Belmondo’s head chef Patrick Williams with some of the tasty foods on offer.
Belmondo’s head chef Patrick Williams with some of the tasty foods on offer. Geoff Potter

Taste test for health

WE all know that we should be eating healthy foods, but while we all love to eat, most of us love to eat the wrong thing.

When most of us think of eating nutritiously, we think of boring and bland foods. But this is the mindset chef Patrick Williams is trying to change.

Patrick is head chef at the recently opened Belmondo's To Go in Mooloolaba.

The delicatessen is a sister store to Belmondo's Fresh Food Market in Noosa, which specialises in providing gourmet take-home meal options for those looking to eat well but who are time-poor.

Patrick, who began working as a chef at Belmondo's four years ago and prepares all meals on-site in Noosa, said people were starting to become more health-conscious about their food.

"People are definitely looking for healthier options," he said.

"We have a lot of people coming in even just looking for gluten-free varieties, not necessarily because they are gluten-intolerant but because they are making a conscious decision to be healthier.

"We are promoting not just healthy foods but homestyle cooking, taking food back to its roots - and we have a few of the old favourites."

Patrick's efforts are in line with the Go for 2 & 5 Campaign that was developed by the Federal Government to encourage Australians to switch to healthier diets after identifying that most Australians only get half the amount of fruit and vegetables recommended for good health.

Eating the right amount of fruit and vegetables daily can help prevent coronary heart disease, some forms of cancer, obesity and improve control of diabetes.

So how can people adopt healthier meal options at home?

Patrick said the key was keeping things simple and not straying from the basics.

"Grow a vegetable garden and if you can't do that, have a steady supply of good-quality fresh fruit and vegetables," he said.

"Keep the food simple and always buy good-quality meats and seafood."

And with many people opting for the classic Australian barbecue heading into the summer months, Patrick said to ensure home cooks used good oils.

"Avocado oil is really good to use when barbecuing - it brings out the quality," he said.

Two new products to Belmondo's shelves this month to jazz up summer barbecues are the Organic Sweet Ginger Marinade - perfect for salads or as a marinade, and the Lemongrass and Kaffir Mayonnaise.

Patrick is hoping the success of Noosa's Fresh Food Market will rub off on the Mooloolaba store and continue to encourage people to eat healthier.

"Belmondo's To Go is a satellite of what we do at the Belmondo's Fresh Food Market, and that is creating healthier alternatives," Patrick said.

"People come in and want to eat really fresh foods.

"People are looking for fresh, healthy, consistent quality foods."

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