reduces the IDI (low density lipoproteins) which is bad cholesterol, and it increases the HDL (high density lipoproteins) which is the good cholesterol.

Which is good for the heart?
Olive oil has 14 grams of fat, or 120 calories per tablespoon. This is true for all oils.

Can I use extra virgin olive oils for frying?
Yes, but to be honest, refined olive oils (that is those labeled as ‘Pure’ or ‘Light’) are probably a more cost effective alternative. Furthermore, refined oils begin to smoke at a higher temperature than most extra virgin olive oils, making them more suited to deep-frying. However, extra virgin olive oils are a better alternative when shallow frying.

Taste Gourmet Grocer carries a wide range of oils, including extra virgin olive oils, and flavoured and infused oils including truffle oils from Colavita, Simon Johnson, Fuchs, Joseph, Padthaways and more. We also have the best Australian Olive Oils, Joseph and Dangaran Estate.


Choose your favourite bread (we have a great woodfired sourdough or a crusty Italian pane de casa both baked fresh daily) and roughly tear, slice or chop into bite size pieces. Onto a platter, place one or more small bowls. Choose your favourite oils & vinegars to either mix or serve separately in each bowl. Surround bowls with bread pieces and serve. Try heating the bread pieces for an even more sumptuous experience.

Lightly brush some bite size chunks of Kumara with EVOO of kumara in a moderate oven until golden brown. Spread baby English spinach over a wide bowl or platter. Spread roasted kumara evenly over spinach, followed by crumbled feta cheese and toasted pine nuts. Drizzle caramelized balsamic vinegar (we carry four different varieties) over salad before serving.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Getting in touch with your inner chef! Essentials for your pantry!

Every cook needs a good selection of flavour-packed staples that can be combined with fresh fruit, vegetables and meat to create fast, fuss-free dishes. Add these must-haves to your pantry:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Two good quality aged vinegars: for example, a balsamic and a varietal, such as chardonnay or cabernet
  • Anchovies and capers
  • A good-quality, tomato-based pasta sauce
  • Whole peeled tomatoes
  • Your favourite pasta variety
  • A crusty Italian bread, such as our Pane di Casa or Soft House Loaf.
  • A versatile hard cheese, like Grana Padano (traditional Italian parmesan).

We believe that a cook’s secret weapon lies not with a favourite recipe book or kitchen implement, but in imagination and a well-stocked pantry. Fill the pantry cleverly and you're on the way to not only more efficient cooking but more money in your pocket.
In the time it takes to grab a takeaway you can make a meal from scratch that not only costs less but tastes better and is probably better for you.
A well-stocked pantry also means that you always have something on hand for last-minute meals. The combination of a well-stocked pantry, fresh food in the fridge and freezer means you can cook a great variety of interesting meals – for everyday meals, special occasions and also for those unexpected guests. You just need to add some inspiration.
Pasta and noodles are two of our top pantry ingredients and we suggest having a good variety of different shapes and sizes for all occasions. By using a good quality packet pasta, making an easy tomato sauce and adding a variety of pantry stables such as chilli or tinned tuna or from the fridge perhaps some ham, mushroom or chorizo you can have a gourmet meal in minutes. It's best to have a selection of short pasta such as macaroni or penne with longer ones like fettuccini and spaghetti.
Canned tomatoes are another essential in the pantry. Tinned tomatoes are so versatile. We recommend both whole and crushed. Use the crushed ones for sauces, and the whole ones in things like casseroles that you like to have a bit more texture.
Different flours are a must too for baking and, if you're so inclined, bread making. Not only do you get to experience the joys of freshly baked bread but making your own is also good for the budget.
Coconut milk is also a valuable pantry addition. Use it in curries and you can also cook rice in it for a delicious coconut rice, but also use it with a sweetener and make a rice pudding, use it in place of cream in desserts or with a laksa paste for a quick delicious meal.
Stock, the basis of soup and risotto or to add flavour to casseroles, is another pantry must-have. We suggest you have chicken, beef and vegetable stock and powders.
Asian condiments and rice are also cheap but essential friends in the pantry. Fairly new to our pantry, but fast becoming essentials are the Asian flavours of soy, fish sauce and sweet chilli sauce. Sweet chilli sauce is so versatile, you can use it for dips as it is for fried nibbles, or in other dishes to lift them like adding a bit to scrambled eggs.
Also essential are spice and curry pastes, but whether Indian, Asian or Thai it does well to have at least a couple that, added to beef or chicken, can easily make a simple curry or stirfry. Essentials are Laksa paste, Rogan josh, Thai green and butter chicken. Keep some pappadums and chutney in the pantry and you're sure to impress
Other condiments such as grain mustard, when mixed with olive oil and lemon juice or oil and balsamic vinegar are handy to make salad dressing.
While it's OK to save on some pantry items, there are some staples like olive oil that you should spend more on. Good quality olives that can be served on an antipasto plate are a case in point.
Tuna is also a good thing to keep on hand; it's great with a simple pasta, a salad or a tuna bake.

