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  • From Asian Tradition to Modern Australian Dining: Reviving Japanese and Chinese Tea Culture

    tea culture for JapaneseServing tea is an art and a spiritual discipline in Japan and China. Also called chanoyu in Japan and chayi in China, tea ceremonies have major influences on the development of Japanese and Chinese cultures. Tea helps people create intimate connections with art, literature, religion and philosophy.

    Traditional Tea Practices

    A tea ceremony in Japan involves a choreographic preparation and presentation of matcha (powdered green tea). Tea ceremonies have been an integral part of the Japanese culture for many centuries and are, according to Alexandre Avdulov, a perfect paradigm for life-long learning. They are celebrations performed with grace, mindfulness and great respect for tradition.

    Chinese tea culture differs from that of Japan in terms of taste, preparation and occasion. The Chinese consume tea regularly, both on casual and formal events. They also serve tea as a sign of respect to elders, as a formal apology and as a gesture of gratitude. To the Chinese, tea is an essential part of self-cultivation.

    Contemporary Australian Tea Ceremonies

    Today, the Japanese and Chinese practices of serving tea have travelled way beyond the borders of Asia and into contemporary dining settings across the globe.

    In November 2017, as a salute to Japan’s Culture Day, the first Japanese High Tea Ceremony of Australia was held at the summit of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. Three participants partook in a tea ceremony 134 metres above the ground, overlooking the gorgeous cityscape of Sydney. Wendy Lin and Julian McVittie, two tea enthusiasts, chose the iconic bridge because of the majestic views of the harbour as well as its symbolic significance in Australia culture.

    Bo Wong, an Australian woman of Chinese heritage, regularly holds tea ceremonies in indoor and outdoor spaces for guests from across Australia. Participants book her for private sessions, social gatherings and special events. Wong’s goal is to meet like-minded individuals who have the same desire to connect, practise tea culture and celebrate life.

    Tea, Today and Tomorrow

    Modern dining gives you the opportunity to preserve Asian tea culture. In fact, holding your own tea ceremony is a wonderful way to pay tribute to traditional Japanese and Chinese practices.

    Create a peaceful setting for your guests and offer them a warm welcome. If you’re working with a large venue, transform the dining setting into an intimate space where the guests face each other.

    Then, serve simply. Place your tea in a beautiful Japanese cast iron teapot and pour them into teacups. To balance the bitter taste of the tea, bring out a plate of confectioneries. Connect with your guests and express gratitude for their willingness to participate in the ceremony.

    Top Shelf Concepts

    At Top Shelf Concepts, you get high-quality teaware for your cafe, hotel or restaurant. We are one of the most dependable Australian suppliers and distributors of food display products. If you want to browse our collection of food and beverage dispensers, feel free to explore our extensive range.

    For any enquiries, please call 1300 81 30 40. Make a lasting impression on your guests and enhance your food displays with Top Shelf Concept today.

  • Food for the I Do's: Elevating Wedding Food Presentation

    the-peninsula-picnic-mornington-racecourse-missy-h21Wedding trends are changing the way couples and wedding planners throw receptions. A couple of years ago, a simple platter display with traditional Australian wedding food would have done the job. Today, social media trends, bridal magazines and celebrities are inspiring more elaborate food presentations, making them one of the highlights of any ceremony.

    Planners and caterers need to improve their wedding food presentations in anticipation of clients with higher expectations. Great food displays attract couples who are looking for novel receptions, in fact. If your presentation is truly exceptional, people might post and share it on social media, increasing your brand’s exposure.

    Enhancing your food presentation game involves more than big and flashy displays, though. As a caterer or planner, you need to anticipate trends, stay true to the themes and invest in quality buffet equipment.

    Anticipating Food Trends

    Modern couples are revolutionising the items on wedding menus. For instance, InStyle Magazine reports that comfort foods would be making their way to wedding buffets in 2018. These include tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, fried chicken, fish and chips, cookies and doughnuts.

