Sitting in front of me, resplendent in its calorific glory, is a huge chocolate milkshake topped with two lamingtons. Piled high with cream, a strawberry perched on top, it’s magnificent!
Gasps escape from diners around me.
Yet I feel nauseated.
My internal dialogue has taken over: ‘It’s just fat and sugar. It may taste good, but it’s bad, bad, BAD! Have some self-control!’
Guilt. So much of our food attitudes are based on guilt stemming from the dichotomy between stunning images of food and the glorification of ‘thin’ in the media.
How we deal with such opposing polarities is through ‘self-talk’ and guilt.
‘Skinny is good. Fat is bad,’ says our self-talk, ‘but wouldn’t it taste good!’
Desire. Gratification. Guilt.
“If we spoke to our friends the way we talk to our bodies, we’d have no friends at all!”
Guilt. It’s the ‘morality’ we associate with food choices that fascinates café owner André Campbell, himself a fitness trainer. It’s also the concept that he and co-owner Ray used as the basis for Guilty Café.
“We overindulge on sweet treats, but then feel guilty,” he says. “Here we have lots of guilty secrets such as Tim Tam Slams.”
“I doubt that you have any guilty secrets,” I mutter, checking him out. Svelte in his gym gear with muscles rippling, he’s a testament to his gym routine, a Fitbit on one wrist.
“I’m counting steps as I deliver,” he laughs, watching the shake begin to drip, untouched in front of me.
“The shakes came first,” André says. “We realised that even though you may feel guilty about food, it also makes you surprised and happy. Food brings people together. They want to bring their families here to share the experience, celebrate birthdays and take a photo with one of our shakes.”
Following their vision to build a local business on their key concept, the pair opened their café on Galleon Way in a space tiny enough to be standing room only were it not for the alfresco area on one side. Dotted with blue and yellow chairs, it’s a cheery, casual spot catering for locals.
“We wanted our café to grow with the community; to get to know people and to be part of someone’s morning,” André says.
There’s a core menu of breakfasts, bagels and burgers, acai bowls and salads, as well as Blackboard coffee, smoothies and cold-pressed juices.
On weekends, heads turn as the heroes of the menu, the Crazy Guilty Shakes, exit the kitchen.
There are four main shakes (Cookies & Cream, Ferrero Choc-a-lot covered in M & Ms, Sweet ‘n’ Salty Caramel and A Fairy Tale) as well as specials, Andre tells us. “They’re what it’s all about. Celebration. There’s even a loyalty card so you can feel guilty more often!”
He laughs as he says it, and we get the message: Life is about having fun: enjoyment and nourishment tossed in with some balance for wellness.
And that crazy shake? I just can’t do it. But a couple of teens at the next table happily take up the challenge.
174 Galleon Way, Currumbin Waters Ph: 0406 124 799
Open: Tues – Sun 7am – 3pm
NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of Guilty Cafe.