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Hot Rock Dining heads to National Awards - "Southern Highland News" 17/11/2008
Grill Seekers - "The Australian" 7/11/2008
Hot Rocks cooks up a storm
- "Sydney Morning Herald" 22/10/2008
Steaks rock the state - "Southern Highland News" 20/10/2008
Eat your healthy heart out
- 28/8/2006
Inverell RSM Club
- 2005
Ash Blu
- "Wests Ashfield" 9/10 /2004
Club House Hotel A
- "Wellington Times" 28/7/2004
Club House Hotel B - "Wellington Times" 28/7/2004
Prince Alfred Hotel
Azure Restaurant - "Southern Highlands News" 8/7/2002
Tattersalls Hotel - "Goulburn Post" 22/12/2001

Burradoo's Hot Rock Dining heads to National Awards

BURRADOO-based company Hot Rock Dining International will be competing for recognition in the Australian Export Awards in December.

Hot Rock Dining won the Emerging Exporter Award at the NSW Premiers Export Awards last month, allowing them to be in the Australian final of the Emerging Exporter Award, sponsored by AusIndustry.

Hot Rock Dining director, Venus Hilder, said she felt honoured by representing NSW at the national level.

"The enormity of this recognition has undoubtedly renewed our enthusiasm as a team, it brings us more inspiration and determination to stay-in-touch with our vision in terms of what we would like to ultimately achieve in the global market," Ms Hilder said.

"I would like to thank Australian Institute of Export, Austrade, DSRD and Tradestart for their valuable assistance. It is their combined ongoing practical education and training they provide, along with a wide range of export services and informative networking and recognition events that assists companies
like Hot Rock International Pty Ltd grow on the global export platform."

The federal Minister for Trade, Simon Crean, said the 13 finalists from NSW employed 5,500 people and generated export earnings of over $3 billion.

"That's a significant contribution to lifting Australia's trade performance and the Australian
Export Awards serve as a timely reminder that successfully engaging in the global economy is vital for our ongoing prosperity," Mr Crean said.

There are 84 national finalists competing across 13 award categories in this year's Australian Export Awards. Each of the finalists has already won their respective state or territory export awards.

Sponsor of the Emerging Exporter Award, Auslndustry NSW manager, Russell Edwards, presents a finalist certificate to Hot Rock Dining director, Venus Hilder, at a presentation in Sydney this week.

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Grill seekers get ready for a hot time

Eat your healthy heart out

ONE gutsy Australian company has taken technology that is literally thousands of years old and used it to teach the world to grill Aussie-style.

From Turkey to China, Hot Rock Dining International's unique dining system provides healthy hot meals to hungry diners around the world.

Hot Rock has been recognised as a finalist in the emerging exporter category of Austrade's Exporter of the Year Awards.

The system the company sells starts by heating a giant stone in an oven. A hunk of raw meat, seafood or vegetables is then put on the stone, and the diner cooks his or her own meal at the table.

No oil is used, just a small amount of healthy sea salt, and the flavour and juices are sealed in.

Hot Rock is an add-on business which is based on an innovative product, enabling the proprietor of a restaurant to create a whole new exciting range of meals served within six minutes from order, with dishes only limited by the imagination.
Hot Rock's George Hilder said: "This is not entirely a new product as it has employed as a method of cookery that has been used down through the ages by different cultures."

Mr Hilder is currently on a mission to China: "At the moment I'm here with a gentleman from Hungary and we are pushing into Germany and the Czech Republic."

Mr Hilder said the system was an Australian invention manufactured in Australia, although the
source of the rocks was a closely guarded secret.

Mr Hilder said being recognised by the Australian Export Awards provided an extra push to
establish an international reputation with their product. He added:' 'We give our client base a point of difference with their competitors. When we set up a restaurant, we give them an exclusivity area which we don't change." He said the exclusivity area varied, depending on how big the city or town was: "For example, in Sydney we would have one per suburb.

"In regional country towns, we would put one in a town. In a regional centre like Dubbo or Wagga, we would put in one at one end of the town and another at the other end."

Mr Hilder said the firm started late in the 1990s:
"We started doing it in a small way and slowly expanded. I took it to Canada in 2000 and to the US in 2003 to a trade show there and launched the US push.

