The Wonders of Hospitality

Image source: Photographer Katja Anton

Matt Golinski wonders what makes eating out so tempting and tasty and why new businesses continue to open.

Someone once told me it was a good choice to become a chef because ‘people have always got to eat’.

They don’t always have to eat a $35 steak with a $10 side of chips though. 

They could stay home and make themselves a sandwich to keep themselves alive or empty the liquor cabinet of all that old duty free booze.

So why is it that despite all the current economic hardship, the increased cost of living, and the underlying fear that everything we touch is potentially a playground for viral germs, the public is still flocking to café’s, restaurants and bars across the coast instead of staying in for a stir-fry?

The fact is, most people don’t dine out because they need calories and nutrients, or that it gets them out of doing the washing up (although that is a major bonus). They pop down to their local for a latté instead of making it at home because they crave human interaction and want to feel special and looked after, even if it’s only for a couple of minutes.

The joy of sitting at a table in the sunshine or over candlelight with loved ones, being brought all the food and drink your heart desires, the theatre of waiters rushing back and forth, cutlery clanging, glassware tinkling and the voices and laughter of others around us is the magnet that draws us all in.

That insatiable appetite for dining culture across the Sunshine Coast has clearly given operators the confidence to jump right in and start up new ventures, with a string of venues opening over the past few months, including Kenilworth Bakery opening a second store at The Wharf; a new Happy Pops store soon to open in Eumundi where the art of the long lunch has been brought to life at Bask; and two major food and providore hubs will open this year including Barnes Lane Coolum and The Doonan by The Comiskey Group, developers of the multi-award winning Sandstone Point Hotel.  

Spirit House at Yandina will rise from the rubble with a refurbishment that is sure to see it return to its booked-out glory and Dee Den will open in Buderim offering modern Asian cuisine.

Slow Food Noosa continues to attract new members and recipients of the Snail of Approval across the Sunshine Coast for those producing good, clean and fair food, cementing its position as one of the biggest communities in the global network of 160 countries. 

The ‘source local’ ethos that so many of our food businesses are committed to continues to spawn new ideas, with more producers choosing to value-add what they grow into ingredients suitable for the food service industry. SevGen at Galeru in Cooroy and Noosa Native at Carters Ridge are both growing and selling indigenous bush foods in their raw form and in some cases processed into powders or freeze-dried fruit.

Autumn is an ideal time of year for growing food on the Sunshine Coast, and you can expect to see persimmons, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, dragonfuit, rosellas and strawberries starring on menus over the next few months, often having been picked that morning and hitting the plate that night.

Despite the frustration of staff shortages and the stop-start operations for the industry over the past few months, it continues to stay positive and flourish with the energy of the people who live and breathe it every day.

It bears remembering that the baristas, waiters, bartenders and chefs taking care of you show up each day with the sole purpose of making everyone they’re serving happy, and if you do have to wait an extra three minutes for that coffee, there’s a good chance someone is producing the same volume as they were two years ago but with half the manpower.

Be patient. Be kind. Use the three minutes to appreciate this incredible place we get to live in.

About the Author /

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Matt Golinski is a highly regarded chef with a passion for simple, produce-driven cuisine based on seasonal, fresh local ingredients. He is an active member of the Slow Food movement, a champion of artisan producers and a generous mentor to keen young chefs. He is the Food and Culinary Tourism Ambassador for the Gympie region; Ambassador and Advisory Executive Chef for Peppers Noosa; and a festival favourite.

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