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Food, Inside Story

Jake Nicholson Predicts Food Trends at MICE

Jake Nicholson the Executive Chef from Blackbird Bar & Grill restaurant in Brisbane is an ex Melbourne acclaimed chef who has worked in the finest kitchens in the land (ex Lakehouse, Circa). Jake was on hand at the Lavazza stall at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo to talk about coffee and food trends in general. Lavazza hosted an interview with Jake Nicholson by well known Melbourne food identity Dan Vaughan, owner of The Pantry in Brighton. 


During the interview Jake spoke about his passion as a young chef to simply "make people happy through food (and wine and coffee)." Jake spoke about his time at restaurants in Australia as well as fondly of his stints at The Square and The Ledbury in London. The World Loves Melbourne understands these top London restaurants help form the character of any chef and are somewhat demanding.

Dan Vaughan also asked Jake about the differences in being a chef in Brisbane and Melbourne. In Brisbane the weather is more consistent, so chefs are prone to cook the same menu for long periods (not Jake) but in Melbourne the cold winters lend themselves to more slow cooking.


The World Loves Melbourne asked Jake about foodie trends and he told us that "New Age Asian" was a definite trend now and into the future. With restaurants like Gaggan receiving the Award for best restaurant in Asia at Best 50 Asia, we are seeing the rise of reinterpreted Asian food. The "New Age Asian" trend also coincides with a trend to healthier eating, according to Jake Nicholson. Even in the case of fermenting vegetables, chefs are steering away from big sugards, for example, and using spices more cleverley to keep it more healthy.

The trend to healthier eating according to Jake Nicholson is also the result of people eating out more these days, and therefore realising they need to make healthier choices.

Jake spoke about how while Asian spices have been around, there are more chefs now who understand them and are savvy with them in Australia. Needless to say, Jake Nicholson uses Lavazza coffee in Blackbird.

The World Loves Melbourne enjoys the hospitality of Lavazza, including at the Spring Racing Carnival. Lavazza are a playful land savvy bunch. The Lavazza baristas at MICE are engaging, if not trademark cheeky (as you can see above). Behind the counter you can hear the odd conversation in Italian. 


Across the weekend, Lavazza will showcase coffee themed activations and events at its stand, including appearances and interactive Q&As from ambassadors and popular chefs Giovanni Pilu and Tony Nicolini.A number of new A Modo Mio coffee machines, the Fantasia, Magia and Espria Plus will also be launched at the event with hands on demonstrations from the Lavazza barista team.

MICE is the largest coffee event for the coffee industry in the Australasian region. This year the event will feature over 100 exhibitors showcasing the latest in coffee technology, host national coffee competitions and offer world class coffee education.