Mr Hilder said growing the company had been "easy". He added: "It was a walk in the park and it gets easier every year. The reason being, it's a different style of product.

"When you create something you get an immense personal satisfaction in putting your product around the world. Life is a great challenge and to be able to do something worthwhile has been a gift."

Mr Hilder said the company was going into more countries all the time: "We have just cracked Egypt and the Canary Islands and we cracked India last year. And we have started to generate a lot of sales through the internet."

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EMERGING EXPORTER - Hot Rocks cooks up a storm

The time taken between ordering and when the food arrives on the table is four to six minutes - and the customer does the rest. Hilder says big restaurants can serve up to 50 people in half an hour.

LOW fat, low maintenance - that's just what everyone is after. So it's no wonder Hot Rocks Dining has taken off.

In eight years, Venus Hilder and her former partner, George Hilder, have taken Hot Rocks Dining from a concept to an international success.

Unlike many new businesses, Hilder didn't wait to gain a reputation in Australia before launching worldwide.

With unabashed confidence, Hilder took the hot-rock cooking sensation to the US.

Hot Rocks Dining is an add-on product for restaurants and cafes. Customers get to cook their own meat on a specially sourced and manufactured rock that is heated in a specially designed oven.

It's fat-free cooking at its best and, for restaurant owners, is a no-fuss, cost-effective eating revolution.

"The idea came to my former partner about eight years ago," Hilder says.

"Cooking on stones is not a new idea. The Hawaiians, Fijians and islander have been doing it for centuries. We just reinvented it so it could be brought to the table.

"It sounds like an easy concept but there was a lot of sleepless nights and research and development that went into it before it was launched.

"Not only did we have to get the right types of ovens built and find the rocks, we had to liaise with chefs around the world to put together menus that could be translated to different countries."

Hot Rocks cooks up a storm
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Steaks rock the state

HIGHLANDS' business, Hot Rock Dining International, has been recognised by winning a major award at the Premier's NSW Export Awards.

NSW Minister for Small Business, Tony Stewart, congratulated the Burradoo company for winning the Emerging Exporter Award at a ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday night. - "Hot Rock Dining markets and distributes its volcanic stone cooking product through distributors in various countries," Mr Steward said.

"(They) began exporting in 2005 and its biggest market is the United States."

This is the second time Hot Rock has been recognised at the awards after it was given a NSW Export Scholarship last year.

"It is a great recognition and a very humbling experience," Hot Rock Dining director, Venus Hilder said.

"It helps us to stay in touch with what to achieve in exporting."

Ms Hilder said the company had received valuable information and assistance from Australia and the Australian Institute of Export.
Hot Rock Dining has around 250 outlets using their stone cooking system in Australia, and about 350 overseas.

They have exported their wares to the UK, Turkey, Norway, Hong Kong, China, India, Spain, the Canary Island's, Vietnam, Philippines, New Zealand and Egypt.

Hot Rock Dining's USA chief executive, George Hilder said they tried to keep their manufacturing based local.

"We have had some excellent help from David Sandor and Paul Sealey at Able Engineering in Braemar in refining our ovens," Mr Hilder said.

"When we go overseas we are proud to say it is Australian made."

Hot Rock Dining has been in restaurants since 2000, however, they have recently developed a domestic use Hot Rock System, which will be available in Australia before the end of the year.

Eat your healthy heart out
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Eat your healthy heart out

AUSTRALIANS are eating out more than ever, so it’s vital healthier choices are available and easy to spot.

That’s why the Heart Foundation is introducing the big red tick for meals eaten out. Australians are aware of the Heart Foundation’s red tick on supermarket items, and now the foundation plans to move its tick of approval into restaurant meals.

A menu carrying the Heart Foundation tick means it offers healthier choices because it meets the foundation’s strict standards for saturated fat, trans fat, salt, vegetable or fibre content and size of meal.

Just as it does with food on the supermarket shelf, the tick on food eaten out must be earned.

To earn it, food outlets have to meet Stringent nutrition and quality standards.

The Heart Foundation ensures these standards are maintained by sub food outlets to regu lar random audits.

