Taste Byron Bay
The Northern Rivers region is all about eating and drinking sustainable, local produce. The ultimate dream is to go ‘off-grid’, living off your patch of land and sharing and trading your produce with the neighbours. Inspired by this idea, we’ve started the process, mixing up our own compost and planting a veggie garden at our farm – now with bottomless herbs and lettuce!
Our friend Terase from Taste Byron Bay is another source of foodie inspiration. She has worked in many fantastic kitchens around the Northern Rivers, including Paper Daisy and Fig Tree Restaurant, and runs local food tours and cooking classes. She is running a series of canapé cooking classes featuring Ink Gin, oysters and fresh flavours, so we thought we’d have a chat to her about what ‘Taste Byron Bay’ means.
How do you describe your cooking style?
I am pretty much all about the flavour and am inspired by ingredients and their endless possibilities. So rather than starting from a point of cuisine type, I choose to look at the ingredients and then decide how best to showcase the ingredients, so that could mean for example taking a flavour trip to Italy, France, Turkey or Vietnam. I love building and layering flavours. It is super important to me to build flavours so that each mouthful makes you smile and gives you a little more wow each time.
What sort of produce do you love using day to day?
Oh my gosh, that is a hard one … because there is so much awesome produce here in Byron Bay!
When cooking for myself I like to keep it simple and fresh. My favourite quick meal at home would have to be a beautiful rib eye steak from our local Butcher in Byron, Trevor Mead on Lawson Street. They do the most amazing 28 day aged ribeye (pasture fed of course). I cook the steak with a splash of Lime and Chilli infused Brookfarm Macadamia Oil, and serve with a light fresh salad from the garden with a homemade dressing and seeded mustard on the side. Simple, but when the ingredients are all fresh and local it really is something quite lovely!
What does it mean to ‘Taste Byron Bay’? It is a flavour, an idea, a concept, a dream?
Taste Byron Bay is many of those things and so much more. I’ve always been thoroughly fascinated by food and its ability to bring people together. For me great produce should be celebrated and shared. Taste Byron Bay is all about showcasing the local produce and the talented men and women who make our food bowl so amazing. We head up into the hinterland on our food tours exploring the region in our Kombi, discovering many hidden gems and treasures along the way.
Taste Byron Bay is also about sharing the lifestyle and the abundance of beauty in the Northern Rivers, so we also offer a food tour that takes in boutique shopping and indulges in an afternoon of vintage shops + oysters + bubbles and beer, offering a rather fabulous way to Taste Byron Bay. Our cooking classes offer a different menu each month that uses local produce, and offers guests a chance to learn how to build and balance flavours, learn to season like a pro and enjoy a beautiful lunch at the end of each class.
Local Oysters with Ink Gin & Tonic Jelly
The oysters are from a local oyster farmer Noel on the Brunswick River, they are delicously plump, offering just the right amount of saltiness and creaminess that you’d expect from premium Sydney Rock Oysters grown in our local pristine waters. I developed this super easy canapé recipe because I had a feeling the lovely botanics in Ink Gin would be the perfect flavour buddy for the oysters. My hunch paid off, the flavour party worked better than I could have imagined! Because I can be a little girly sometimes, I wanted to hid the oysters muscle for the photo shoot, so decided to garnish the oysters with a pretty Pansy Flower, that I’d picked fresh from the Fig Tree Restaurant garden that morning.
They’re easier than you think! Get the full recipe from the Taste Byron Bay website.