Ways to Reduce Your Party Food Bills

We come up with ways to reduce your party food bills. This would be great for your home party, private or corporate functions and even at your wedding.

Ways to Reduce Your Party Food Bills

STAFF OR HOST TO SERVE EXPENSIVE CANAPE 

Those prawn, scallops and expensive meats shall be served by staff rather than putting them on buffet or table  for guests to serve themselves. You might  save 40 percent of the total cost. The other way is you can ask your caterer to buy less expensive type of seafoods.

USE LARGE AND COLOURFUL SALAD AND VEGETABLE DISHES

This strategy is showing that you care about your guests to offer them plenty of vegetables. It also show your generosity without having to spend a lot of money. You can use exciting ways to place your foods such as a wok, pan, unusual platters.

SKIP THE CHEESE PLATTER

It’s often the les popular item at some party because guests may not want dairy products. Most guests have had cheese platters at office parties and family get-togethers. No one will miss it and you might save some money. You can find some Vietnamese rice paper rolls here. Get a bunch of fillings and get your guests to make the rice paper rolls themselves. 

SKIP THE ROAST ADD THE ASIAN INSPIRED STATION

Those leg of lamb, large pork roast and chicken roast are too heavy and filling not to mention they are expensive item. Choose a soup or two such as mini Thai pumkin soup would go a long way.

SERVE ALL TIME FAVOURITE DIFFERENTLY

Serve all time favourite in different ways such as mini chicken parma, macaroni in nice palte, mini cheese bites in glass or stick, fish and chips in paper corns. Those crowd pleaser items would come cheaply and show how creative you are.

USE CHICKEN OR PASTA INSTEAD OF EXPENSIVE MEAT CUTS

Most people can be okay with chicken if you cook well. Just get a good sauce and present it different way.

MULTI COURSE TASTING MENU

If you plan a tasting menu of 7 or 8 small courses instead of four big ones, you’ll save some money here.

GO BITE SIZE WITH DESSERT ITEMS

Make tiny desserts and serve them in smaller cup or glass. By controlling portions, you’re saving one-third the price of a full dessert buffet.

SKIP THE SPARKLING WINE FOR TOASTS

Skip the champagne for your special toast. Guests can toast you with the drinks they have in hand. Or look into serving easily available cheaper sparkling wines instead.

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Ways To Get The Most Nutrients From Your Food

Eat Vegetable Sources of Water-Soluble Vitamins and Heat-Sensitive Nutrients Raw

Water-soluble vitamins are vitamins that dissolve in water. These vitamins include Vitamin C and Vitamin B. Foods that are high in Vitamin B and C content includes bell peppers as well as dark and leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach. However, we know that some vegetables taste better when they are cooked. For example, brussels sprouts and broccoli that is rich in Vitamin C. To minimize the loss of nutrients during the cooking process, you can cook these vegetables without exposing them to too much water and heat. These cooking methods include, steaming, sautéeing and roasting.

Tomatoes and Carrots are Best when Cooked

Vitamin A – Beta Carotene is responsible for the bright red and orange colour of tomatoes and carrots come. Beta-carotene plays an important role in healthy vision, skin and immune system. To boost the availability of this vitamin, it is recommended to cook them! We find these 7 ways to cook with carrots recommended by Myrecipes easy and delicious! http://www.myrecipes.com/holidays/how-to/7-ways-to-cook-with-carrots#carrot-cake-pancakes

Pair Foods that Become Better Together

Pairing the right foods together does not just make it flavourful, it also increases your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. One of the all-star combo that we recommend is pairing iron rich food such as green vegetables, fortified breakfast cereals, nuts and seeds with Vitamin C. This is particularly important for vegetarians who consume non-animal sources of iron, such as soy beans and lentils. So, the next time you have your breakfast cereal, pair it with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice! Watch this video to find out more about food pairing https://www.today.com/video/produce-pairing-how-to-get-the-most-from-your-veggies-879554115857

At Otao Kitchen, we believe that eating does more than just providing you nutrients to lead a healthy life, it is also opportunity for people from various backgrounds to gather together to share life experiences. Through our cooking classes, you’ll learn how to cook flavourful and nutritious food as well as learn about different food cultures! https://otaokitchen.com.au/cooking-classes/

Vietnamese Cooking Class Master

Vietnamese Cooking Class Master

Join us and discover flavour of this fascinating Vietnamese food for its fresh, healthy style of cooking and eating....

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Ultimate Vegan Cooking 5 Day Workshop

Ultimate Vegan Cooking 5 Day Workshop

Explore vibrant spices, beautiful sauces, fresh vegetables, tofu and beans in vegan cooking. If Asian vegan dishes...

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Why Green Tea Is Good For You?

Green Tea Benefits for Skin

Green tea contains antioxidants that are similar to the anti-aging compounds found in food like red wine, blueberries and dark chocolate. With high antioxidant contents, green tea helps to destroy the harmful free radical that is associated with aging processes to retain your glowing skin and youthful look! 

