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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : July 9th 2009
INNER WEST COURIER, Thursday, July 9, 2009 7 www.innerwestcourier.com.au NEWS Gloom and gastronomy Economic woes and a TV hit are inspiring Sydney foodies to improve their cooking. MARIE SANSOM reports A file picture of cooking at Sydney Seafood Schools. AMATEUR chefs are flocking to Inner West cooking schools to learn how to blanch, barbecue and baste with the best of them. Almost two million people are watching this year's runaway TV hit Masterchef, which has its finale this week, and recession-led en- thusiasm for home cooking is mounting. Roberta Muir from Sydney Sea- food School at Sydney Fish Mar- kets said 12,500 people brushed up their culinary skills at the school every year. ''Sydney is food crazy and the combination of things like Masterchef and the downturn in the economy mean people who would have eaten out are cooking for other people,'' Ms Muir said. ''I do think Masterchef is encour- aging people to be more adventur- ous. More and more people are happy to eat raw seafood these days, whether it's sashimi, tartare, crudo or carpaccio.'' Asian cooking classes were always popular, now Spanish and North African were too. Zoe Johnson, who runs Casa Barilla Italian cooking school in Annandale, said people were practicing what they learned on TV. ''People are starting to realise that with the produce we have in Australia you can create amazing dishes for a lot less than eating out,'' she said. ''A lot of people are using food as a way of expressing themselves and caring for family.'' But Laurent Villoing from Stanmore's Paris International School believes that programs like My Restaurant Rules and Masterchef are damaging the res- taurant industry. ''A lot of people believe that they can become a chef overnight. The restaurant industry is very, very tough,'' Mr Villoing said. ''Personally, I'm not impressed by Masterchef. ''It's not a cooking show it's light entertainment. ''They show very little of the processes of how to do things.'' He said prospective Masterchef contestants would benefit from getting a solid grounding in tech- nique from his school first. State claws into fishy swindlers REBECCA WOOLLEY state parliament CUSTOMERS will be less likely to be ripped off at the fish counter with new laws designed to reel in dodgy purveyors of pre-packed frozen seafood. While many fishmongers already do the ''partial thaw test'' to make sure every kilo they sell is good quality meat, some un- scrupulous traders try to charge for blocks of ice inside pre- packaged goods. But new laws brought in by the State Government will clamp down on the illegal practice which costs Australian consumers $90 million a year. Fair Trading Minister Virginia Judge said the partial thaw test was a new trade measurement developed in consultation with the seafood industry. ''Consumers have a right to get what they pay for,'' she said. ''If you are buying one kilogram of frozen prawns, then that's exactly what you should be get- ting. ''Unfortunately there are a lot of pre-packaged frozen fish products -- mainly imports -- which use ice to bulk up their net weights.'' Traders caught breaching the requirements face fines of up to $20,000 for an individual and $100,000 for a company. your community news from burwood council Area 3 Second Hand Saturday Saturday 25 July Area 3 Council Clean Up Week commencing Monday 27 July 2183445i iww wk2
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