Michael P from Shoreline Restaurant in Nowra has been in the industry for about 20 years.

He has seen a move by consumers toward more healthy food, but says for restaurateurs the need to keep a menu, which has rich foods as well as strict ly healthy foods, is as important as ever.

We’ve moved into using hot rocks, which are a great way to reduce fat in foods,” Mr Paris said.

With hot rock meals the customers get a trim piece of raw meat which they cook on a salted hot
rock. No oil is used in the process.

"I imagine those sorts of meals would pass a healthy tick test, And consumers are demanding healthier food, and I think the healthy tick means a lot to people these days. ‘I would have to look into it, but I would consider incorporating healthy heart food in my restaurant.”

Photo: Michael Paris with a meal that the Heart Foundation could give the big red tick of approval.

SOUTH COAST REGiSTER - Monday, August 28, 2006 - 41

Eat your healthy heart out
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Inverell RSM Club


Ash Blue in Wests Ashfield

Hot Rock Dining combines the ancient art of stone cooking with modern day technology for the preparation of sizzling tender steaks, chicken and fresh seafood.

The volcanic stones are heated six to eight hours in a specially designed oven and retain their heat for forty-five minutes on stoneware plates, which are designed to withstand the intense heat. Fresh ingredients are placed directly onto the hot stones, which cooks and seals without the use of oils or fats, locking in the nutrients and juices.

Diners around the world love it as they can experience the whole cooking process at the table and have their meal ready to cook in just six minutes from ordering. The real talking point throughout the meal is that they are the ones in charge of the cooking process.
Additionally it's a healthy meal choice, and the fast cooking time ensures high flavour and a lot of sizzle.

Now you can experience Hot Rock Dining at your favourite restaurant - Ash Blu.

To hear Wests Ashfield head chef Chris Mclntyre speak about the club's Ash Blu restaurant is like listening to a beaming father after his child has scooped the pool on prize night. And why wouldn't Chris be proud? With a gleaming new $1.5 million kitchen, first class staff and a menu which features only the finest quality ingredients. Ash Blu is certainly something special.

As Chris says, "I would back Ash Blu against any club restaurant in Sydney. There are some great restaurants out there so I won't say we'd be the best, but we're up there. I really mean that.
"Ash Blu is not your typical club restaurant, not by a long shot. You won't get rubbery deep fried calamari here. We offer Coffin Bay oysters and West Australian wok fried chilli mud crabs. Our meats are all Meat Standards of Australia graded. It's all top shelf."

And then there is Hot Rock cooking.

Ash Blu is one of the few restaurants in Sydney to offer customers the chance to experience the ancient art of stone cooking.

Using volcanic stone which has been heated for six to eight hours to reach 400 degrees. Hot Rock cooking features special stoneware plates which are brought to the table. Diners then cook their own steak, seafood or chicken meals.

As well as enjoying a new taste experience, customers know their meals are being cooked only in natural juices, with no oils or fats.

"The reaction we have had to Hot Rock cooking has been great," Chris said. "People have really taken to it."

After a quick perusal at the menu it's not hard to see why. Ash Blu offers such entrees as garlic king prawns with saffron rice and lime chilli sauce and main courses including 250 gram Emerald Hill strip loin, marinated ocean perch with chunky fries and baby green vegetables or 200 gram pork fillet infused with rosemary plus creamy mash potato and baby

Sound good? Try this one. The most popular Hot Rock dish is the seafood selection of prawns, scallops, sea bass and baby octopus, served with a mixed leaf salad. All dishes come with a selection of sauces.

Hardly surprising, given that for just $11.25 members can fill their plates with as much seafood, Asian or roast meals as they can. But even that pales against the enormously popular Sunday Lunch Seafood Buffet. Featuring such delicacies as West Australian crabs, Crystal Bay prawns, oysters, calamari, sweet chilli mussels and deep sea bass fillets, the "all you can eat" buffet has become a local institution between 11.30am and 2.30pm each Sunday. "There is a very broad choice of different types of meals to suit all occasions and tastes," Chris said. "I can guarantee you won't go home feeling disappointed - or hungry."

Ash Blu is open 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch and 5.30pm to 9.30pm for dinner. The Plaza Food Court and The Point cafe and bar are open seven days of the week.