Green Tea Benefits for Weight Loss

Green tea is able to break down excess fat. This is attributed to its strong antioxidant component known as catechin. They have been found to stimulate your metabolism and help with weight management. However, it is important to note the relying solely on green tea for weight loss will not have significant impacts but by adding this superfood into your weight loss regime, you’ll achieve your weight loss goals in no time! 

Green Tea Reduces Risk of Diabetes

Green tea helps to regulate blood glucose levels and decreases the risk of diabetes. Green tea helps to slow the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes and resulting fat storage. According to a Japanese study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16618952/), it was found that people who drink 6 or more cups of green tea a day are 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those people who drink less than a cup of green tea a week.

Green Tea Boosts Brain Power

Green tea has the ability to improve your brain power, especially the working memory. In fact, recent research has found that green tea has the potential to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Apart from that, caffeine that is present in green tea also helps you to maintain your alertness and focus. 

Green tea is considered to be one of the world's healthiest beverage. So, the next time you’re going to boil some water, pick out some high-quality tea to make yourself a pot of green tea! 

More to read https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-green-tea

Ultimate Asian Cooking 5 Day Workshop

Ultimate Asian Cooking 5 Day Workshop

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How To Make Kitchen Cleaned

CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN EVERY TIME YOU COOK

Make sure every you cooke you clean the kitchen as a rule. Without cleaned kitchen it would take a long time to start the cooking process and discourage you to make the kitchen perfectly cleaned.  It will save heaps of time to find tools, utensils, pot and pan when you know where everything is.

PLAN YOUR MENU AND RECIPE

It might be good idea to write down what you will do and the steps of it. Take some time to get ready ingredients, tools and equipment for the recipes. Make sure all of your supplies within arms reach so you don’t have to walk around your kitchen.

SAVE TIME BY HAVING A BIN NEXT TO THE COOKING AREA

I normally get a dirty dish or container for rubbish next to me as it would save me a lot of time not to open and close the cupboard under the sink. You can save heap of time and less messy.

SMARTER USE OF AN EQUIPMENT

If you use a cup to measure ingredients then use it for the dry item first - flour, nut or pasta then use the same cup for the wet ingredients. If you use the cutting board for prepping your meal why not use it to prep vegetables first then fish or meat. This way you don't have to wash the board and save water and time to clean it.

COMBINATION OR MULTIPLE USE THE SAME EQUIPMENT

When you prep many ingredients for a dish why not combine the ingredients in the same containers if they have same cooking time. You can lay them up in one container so you can take item need to cook longer first. You can rind the containers and reuse them straight away to save fully clean up. 

Same practice can go with pots and pans. You can reuse them for different dishes by just rinding them instead of washing them throughout.

COOKING IN BULK

Cooking in bulk is great with slow cooked food and soup. You should plan to cook your soup with multiple portions so you can reheat and eat them different times. If you are not a person who like left over too much, why just freeze them for next week lunches or dinners. 

You can use the same method to make curry paste, sauces and pasta or rice.

DEVELOP CLEAN AS YOU GO RULE

If you have two sinks then why not use one of the sink for washing equipments, pots, pans and prep bowls while cooking. This will give you something to do while waiting for the meal to cook plus less dishes to clean up. You can also place dishes that have food stuck to them in a sink so this will save a bit of time to wash things up later. Another tip is to get a good scraper and steel wool as it help to remove the toughest stains. 

TEAMWORK IN THE KITCHEN

Cooking with friends, family or your children can be fun. You can get the kids to wash some of the dishes or stir the sauce while you wash the dishes. This way cooking is fun for them but also giving them a chance to learn a good cleaning practice in the kitchen. Some family manages have their best time in the kitchen and get great memories for their family. For more cooking tips, sign up for our newsletter and discover the ease of a home-cooked meal.

Asian Cooking With Kids

Asian Cooking With Kids

Get your child immersed in Asian food culture with Otao kitchen cooking class. This is a great way for kids, family...

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Ultimate Asian Cooking 5 Day Workshop

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Longer Expiring Gift Vouchers Now at Otao Kitchen

Many of us may not know that that every business must have to work with the tax component of the voucher to the Tax Office on your behalf. Tax is not paid until after a voucher is either used or expires and vouchers have more than one year can be tricky to work out. 

We have seen NSW law recently passed allowing gift voucher holders to have 3 years expiry on the value. 

We are now offer 3 year expiry to every customer buying vouchers from our website www.otaokitchen.com.au and since April we already set our system for that to happen. We promise to keep the same experience for the year and the menu or class may change but the value can be kept for other classes.

We look forward to having many of you to cook with us.

Happy Cooking!

Gift Voucher $200

Gift Voucher $200

Gift Card for Any Cooking Class or alternatively you can buy a cooking class for your loved one below.

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Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Gift Ideas

Gift Voucher for Any Cooking Class or alternatively you can buy a cooking class for your loved one below.