  • To minimise waste it's important to keep an eye on what needs restocking and to creatively use up the ingredients you may have too much of before their expiry date.
    Make sure your pantry is regularly refilled with those ingredients used all the time.
  • Keep a shopping list going to help remember those staples which need to be replaced.
  • Follow the FIFO principle of stocking pantries – first in first out – make sure you organise the pantry so you know the use-by dates of your purchases.
  • Place the newer purchased behind the older ones.
    Some pantry staples can be kept for longer or bought in larger amounts to save money, such as flour.
  • Others, like spices, should be bought in smaller amounts as they tend to lose their flavour after six months.
  • Store them in really good airtight jars - don't let them sit open while you're using them and keep them dry.

As to which spices, it depends on the pantry owner, but we nominate coriander seeds, cumin and chilli flakes, oregano, cardamom, cinnamon and basil. My pantry also always has pink salt flakes and whole peppercorns.
Pulses such as chickpeas, (perfect for whipping up hummus), white beans and lentils are also good fallbacks. Couscous, cooked with the addition of boiling water then fluffing up with a fork, is the ultimate fast food. Served cold in a salad, or hot as a bed for lamb or a Moroccan-style meat casserole. Polenta, too, is no more than a few dollars, but can be used in infinite ways – use it instead of crumbs on chicken, cook it with a little parmesan for an alternative to potatoes.
Here’s our essential list!

  • Flour: Plain and self-raising for baking and pasta making, cornflour for sauces
  • Sugar: Caster, icing and brown sugar. Palm sugar for Thai or Vietnamese
  • Pasta: A variety of shapes and sizes
  • Noodles: Rice and wheat in different sizes and shapes
  • Rice: Basmati and jasmine for curries, medium grain for everyday and arborio for risottos and rice puddings
  • Grains: Couscous, lentils and polenta
  • Fish: Tuna, salmon, anchovies for salads, bakes and pasta dishes
  • Vegetables: Semi-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted capsicum and olives
  • Tinned Vegetables: Tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans, cannelloni beans & sweet corn
  • Dried Vegetables: Mushrooms. Chinese and (budget permitting) porcini
  • Oils and vinegars: Extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, vegetable oil, balsamic vinegar, white wine and red wine vinegars
  • Herbs and spices, seeds and nuts: Sea salt, black peppercorns, chilli, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, basil, sesame seeds, vanilla beans or extract
  • Jams/Preserves/Spreads: Marmalade, (great for glazing white meat), raspberry for desserts or biscuits, preserved lemons
  • Nuts: Almonds, pine and walnuts
  • Condiments: Dijon mustard and hot English; soy and sweet chilli, fish and oyster sauce; chutneys - mango and tomato and lime pickles
  • Curry pastes: Thai green, Laksa and Indian Rogan Josh, Butter Chicken and Tandoori
  • Milks: Tinned coconut milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk
  • Stock: Vegetable, beef and chicken