    Brunch receptions would also be more popular next year because daytime weddings are cheaper than their evening or afternoon counterparts. These receptions would feature classic brunch foods, like eggs, pancakes, fritters and cocktails. Moreover, cupcakes would no longer be the dessert of choice; taking its place are crepes, macaroons and mini milkshakes.

    To stay ahead of the game, you need to anticipate these trends and plan accordingly. Conventional presentations might not work on these non-traditional foods, after all. Gather your team and discuss novel ways to display your spread.

    Stay True to the Theme

    Many weddings have themes that tie the entire event together. The most popular themes to date, according to Easy Weddings, a digital wedding resource, are rustic, garden, vintage, beach, vineyard, contemporary and boho chic. Wedding experts also predict that Disney- and Great Gatsby-themed weddings would be popular next year.

    Couples pay attention even to the smallest details to make sure that the colours, décor, favours and venue all complement each other. So, the food presentation should also blend in seamlessly with the theme.

    Since the themes are many and varied, you should be ready to accommodate them — an especially challenging endeavour, because some displays are not suitable for certain themes. For instance, a contemporary presentation would look out of place in a rustic barn wedding.

    It helps to have diverse buffet equipment that can furnish equally diverse themes.

    Invest in Quality Buffet Equipment

    To truly elevate the way you present food, you need to invest in top-notch buffet equipment. With these at your disposal, you can accommodate more client requests and leave a good impression on wedding guests.

    At Top Shelf Concepts, we offer only innovative buffet equipment that would present the foods in their best light. We are a trusted supplier of Rosseto, a provider of premium serving solutions like buffet equipment that combines aesthetic appeal and utility. Moreover, its products are made of durable materials; they will accommodate countless weddings. Rosseto has a wide range of serving sets, from rustic presentations to sleek, modern displays.

    Ready to enhance your food presentation? Enquire about our Rosseto buffet equipment today. Call us on 07 3394 2043 or fill out our online form.

  • Master the Art of Convenience with Bento Boxes

    Bento boxThe bento box's popularity has spread across different cultures because of its versatility. The origin of the word "bento" means "convenience" or "convenient" and rightfully so because of the many conveniences it presents.

    Eating on the Go

    Bento lunches in early Japan were meant to store rice and food so they can be eaten later. Today, bento boxes allow people on the go to eat at their comfort, and they can always go back to the box if they have leftovers.

    The containers usually come in small lunch boxes that are easy to carry around and do not take a lot of space in school bags or backpacks. The meals are also moulded or divided into bite-sized pieces that are easy to consume during travels or quick breaks.

    Pack and Take as Many as You Like

    Some bento boxes can be stacked on top of each other while others have deep compartments that can store layers of food. Some even have dividers that let you pack different types of food in one container. Because bento boxes are tightly packed, it retains the freshness of the food inside.

    This feature of bento boxes allows people to serve as much food as they like and take as many as they can without worrying about the freshness of the dishes. The divided compartments can also let you enjoy both soup-based dishes and dry foods together.

    Save and Maximise Space

    If you're looking for clean and minimalist compartments for your next snack party, Top Shelf Concepts proudly offers our BentoStyle brand, a collection of beautiful, sturdy and eco-friendly disposable bento boxes.

    Our versatile bento boxes can pack any food with its flat-packed, unique folding design that can minimise storage space requirement. We also have cylindrical containers that can serve soup-based dishes.

    Hassle-Free and Eco-Friendly

    Our BentoStyle bento boxes are made from plantation trees and food grade glassine paper that line both sides of the container. We eliminate the hassle of washing dishes and minimise the risk of breaking plates, saving you both time and money and letting you conserve energy. The sturdy and eco-friendly materials used in making the bento boxes provide an excellent alternative to food and snacks traditionally served in paper or plastic containers.

    Top Shelf Concepts is the sole Australian supplier of eco-friendly disposable bento boxes. Our BentoStyle containers are available in round, oval, square and rectangular boxes that can pack different kinds of food, as well as thick sauces and wet dishes. They're not only great for serving Asian dishes like noodles and sushi but also for finger food and desserts. We sell our BentoStyle containers in convenient packs of 100.