Duration 0 Hours

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The perfect wedding day time plan

THE MORNING WEDDING

There is no doubt you will be in for an early start on your day.  It will take a long time for hair and makeup so you should allow 1.5-2 hours for your hair and make up and 1 hour for each bridesmaid. It would be best to start at 7am as it might take 2 hours or more to get hairs and make up.

Then you will put your casual dress or actual dress for the day on. You will need to get to the venue. It might be nice to get some pre wedding photos with family and friends. You can allow 15 mins.

The reception would start between 10-11am. When you finish you might have to take photos with everyone. This may take up to an hour depending how many shots you like to have.

About mid day the reception or meal time starts. You might want to add some speech and toast in this time after 30-40 mins so people can have a bit of foods and hospitality.

The cake cutting would take about 1pm and after that people will have free party time till 2-2.30pm. 

The couple might leave about 3pm and right after the guest will leave.

The caterers and supplies will pack up and go at 4-5pm.

THE AFTERNOON WEDDING

This afternoon wedding is popular these day if couple want to have more time in the morning and more time in the evening with their friends and family. It also means you will party into the night. You will repeat the same timeline above except you will finish later at 10pm. Some venue will send guests home so they can clean before 11pm.

Wedding Catering Services

Wedding Catering Services

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Dumpling Dipping Sauce Recipe

Traditional dipping sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped - optional
  • 1 teaspoons freshly grated ginger - optional
  • 1 teaspoons sesame oil - optional
  • 3 tablespoons premium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons Chinese rice wine (shaohsing)
  • 1 teaspoons brown sugar

Methods

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

 

Thai Style Dipping Sauce

 

Ingredients

  • 6 teaspoons finely minced garlic (about 8 medium cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh juice from about 4 limes
  • 1.5 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander and fine stems
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes

Methods

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved.

 

Coconut Curry Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 7 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh juice from 1 lime
  • 1.5 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh peeled ginger

Methods

Bring the coconut milk and curry paste over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened and fragrant for 20 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl. Add cooked curry mixture and stir thoroughly to combine.

Ponzu-Ginger Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • crushed red pepper
  • 4 tablespoons thinly sliced spring onion
  • 4 teaspoons grated fresh peeled ginger
  • 4 teaspoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Methods

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients together.

DIY Dumpling Cooking Party

DIY Dumpling Cooking Party

This dumpling kit is perfect for the adventurous foodie who is always ahead of the food trends. Dumplings seem like...

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Taste of Australia with Bush Foods

Bush food, also known as bush tucker, is any food native to Australia such as wild fig, wattle seeds, bush coconut, honey and nectars found in honey ant and the list goes on. These bush foods are not only delicious, there are also packed with nutritional punch, especially when it comes to antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and micronutrients. In fact, the world’s richest known fruit source of vitamin C is our Kakadu Plum, closely followed by native quandongs. https://goodfoodshow.com.au/melbourne/bush-tucker/#

Bush food facts may be a feast for the brain but these bush food recipes will be a feast for your eyes and tummy! One of our favourite is this kangaroo kofta with warrigal greens, beetroot and feta from taste.com. https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/kangaroo-kofta-warrigal-greens-beetroot-feta/726b9a72-8f64-4948-94f4-1bebf3d2a720 This is not just an easy dish to make, it also makes a healthy dinner option as it includes the lean kangaroo meat as your protein sources and warrigal greens to pump up your fibre intake for the day.

Another favourite of ours is this bush tomato soup recipe by bushfoodaustralia.com http://www.bushfoodaustralia.com/testing/ You can either have it as a soup or reduce it further to make a pasta sauce. The ingredients required are simple, that is bush tomatoes, dried native pepper leaves, ripe tomatoes, onions, olive oil, salt and fresh basil leaves. A useful tip would be to prepare this bush tomato soup in advance as the flavour profile of the bush tomato will build up over time.

Australian native ingredients and bush foods are not just nutritious and delicious, they also help to connect a dish to the land that it originated from, giving it meaning and context. At Otao Kitchen, we provide the opportunity for you to discover Asian culture through the use of a wide array of Asian ingredients at our cooking classes.

Queen Victoria Market Tour and Cooking

Queen Victoria Market Tour and Cooking

Experience Melbourne foods on our market tour and cooking class - its like no others! Our experienced chef shows you...

Duration 5 Hours

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Mother’s Day Gift

DUMPLINGS COOKING CLASS AS MOTHER'S DAY GIFT

Making and eating dumplings is always a winner! You are guaranteed to find fantastic Mother's Day Gift Voucher with Otao Kitchen. Melbourne is home to a diverse range of cultures Vietnamese , Chinese and Japanese... which are showcased through the many dumplings offerings. If you are after a unique experience casual and fun, why not try the dumpling cooking with your mum? Pick up a date for mum or buy her a gift here Otao Kitchen now!

