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Byron Shire
May 16, 2022

My Mayor Rules cook-off at Sample

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The mayors of Byron, Lismore, Kyogle and Richmond Valley will go head to head at the Northern Rivers Food (NRF) Cooking Stage this year at Sample Food Festival, and apparently the mayors are keeping their tactics pretty close to their chests.

‘I have fielded some obscure phone calls’, said Anne Briggs, executive officer Northern Rivers Food. ‘A lot of research is being done by the mayors’ teams, who are very competitive, and very secretive. No-one is giving anything away. I’m expecting the sparks to fly’.

NRF are pairing up our mayors with local chefs and cooks. Byron mayor Simon Richardson is teamed with executive chef Sean Connolly from The Balcony Byron Bay, and at 1.30pm he will take on Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell and Chef Iohne from The Spotted Pig at Alphadale.

Teams have each been asked to choose two ingredients synonymous with their shire. The spotlight will be on the amazing array of local food produced across the region. While there is no information on what the teams will be cooking, the stage is set for a very competitive event, and Anne says that the audience will be the judge, with samples handed around to try.

Richmond mayor Ernie Bennett, a grazier, has already stated that he is a confirmed meat eater with a distaste for ‘rabbit food’. Assisted by Donato Leo from Mongogarie Olives B&B in heat 2, starting at 2.30pm, the former Kyogle mayor will be pitted against the woman who took over his job, current Kyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland, who will be assisted by Linda Render of Feathers Homestay Wiangaree.

‘We’re encouraging people from across the northern rivers region to come along and support their shire – may the best shire win!’, said Anne.

(The mayors of Tweed, Ballina and Clarence Valley councils were invited to enter the cook-off but declined to take up the challenge.)

Cast-iron frying pan isolated on white
Cast-iron frying pan isolated on white


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