01 July 2016 10 min read

Stockland has launched a new retail food campaign, the ‘A to Z of Mmmm’, to inspire Australians to cook, learn and engage with food through an ever-evolving collection of online recipes, articles, and videos as well as events and promotions across its 41 shopping centres.

Celebrity chef and cookbook author, Miguel Maestre, is the face of the ‘A to Z of Mmmm’, and each month will create recipes taking inspiration from the alphabet – from Arancini to ‘Za’atar and everything in between – to motivate Australians to try new things, expand their food horizons and add a little ‘mmmm’ to their weekly meals.

The Living Room host will feature in a web content series where he will meet with food lovers in Stockland shopping centres to discover their food secrets. Miguel will visit Stockland shopping centres across the country. His first stop took place at Stockland Merrylands on 4 March, where he met with food lovers.

Ben Allen, General Manager Marketing at Stockland, said: “Stockland shopping centres are the heart of their local communities, connecting customers to an abundance of food. We now want to connect the community to an abundance of food ideas, food traditions and food experiences from Jamie’s Ministry of Food classes to new exciting restaurants and dining experiences, and the much loved local fruit and veg shop.”

Miguel’s A to Z of Mmmm recipes, articles and videos can be found online at stockland com.au/food #AtoZofMmmm

“We’re seeing a shift in the way people interact with food in a retail environment. Australians are visiting shopping centres as a place to meet with friends for a coffee, a destination for a family Friday night dinner or to visit multiple fresh food retailers for their weekly shop and engaging with local providores from delicatessens to spice shops.”

A minute with Miguel

Celebrity chef and Stockland spokesperson Miguel Maestre shares his take on fresh food in Australia.

Q: What influence do you think modern cooking shows have had on people in Australia?

A: Cooking shows have a great influence on people because it creates a necessity of experimenting with new recipes. It’s inspiring for the everyday cook to get new ideas. It enriches the gastronomic culture of people and makes them more adventurous to buy new ingredients or check out new restaurants.

Q: When it comes to preparing and cooking fresh food, what is a common barrier people tend to come up against?

A: Overcooking fresh food is one of the biggest mistakes people make. For example, if you overcook something like a duck breast it becomes rubbery and tasteless and you won’t want to cook it again.

Q: What should people look for if they’re wanting to buy fresh meat and produce?

A: To get the freshest food, you must look for whatever is in season and make sure you buy local or authentic food with the domination of origin. Most importantly though, keep it simple when you are cooking and let the ingredients shine to release maximum flavour. We should be looking for free-range products such as chicken and eggs as well as handmade items.

Q: How do you think food retailers and supermarkets are keeping up with higher demands for fresh food?

A: The level and standards of supermarkets are extremely high in Australia and the consumer expectations have increased to this level, which makes our fresh food availability very good.

Q: What would you like to see for the future of fresh food and food purchasing in Australia?

A: I would like to see people cooking fresh food at least five days a week and increase the recipe repertoire using the richness of cultural diversity that we have in this country. i.e. Spanish on Monday, Indian on Tuesday, Chinese on Wednesday and Greek on Thursday.