A friend sent me the following T.S Eliot quote to describe how he sees Carl and I and our Ritual Concept of Cuisine. I loved it and thought it was a good way to describe our overall ideology; "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time" Over the years our love of gastronomy and designing culinary experiences has led to further study. For me this has meant Gastronomic Study through Adelaide University and Gastronomic Tourism through Southern Cross University. For Carl it has led into Industrial Design - think 3D interactive plates and instillation culinary pieces, there are no limits. We are exploring gastronomic traditions as well as current food philosophies what initially started as a love for the science of cuisine as led to a need a desire to understand culinary processes and how regional cuisines can effect local culture and community and the 'Taste' of an area. We believe a meal is a journey, a succession of experiences, from soup to nightcap or from aperitif to sweet finish. Since opening we have aimed to take diners on a journey of culinary exploration. We may travel with you through "My Country" by Dorothea Mackellar or share a jolly 12 days of Christmas or perhaps partake in the "Life of a Tree", whichever road you take we will provide you with a map and guide you through your journey. We believe in supporting our local Community and focus on sourcing our ingredients locally at the Newcastle Farmers Markets as well as Port Stephen's farmers and producers. We believe in a multidisciplinary approach to developing our Culinary journeys and are working on numerous event dinners that pull together musicians, varying artist, circus performers, metal workers, glass blowers, perfumers to name a few. Currently we are researching fermentation and up-cycling with the aim of supporting our local marine farmers , specifically oysters and Scallops to create new concepts for their products. We are interested in multi-sensory dining and mood food and see the value of research in a restaurant setting and consequently conduct random experiments at Ritual in conjunction with Newcastle University and Southern Cross University. We are working with winemakers, brewers and tea companies to achieve our goal of a complete wine, beer and tea match with every dish. With exploration will come more evolution as new insights and possibilities arise. We hope you will join us on our culinary journeys and look forward to sharing our passion with you. Hope to see you soon Carl and Kelie
Sustainability at Ritual

As business people in our community we are mindful that we have a responsibility to show leadership in securing a sustainable future for ourselves and our children. We have therefore made a commitment to undertake a programme to ensure the long term sustainability of Ritual. We see this not just as a moral, ethical and environmental responsibility, but as an opportunity to improve our business by enhancing our reputation as a leader in this field. We are recording successful procedures in a user-friendly format that can be shared as a prototype.
This process will address the following key areas:
  •  ensure resources are used in the most efficient way possible; minimise energy use and switch to renewable energy sources wherever possible; reduce waste and ensure it is handled appropriately
  • work with our suppliers to address environmental issues and make sure what we buy-in is aligned with these aims
  • train and support our staff to strengthen their commitment to our business and sustainability
  • measure our carbon footprint and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions with the ultimate aim of achieving carbon neutral status
  • build stronger relationships with our customers and the community to identify environmental issues and solutions
In order to achieve these aims we have already taken the following steps:
  • Appointed a sustainability officer to coordinate and document the process
  • Taken steps to take part in the Sustainability Advantage Programme offered by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change
  • formed an alliance with a biodynamic farmer who will be growing our fresh produce locally and without the use of chemicals and pesticides
  • Improved our waste management systems with the result that we now have increased rates of recycling. All organic waste is composted through our local community garden. Our waste oil is collected by a local resident for his car fuel. Plastics, paper and glass are recycled through council.
  • Researched suppliers of business cards and other promotional materials so that future orders will be made from 100 percent recycled paper, using 100 percent green power without chlorine bleaching and using vegetable based inks
  • Researched suppliers of certified organic fair-trade cotton to make the next batch of table linens for our restaurant
  • Discussed plans to raise awareness in our community about environmental issues and raise funds to donate to appropriate not for profit organisations
  • Discussed our employment policy with the aim of targeting those disadvantaged in our society for employment at Ritual
  • We are currently in negotiations with our landlord to install solar panels.
Since we have had a commitment to environmental issues right from the start of our business we have always adhered to the following policies:
  • sourcing local and seasonal produce - growing some ourselves
  • sourcing organic, biodynamic and free-range produce
  • sourcing fair-trade coffee, tea and chocolate
  • using recycled paper for our office requirements, toilet paper, tissues
  • using low environmental impact cleaning and dishwashing products
Honours Project in Conjunction with Newcastle University
An investigation into flavour preference development in a naturalistic setting
It has been well established that preferences for food flavours are mostly learned, particularly by being paired with other liked and/or energy providing food ingredients. However, the vast majority of studies investigating flavour preferences are undertaken within university laboratories using undergraduate students rather than in more naturalistic environments such as restaurants, and with more typical population samples.