    If you're looking for economic and environment-friendly food containers and serving plates, Top Shelf Concepts has a wide range of commercial catering equipment for parties of all sizes. With our products, your snacks will be the life of your party.

    Get in touch with us for more details.

  • 6 Ways to Win Over Customers this Tennis Season

    tennis image

    You’re in the hospitality industry, so you know November through January is hectic. First Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year’s celebrations… and right when you’re starting to run out of steam, along comes the Open! All of these events are great, of course, as they bring in a lot of revenue, but it can be challenging to pull together unique and special food service for the Open after a long run of back-to-back events. Don’t worry though—Top Shelf Concepts will help you “serve it” in style! To make your tennis season an ace, we’ve created a “starter kit” of items that are easy to use, easy on your budget, and will impress guests. Tennis Ball Skewers: A simple way to dress up finger foods, these tennis ball skewers are made of eco-friendly bamboo. Think appetisers, pickles, sandwiches, dessert bites, cheese platters, and more! EcoStyle Pine Food Cups: Made of sustainable pine, these elegant cups are tough enough for both hot and cold foods. Use them for hot appetizers or ice cream, condiments, dipping sauces, to portion out snacks and sweets— there are endless possibilities. Disposable and eco-friendly, they make for easy, guilt-free clean up. Sports Waxed Paper: Not only does is this food-safe waxed paper printed with a sports theme, it’s greaseproof so your food always looks good. Use it to line a wooden bento box (which doubles as a serving plate and takeaway container) or to add a special touch to a mini fry basket. Rosseto Liteware Disposable Beer Cups: These 18 oz. beer cups give you the best of both worlds— they have the upscale look and feel of glass, but are shatter-proof and take little storage space in the serving area. Plus, you don’t have to spend hours cleaning, drying, and resetting glassware!

    So many venues return to “business as usual” after the holidays and fail to do something special for tennis season, but the extra effort really matters! Tennis fans travel from all over Australia and the world for the Open, and showing that you share their passion will encourage their patronage again next year. To your success, John Kiorgaard TopShelfConcepts.com.au

    P.S. Have a food service challenge you’re not sure how to tackle? Call us on 1300 81 30 40 and we’ll help you figure out an easy solution! P.S.S. Now you can AfterPay It! Buy now and pay later, interest free.

  • Top Three Food and Beverage Dispensers for Corporate Events

    Snack Food DispensersCorporate events require a more professional approach towards dining. Unlike standard dinner parties with family and friends, a corporate gathering requires a professional way of dispensing quality foods and beverages. In a corporate setting, access to food and beverages should be easy, able to accommodate large groups and meet the demand for flexible serving times. Food and beverage dispensers are a sought-after answer to these demands for many large corporate events. They are often used in buffet set-ups and provide an attractive yet practical feature for corporate clients and staff. Top Shelf Concepts carries a wide range of Rosetto dispensers for the corporate environment.

    Here are some of them:

    Beverage Dispensers

    Manufactured from top quality materials, Rosetto beverage dispensers are perfect for serving drinks throughout the day. Their removable top-loading ice chamber keeps drinks chilled so that beverages can be provided ahead of time. They come in acrylic, wood, and stainless steel finishes to match various interior designs.

    Snack Food Dispensers

    Whether in between meetings and seminars, when guests might want snacks, or for breakfast, when clients stay overnight, Rosetto design their line of dispensers for quick service of dry food such as nuts or cereal. Their narrow nozzles pour the snacks directly into bowls to keep the service area tidy. The dispenser hygienically stores and dispenses food throughout the event.

    Herbs and Spices Dispensers

    Rosetto’s collection of herbs and spices dispensers is excellent for any buffet service. Most products in the line are wall-mounted and can easily be stationed near the main course for the guest’s convenience. To avoid making a mess by sprinkling spices or other condiments, using Rosetto’s containers prevents unnecessary clean-ups during the event.

