Interview with Scott Shoemaker, Yogurtland

yogurtland

We chatted with Scott Shoemaker, Head Flavourologist of Yogurtland.

1. Tell us about Yogurtland

Yogurtland opened its first location in 2006, introducing a new approach to self-service frozen yogurt – allowing customers to select from 16 premium flavours with a vast array of toppings. You may see others offer self-service but all are a flattering copy of what Yogurtland started eight years ago.  Something else that sets Yogurtland apart from the rest is our own, proprietary flavours, made from real ingredients sourced from their original locations, such as Madagascar vanilla beans from Madagascar and Maqui Berry from Patagonia. No other yoghurt chain offers such original flavours and exciting combinations such as Salted Caramel Pecan, Blackberry Passion Fruit, Lychee, and Dragon Passion Fruit.

2. What does a head flavourologist do?

I have an amazing staff that assists me as we search for new, innovative and cravable flavours. We have developed a philosophy here in the Product Development Department at Yogurtland which is “an empathetic pallet”. We first do a lot of investigating to understand what people expect in a flavour. For example, not everyone likes the same kind of mango, yet they each expect to find the mango that they have come to know in their lifetime in our  Yogurtland flavour. We accomplish this by blending several mangos from around the world so that our customers can find the flavour that they expect. Our goal is to “evoke an emotional response in our customers – that “aha” moment when they recognise the flavour they expect.  So my job is to manage this process, learn what our customers want, taste flavour ingredients to match those expectations and test each batch of product that is produced to make sure it meets our standards.

3. What is your most popular selling frozen yoghurt?

Our most popular flavour is different in each location. In California, plain tart is our most popular, everyday flavour. In other parts of the US and Australia, dutch chocolate, Madagascar vanilla, and strawberry are the most popular. We have special flavours that are also very popular, depending on the time of year – such as chocolate milkshake, salted caramel Pecan and strawberry lemonade sorbet.

4. What do you love about frozen yoghurt?

The versatility of the flavour option is great. We’ve created over 100 different flavours and we still have lots more to share with our customers. I like that we can provide our customers with a bit of indulgence and a healthier alternative that other treats – in a non-fat base and with live and active probiotics.

5. What is your favourite flavour combination?

My personal favourite is toasted coconut with fresh fruit. It’s one of my regular go-to servings.

6. Which frozen yoghurt is your favourite to make and to eat?

I like the nut butters with caramel. Besides salted caramel pecan, we have caramel almond bar and others under development.

7. What’s the biggest mistake people make when preparing dessert?

The two most common shortcomings are not planning ahead and the quality of ingredients. You will never get better than the quality of ingredients in the mix.

8. Best piece of cooking advice.

When I cook, I always read several recipes before I start. What I end up with is usually a combination of the different recipes. My other advice, take a chance. Mistakes are great learning opportunities.

9.  What’s your favourite cooking product?

I actually have three favourites – my spices and cheeses. I am careful to search for the most flavourful spices. Often I will create my own. I am a big fan of Latin style foods. I search for flavourful spices, never keeping them long so that they are always robust in flavour. I roast my own chillis, never buying canned or mixes. I am famous with my friends and family for cheese blends in my cooking, even for something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich.

10. Do you have a favourite cookbook?

I have quite an eclectic collection. I am a fan of chefs such as Thomas Keller and Rick Bayless and have several cookbooks from both chefs. My favourite cookbook, however, is the Internet. There is so much information available to all and so much creativity that is shared.

Thank you Scott Shoemaker, Yogurtland for taking the time to talk to us.

Eat Now reveiw

eat-now-home

Eating well on a budget is always one of the hardest parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This is especially true if your current lifestyle leaves you very little room to prepare healthy meals at home. Getting the recommended fruits and vegetables, for example, and having them prepared in a healthy manner is not an easy feat. As a health conscious, single entrepreneur, in the early throes of building a successful business, this is often my reality. I decided to do some online research into already prepared delivery meal options and I stumbled across EatNow‘s services. EatNow as the slogan suggests, is as easy as search, order, eat. It is the most convenient way to plan dinner that I have found. It doesn’t surprise me that EatNow is Australia’s number one online store of its kind.

how-it-works

Instead of going out to find the food, EatNow brings the food to you. I used EatNow for the first time by logging onto their website from my laptop. Living in the suburbs, I thought there would not be many options suited to my needs that would offer delivery. Boy was I wrong. Once I typed in my postcode, I was provided a list of the closest options to peruse thanks to the vast database. I felt like the luckiest bloke in the world at that point. I carefully looked through the options given and noticed that each item was complete with the names of restaurants, addresses, customer reviews, menus, payment options, deals and much more.

