The ‘secret ingredient’ that makes some chefs a ‘hit’ was in focus at Fins Restaurant last week.
Well-known chef, food writer and TV food presenter Steve Snow told the crowd that he had turned down TV shows because he refused to endorse Woolies as ‘the fresh food people’, and kept it real as he put on a seemingly effortless display of how he uses macadamia oil at Fins.
A mock-solemn Snow told the crowd that he was just an ‘ordinary bloke cooking a bit of fish’ before he discovered the local macadamia oil.
Agriculture’s relative economic importance to the Shire has declined in the last decades, compared to tourism. Dairy farming has given way to small scale horticulture, notably macadamia farming, and our good restaurants champion the local, often organic, produce. In fact restaurants are themselves a drawcard for tourists, with people traveling from Sydney especially to eat at Fins.
In 1991 Steve opened Fins in a old building by the Brunswick river, since demolished to construct the new bridge. Echo founders Nick Shand, David Lovejoy and Jeff Dawson were regulars at the ‘colourful’ venue, where Steve also met Martin and Pam Brook of Brookfarm.
The Brooks’ St Helena macadamia farm, on which they have planted 30,000 rainforest trees, now also sources product from Rosebank plantations, and Steve’s star has risen after he relocated Fins to Byron Bay and then to its current spot in Kingscliff. There was obviously a strong bond formed over good food and wine in the old days, as their latest joint publication ‘The Chef on our Farm’ showcases recipes from Steve using Brookfarm macadamia oil. For more details visit fins.com.au or brookfarm.com.au.
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