THAI, VIETNAMESE, JAPANESE AND BALI...COOKING CLASSES AS MOTHER'S DAY GIFT

Our cooking classes take place every week Friday Dinner, Saturday Lunch or Dinner. Our menus feather specialities from different regions with herbs and spices, tasting fresh exotic fruits, making salads from vegetables. Mum will pick up something delicious ideas making beautiful lunches and dinner. She can join our Victoria Street Market Tour to learn where to buy Asian ingredients and enjoy chef delicious bites on the day.

CATERING WITH ASIAN FOODS

For a relaxed dinner or lunch, treat mum to home delivery service with our home-made Asian and Italian varieties. Simple and freshly made treats and you can create an easy meal for mum on her special day.Or simply visit our Asian Catering Food Special

Dumpling Party

Dumpling Party

Do you love dumplings but don't know where to begin your Dumpling Party? This cooking class will take the mystery...

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Fresh produces at Farmer markets

If you keep it simple and buy ingredients at farmers' markets, the food can pretty much take care of itself. Do as little as possible to the food; consider leaving out an ingredient and relying on instinct. We have a list of shopping streets and farmer markets in Melbourne for you.

Hawthorn - Boroondara Farmers' Market

  • When: 3rd and 5th Saturday of the month
  • Where: Patterson Reserve, Auburn Road, Hawthorn East (Melway 59 E4)
  • Time: 8am to 1pm
  • Cost: $2
  • Contact: 9278 4444

Join a dedicated group of farmers and locals who are passionate about fresh fruits, vegetables, organic produce, meats. Talk directly with the producers and support small Victorian producers. Bring your kids. The market is supported by the city of Boroondara and Melbourne Farmers Market

boroondara.vic.gov.au/our-city/markets-restaurants/farmers-market

Carlton Farmers' Market

  • When: 1st Saturday of each month
  • Where: Carlton Primary School, cnr Palmerston & Rathdowne Streets
  • Time: 8.00am - 1.00pm
  • Cost: Gold coin donation supports school projects.
  • Parking: Street parking available on Palmerston, Drummond, Rathdowne & Lygon Streets.

Carlton Farmers' Market is a place for locals searching for a way to get closer to the source of their food. Carlton Farmers's Market offer shoppers the unique opportunity to put faces to names of their favourite local producers, and to take home a basket of tasty, ethically grown groceries. More information Carlton Farmers' Market

Collingwood Children's Farm Farmers' Market

  • When: 2nd Saturday of each month
  • Where: St Heliers Street, Abbotsford
  • Time: 8.00am - 1.00pm
  • Cost: Gold coin donation supports projects at Collingwood Children's Farm
  • Parking: St Heliers Street Carpark, visit the Abbotsford Convent.

Set in the pastoral oasis that is the Collingwood Children's Farm and open the second Saturday of each month, this gourmand's paradise offers a fleeting taste of country life in the heart of Abbotsford. More information Collingwood Children's Farm or Melbourne Farmer Market

Gasworks Farmers' Market

If all you sell is raspberries (or olives, or rhubarb, or honey), then you've got to have a pretty strong passion for them. Every third Saturday of the month, enthusiasm for high quality local produce runs like electricity at this Port Melbourne arts space, and your tastebuds will feel it too.

Grab a fresh, crusty baguette from Alison, then stock up on seasonal produce and a treat or two for later (handmade chocolate biscuits, anyone?).

Slow Food Melbourne Farmers' Market

  • When: 4th Saturday of each month
  • Where:  Abbotsford Convent, St Heliers Street, Abbotsford
  • Time: 8.00am - 1.00pm
  • Cost: Gold coin donation
  • Parking: St Heliers St Carpark, visit the Abbotsford Convent.

Beneath the grey spires of the historic Abbotsford Convent is a market that champions an era when you know the farmer who grew your potatoes, and when tomatoes tasted like real tomatoes.

Open the fourth Saturday of each month, seasonal, organic food is king here, and learning about the origins of your produce is half the fun. Pope Joan's Matt Wilkinson can't get enough of the Warialda sausages and Jim's pork pies, and we fell hard for Take Me Home's Gippsland-made gnocchi.

Visit Slow Food Melbourne Farmers' Market website

Gleadell Street Richmond

When: Every Saturday
Where: Gleadell Street Market, Gleadell Street, Richmond
Time: 7.00am - 1.00pm
Cost: Nil
Parking:Parking is still free, but limited,

Every Saturday, Richmond's Gleadell Street is transformed into a bustling fresh food market, overflowing with seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh bread, herbs, flowers and other gourmet delights. The original Richmond market opened in 1873 and the tradition of enthusiastic stallholders arriving as early as 2am to set up their stalls continues today.

http://www.yarracity.vic.gov.au/Events/Shopping-and-dining/markets/Gleadell-Street/

Private Cooking Experiences

Private Cooking Experiences

Experience our best food walking tour and Asian cooking class in Melbourne. Our experienced chef show pick up fresh...

