Monthly Archives: August 2012

Tony Bilson’s Berowra Waters plan irks creditors

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Tony Bilson’s Berowra Waters Inn comeback has irked some in the restaurant industry

Tony Bilson’s plan to open a restaurant at Berowra Waters has irked creditors, including ex-staff who claim they are still owed superannuation from his last businesses.

The restaurant Bilson’s and Number one Wine Bar & Bistro were put into liquidation in October 2011, after Bilson was hit with an unexpected $500,000 payroll tax liability.

He plans to reopen Berowra Waters Inn on the Hawkesbury River — an iconic restaurant he ran with his former wife Gay in the 1980s — which chef/restauranteur Dietmar Sawyere closed in June.

“Renovations have started at Berowra. We are looking at wines for the list with our friends from Tyrrells, Hope Estate, Harkham’s, O’Leary Walker, Philip Shaw, Andrew Guard, and samples arriving from France asap. Key staff on board! Steve Adey at Darling Mills is planting special vegetables for us. The momentum is un-stoppable,” Bilson says on his Facebook page.

But his plans have drawn scathing criticism from creditors and others in the restaurant industry. Read the full report here.

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Becasse liquidation fire sale underway

From restaurant empire to fire sale; the Becasse liquidation sell-off is underway.

Liquidators Ferrier Hodgson have cleaned out the fine diner’s wine cellar, unplugged the appliances and emptied the pantry. Everything — from Krug Champagne to packs of cheap plastic glasses — is being auctioned on GraysOnline.

When the virtual hammer falls at 9pm tonight the amount raised will make only a small dent in the $4.3 million that the North’s businesses — owned by celebrity chef Justin North and his wife Georgia – owed to over 200 creditors and 180 staff when they were placed into liquidation in July.

A bottle of Krug Clos-du-Mensil Blanc de Blancs (1998) and a bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1er Cru (2003) are currently vying for the top liquor sales spot having each attracted a bid of $709. They have attracted 61 bids and 100 bids respectively.

Other wine ‘lots’ in the bargain basement sell-off have attracted bids under $10. There are around 300 wine and Champagne ‘lots’ up for grabs.

A Fagor stainless steel commercial drinks fridge has so far attracted the highest bid of $869. Other catering equipment, including electric blenders to skillets and cake rings, cartons of Riedel glasses, assorted cookbooks and collections of gourmet produce are also being auctioned off.

A spokesman for Ferrier Hodgson said the liquidators were playing a “minor role” at this stage.  “It’s some residual plant and equipment, it isn’t anything extensive in that online sale.”  Read the full report here.

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Hunger: an Australian story

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Foodbank launched its End Hunger in Australia report in Canberra today.

Hunger afflicts 2 million people in Australia. That’s how many people do not have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food.

I’ll bet you didn’t know the extent of the problem. The Federal and Opposition governments are happy to talk about how many Australian households have access to broadband and the percentage by which that will rise when, and if, their respective broadband schemes are implemented, or the country’s low unemployment rate of about 5 per cent, but hunger isn’t talked about. It’s not on the political agenda.

Nor is it something that most Australian households contemplate.  When I skipped breakfast yesterday — out of choice rather than necessity — i didn’t consider those who are forced to skip meals most days of the week because of their dire straits.

Today, the issue of hunger is well and truly on the table. Hunger relief charity Foodbank Australia has launched its first End Hunger report, which spells out the extent of the problem. Continue reading

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Why eating at the work desk should be banned, BHP-style

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Eating at the work desk can bring out the inner Hulk in fellow workers (iStockphoto).

 

BHP got roasted by the press recently for a draconian policy that stipulates what staff can and can’t eat at their desks at its new West Australian headquarters. Soup is off the desk-scoff menu, as is fruit, chocolate, nuts and “other nibble food”. However, staff have the corporate sign-off to consume a “sensible amount of lollies” at their station. Bring on the Jelly Babies, that’s what i say.  Continue reading

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Why restaurant discount deals are duds

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Restaurant discounts are often a dud, rather than a good deal

Restaurant discount deals are a dime a dozen. But do diners get a good deal, or a dud? The Food Sage takes a look at the ‘special’ treatment that discount diners receive.  Continue reading

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