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Byron Shire
June 15, 2024

New elements in Byron

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The local culinary scene has been bolstered with the arrival of Simon Jones to the position of executive chef at Elements of Byron resort. Jones’s pedigree is impeccable, having trained under Raymond Blanc in Oxfordshire, England, and with later roles including restaurant chef at The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, and three years as head chef at Marco Pierre White’s infamous one-Michelin-starred L’Escargot in London.

‘I looked at Elements of Byron and saw the huge potential,’ says Jones. ‘It’s independent and the owners are seriously invested in it. Without a heavy hotel corporate structure we really have the chance to set our own unique course.’

Jones lived for a couple of months in Mullumbimby when he first moved to the area and has recently settled in Suffolk Park. ‘Eating out is fantastic,’ he says. ‘There are obviously great chefs around here.’ He cites The Roadhouse, Izakaya Yu, Milk and Honey, Harvest and the local market traders as his favourites.

‘One of the things that attracted me to this role is that there is scope for Elements of Byron to be honestly sustainable,’ said Jones. ‘We’ve got market gardens coming online and locals and guests will be able to experience food production at the Eco Education Centre.’ Opening in October, the Eco Education Centre will be 100 per cent powered by the sun and have its own rainwater harvesting; 500m2 of market gardens will provide food for Graze restaurant.

Jones describes the food at Graze as ‘really casual fine dining’. ‘It’s super fresh, lively food,’ he says. ‘The produce available here is exceptional so it makes sense to handle it as little as possible.’ His team of 20+ chefs includes a management team of restaurant sous chef Simon James and executive sous chef Sam Garde.

‘I want the kitchen to be a real educational experience,’ says Jones. ‘I come from classic kitchens where things can be a little heated but I’m done with old-school screaming chefs; there have to be other ways to get the best out of people. I want my chefs to grow and enjoy making the food better and better. It’s all about doing new things and pushing forward including learning from mistakes. I am very aware I’m by no means a finished product as a chef. And if we want to appeal to the local market we need to constantly change and create. We have some very good restaurants locally in our marketplace and we don’t want to appeal only to people from out of town.’

The challenges of being a chef are well documented. Yet Jones is circumspect on the matter. ‘I just love cooking for people,’ he says. ‘It brings pleasure to people – well, most people!’

More info: Graze at Elements of Byron resort, at the end of Bayshore Drive in the burgeoning North Beach precinct, is open to the public seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. Fire Pit Fridays are held at 5–7pm weekly with live music, complimentary nibbles and $1 oysters.

Ph 6639 1550. www.elementsofbyron.com.au.
To work with Simon email [email protected].


Simon Jones, Executive Chef Elements of Byron copy Grilled Ballina prawns, burnt anise butter, foraged sea succulents, finger lime (GF)_Elements of Byron Pot Plant Tiramisu by Simon Jones of Elements of Byron

Simon Jones, Executive Chef

Grilled Ballina prawns, burnt anise butter, foraged sea succulents, finger lime

Pot Plant Tiramisu

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