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Queen Victoria Market Tour and Cooking

Queen Victoria Market Tour and Cooking

Experience Melbourne foods on our market tour and cooking class - its like no others! Our experienced chef shows you...

Duration 5 Hours

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Team Building Activity Ideas

We have a focus on organic and local ingredients which are sourced from within Victoria Street and our own backyard where possible for your team building cooking.

Our training kitchen is designed with home cooks in mind, as we feel cooking in a commercial training kitchen is unrealistic! We want the skills and dishes you learn to be fully transferable to your own home. This is not a cooking show on TV – it’s your show and your way, an unforgettable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Team building cooking and social cooking classes are intimate with a maximum of 8-16 people per class. This allows our chef to spend as much one-on-one time with you as possible. All classes are hands on – Get in and get your hands dirty! Experience the thrill of creating wonderful and tasty dishes that you have made yourself.

Corporate and group class bookings are also available and are perfect for team building, social club activities, new product launches or client and media events. Plus it is a great place for intimate private parties with both indoor and outdoor classes.

So whether you’re a competent cook or a beginner with basic skills, OTAO’s classes are designed with you in mind. Immerse yourself in the flavours and freshness of Vietnamese cuisine. Get creative, have fun and enjoy your experience with OTAO Kitchen

Explore Asia through foods and cooking 

 

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Melbourne Corporate Team Food Truck Challenge

Melbourne Corporate Team Food Truck Challenge

Food truck is really a business dating back many years and recently a challenge still for many chefs and business...

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $245 Book now

Christmas Gifts Under $100

An Asian cooking class is ideal for anyone from avid foodies and cooks, to those that don’t know how to cook at all. Our cooking classes cater to all tastes and skill levels.
Avoid the long queues, save time and make things better by gifting a cooking class experience this Christmas.

For a limited time, gift a cooking class for only $99. You save 27% off the regular price!
Our cooking classes offer amazing food experiences and they really are a gift that keeps on giving. They’ll have a blast and leave with a new set of recipes under their belt and the confidence to recreate them at home. Here’s hoping you get a dinner invite!

Be this year’s Greatest Gift Giver and gift a cooking class to that special someone now.

Asian Cooking Essentials gift pack only $80 per lesson
Consisting of 4 classes including Market Tour and knife skills, Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cooking lessons. The ultimate cooking class gift bundle.

Get them talking about you this Christmas instead of a forgotten gift.

Buy your loved ones with Christmas Gifts Under $100

 

Christmas Gift Voucher

Dumpling Party

Dumpling Party

Do you love dumplings but don't know where to begin your Dumpling Party? This cooking class will take the mystery...

Duration 2 Hours

From AUD $99 Book now

How to plan an unforgettable Work Christmas Party?


Here’s Chef Ha's handy hints to assist you with how to plan an unforgettable Work Christmas Party goes with a bang.

Get start now! It may feel like you’re only just two month away, but good venues get booked up, fast. You don’t want to be left with only your dodgy pub as an option. Make sure you get a date in everyone’s diary as early as possible, then start the all-important task of finding a venue.

Get out of the office No one wants to spend their Christmas party in the cramped office lunch room. Find a venue which is easy to get to, and make sure there’s the option for public transport home at the end of the night. If you do have to stay in-house, choose a room away from your normal work area and make it festive a little bit of effort goes a long way. Order some yum foods for example Vietnamese Menu 

Send an invite Make it feel like a special event that people can look forward to. Make your invite fun and eye-catching to really get people in the festive mood.

Decide on a Christmas party theme. No party is complete without a theme to tie it all together. Here’s your chance to get creative. Perhaps it’s Christmas past, or novelty hats. Or you could even plan a cooking activity to really get everyone involved.

Include a competition. Whether it’s ‘best Christmas jumper’ or ‘best achievement of the year’, everyone loves a competition and it’s a fantastic ice-breaker. You could even take it a step further and include the competition as part of your theme. Stage a full-blown quiz complete with novelty prizes and really get people excited. Talk to one of us, we have great ideas that might work for you.

Plan a great menu. Whatever you do, remember to include enough food for the day and night. Drinks will be flowing, and no-one wants to find themselves stumbling in the gutter at the end of the night. Find out your budget and look for a menu which has something for everyone. For larger groups a buffet can be ideal, and it means people can eat whenever they’re ready. 

Treat everyone like guests to your own party. Great them at the door and make sure they know where to put their coat and get a drink. This is a great way to put people at ease, especially if you’ve chosen an unusual venue.

Make a seating plan. With large groups of people this is the best way to ensure everyone is happy, and you could even mix up teams and help people socialise more. Another option is to get all the men to move seat before desserts. As well as the traditional cracker jokes, you could leave a fun ice-breaker question next to each person to help things along and get conversation flowing. Conservation about foods say ingredients might go a long way.

