14.9 C
Byron Shire
June 26, 2024

Welcome to our table

Latest News

Cinema: Despicable Me 4

With the school holidays fast approaching it’s time to rev up the kids to see the ever-lovable Minions in the first Despicable Me movie in seven years.

Other News

Interview with Steve banks

Steve Banks and The Sidemen are back for an intimate, partially-unplugged show at the Brunswick Picture House in Brunswick Heads on Saturday, July 6. The Sidemen – Jeff Burstin, Mike Mills, Grant Gerathy, Tony Slavich and Geoff Wright – are heading into a new venue, with new songs and a new format.

Clarence at Wallum

Clarence Property like to accentuate their green credentials, however they are pressing ahead with their housing development on the...

Vale musician, Ian Walsh

Local muso, Ian Walsh, passed away peacefully at home recently with his long-time partner, Faye, and loyal dog, Louie, by his side.

Julian Assange is free and on his way back to Australia

Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has been released from jail in the UK and is on his way back to Australia after he agreed to a plea deal. 

Yes, peace is the solution

Both Duncan Shipley-Smith and John Scrivener yet again display the same responses that I talk about over, and over...

Daniel Mookhey walks the line with NSW budget

NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey's second budget in nine months, unveiled last week, was a classic Labor document in its support for education and health, somewhat brave in its slugging of property investors, and disingenuous in its blaming of the GST carve-up for the financial woes of NSW going forward.

Francisco's-Table-IMG_5261Susanna Freymark

The food is fresh, with eggs and honey straight from the backyard. The trestle tables are long and customers are called friends. Before the meals are served, the waitstaff gather and toast the feast with a glass of champagne.

This is Francisco’s Table, a roaming restaurant serving seasonal, uncomplicated food at village halls in Bangalow, Federal, Coorabell and Corndale.

Myocum-based chef Francisco Smoje believes the ambience while you eat is as important as the food.

‘The atmosphere is about togetherness. It is like a big dinner party,’ Smoje says.

‘You don’t eat and leave. It takes at least three hours.’

Recoiling at the phrase ‘pop-up’ restaurant, Smoje feels roaming is a better way to describe what he does.

‘When we started (three years ago), hardly anyone was doing it. The pop-up is a thing now,’ he said. ‘The advantage of roaming is you make different friends at different places.’

The 41-year-old chef has a dream amid all the roaming.

‘We’re looking for a property, a dream place for a rustic, humble restaurant where we serve local food,’ he says.

His partner of 20 years, Emma Byrne, and their five-month-old son are part of the dream. Byrne manages the bookings and helps to create the friendly atmosphere by decorating the halls with native flowers in a quintessentially Francisco’s Table style.

On the morning we meet, Smoje has his hands full of quinces. He peels and cleans the plump, yellow fruit, a hundred of them, as we talk.

‘I like these in my hands,’ he says.

He is making quince relish. He makes nearly everything from scratch and only special spices and salt are sourced from interstate.

‘My food is hearty and comforting,’ he says. ‘The flavours are familiar yet people will discover new things and feel nourished.’

He makes fresh sourdough bread, chorizo and cheeses such as feta and ricotta. He has built a metal frame so he can slow cook ‘big chunks of animals’.

Francisco Smoje. Photo Susanna Freymark
Francisco Smoje. Photo Susanna Freymark

A good chef is always learning, Smoje says, and he makes sure he learns new skills by spending time at the local butcher and inviting a cheesemaker to his home.

‘I try to keep myself fresh with knowledge,’ he says, as if describing a menu item.

‘The day you stop learning, you stop growing.’

Growing up in Argentina with Italian parents, he has lived in Byron Shire for four years. With stints in kitchens in Argentina, London, Europe and Australia, he has learnt a lot along the way.

‘We try not to manipulate the food too much,’ he says.

Honest is the best way to describe the food at Francisco’s Table: full of flavour, and with the smell of fire and passion on every plate. This is food to share with friends.

Francisco’s Table. 0416 057 705. [email protected]. At: Coorabell, Federal, Bangalow & Corndale Halls. Cost: $60/head, BYO. Next event: 13 June, traditional Argentinian food at Coorabell Hall.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Do gin and art mix?

  If you’re an artist, and want to win $5,000 for having your art and your name featured on a limited-edition bottle of gin, plus...

The masters of ‘zero to hero’

The masters of ‘zero to hero’ pub rock, The Tenants, are bringing their live show and Aussie humour to Mullum’s Courthouse Hotel for one night only on Thursday, July 4.

Gin with a slice of rainforest

Cape Byron Distillery, the B-Corp certified distillery from Byron Bay has released a gin flavoured with rainforest botanicals carefully selected by the five winning...

Dirty Three with Eleanor Jawurlngali

New expanses to create. New music to share. The legendary trio Dirty Three are coming to The Green Room, Byron.