    Top Shelf Concepts is a leading Australian supplier and distributor of all things' food display. For an extensive collection of food and beverage dispensers in Australia, contact us by calling 1300 81 30 40. Make an impression and enhance your food displays with Top Shelf Concept today.

  • How to Make Buffets Look Visually Appetising to Guests

    buffetNot only is the taste of food a critical element of a buffet, but the food’s presentation is also a crucial aspect of the overall experience. As with all things, first impressions do matter in buffet spreads. Even before tasting the food, guests can already guess about how much (and how little) they would enjoy it just by looking at how it's presented.

    If you present your guests with something unappealing and visually unsatisfactory, it's all too likely that they won't come back for a second time. To put your best forward and make a great first impression, consider these eye-catching buffet equipment:

    Food Risers and More

    Selecting the right buffet displays can add to its sophistication and give it focus. For example, using food risers in various shapes and sizes can make certain dishes stand out. With this leverage, you're giving emphasis to a popular dish or a chef’s recommendation.

    High-quality food deserves high-quality buffet equipment. We recommend materials that are both tough and attractive, such as stainless steel multi-level risers, black matte risers, bamboo vases and hexagonal glass bowls to reflect the quality of your food.

    Buffets are Part of the Décor

    Buffets are part of the overall aesthetic appeal of your restaurant. You can complement your buffet equipment with the restaurant's interior design. For example, you can use elements such as colours, material and positioning of food displays to match your restaurant’s theme, cuisine or wallpaper.

    At Top Shelf Concepts, we can help you with your buffet equipment needs. We are the exclusive supplier of high-quality buffet equipment by Rosseto, a leading provider of world-class buffet displays that provide sophisticated food presentation to buffet restaurants around the world. Taking advantage of buffet equipment by Rosseto enhances your restaurant's aesthetic appeal and entices guests to a memorable buffet experience.

    To take your food presentation to the next level, call 1300 81 30 40.

  • Are You REALLY Ready for Holiday Events?

    The holiday season means everyone is ready to feast their eyes and their palates. You’ve gotten your menu together and have chefs ready to create culinary wonders— but what about your food presentation? Will it be magical or mediocre? Special holiday-themed events are a great way for hospitality businesses to bring in revenue, but there’s a lot of competition. You can have a great marketing campaign that brings people in and amazing eats, but without a display that makes them feel the magic of the holidays, they’ll go somewhere else next season.

    So, what’s the most effective way to guarantee you generate the same (or more) bookings next year? A breathtaking display of your holiday food that will give visitors a sensory feast they’ll never forget. The best place to start is to upgrade your buffet displays. Go over your existing items with a fresh eye, viewing them as a guest would. Replace scratched trays with elegant platters. Check to see if you have a lot of sturdy, modern risers. Consider disposable pine boat dishes to improve presentation, control portions, and reduce cleanup time. Also, check your equipment! The best food in the world won’t hold up if it’s the wrong temperature. Switch out those dated chafing dishes that make food mushy and replace them with upgraded warmers. Do your beverage dispensers drip or look grungy? Switch them out with beautiful, top-quality dispensers from Rosseto. If you take steps to overhaul your food presentation, your guests will repay your investment with great reviews, recommendations, and repeat business that will benefit you long after the holiday season ends!

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  • Styling Drink Stations: Entice Guests to Stop for a Drink

    A drink station is a great way to add life to a party. People can choose, make their own drinks and get refills anytime. With drinks at the ready, they will feel more at ease and in the mood to mingle and have fun with other guests.

    At Top Shelf Concepts, we can give you great styling ideas to make a drink station one of the highlights of a party.

    Styling Begins with the Dispenser

    Details matter in food and drink presentation; more so for the centrepieces. This is why it helps to choose dispensers that can showcase the drinks you serve.

    At Top Shelf Concepts, we have a range of glass dispensers that make drinks look appealing. Our infusion dispensers, which are made of clear glass with bamboo, steel, black matte or acrylic bases, look stunning by themselves and will look even more attractive with complementing accents.

