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Hospo Resources for COVID-19

This page is to assist hospo businesses and workers with resources that might be useful as we all try to navigate a COVID-19 worldscape. Inclusion does not necessarily equal endorsement. If you are looking for something that’s not here, please ask.



International Hummus Day

Have you got an hour? Ask a Middle Eastern person about their favourite hummus and be ready to listen long and hard! Hummus is an everyday traditional food all the way from Yemen to Egypt, Israel, Lebanon and Turkey but there are as many variations as there are eaters! At its simplest, hummus combines chickpeas and tahini, then there’s the potential addition of salt, pepper, spices, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and water. Plus, there’s the question of texture. Should it be smooth or sturdy? We dig in…


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OS Workers Resources

This page is to assist overseas workers in Australia on working visas who have lost jobs or reduced hours due to COVID-19. I am a food writer who cares about your plight. I am not qualified to give you legal advice. Please use this page as a starting place. I can take no responsibility for your actions or the consequences that may arise from them. I wish you all the best and I want you to know that many people care about your situation!


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Orzotto (Barley Risotto)

I love barley, especially in winter, when those nutty, wholesome grains call to me with a song of nourishment, fortification and cosiness. Orzo is Italian for ‘barley’ and when you make a risotto with it, it’s called orzotto. It’s a specialty of the north-eastern part of Italy close to Venice. Orzotto is as versatile as risotto so think of this as a base recipe that you can adapt, just as you would risotto. It’s a great ‘bottom of the fridge’ meal.

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Victoria's cafes, restaurants & pubs are able to open today, with restrictions. What are the rules & how can diners make it easier for their fave venues to make them happy?

In short, do what staff request. They have a lot to get their heads around. Don't try to push the rules - hospitality is in the business of pleasing but venues are subject to huuuge fines for breaking the regs.
So, from today (& prob till June 22): * Businesses are allowed to have *up to* 20 people in each area, including kids & babies. Many places will have fewer than this due to distancing & density rules. There's no more than 1 person / 4 sq m (this is an average calculated by measuring the size of each room, & doesn't include staff). And there must be 1.5m between tables. Businesses should have signs at entrances displaying how many people are allowed to dine in. * There are no more than 6 people per table. You may be allowed to book a larger group but they must sit at separate tables. Swapping between tables isn't allowed. * You'll be asked for your first name & phone number to assist with contact tracing. This means everyone at the table inc kids. Everyone is encouraged to have the COVIDsafe app too - this helps us all. * It's table service only. Don't get up to pay, order, get water, ask for menus. Stay seated. Yes, you may use the toilet but respect distancing guidelines. * Alcohol can only be served with a meal, not just a snack. There's discretion but basically, we're going out to eat. Arrive hungry. * If businesses have separate areas eg indoor, outdoor, private rooms, they may be able to count these as separate areas with their own 20 person upper limit. * Many places will have their own rules to make the restricted opening work for their business. These may be time limits, bookings only, set menus, minimum spends. These are survival tactics. If they don't suit you, don't go. * Get ready for reading menus, ordering & paying on your phone. * Staff will clean & sanitise A LOT. Be patient & grateful as this occurs. Be strict with your own hand-washing & cough etiquette. Stay home if you have the merest sniffle! * Kindness & patience will get us through. Enjoy your meal! ❣️

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It's SHAVUOT, the Jewish festival where it's customary to eat cheesecake. You know what to do! ...

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You know how ace it is when you introduce two of your friends and they hit it off? That's what's happened with @gelatomessina and @fareshare_australia 💞

Food charity FareShare has scaled up production during the pandemic and has capacity to send their nutritious, delicious frozen meals made with rescued produce to new locations. The gelato geniuses at Messina have freezers, a Brunswick warehouse and big hearts.

So, starting today FareShare meals will be available at Messina FOR FREE on Thursdays and Fridays for people in need. You need to book in via the Messina website Veg and non-veg available.

It sucks that so many people need food aid right now, but it's great that people are stepping in to help 💗

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To celebrate @helen_goh_bakes' interview with @patnourse for @melbfoodandwine tonight at 9pm, my new recipe this week is Helen's Chocolate, Banana and Pecan Cookies. They are SO GOOD. Helen says it's best if you eat them all on the day they're baked. Happy to oblige, ma'am. Recipe on my site! #mfwfonline ...

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On Friday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg called a $60 billion accounting error a win for Australian taxpayers. The Jobkeeper wage subsidy, originally budgeted at $130 billion, is now projected to cost $70 billion, due to a mixture of applicant error and mistaken Treasury forecasting. What if the win was also for temporary visa holders, who are currently ineligible for the Jobkeeper wage subsidy and the Jobseeker social security payment? Read the rest of my @theageaustralia @sydneymorningherald Opinion piece via link in bio. ...

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Tonight's black-aproned @masterchefau pressure test contestants have to make @petergunn501 @idesmelbourne's Black Box 🤯 It's such a great dish! But so tricky! Me and my team made a video with Pete where he talked and walked us through his elaborate and wonderful dessert. Watch it on my IGTV 💖 ...

