By Louise FitzRoy
The Healthy Chef is making the most of premium organic ingredients in its quest to create unique, delicious, functional and “first of their kind in Australia” foods for optimal health and wellbeing.
“The use of organic and natural wholefoods is at the heart of our philosophy at The Healthy Chef. It’s important to know where your food has come from and to treat it with the love and respect it deserves,” says Teresa Cutter, founder of The Healthy Chef.
Her organic certification journey started last year when Teresa decided that organic certification was crucial to formalising her commitment to quality and the production of natural, honest and pure food.
“Being certified organic means that our foods and processing facility have been tested to the highest standards to achieve Australian Certified Organic (ACO) certification. The rules and regulations to be organically certified are pretty stringent, which is awesome because it gives me confidence in the system as well as the product,” she says.
“The process of organic certification sounds a lot more daunting than it actually is. It was really just a case of submitting all the correct paperwork and proving the authenticity of ingredients’ origins. The team at ACO was very helpful and there was no compromise. They checked everything right down to our warehouse, the storage facilities and even our courier service.”
Teresa says a lot of her time is spent talking to producers.
“I am currently searching the world for the best-tasting organic ingredients to use in my products. Sometimes it’s a little difficult sourcing the certified organic ingredients I need,” she says.
“An example would be the Pure Tahitian vanilla bean. It’s basically the whole ‘unexhausted’ bean that is freeze dried and ground into a fine powder with the flavour of the full bean still intact. It’s expensive but tastes amazing. This ingredient is actually not organic as it’s a rare commodity, however, it’s ethically sourced and produced.”
“I’ve just designed the best hot chocolate you could ever imagine and it’s taken me a year of tasting and selecting ingredients from all around the world to create the final product. It is this Tahitian vanilla bean that has taken my chocolate to the next level of deliciousness.”
The Healthy Chef’s Organic Pea Protein and Organic Superfood Antioxidant are ACO accredited products and feature the ACO Bud logo on the packaging.
“Our Pure Native WPI range is one of our functional foods that is not ACO certified but has been held up to the same rigorous standards. It’s just that the farm that it’s sourced from is not certified organic. It is a grass fed premium product that is ultra-filtered directly from pasture raised, hormone free, raw milk and it only undergoes one single pasteurisation process as required by law. All other processing methods are at cold temperature to preserve the native character of the protein (defined as undenatured). Dairy farmers are also part of a national co-op and ensure humane treatment of animals and sound farming practices.
“There are a lot of great products out there that are not certified for one reason or another. My understanding is that it takes quite a while for a farm to undergo organic certification, but the demand for certified organic is strong and so a lot of the farmers are undergoing the process.”
According to Teresa, the certified organic market “has grown tremendously” over the years.
“It tends to attract a certain group that put a value on their health and wellbeing,” she says.
“As a result, there are lots of new projects I’m working on including some amazing products and cookbooks. For us it’s all about maintaining the integrity of the brand, maintaining control and designing the best you can for the health of the consumer. We don’t compromise and that’s what I love about our brand.”