GLUTEN FREE DINING AT MICHELS

GLUTEN FREE DINING AT MICHELS

People living with celiac disease can feel more confident dining out or attending functions due to better tasting gluten free options becoming available.

When hiring a caterer for an event, you want to feel secure they will deal with every aspect of the food service. The caterer’s goal is to ensure that the process is as easy as possible and this includes serving gluten free options. People with gluten and wheat intolerances need to feel confident that no cross contamination has occurred during the preparation, presentation and service of food. 

Simply removing croutons from the top of a salad and serving to a person with coeliac disease can cause a severe reaction and produce symptoms that can last for days or weeks. For food service professionals, it is about learning the process of how to produce safe gluten free food. It is also about educating staff to take food allergies seriously and to proactively prevent the wrong food being served to the wrong person. 

Changing a menu to suit gluten free diners is not a hard process. At Catering by Michel’s, as well as at the restaurant, we prepare real, whole foods that are already free of ingredients that may contain gluten. We have adapted recipes to ensure our sauces and salad dressings are free of gluten. Some people may not realise that many common sauces such as soy sauce, worcestershire and even vinegar are made with wheat based stabilisers and are not suitable for people with gluten intolerances. All our sauces used in the restaurant are made in-house and are gluten free. 

When catering off site we have colour coded cutting boards, knives and utensils that are dedicated to solely making gluten free options on request if needed. From the beginning of an event or dining experience we want our gluten free diners to feel confident we can keep them safe. This happens through proper communication with our clients and proper training of our staff. 

In the restaurant we have many gluten free menu items or menu items that can be made gluten free. Check our menu for options, or just ask. See you soon for some safe gluten free dining. 

HOW DO PINOT GRIS AND PINOT GRIGIO DIFFER?

HOW DO PINOT GRIS AND PINOT GRIGIO DIFFER?

Almost every day in the restaurant someone asks me about the difference between pinot gris and pinot grigio.

If you are in France you call it Pinot Gris and if you are in Italy you call it Pinot Grigio. If you are in Australia you can call it both. Hence, the confusion. The styles are made from exactly the same grape, just like Shiraz and Syrah. However, while the grapes are the same, their styles differ significantly.

The Italian style Pinot Grigio is typically lighter bodied, crisp and fresh, with vibrant stone fruit and floral aromas with a touch of spice. The grapes are picked earlier in the harvest season than their French counterparts.

The French style Pinot Gris is typically fuller bodied, richer, spicier, and more viscous in texture. The grapes are left on the vine until later in the harvest season, so they also tend to have greater cellaring and ageing potential.

These grape varieties are both thought to be a mutant of the pinot noir grape. Both the grapes and leaves look exactly the same. Another interesting fact about this variety is that the grapes are red in colour. Skin contact, which gives wine its red colour (all juice produced from red or white grapes is white) does not occur during the pressing process. You will find some pinot gris that are slightly pink. This occurs if the wine has come into contact with the skin of the grape and left for a short time to add colour and tannin. 

Whilst Pinot Gris and Grigio are quite new to the Australian wine scene, they are being embraced by sommeliers because of their food friendly qualities. Pinot Grigio, being lighter is better suited to enjoying as an apéritif or with lighter dishes such prawns, fish or appetizers. In contrast, the richness of many Pinot Gris styles enables them to work well with heartier dishes such as a veal, rabbit, pork and hard cheeses.

The two styles work differently (but beautifully in their own way) with food, making them the perfect choice for a night out, no matter what you might feel like eating. 

Try our 42 Degrees South Pinot Grigio from Tasmania with our Saute Calamari and the Mt Diffuculty Pinot Gris with our Blanquette de Veau.

The Joy of Dining Out

The Joy of Dining Out

Dining out is all about the experience, and enjoying time with friends and loved ones. If you are a lover of food and wine, matching these two elements can really enhance your evening. However, it doesn’t have to make or break your evening. The majority of wine consumed, usually occurs before or after your meal, with only a few sips taken while eating. Therefore, I say, don’t over think it. Life is complicated enough already. 

There are a couple of simple rules:

Drink and eat what you like

Look for balance and match the wine to the most prominent element in the dish

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Drink and eat what you like. Choose a wine you like to drink by itself. Even if it is not the perfect match for the food you have chosen, at least you will enjoy what you are drinking. The same rings true for food. If, for example, you don’t like oysters, no wine is going to make them taste good to you, even if it is recommended to be paired with oysters.

Look for balance with the food and wine. By that I mean consider the richness or weight of the food compared to the wine. This is the secret behind all good food and wine matches. A classic match for natural oysters is sparkling wine or champagne.