Take lots of photos. to include in an article for the staff newsletter and great for a giggle when sober back to work kicks in. You could even make a short video for real fun factor, my suggestion is stay away from the photocopier.

So there you know how to plan an unforgettable Work Christmas Party. Follow these tips and you’re all set for a fantastic office ‘do. . And remember, treat your boss as you would normally do at work with respect!

 

Christmas Party

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Gift Ideas

Gift Voucher for Any Cooking Class or alternatively you can buy a cooking class for your loved one below.

Duration 0 Hours

From AUD $100 Book now
Work Christmas Party Ideas

Work Christmas Party Ideas

Looking for Christmas Party Ideas? Finding ideas for work Christmas party ideas in Melbourne is no mean feat, so...

Duration 4 Hours

From AUD $125 Book now

Learn to cook Asian Foods

Our classes are also a perfect step to take before travelling to Asia.

Instead of travelling (to Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, or elsewhere) and then taking a cooking class, why not get in some hours before hand? Then you can build on your experience abroad. And afterwards, if you tried Asian cooking and developed a passion for it, then you can come and work with us to develop your dishes even more, or just get some new and creative ideas!

With our Asian cooking class experience, you’ll also learn how to pair food from different regions, choose tastes and ingredients that complement each other, wines, herbs and spices which balance one another, and even more. You’ll leave feeling relaxed, happy, and with some very special knowledge about Asian cooking.

Once you develop your flair for Asian cooking with us, you’ll have those skills for life. You’ll enjoy better satisfaction in your cooking, more variety in your diet, and a new outlook on Asian culture and Asian food.

Otao Kitchen Cooking School

OTAO Kitchen is a purpose-built Asian | Vietnamese Cooking School located on Victoria Street, Richmond – Melbourne’s own little Saigon. Just minutes from the Melbourne CBD, Victoria Street is a hub of activity, sights and sounds. What better way to immerse yourself in an authentic Asian | Vietnamese culinary experience!

 

Chef Ha Nguyen

Your host who will ensure you receive a personalised experience. Ha was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam and has over 14 years experience in kitchens. Having worked in Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia, Ha is trained in both Eastern and Western style cuisines. His knowledge and passion translate into a thoughtful, real and enjoyable cooking experience designed just for you.

Sign up for a Cooking Class at Otao Kitchen Asian Cooking in Richmond, Melbourne today!

 


 

Ultimate Vegan Cooking 5 Day Workshop

Ultimate Vegan Cooking 5 Day Workshop

Explore vibrant spices, beautiful sauces, fresh vegetables, tofu and beans in vegan cooking. If Asian vegan dishes...

Duration 5 DAYS

From AUD $1425 Book now
Ultimate Asian Cooking 5 Day Workshop

Ultimate Asian Cooking 5 Day Workshop

If your dream is to learn to cook healthy foods at home, or you just love the idea of developing your cooking skills...

Duration 5 DAYS

From AUD $1421 Book now

Father's Day with Dad Loves Cooking?

When is Father's Day?

Father’s Day is on Sunday 3 September and if you’re struggling for inspiration on what to buy Dad, a cooking class is a great idea. Let's step away from the gifting of gadgets.  Take a second to appreciate what our father's taught us in the kitchen.

We cooked and really enjoyed Mother's Day. It was so much fun to see how our family kitchen was shaped by a parent. This time around, be inspired with some things our dads taught us about cooking.  Surprise your dad with this weekend with the gift of cooking.

Check out cooking class on the side bar

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Gift Ideas

Gift Voucher for Any Cooking Class or alternatively you can buy a cooking class for your loved one below.

Duration 0 Hours

From AUD $100 Book now

36 Hours in Hanoi

Here is is how Robyn Eckhardt of the New York Times see herse and music. Great to see Steve who is veteran American who live in Hanoi since late 1990s.

http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/havana-hanoi

And Michael Totten to compare the city with Havana, Cuba.

Hanoi is amazing Vietnamese city with beautiful lakes, tree line boulevards, street foods, ancient temple, pagodas and old gates.  Growing up in 1980s and 1990s, you might experience Hanoi as a sleepy town,  now it's an wakening with business and tourism.

The city was named as Dragon city or Thang Long before 1800s and renamed to Hanoi when French colonised Vietnam. Today, millions of ambitious citizens are determined to catch up with better and modern education, business and technology. Flowing motorbikes and people on the street, they created markets of chaos.  Food Hawkers in conical hats sell their fruits, vegetables and flowers on the bikes.

Local Hanoians sit down on the footpath for noodle breakfast or sip coffee or enjoy the street foods of Hanoi. At dust and dawn,  people takes tai chi sessions around the lake or in Lenin Park. Bright and young citizens celebrate their new additions of modern and Western restaurants and bars.

Ultimate Vietnam Food Tour

Ultimate Vietnam Food Tour

Discover, cook and eat your way through Vietnam, experiencing one of the freshest and most fragrant cuisines on the...