This study aims to determine if preference for novel food flavours can be demonstrated as a result of their inclusion in foods consumed in a restaurant, and also assess whether such preference development is influenced by level of hunger, as it is in lab-based studies.It will provide valuable information on the generalisability of data on flavour preference development derived from lab studies, and also indicate to what extent such preferences can result from single meal exposures such as occur in restaurants.

The study ran for 4 weeks early in 2010 and was a great success and a lot of fun. Our database was invited to participate and the seats were filled within 8 hours of the invitation being sent. The results are currenlty being analysised.
University of Newcastle
School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health
Dr Tracy Burrows
Tracy Burrows is a lecturer in the School of Health Sciences and an early career researcher. Tracy is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and submitted her PhD (2008). Tracy has expertise in the areas of the assessment of children's dietary intake and food science studies. Tracy has published recent research work in high impact journals.

Dr Lesley Macdonald Wicks
Lesley MacDonald Wicks was awarded her PhD in 2003 under the topic of antioxidants and oxidative stress. She has extensive knowledge of lab based techniques with relation to dietary intake and its effect of bodily processes, in addition she has extensive knowledge of nutritional food science based techniques and assessment.

Associate Professor John Prescott
John Prescott, PhD, has 20 years experience undertaking human studies on odour and taste perception and preference, with 80+ publications. He had held many prestigious positions, including Director, Sensory Science Research Centre, University of Otago (NZ) and Principal Research Scientist, Sensory Research Centre, CSIRO Division of Food Science and Technology. He is editor of the journal Food Quality and Preference.

Josephine Marshall
Josie is a 4th year undergraduate student in nutrition and dietetics completing research on this study as part of her honours program
The new Ipad version of our website has just been launched and we're excited to have Ritual delievered to your ios devices in a way that does justice to our dream. The work has been done by Brent Leggett of www.flashme.com.au .
Rituals' 3 hour Tasting Journey $110
Matched Wines $45
Matched Boutique Beers $35
Matched Teas $15.

Currently we are interested in:
  • Chromatic Cuisine and its effect on mood.
  • The chemistry of food and its effect on mood.
  • Multisensory cuisine and its effect on the creation and enhancement of experience dining.
  • The sound of Cuisine and the association of notes with certain tastes
We are aways considering:
  • Flavour Profiling
  • The Cuisine of Memory
  • The value of a concept as the transmission of a message as highlighted in apicius issue 01 - suggestion, illusionism, essentialism, metamorphosis, impressionism and expressionism.
We are moving towards the incorporation of memory and the use of common ingredients as a means to instill comfort before we push culinary boundaries and create gastronmic adventures to remember.
Port Stephens Produce and A Sunburnt Country
www.ritualcuisine.com.au/uploadFiles/file/Ritual Autumn Menu 2011.pdf
Jewelled SeasRagged Mountain Ranges
Whet Your Appetite and Rituals Mini Lunch Degustation 2010
Carl was named the NSW finalist in the Electrolux Appetite for Excellence 2010 Young Restaurateur of the Year www.appetiteforexcellence.com The Electrolux Appetite for Excellence promotional team in conjunction with Henschke Wines developed Whet Your Appetite www.appetiteforexcellence.com and as one of the finalist we were offered the opportunity to offer our diners a main course with a glass of Henschke wine as this did not really suit Rituals tasting journey style we decided to give ourselves the challenge of creating a mini degustation lunch featuring Henschke wine.
The theme we chose was an innovative take on traditional family favourites. Henschke Wines is a family run winery and we throught this theme suited. Henschke offered us 5 wines to choose from: Henry 7, Johanns Garden, Louis Semillon, Eleanors SBS and Innes Pinot Gris, we designed a family favourites menu click here to view and decided on 3 wines. We sent our invite out to our database view here and the response was overwhelming to the point where we had to extend the event for an extra month.
Ritual's Port Stephens Produce Tour
a multisensory culinary adventure

Sunday 8am Start
Breakfast at Ritual Breakfast is family time for the Kenzler's as I am normally working at night. I love cooking with my kids and creating fun morning feasts. For this breakfast I will be featuring local produce and showing some simple tasty recipes.

Fig and Olive Farm Next we have planned a tour of Sam's fig and olive farm.

The Big Tomato A quick stop here to collect some heirloom vegetables.

Mushroom Farm show and tell of the amazing mushrooms produced here.

All the produce collected will be used at lunch, if you would like to purchase any produce, please do will we have storage room on the bus.

From here we head to the Medowie Macadamia Farm for a tour, lunch and cooking class.

Then we are on to Murrays Boutique Brewery for a tour and sampling, followed by
dinner at Murray's with Head chef Adam Ritchie.

Monday 8:30 Start
Meet at Ritual
Today we start with a picnic breakfast at Holbert's Oysters Salamander Bay.

Once again if you would like to purchase some fresh oysters we will supply cooled storage on the bus.