    Table Accents: Match the Theme

    The drinks table should stand on its own aesthetically without diverging from the party’s theme. Bring it into the fold by using the same decorations and accents on the food table and dessert station. For parties without a particular theme, enhancing the ambience of the venue is the best option.

    A Shared or Separate Table?

    Unless you are serving only one or two kinds of drinks, it’s best to have a separate table for your drink station. This prevents guests from crowding around one area of the venue at any given time. The best spot for a drink station is any wide space near the fringes of the venue. If possible, pull the table away from the wall to allow people to walk around it and fully appreciate the display.

    Top Shelf Concepts provides stunning cold beverage infusers and dispensers for parties in Australia. With these products, your drinks station will be as much of a party highlight as the cake or buffet.

    Get in touch with us for details.

  • The Fashion of Food: Catering in Style

    Our noses, mouths and stomachs are usually the three to benefit the most from a delicious meal. Before you dive into the plate, however, the feast begins with the eyes.

    ‘Eating with your eyes first is actually a true statement,’ says Danica Zuks, a professional food photographer. ‘I know that I get more enjoyment out of my food when it looks beautiful.’

    Food presentation is a critical part of culinary arts. It is, in itself, a skill that requires an excellent visual palate, delicate hands and years of practice. As food presentation specialists, Top Shelf Concepts give you brilliant and easy ways you can enhance the appearance of your food:

    Emphasising the Focal Point

    When different ingredients and segments are put together aimlessly, the dish will end up looking like a muddled mess. Instead, draw the eye towards the highest element of your composition. The focal point is usually the most voluminous part of the meal or dessert. Lay the sauces and complementary sides around it or below it to bring the attention towards the peak.

    Garnishes and Décor

    Alongside main courses, chefs like to add intricate details to a dish by decorating it with garnishes. Food garnishes improve the taste and act as a supplement to the meal. Parsley, alfalfa sprouts and colourful flowers are common garnishes for main courses. Others, however, prefer inedible decorations to challenge the boundaries of food presentation.

    Utilising Displays

    Organisation and cleanliness enhance the aesthetic value of food. If you’re looking for an easy way to showcase your food in the tidiest manner possible, high-quality food display systems are the answer. Top Shelf Concepts carries a wide range of buffet systems, acrylic displays and sturdy dispensers. Each item is designed to contain and exhibit your food for your customers’ viewing pleasure.

    Top Shelf Concepts is an Australian supplier and distributor of world-class food display systems. View our selection or call 07 3394 2043 today.

  • Opening of a new office in Sydney

    Commercial Food Presentation company Top Shelf Concepts has announced the opening of a new office in Sydney. This new office reflects the commitment of Top Shelf Concepts to the Eastern States.

    With 60% of Australia’s hospitality industry, and architects in Sydney or Melbourne and with slightly more based in Sydney, Top Shelf Concepts intends to use this new office as a meeting space to show and present products.

    Restaurant and hospitality businesses revolve around customer experience –that’s why savvy business owners are continually looking for exciting and innovative ways to present and serve food. With the right products, you can please your guests and , at the same time, improve efficiency and quality.

    “We’ve helped hundreds of food professionals achieve extraordinary commercial and personal success, and I’m incredibly proud of them”, says Mr John Kiorgaard, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Top Shelf Concepts. “This means that food professionals can take their food presentation to the next level and achieve all they can, encouraging repeat business and a very wow experience!.”

    There is a significant education task ahead of Top Shelf Concepts. One of the initiatives to be driven from the office over the coming years is engagement with the organic food industry. The task will be to better prepare Procurement departments in the supermarket world to consider hygiene and shrinkage and wastage in their store designs for any dry food dispensing. The Sydney office is also expected to play a more important role in plans for Top Shelf Concepts to expand further, internationally. “Sydney is our gateway to the Pacific Rim,” says Mr Kiorgaard.

    Topshelf Concepts will retain its existing office in Brisbane. Address Level 6/10 Herb Elliott Ave, Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

    Sydney office_R1_101317

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