Duration 14 DAYS

From AUD $3495 Book now

WIN $10,000 Vietnam Gourmet Safari with KOTO Vietnam's Fundraising Event in Melbourne

Here is their details:

Fundraising Event in Melbourne - Taste the Stories will take place at the "Moonee Valley Legend” on the 17th of June 2015.

Taste the Stories promises to bring the flavour of Vietnam, from the finger food menu to traditional dance as entertainment. Jimmy Pham, Koto Founder, AM together with current KOTO alumni will share their stories.

There are items for both silent and live auction to win:

1. A ticket for two people to enjoy a Vietnam Adventure Tour for 8 days valued $10,000 sponsored by Gourmet Safari.

2. Two Vietnamese cooking lessons with OTAO Kitchen valued at $135/each.

3. One voucher for 8 people to enjoy a 5-course sit down dinner in house sponsored by Tastes of Vietnam - a KOTO Alumni small private caterer.

4. A dinner voucher at a fine dining Vietnamese Restaurant valued at $200 sponsored by Dandelion Restaurant.

5. Two vouchers to shop online at Rice Kitchen - an Asian grocery in Melbourne valued at $150 each.

Please visit www.koto.com.au

Ultimate Vietnam Food Tour

Ultimate Vietnam Food Tour

Discover, cook and eat your way through Vietnam, experiencing one of the freshest and most fragrant cuisines on the...

Duration 14 DAYS

From AUD $3495 Book now

Koto Vietnam - Hospitality and Cooking for street kids

 Koto Vietnam - people have known of Koto Vietnam with Hospitality and Cooking School  since the early 2000s. We would visit their restaurant and support the kids with activities at KOTO Vietnam through United Nations International School of Hanoi. And now I can see KOTO is doing well and expanding to a business model of social enterprise and Hospitality and Cooking School in Vietnam. 

Most Vietnamese and Hanoi people growing up in the 1980s and 1990s may remember how hard it was to get good food, let alone dreaming of having a job. The country has moved on from hungers but it can still be difficult for the poor to move above the poverty line.

Jimmy Pham is a Vietnamese Australian who opened a Hospitality and Cooking School Centre in Hanoi, giving disadvantaged kids an opportunity to learn and to get a job in the food industry. Vietnam is on the move with growing tourism and hospitality and the Cooking School in Vietnam has added much to this industry.

KOTO stands for “Know One, Teach One” with the message knowledge is there to be shared. Now Jimmy and other members have built a great social enterprise. They have hospitality and cooking schools and restaurants in Hanoi and Saigon. At anytime hey have over 400 students working and learning from Hanoi and Saigon restaurants, an online bakery, a cooking class and a catering service.

The results are amazing with KOTO Vietnam  also introducing thousands of Australians to the food taste of Vietnam over the years. Many of KOTO's graduates choose to work at the KOTO Vietnam social enterprises.

ULTIMATE NORTHERN VIETNAM FOOD TOUR 9D8N

Discover charm people, vibrant streets and incredible flavours, Vietnam is an attractive food destination to travel to. Join us on a Northern Vietnam Food Tour in Vietnam. This private-guided tour will see you enjoying some of the finest Vietnamese foods and drinks, experience exciting cooking classes and exploring local markets. With ample time to explore attractions and relax in your luxury 5-star hotel accommodation, this is truly an unforgettable Vietnam food tour experience.

Click here http://www.otaokitchen.com.au/ultimate-northern-vietnam-food-tour

Ultimate Vietnam Food Tour

Ultimate Vietnam Food Tour

Discover, cook and eat your way through Vietnam, experiencing one of the freshest and most fragrant cuisines on the...

Duration 14 DAYS

From AUD $3495 Book now

Grown in Victoria’s Otway Ranges - Otao Kitchen Beef

Udi explained 8 things that he does best for his meats:

"Free ranged and grass fed. No lot feeding, no grain or genetically modified stock feeds and no growth hormones"

"Emphasis on stress minimisation and humane livestock handling"

"Environmentally sustainable. We border the Great Otway National Park and 25% of our farm is remnant forest, with revegetated shelter belts and waterways. This is beneficial for the care of livestock and wildlife and also importantly, for water quality"

"We maintain a low and sustainable stocking rate. We also avoid chemical inputs and prioritise the use organic fertilisers"

"Otway Prime is proud to be an accredited producer and member of the Victorian Farmer’s Market Association (VFMA)"

"Otway Prime was established early in 2008 to cater to the growing consumer awareness about the importance of sustainable farming practices, the need to maintain the highest standards of animal welfare and the benefits of local, seasonal, premium quality produce"

"We produce quality livestock that are unconfined and free range. We do not lot feed, grain feed or use any other genetically modified stock feeds and we do not use growth hormones."

"We strongly believe in the ethical treatment of animals and we prioritise animal welfare issues and stress minimisation. We are similarly committed to producing clean, wholesome, natural beef and lamb and we personally manage the supply chain to ensure our customers receive the highest quality produce."