Next step is to pick a prominent flavour in the dish and match your wine with that flavour. A lot of times it is the sauce rather than the main ingredient that you match with your wine. Is it a creamy sauce, tomato based sauce or a silky red wine jus? For a creamy sauce match chardonnay. For tomato based sauces, a light red such as Montepuliciano, Sangiovese, or a light pinot noir go well. For steak with red wine jus, it’s a shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. These wine and food matches hold the same weight. For example, a hefty shiraz is the drink equivalent of a feisty red wine jus.

If you are really after an amazing food and wine matching experience, let the restaurant take you on the journey. Choosing a degustation menu with a wine pairing is always a good place to start. Allow your waiter to explain the food and wine connection and just enjoy the experience. 

Come in and experience our new degustation menu matched with some of our new wines.

What's in a Burgundy

What's in a Burgundy

Is it a wine? A region in France? Both?

Well done if you said both. Burgundy is a region in France that produces wines that are considered to be the best in the world. That is also why they are some of the most expensive in the world. 

There are two types of Burgundy – red and white. Red Burgundy is madeusing 100% Pinot Noir grapes and white Burgundy is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. Could it be any simpler than that? So now we know what the wine is made from, let’s talk about where it comes from.

Burgundy is widely regarded as the region which has the best land in the world for producing pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. More than any other wine region, Burgundy is heavily influenced by its terroir (sense of place). The quality of the land is so important to the final product that inside the Burgundy region, vineyards are classified by four levels:

1. Grand Cru The Best, top 2%
2. Premier Cru Nearly the best, top 12%
3. Village wines
Burgundies produced from several vineyards in the 1 village of the Burgundy region. 36%
4. Regional Wines
Burgundies produced from a combination of vineyards and from a variety of villages. 50%

That all sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?

That’s the end of the simplicity. When it comes to classifying French wine, especially Burgundy, it can get very complicated. Here at Michels, one of our favourite BurgundiesJoseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2012, has just made an entrance onto the wine list.  A lovely red Burgundy, aged in French oak with delicate, fruity aromas and a touch of spice. This wine is made from grapes sourced from premier cru vineyards in the sub region of Beaune, but is not classified as premier cru and cannot be confused with village wines.

So where does this wine sit?  At Michel’s, we say that it doesn’t really matter. Even at the regional level Burgundy wines are highly regarded because they are from one of the best wine regions in the world and are worth enjoying no matter where it sits within French classification. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay can thank Burgundy for making them famous. Come into Michel’s and enjoy this wine paired with one of our new menu items:

Duo of Venison – Seared Venison Steak, Venison rosemary pie, celeriac gratin, juniper glazed pear, pancetta & white balsamic Brussels sprouts, mustard sauce.

New Wine List and Menu started this July.

A Night in Vegas

OH what a night! 

Entertainment by Attori was incredible.  To have such talent right here in Townsville is a real treat for locals.  Craig created a mouth watering American style menu with items such as  - Southern BBQ Pork Belly, Boston Clam chowder, mojo spiced spatchcock, wood smoked eye fillet and Grilled sword fish.  Dessert was a Baked cherry and baby apple pie.

I cant wait for our next event which will be A Night in Italy in early November !

Happy Easter everyone.

Welcome!

Welcome

Welcome to 2016 at Michels restaurant and welcome to the 1st edition of our weekly blog.  Restaurant life is very interesting and at times can be extremely challenging. The food and beverage industry is constantly changing, you have to be on top of your game.  The Michels team is always looking out for innovative ideas  whether they are food, or beverage related.  Its not about trends but more about the direction the industry is heading.  Our goal with the blog is to let you know what is happening behind the pass, behind the bar and behind the Michels team.   We will be talking all things food, wine and events.

Let's get up to speed

Almost a year ago to the day a change of ownership sparked a string of changes to bring Michels a whole new look & vibe.  When the opportunity came up to buy into Michels, (I wont say I jumped at the chance) I thought it would be a great direction for me.  Craig my business partner has 25 years industry experience, he has worked here and abroad and is a fantastic teacher/role model for the staff.  My experience spans 25 years and I have worked all over QLD, and have had a  two year stint in Sydney.  Craig and I have worked extremely hard over the past year to bring the restaurant up to what it used to be. We have redirected the restaurant into a modern, on trend venue that's drawing a younger crowd and bringing all the favourites back.

The next instalment

Next week I will let you know how our Night in Vegas night transpired!  Until then bon appeitit!