Chatting About Fences, While in the Oven…

glass pool fencesCustomer service tip: chat, but not TOO much. That’s especially applicable to me, because I’m baking goodies for the enjoyment of all café patrons, and I can’t be loitering around stuck in a conversation while my vol-au-vents are going from crispy and delicious to charred rubbish. It’s a waiting game, but also one of timing.

I’m mostly reiterating this to myself, because I had a bit of a disaster yesterday. I understand that Johnny’s is the kind of environment where everyone feels at home, and that’s really lovely, but it does make people chatty and when someone doesn’t leave you any breaks to slip away…well, disaster. We had a lady in this morning who does official inspections of Melbourne pool fencing to make sure it’s up to standard, all the children are safe, etc. I don’t know if she’s terribly lonely or just the type who loves to talk about her work, but I got my ear talked off for a good twenty minutes on how she visited a home that morning and they’d painted all over the fence so you couldn’t see inside. I could really see her point, though; that’s just not on. These folks had children as well, so…well, all pool fencing is made to see THROUGH. No point if you’re blocking the view.

So that happened. Half of my brain was in the kitchen, thinking about the gingerbread family that should’ve been brown and crispy, but I just couldn’t escape. There’s so much to learn about pool fencing, clearly! Anyway, I lost track of time, finally managed to excuse myself and returned to find smoke leaking from the oven. My gingerbread family came out looking like they’d been in a horrible house fire, and nobody had any gingerbread that day. Oh, I just HATE messing up a bake! I learned plenty about Melbourne’s glass pool fencing industry, to be sure, but in the end I’d rather have some well-baked gingerbread men. That’s my job, after all.


A Tick From the Health Inspector

Australian food packaging standardsI suppose this is a useful feature. I’m not here to drink coffee or relax, because I’m here for work. I’m a food inspector, and I don’t usually sign guestbooks but…it’s a rare time when I’m fairly pleased with what I’m seeing.

The place is kept very clean, no messes on the tables (except straight after customers have made them) and there’s actually a really decent selection of sauces, all of which are in date. I’m a real sauce fan, so I was looking out for that, even in a cafe. I mean, no one’s going to put sauce in their coffee. That would be obscene.

Now, food packaging is usually an area I dread, since it’s almost always done correctly in some way. I have contacts in several food packaging companies in Australia, so I know exactly what is available where, and some folks try to bluff their way out of it by saying that their poor wrapping was the fault of their local company. Usually I have to send them off the a food processing and packing seminar, with the stipulation that they would not be shut down. This time, I was fairly surprised. The owner of the establishment seemed to have taken this seminar already, because the food was perfectly wrapped. In fact, I’m told that the folks who work here are held to a high standard when it comes to wrapping, so I suppose I can give the establishment a check for this one. A rare check indeed.

The rest of the building was fairly in place, though the level of dust on the overhead beams perhaps needed work. I did also find a discarded chocolate log down the back of the refrigerator, but there was no mould to speak of, so perhaps I can overlook it.

Overall, a high rating. I have hope for further Australian food packaging, at least until my next cafe…