 

Source: otway prime

Queen Victoria Market Tour and Cooking

Queen Victoria Market Tour and Cooking

Experience Melbourne foods on our market tour and cooking class - its like no others! Our experienced chef shows you...

Duration 5 Hours

From AUD $245 Book now

Discover the magic of 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail and the Otway Region

An indulgent paddock to plate cooking experience

Great Ocean Road Cooking Retreat - Best Thing to do in the Winter

This winter, OTAO Kitchen has transformed the entire 4-star Twelve Apostles eco lodge into a relaxing and friendly cooking retreat escape just for you. Everything you could imagine for the perfect cooking experience and getaway is right here. Fresh local produce and ingredients, commercial kitchen, beautiful dining room overlooking native forest plus stunning cabin accommodation.

Don't hide away this winter, escape with us to the Great Ocean Road. Our cooking class and retreat package is all inclusive at a very reasonable rate. Your package includes two cooking classes (dinner and brunch), two days one night accommodation in exclusive eco lodge cabins, all meals, snacks and drinks, wine and cheese tasting, tranquil surroundings, wireless internet and so much more. Friendly local visitors such as wallabies and kookaburras will enhance this experience. It’s the best winter escape value on the planet!

Queen Victoria Market Tour and Cooking

Queen Victoria Market Tour and Cooking

Experience Melbourne foods on our market tour and cooking class - its like no others! Our experienced chef shows you...

Duration 5 Hours

From AUD $245 Book now

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

We have fantastic French-inspired Vietnamese Cooking with a class scheduled specially for Mother's Day (Sunday 3 May 2015). Bring Mum along and enjoy the day together.

Or why not give Mum the ultimate cooking gift with a VIP Cooking Experience.

For that something extra special, a Great Ocean Road Cooking and Lodge Retreat will see Mum enjoying a 4-star eco lodge stay, complete with two cooking classes. You're sure to be the favourite with this one!

Of course, every day should be Mother's Day and you could surprise her with any one of a wonderful range of cooking classes. Mum will have heaps of fun learning to cook some new recipes and you're belly is sure to reap the benefits of it too.

Visit www.otaokitchen.com.au for more information and to book or call Chef Ha on 0408 217 899

Thai Cooking Class Master

Thai Cooking Class Master

Thai cooking classes showcase the amazing food of Thailand, stories of its people, culture and history. Join now...

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $165 Book now

How to make Cevich

Ceviche Recipe

Serve 4 Cook 20 mins Level easy

INGREDIENTS

  • 400 g snapper or rockling skinned and filleted, sustainably sourced
  • 1 red capsicum , deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2-3 spring onions , trimmed and finely sliced
  • juice of 3 large lemons
  • 1-2 fresh red chillies , deseeded and finely chopped
  • 8 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked
  • 1/2 tin of coconut milk
  • 8 sprigs of fresh coriander , leaves picked
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

METHODS

  1. Cut your fish fillets into 1cm cubes. Put these into a bowl with your chopped capsicums and spring onions, then cover and place in the fridge until you need them.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the lemon juice, coconut milk, salt and chilli. Wash and dry herbs.
  3. You can assemble the ceviche just before your guests are ready to eat. It’s important that you don’t leave the fish marinating in lemon juice too long as the acids in the juices will cook the fish and fish will be dry! 
  4. Pour the lemon dressing over the fish mixture and immediately mix it up and serve in 3 minutes.
  5. Divide the ceviche between your 4 plates, gently spoon over a little of the dressing and discard the rest. 
  6. Sprinkle with herbs and extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper.
Thai Cooking Class Master

Thai Cooking Class Master

Thai cooking classes showcase the amazing food of Thailand, stories of its people, culture and history. Join now...

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $165 Book now

Melbourne Seasonal Vegetable and Fruit Guide

Melbourne Seasonal Fruits

Apples

Bananas

Figs

Grapefruit

Grapes

Melons

Oranges (Valencia)

Pears

Persimmons

Pomegranate

Strawberries

Tomatillos

 

Melbourne Seasonal Vegetables and Herbs

  • Asian Green
  • Basil
  • Bay leaf
  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Bronze fennel
  • Brussels Sprouts 
  • Cabbage
  • Capsicum
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chilies
  • Chives
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Dill
  • Eggplant
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Onions
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Shallots
  • Silver beet
  • Spinach
  • Spring Onion
  • Squash 
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Thyme
  • Tomatoes
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini

Melbourne Seasonal Nuts

  • Almond
  • Chest Nut
  • Hazelnut
  • Pistachio
Ultimate Vegan Cooking 5 Day Workshop

Ultimate Vegan Cooking 5 Day Workshop

Explore vibrant spices, beautiful sauces, fresh vegetables, tofu and beans in vegan cooking. If Asian vegan dishes...

Duration 5 DAYS

From AUD $1425 Book now