Anyone who has read my previous Blogs would know I am an unapologetic advocate of domestic tourism because this land we call Australia and, for most of us home as well, has an abundance of riches to offer the intrepid traveller, especially if you hit the road and explore beyond the metropolises.
I was so very fortunate to grow up enjoying many a family holiday where the transport of choice was the car, once affectionately known as the box on wheels.
The places we visited, the experiences we had and the people we met not only broadened my education and knowledge, but also instilled in me a greater sense of appreciation and pride in where I live, much more than I would have ever gained by browsing the net, watching television, or for those old enough to remember, trawling through Reader’s Digest atlases and referencing volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannia.
Our journeys regularly took us to regional and rural areas far outside the reaches of the flying kangaroo where you were greeted with that unique, Aussie grassroots hospitality from the locals, including the odd quintessential bushy whose strine required open minded interpretation.
Arriving at our accommodation each night and checking out the dinner menu, if there was one, was always peppered with hopeful anticipation of satisfaction, yet more times than not, that enthusiasm was dashed when what we read was as dull as dish water and the options away from the motel, not much better, assuming you could even find an eating place open.
Back then, the standard of the local cuisine was hit and miss, but fortunately, that has changed dramatically and you need look no further than the transformation which has occurred in the Byron Shire to see what can be achieved. In fact, I think it is fair to say, that the far north east coast of New South Wales is a prime example of best practice for the ethical, environmental and sustainable production of quality food.
In 2020, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to what we eat and where we eat and that certainly is not confined to our capital cities as there are plethora of diverse dining experiences in what we colloquially label the bush, that are superior to anything you will come across elsewhere, even beyond our shores.
As consumer tastes become more and more discerning, so too does the innovative thinking, creativity and skills of those who produce, prepare and serve our food.
Particularly in a local setting, it stands to reason that if your business falls foul of the public, then it’s most probable you won’t be operating for very long as word travels fast and the luxury of hiding behind a large food manufacturing conglomerate, non existent.
Meeting the farmers and suppliers in the Northern Rivers’ Region, who are the foundation of the food industry, is a true pleasure given their passion, commitment and pride to keep exceeding expectation and from my experience, this attitude and approach is the norm, not the exception.
Going by what I have seen and read of late, the food being presented locally is so tempting that it has caused me to reprioritise my bucket list for 2020 to include revisiting the dining scene much sooner with the aim of treking back to well known places, but equally, also trying what newcomers have to offer, experiences I would be delighted to eventually share with you, albeit I am no food expert or critic, just someone who likes fresh quality produce grown nearby and without too much dressing up.
If you are looking for somewhere to eat in Byron Bay or further field and, or, want to know more about the food scene in the Northern Rivers’