Wests Ashfield also offers members and guests the relaxing ambience of The Point bar and Cafe. Here they can enjoy a quiet drink, tea or coffee while choosing from a wide selection of sandwiches, cakes, quiches, pastries, pizzas and char grilled vegetables.

< West Ashfield Website >

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I'll have mine on the rocks…

Twelve years ago George Hilder introduced the Hot Rock Dining concept offering diners a new and exciting experience in cooking and taste.

He called it "designed dining, a great adventure" and it has certainly taken on since.

While Wellington’s Club House Hotel has made a name throughout the region for the Hot Rock concept, Mr Hilder continues to extol the taste difference to everyone he meets and is now providing the sensational dining experience at eateries throughout Europe and North America.
Hot Rock Dining is now established in Canada, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.

"We are even establishing two separate venues at Disneyland in California," he said while visiting Wellington last week.
"We’re still only a young company but our plans for the next 18 months are to establish stand-alone restaurants around the globe," he said.

"It’s planned to have 200 restaurants in the UK, 800 in the US and 55 throughout Australia.

"There are 51,000 pubs in the UK and I aim to get Hot Rocks into 5000 of them in time to come."

Big plans but the product is great. You only have to ask the hundreds of diners who keep returning to the Club House for another steak cooked at the table on a slab of polished granite.

According to George Hilder, the use of stone or rock is not new.
"It goes back thousands of years where man took advantage of the natural ability of stones to retain and radiate heat.
"This made an ideal cooking source through a diverse range of cultures and civilisation," he said.

Special stone sourced from overseas guarantees the heat keeping qualities that enable a diner to cook red meat, fish or chicken to the desired taste requirement.
However, it’s the simplicity of the cooking process that satisfies diners.
"It’s a unique approach to dining," Mr Hilder said.

"Your customer enjoys the experience of cooking a meal to his or her satisfaction.
"The rock is on the table in front of them, they cut and cook their eye fillet or chicken exactly how they like it cooked.
"Each diner is their own chef and enjoys being around the table with their friends, enjoying the same experience."
"The customer is in control of his or her meal," he added.

Wellington Times, July 28, 2004

It's the hot spot to dine

Since the introduction of Hot Rock dining at the Club House Hotel, the Lee family have been overwhelmed by the positive response from locals and visitors alike.

The feedback has been outstanding, says licensee and patriarch Les Lee.

"People keep returning so they must enjoy the taste experience," he said.

The Club House has become a counter meal provider of note in recent years with Les’ wife, Lorraine controlling the quality and quantity served on each plate.

However, it’s the three-course entrée, main (Hot Rock) and desert at $25 a head served in the brand new Hot Rock Dining Restaurant that has really kept the family and staff on their toes each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The restaurant is also available by arrangement for any size group’s special occasion outing.

It is wise to book in advance by phoning 6845 2017.

Wellington Times, July 28, 2004

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Pictured: (From left) Restaurant manager Brenda Watson, Hotel manager Michaela Cass, Gaming Manager Brooke O'Doherty and the team at the Prince Alfred Hotel offer a range of dining options to suit every taste and budget.

Margaret, Barbara & Jenny
"The new Plantations menu is pretty impressive and the meals are always a good size for the prices you pay."

Don & Audrey
"The variety here is excellent and the prices are fantastic. You can't better it for value. The staff are always very helpful and friendly."

Rock on @ the PA

Dining at the Prince Alfred Hotel puts a new spin on one of Mother Nature's earliest creations, the humble rock. Hot Rocks are volcanic stones that are heated and delivered to your table with a selection of fresh meats including steak, lamb, chicken or seafood. Undoubtedly one of the world's most frequently-used cooking techniques, utilising pre-heated stone eliminates the use of fats and oils, meaning you can enjoy 100 per cent flavour, 100 per cent of the time.

To further enhance your Hot Rocks experience, all meals are served with a freshly baked potato, coleslaw, garden salad and your choice of two delicious sauces.

For something more 'traditional', Plantations have launched a revamped menu featuring a mouth watering selection of meals and snacks. With The Big Islander Caesar Salad, Cyclone Chicken, Pacific Panini Grill and Jungle Manner adding a distinctive 'Gone Troppo' feel to a few old favourites.

