The madness of starting the school term has officially commenced for another year.
The hardest part of the back to school routine, is getting your head around everything that is going on. From juggling school, homework, before and after school activities like music lessons and water polo– not to mention your own work routine and factoring in family time.
It's because of this that Gourmet Dinner Service, is aiming to delay the onset of post-holiday blues by giving parents a break from the kitchen once or twice per week with the -Back-to-School Rescue Pack'.
The -Back-to-School Rescue Pack' will relieve the pressure parents are already facing and give back valuable time to spend with your family and get on top of things.
Families come in all shapes and sizes, and whether you are a family of four or just have a hungry teenager in the house, Gourmet Dinner Service offers generous meals with the potential for left overs to go in school lunchboxes.
300g Basmati rice
1 tsp Five Spice
150g corn kernels
1 capsicum, diced
1 head of broccoli, diced
1 onion, finely diced
1-2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tsp ginger
4 tsp sesame oil
200g green beans, cut in half
½ cup soy sauce
4 tsp honey
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 kg chicken thigh fillets, diced
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp olive oil
In a large saucepan, boil water with a pinch of salt (for every cup of rice use 1.75 cups of water). Cook rice until the water has absorbed, fluff with a fork and allow to
Heat a non-stick pan or wok and fry vegetables using sesame oil.
Add Five Spice, garlic and ginger to the vegetable mix.
Add the rice to the wok and saute together.
In a bowl, mix soy sauce, honey, ginger, sesame oil.
Add chicken thigh to the mix and allow to marinade for 20 minutes in the fridge.
Heat a non-stick pan sauté chicken for 5 minutes using olive oil, add additional teriyaki marinade and continue to sauté for another 8 minutes until cooked and tender.
Add water if the sauce is too thick.
To serve: Place teriyaki chicken on a bed of fried rice.
Sebastien knew from a young age that he wanted to become a chef. He started his cooking career at aged five when he began helping his mother, also a chef, cook the family meals.
At the age of 20, Sebastien left his birth country of France and headed for London where he landed an esteemed role with Gordon Ramsay at one of the first 3 Michelin Star awarded restaurants in London.
After 10 years in London, and a vastly improved command of the English language, Sebastien travelled the world feasting on and learning about the cuisines of many countries before moving to Sydney.
After seeing the abundance of fresh quality produce, the land of opportunity and the ability to surf every day; Sebastien decided to call Sydney home. Shortly after settling down, he got married and started a family of two lovely boys.
When he first arrived in Sydney, Sebastien worked as a personal chef for a number high profile clients before taking a role as the Executive Chef for Gourmet Dinner Service.
In the 10 years Sebastien has been with Gourmet Dinner Service, he has opened two new kitchens and now manages production in three states. In addition to this, he has successfully revamped the original recipes and expanded the range tenfold.
Sebastien was also responsible for the creation of all of the recipes for the Dietlicious brand that was launched seven years ago, a sister company to Gourmet Dinner Service.
More recently he has introduced a range of fresh salads and new family meals for Gourmet Dinner Service, both of which have been very well received by customers.
Question: What is the Gourmet Dinner Service?
Sebastien Houllion: Gourmet Dinner Service first launched 22 years ago to home deliver premium meals. The meals are cooked from scratch and then flash frozen or vacuum sealed to lock in the goodness and flavour. Since the beginning, it's been our mission to provide our customers with delicious Michelin quality ready-made meals. Using local suppliers, fresh seasonal ingredients and tried and tested recipes, we deliver great tasting meals that makes life easier at dinner time. Families can order online at www.gourmetdinnerservice.com.au and select from 78 mains, 20 family meals, 21 sides + desserts, cocktail food, soups and pasta sauces –there is something for everyone!
Question: How have you made the service family friendly?
Sebastien Houllion: We offer a range of family meals, mains and salads which are a great time saving option for busy parents and allows the whole family to sit down and enjoy a meal together with very little effort.
Question: What's in the Back-to-School Rescue Pack?
Sebastien Houllion: The Back-to-School Rescue Pack contains five main meals for your family that are healthy, tasty and most importantly, easy for families to enjoy at the end of a busy day. Meals generously serve a family of four to six and include:
Chicken teriyaki w/ fried rice
Bolognese pasta sauce
Mac + Cheese
Risotto cakes w/ pesto
Question: What goes into creating the ultimate family dinner?
Sebastien Houllion: I believe that the ultimate family dinner meals start with finding the finest produce. That's why all our produce arrives fresh every day from markets, farms and trusted local suppliers. Fruit and vegetables are chosen for seasonal perfection, our seafood is Australian and top quality, including sashimi grade Tasmanian salmon, and all meat and chicken is free range and hormone free. There are no preservatives, additives or genetically modified anything here. Just fresh, natural ingredients, imagination and epicurean expertise.
Question: How do you go about creating meals that keeps an entire family, happy?
Sebastien Houllion:Before developing the recipes we interviewed a host of kids to find out what they wanted in a meal. After all, if kids happily eat everything on their plate it' a much better dinner experience/result for the parents. So we have taken flavours and ingredients kids love and created 20 meals for the family. I'm also a father and know what it's like to find meals the whole family can enjoy.
Question: What are your five most used ingredients for family dinners?
Sebastien Houllion: All of the Gourmet Dinner Service meals are made from different ingredients, so we can offer the variety that families expect. I would say the favourites for families come from the Rescue Pack and some of our other meals such as Greek Meatballs and Russian Salmon Pie.
Question: What advice do you have for parents who have difficult eaters, in their family?
Sebastien Houllion: Children often become fussy eaters when they hear their parents talk about their food distastes in front of other adults. When kids hear 'my child doesn't like this, or this or this,' it confirms that it's okay to not eat these foods. To overcome fussy eaters, I'd recommend that parents turn it around and talk about the foods their kids do like, rather than those they don't. For my own kids, I like to tell them that I'm the best chef in the world, so they always try what I give them!
Question: How do you make vegetables, fun?
Sebastien Houllion: I suggest including a combination of their favourite veggies, presented in a fun way. If you are trying to get kids to eat new foods, it's always a good option to ensure they are hungry when dinner comes around… This way they'll be willing to try anything you put in front of them!
½ small brown onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
300g bacon, diced
175g plain flour
300ml full-cream milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper
200g grated comte cheese
200g shredded mozzarella
750g elbow pasta
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Cook pasta in salted boiling water for 12 minutes, drain and allow to cool.
In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour, garlic and onion. Cook for one minute, add milk and stir. Cook for 15 minutes until thickened.
Add mustard and cheeses and stir.
In a separate pan, fry diced bacon for a few minutes until cooked.
In a baking dish add cooked pasta, white sauce and bacon and stir until well mixed.
Top with additional cheese and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the top is a golden colour.
Interview by Brooke Hunter