Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The stars of food safety

Canada Bay Council Mayor Angelo Tsirekas launched their Food Safety Star Rating Project yesterday at Aqua Vista Restaurant, Henley Marine Drive, Drummoyne.

While we are familiar with restaurants being rated with chefs hats or scores, now there is an easy to understand and easy to recognize rating system to allow us to make safe food choices; whether we are dining in a restaurant, café, club or pub or buying take-away food.

This ‘scores on door’ program will publicly recognise businesses that make a consistent and serious commitment to food safety. They will be awarded three, four or five stars depending on their level of compliance with criteria, designed to ensure that only the safest businesses receive star ratings.

More importantly, it teaches owners and employees good food practice – something which will stand them and their business in good stead.

I mc’ed the launch which, along with Mayor Angelo Tsirekas, was also attended by Alan Coutts, CEO, NSW Food Authority; Gary Sawyer, General Manager, City of Canada Bay Council plus other councilors and council employees and local Star Rated business owners and representatives.

Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas with me, Aqua Vista Chef Anthony Ishak and Deputy CEO of NSW Food Authority Craig Sahlin

I hope other councils follow Canada Bay’s initiative. Food safety is taken ever more seriously and this Star Rating system is a guarantee to consumers that these food businesses have achieved a pre-determined standard which was independently assessed.

As I mentioned above, the launch was held at Aqua Vista Restaurant, who incidentally have achieved a 5 Star Rating. 

Executive Chef Anthony Ishak presented a delightful array of canapes, including this one which caught my eye as being not only quick and simple but also impressive.  Here is his recipe:

Skewered gnocchi and prawns with pesto

250g potato gnocchi, cooked until al dente, rinsed and drained
500g cooked medium prawns, peeled
1 teaspoon pesto
dash Tabasco, or to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine dressing ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add gnocchi and prawns, mix well and set aside for 10 minutes. Thread two gnocchi and one prawn on small bamboo skewers, starting with gnocchi. Serve immediately or make a few hours ahead and refrigerate, however return to room temperature for serving.

Thanks Anthony!


  1. good on you chef anthony ..and good for aquavista restaurant...i ve tried your food and it was amazing ...good luck

  2. I was fortunate to be a guest at the launch of the new food safety star rating project and am impressed to see a shift in focus on the positives rather than negatives of restaurants. Aqua Vista is a delightful restaurant which could easily achieve maximum stars. As a regular diner it is a restaurant I often recommend to my clients - breathtaking views, fantastic affordable food and great customer service and now a 5 star rating.

  3. I was at this launch and Lyndey did a fantastic job. The businesses recognised on the day as well as the Council should be commended. Congratulations to everyone involved.

  4. I had my 40th birthday party at Aqua Vista about a month ago. Food and Service was absolutley amazing, staff went out of there way to make my birthday a memorable one. Congratulations Aqua Vista your 5 star rating is very well deserved.

  5. Lyndey you were a great host and yes the canapes were fantastic. Great venue - views are amazing. I have heard so much about Aqua Vista and I was certainly impressed. Will be going there again - reassuring now with its 5 star achievement.