06/07/2004 - 22:00


06/07/2004 - 22:00


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Low-carb diets may have changed the eating habits of some, but a little Aussie pasta shop in Dalkeith has maintained its winning formula, as Julie-anne Sprague reports.


Low-carb diets may have changed the eating habits of some, but a little Aussie pasta shop in Dalkeith has maintained its winning formula, as Julie-anne Sprague reports.


The Atkins diet may have stolen the media spotlight of late, but its low-carb mantra hasn’t slowed trade at Briskets Fresh Pasta and Sauces.

The little pasta shop, located in Waratah Avenue, Dalkeith, sells between 25 kilograms and 50kg of pasta a day, servicing a mixture of retail and wholesale customers.

Luke Butler bought the store a year ago from Scott Jones.

He switched careers from chef to pasta maker and hasn’t looked back.

“I came over from Melbourne and got a job at Altos,” Mr Butler says.

“I was there for six months and this opportunity came up. I’m working just as hard but at least I have the night-time off,” he says.

The most popular pasta sold at Briskets is spinach and ricotta ravioli, while the ready-to-go lasagnes, cannelloni and other dishes are also among locals’ favourites.

“Half of our shop sales will be those meals,” Mr Butler says.

“We have some mums come in and they drop off their dishes and we cook it in the dish for them.”

Take-home meals are a growing market, according to Mr Butler, as is organic food.

Mr Butler is currently experimenting with recipes.

“There is a real demand from the organic side of things. It’s hard to find organic flour that is certified, and organic eggs,” he says.

“I’ve found one flour supplier and I think I’ll use free-range eggs.”

Mr Butler believes in doing things his way, from minimising additives to embracing his Australian heritage.

“We’re called Briskets, not ‘the gondolas’ or something Italian sounding,” he says.

“Scott wasn’t Italian and I’m not Italian and we’re not going to pretend to be. We do good pasta, its better our way.

“The difference between our pasta and other people’s is that theirs is full of additives like gluten. Gluten gives it a longer shelf life but I don’t do that.

“If you bought this fettuccine today you could keep it for four days or freeze it, I wouldn’t keep it any longer.”

The ingredients Mr Butler uses also means cooking times are reduced.

“This fettuccine will cook in 40 seconds. That’s because we use semolina, not flour, and it is low in gluten. If you buy fresh pasta and it takes 15 minutes to cook, then it is because there is too much gluten,” he says.

While Mr Butler is keen to build wholesale trade, he remains mindful of maintaining the quality of product.

He has stopped dealing with some suppliers because customers found the pasta didn’t suit their tastes.

“They would say it was crunchy or it wasn’t so nice and that’s because they [retailers] don’t respect the product so it’s easier to sell it here,” Mr Butler says.

Briskets’ business is a mixture of street trade and wholesale distribution.

Fresh pastas vary from day to day and include about 16 different ravioli flavours, six cannelloni recipes, four lasanges, and seven pasta flavours.

While spinach and ricotta ravioli is a big seller, varieties such as blue cheese and leek, pumpkin and smoked ham, and duck and mushroom are enough to make even an Atkins dieter think hard about making a purchase.

Briskets fresh Pasta and Sauces is open Monday to Friday from10.30am to 7pm and on Saturdays from 9.30am through to 1.30pm.


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