The restaurants listed catered to just about every palette and special dietary need you can even imagine. In fact, you can not only search by postcode, but also by cuisine or special need such as vegetarian or gluten free. Finally, I decided that I would try a medium spicy vegetarian dish of marinated mushrooms roasted in tandoor, with a mixed salad and chutney from a new Indian restaurant only a few blocks away. The checkout process was seamless and I was able to choose from a myriad of payment options — including credit/debit cards, cash and even Paypal. I opted for the latter. The service was fast. Within 20 minutes of placing my order, I was having a delicious dinner.

After that initial experience, I realised that EatNow also has a mobile app that allows you to place online orders on the go. Although I was fine with placing my orders via my computer right before leaving work in the evenings, it was nice to know that this flexible option was available. I also discovered that the EatNow service is great for throwing small dinner parties and other such gatherings. It is simply a matter of deciding on the menu and then placing the necessary orders to coincide with the start of your party.

Often, when using a digital interface, security or lack thereof can be a cause for concern. However, with EatNow services, there is an SMS confirmation that follows each order. This serves as your receipt should the need arise and increases security.

Overall, a quick and easy way to organise dinner (or lunch) when in a rush, and made my life much easier.

Sponsored post.

How to match wine and cheese?

maleny-cheese

The idea of matching cheese and wine and accompaniments is to provide a complementary balance of flavours and textures. To simplify the process, cheeses are classified into eight cheese varieties. Certain cheeses have characteristics which match certain wine types, but mostly it can be trial and error to experiment and find out which are your own preferences.

Cheese Varieties Styles Accompaniments Wine Matching
Fresh Unripened Cheese Cottage cheese, Creamed cottage cheese, cream cheese, feta, mascarpone, neufchatel, quark, ricotta and stracchino Olive bread, olives, anchovies, fresh herbs, capers, prosciutto, semi-dried tomatoes, olive oil, roasted capsicum, fresh berries, basil and olive oil, slow-roasted onions Sparkling, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, Pinor Noir, Grenache or cool climate Shiraz, Dessert wines
White Mould Cheese Camembert, Brie, Double Brie and Triple Cream Brie baguette, almond bread, water crackers, quince paste, fresh or frozen grapes, figs and poached pear Chardonnay or Semillon, Sparkling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or warm climate Shiraz
Blue Cheese Blue Brie, Gorgnozola Style Blue, Danish Style Blue Drizzle of wild honey, warm waxy potatoes, peaches, sweet potato, smoked meats, pickles, gherkins or dried fruit Dessert wines, Fortified wines, Riesling or Gewurztraminer
Washed Rind Cheese Semi-soft washed rind, wine washed rind and reblochon toasted raisin bread, pears, bitter greens, apple puree, sultanas, hazelnuts, fruit bread and rye bread Dessert wine, Fortified wine, Pinor Noir, Grenache or cool climate Shiraz, Sparkling red, Beer
Stretched Curd Cheese Mozzarella, Pizza Cheese, Bocconcini and Haloumi Olive bread, olives, anchovies, fresh herbs, capers, prosciutto, semi-dried tomatoes, olive oil, roasted capsicum, fresh berries, basil and olive oil, slow-roasted onions Sparkling, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, Pinor Noir, Grenach or cool climate Shiraz
Eye Cheese Swiss style, Emmenthal, Gruyere, Tilsit, Raclette, Gouda and Edam warm waxy potatoes, peaches, sweet potato, smoked meats, pickles, gherkins or dried fruit Chardonnay or Semillon, Pinot Noir, Grenache or cool climate Shiraz, Dessert wine, Fortified wine
Cheddar and Cheddar Styles Cheddar, Cheshire, Club Cheese, Colby Muscatels, chutney, sourdough bread, oatmeal or wheatmeal biscuits, green tomato chutney, celery, green apples, quince paste, fig jam and fruit cake Chardonnay or Semillon, Cabernet Saurvignon, Merlot, or warm climate Shiraz, Dessert wine, Fortified wine
Hard Cheese Parmesan, Pepato, Pecorino and Romano apples, chutney, pears, rocket, tomatoes, grapes, walnuts, olives, ham, prosciutto, nashi Chardonnay or Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or warm climate Shiraz, Fortified wine, Sparkling wine

What’s your favourite accompaniment to cheese?