Plantations is the ideal venue to warm up this winter and indulge in some fine summer dining.

But we all know variety is the spice of life and the PA's Swags is a fine example of this age-old adage.

Swags offers an ever-changing array of hot and cold dishes including, salad, pasta, pizza, ribs, roast meat and vegies along with a dessert bar and bottomless drinks for the kids.

The all-you-can-eat smorgasbord will satisfy even the biggest appetite and complements Plantations friendly table service with the convenience of ready-made meals for you and your family to enjoy at your leisure.

For plantations and Swags restaurant bookings phone the Prince Alfred Hotel at Brisbane Road, Booval on 3282 1577.

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Azure hots up the menu

It’s only fitting that a chef who looks for the explosive on the menu, as Azure’s head chef Adrian Gillespie does, now brings a volcanic experience to Highland diners.

Looking for a dining experience that would equally feed conversation as it would equally feed conversation as it would dining delicacies, Adrian teamed up with Highlands businessman, George Hilder, who owns the much-talked-about ‘Hot Rock’ dining system.

The Hot Rock system may hark back thousands of years, but under the watchful eyes of George and Adrian, restaurant goers find themselves indulging in a contemporary culinary experience.

Being almost self-explanatory, Hot Rock relies on stones heated in an oven until they are piping hot (George says that just out of the oven they sit at about 440 degrees Celsius), then they are whisked out to the restaurant where diners get the opportunity to cook their own food in their own way.

Not content just explaining how the Hot Rock system worked, a Hot Rock banquet was soon put together before the doors opened for another busy Friday night.

Thinking that I would be given the opportunity to talk my way through the process for the next 15 minutes as the Hot Rock were prepared, but before I got the chance to take photos and talk to Adrian about how he teamed up with George’s Hot Rock, the sizzling stones were being seasoned with salt ready to be taken out to the restaurant. “That’s what is so great about Hot Rock, the preparation time is minimal so we can keep costs down,” Adrian said.

As we sat down to eat, Adrian explained why he wanted to add Hot Rock to the menu. “Hot Rock is a cooking system, so it gives me great versatility when it comes to experimenting with Hot Rock menus,” Adrian said. “And I know that the last restaurant to have this system, the 1890 restaurant, had great success.”

Coming off 1890’s success, Adrian said that he was looking to re-instate some of the Hot Rock favourites while continuing to expand the menu with his hallmark experimentation.

“It’s like my a la carte menu,” he said, “I can't just leave things as they are, I always have to put my own spin on things. And Hot Rock lends itself to being built upon with all kinds of influences.” Already talking about adding Indonesian and Indian styles of food, along with Asian supplements like rice or noodles, Adrian is confident that his kitchen verve will only accentuate the success of Hot Rock.

Hot Rock will be put on the Azure Brasserie’s menu for the first time this Wednesday.

For bookings, contact the Azure Brasserie on 4862 2677 or call in to the restaurant at 250 Bong Bong Street, Bowral.

Joshua Grech, Southern Highlands News, 8/7/2002

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Hot Rock dining hits spot at new restaurant

“Hot Rock” dining is a new concept in Goulburn. The technique itself is very old and dates back to pre-Christian cultures.

George and Maryanne Lipman at the Tattersalls hotel have established a new restaurant and garden where families can dine and enjoy this concept of cook it yourself dining.

The granite rocks are heated in a special oven and placed onto platters. Your meat is then placed on the rock and sealed on one side by the heat and then turned to seal the other, locking in the juices and natural flavours.

Next you slice off pieces as thick or thin as you like and cook them to suit your individual palate. You eat straight from the rock. The food on your rock continues to cook as you eat.

The new restaurant at the rear of the Tattersalls hotel means that families do not have to walk through the bar, they can enter from the car park through the garden area.

The new restaurant has an atrium atmosphere and patrons can choose to dine indoors or out under shade in the garden.

If you are looking for somewhere different to dine with a pleasant relaxed atmosphere the new restaurant at the Tattersalls Hotel is worth a try.

Goulburn Post, 22/12/2001

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