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Koshari, I want to marry you. Coming today at, @tomsarafian's recipe for Egypt's national dish. Carb-loaded, comforting, economical, fun to make...Egypt's It dish is the bowl of love we need right now. Chickpeas, lentils, rice, macaroni, vermicelli, fried onion, tomato sauce, chilli sauce, oozy egg, butter, basically a big tumble of happiness. Photographed by @kristofferpaulsen at @barsaracen. Recipe includes Thermomix & traditional versions. I am excited! ...

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I stole a podcast 🤫 ⚡⚡TAKEOVER ALERT⚡⚡ In the final episode of Season 1 of @deepintheweedspodcast I handed the microphone over to journo turned activist Dani Valent (@danivalent) to interview me - Anthony Huckstep.

I won’t lie, it’s hard for me to listen to it as I go deeper than I expected with some of the trauma that our family has experienced - but I hope it helps those experiencing adversity right now.
Season 2 will land Monday.
Food for thought

In a turning of the tables Dani Valent takes the wheel of Deep in the Weeds to interview host Anthony ‘Huck’ Huckstep (@huckstergram) about how the series came to light and what’s been involved in pulling it together. In a moving episode Huck talks of the future of hospitality, food media and delves deep into his own adversities to explain that clarity and purpose can come from even the most devastating trauma.

Listen and Subscribe 🎙

Special thanks to the extraordinary people who have appeared on the show and shared their stories. And also @stjohnsroadwines for coming onboard and supporting us.
Please check out these legends below.
👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 @foodwinedine @huckstergram @altoolives @deepintheweedspodcast @fisheads @mrniland @chefneilperry @dashrum @attilatheyum @chefdanhunter @chefmattmoran @vickiwild_ @benliebmann @charlotte_dalton_wines @danivalent @theprovenance @bakerpaul82 @thewinebite @eatingwithjack @cfassnidge @jaredingersoll @kittensmithers @jacqui_challinor @mimosarockoysters @greatoceanducks @monty_koludrovic @olivequeenoz
Reposted from @huckstergram

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Tip Jar is a simple way to show support for people working in restaurants, cafes and bars. This new fund is run by in association with @streetsmartaust. It's legit! Funds are split between social enterprises working in food such as @scarfcommunity and @covid19ead plus direct support for temporary visa workers. The campaign encourages anybody with the means to simply throw a
‘tip’ into the fund, no matter how big or small. Just like a tip in a cafe or bar, it all adds up! Head to 🙏❣️🙂💪 @tipjarfund

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In @goodfoodau I share 7 stories of hospitality workers on temporary visas. This is one. Read the whole piece via link in bio & consider helping employ a visa worker chef at @fareshare_australia. Link in bio too or see

As Australia went into lockdown and the earning capacity of restaurants was slashed, the owners of Richmond's hatted @anchovy338 restaurant made an extraordinary decision.

They committed $10,000 to sponsor @georgiedent1994, a 26-year-old English chef who had been with them just a few weeks. "I came in as a stranger and they have backed me 100 per cent," says Dent.

But she is no random backpacker. Dent has worked in Michelin-starred kitchens in London and New York and was named "best young chef" by the Observer Food Monthly when just 19. She studied butchery "for a break". She's in the industry for life. And when she arrived in Melbourne two years ago, she quickly decided she wanted to live here.

She has skills and stickability that Anchovy's owners Jia-Yen Lee and @thiteatee simply couldn't find in anyone else. "We've always wanted to hire Australian chefs but we haven't been able to find anyone who's stayed more than four weeks," says Lee. "I feel like we've taken years to find Georgina. Her CV is strong. She's interested in our food. She is genuinely the best person for this job." To qualify for sponsorship, Anchovy had to advertise for a local in what's called labour market testing. There were applicants but no one was the right fit. An ability to butcher was one area where Dent stood out. "At Anchovy, we get in whole animals. We need someone who knows their way around a lamb or a pig. "

If Anchovy hadn't sponsored her, Dent's working holiday visa would have expired on May 7. Now she's on a bridging visa with fingers crossed the sponsorship application is successful. "She has so much to give to Australia's dining scene," says Lee. "She has the potential and the knowledge to give back in the future." But what about the expense? "Sometimes I panic when I look at our bills," says Lee. "But I can always catch up on rent. I can't let go of someone I've taken five years to find."

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This is @daniele_vischetti. He's held senior positions at Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy. He cooked at @nomacph. He had a job at @vuedemonde when the pandemic hit. He's on a working visa so he's not entitled to any government help. Even though Vue's @hughsallen has done an amazing job in looking after his overseas staff, he was glad to partner with @fareshare_australia and send Daniele there to cook meals for the needy. Daniele is one of seven visa workers I've interviewed for today's @goodfoodau cover story (5 in print, 7 online). These people make our industry. We need their skills to rebuild. We've launched an initiative today to help visa workers like Daniele by funding another position at FareShare. Head to Thanks @ardynbernoth for backing this story - it's such an important issue, it's also hard times for freelance writers so this is doubly appreciated #buythepaper ...

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