Then we head to Tilligerry Biodynamic Farm for a tour and to pick up some produce before lunching at Divers Luck Winery. I will demonstrate some smoking techniques along with a tour of the winery. Our local Ethica Coffee will also be on site and will be giving a talk about this amazing cross continent business.

I look forward to sharing my passion for our local produce along with showing you some inspiring new cooking techniques.


Tour Details
This tour will run Sunday's and Monday's throughout May 2011.
Bookings Essential Email menu@ritualcuisine.com.au
Sunday $325
Monday $195
Or Sunday and Monday $450
We developed an eight week TAFE course for new tecniques and ideas which Carl taught at Hamilton TAFE 2009 ( see information below). Carl has also taught domestic classes through the Tomaree Community Centre and private requests.
Kelie is currently undertaking her Masters in Gastronomy through Adelaide University and in 2008 won a scholarship to speak at The 16th Gastronomy Symposium in the Hunter Valley NSW. She spoke on making the Hunter region a leader in the field of cutting edge cuisine.

This drive to share any new knowledge we obtain has led to a Newcastle, Hunter and Port Stephens group 'Developing Ideas' made up of local restaurant/cafe owners, chefs and other staff, where we combine ideas, techniques, buying power and networking/collaboration potential. This group is also working on funding a local Biodynamic farmer who will grow specialist herbs and vegetables (including heirloom) for our restaurants - as we will combined our purchasing power we hope to provide him full time income.

Past and Present Teaching

TAFE Lesson Plan
Week 1
Menu Development
Flavour Combinations - volatile molecular compounds
Week 2
Menu Development
Texture combinations
Week 3
Menu Development
Advanced Techniques Overview
Week 4
Spherification 1
Week 5
Inverse Spherification
Week 6
Gums and foams
Week 7
Week 8

Please feel free to contact us for the actual TAFE teaching notes and recipes.
St Paul's Grammar School Ritual Notes 2010
This course was designed for a teaching degustation we conducted at St Paul's Grammar School Cranebrook NSW. The students were taught how to create selected dishes and then held their own degustation dinner that evening.

Click here to see St Pauls teaching Notes and Menu
Ritual would like to introduce our dining gift tokens. Purchase either a tasting journey token $110 each or a matched beverge token $45 each or both.  Simply include your mailing details in your email and we will post these out to you.

Food Games

Our one and only pastry cook Alexis has teamed up with our Ritual Dining Tokens designer Lea
to create some fabulous food games. Simply email and we can arrange your order.

Recipe Dice $2 each or 3 for $5

Are you spontaneous and experimental with your cooking? Do you wish that you were? Try planning a meal with these adorable recipe dice. Roll a handful and head on out to your farmer's market. These wooden dice feature seasonal vegetables, grains, meats, spices, herbs, and a few additional ingredients like lemon, ginger, and hot chillies.

Memory Games $18 for a set of 12 in a hand made carry pouch
This gorgeous memory game entices thought and learning of fruit and vegetables. Set out the tokens Ritual symbol facing up, take turns to flip 1 and then 2 tokens and try to form pairs. If you do not flip a matched pair turn your selection back over and it's the next persons turn. Look at their selection, and remember what they turned over and where it is placed. If you match a pair remove it from the game and have another go. The person with the most matched pairs wins.

Trade Tokens $2 each or 3 for $5
When times are tough it's good to remember that the best things in life don't actually cost much. In fact, they are priceless: a long walk after dinner, fresh home baked cookies, a friend's warm hug, a cup of tea or coffee or a home baked good.
These sweet wooden tokens offer different homegrown goods and services from you to your lucky recipients. Give them as gifts, great stocking stuffers, trade them with friends and let them take on a life of their own and remind us what true value is.

We love to work with people who are passionate about being on the edge of food science. If you're interested in working with us, we'd love to hear from you. Please be sure to check out our events section, read about our current team in the "Kitchen Think Tank" section. Please contact us using the "Contact Button"
A testimonial

My partner and I ate at your restaurant quite some time ago and we have been raving about it ever since. We've dined at many fine restaurants but continually recall Ritual as the standout best! About 6 months ago I wrote a little article on my website which I thought you may be interested in reading. I'm sorry for not showing you earlier! Here is the link:


Anyway, thank you very much for a inspiring and memorable evening. Keep doing what you are doing.

Chris Lloyd

Baliatthebay.com.auBali At The Bay. Luxury accommodation just arond the corner from Ritual Cuisine. Click here.

Flashme Web Design - breaking new ground in web impact - immersive and emotive. www.flashme.com.au
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Contact and Address Details

The Office on
(02) 4981 5514
Shop 1 and 2 Cnr Austral St. and Armindale Ave Nelson Bay
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