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
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
"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
like Hot Rock International Pty Ltd grow on the global export
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
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
Grill seekers get ready for a hot time
Australian company has taken technology that is literally
thousands of years old and used it to teach the world to
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
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."
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."
said the system was an Australian invention manufactured
in Australia, although the
source of the rocks was a closely guarded secret.
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."
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."
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
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
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
"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."
rock the state
HIGHLANDS' business, Hot
Rock Dining International, has been recognised by winning
a major award at the Premier's NSW Export Awards.
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
"(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."
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.
Rock Dining's USA chief executive, George Hilder said they
tried to keep their manufacturing based local.
had some excellent help from David Sandor and Paul Sealey
at Able Engineering in Braemar in refining our ovens," Mr
"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
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.
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.
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
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
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
Inverell RSM Club
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
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
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
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 >
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
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
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."
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,"
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
"The customer is in control of his or her meal,"
Wellington Times, July 28, 2004
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
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
(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.
Barbara & Jenny
"The new Plantations menu is pretty impressive
and the meals are always a good size for the prices
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."
on @ the PA
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.
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
hots up the menu
Its only fitting that a chef
who looks for the explosive on the menu, as Azures
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
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
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 Georges
Hot Rock, the sizzling stones were being seasoned
with salt ready to be taken out to the restaurant.
Thats what is so great about Hot Rock,
the preparation time is minimal so we can keep costs
down, Adrian said.
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 1890s 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.
Its 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
Brasseries 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.
Southern Highlands News, 8/7/2002
Rock dining hits spot at new restaurant
Rock dining is a new concept in Goulburn. The
technique itself is very old and dates back to pre-Christian
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.
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