WHEN it comes to quality dining, there’s no shortage of venues in Sydney to head for a fantastic foodie experience.
In recent years, however, more and more high-end restaurants have popped up throughout regional NSW as chefs attracted by the idea of being closer to where their produce comes from and the lifestyle they can enjoy in country and coastal areas flee the city.
For many, the opportunity to grow their own vegetables just outside the kitchen door also appeals.
Ms Chipchase says a lot of talented chefs who grew up in regional areas also head home to open their own restaurants after spending a few years in Sydney learning the trade.
Across the board diners are also becoming more discerning, which leads to greater competition in the industry.
“Expectations are a lot higher thanks to TV cooking programs, online forums and so on,” Ms Chipchase says.
Feedback from Tourism Australia’s recent Restaurant Australia campaign, in which top chefs, critics and food bloggers from around the world were invited Down Under to try our food offerings, had been overwhelmingly positive, according to Ms Chipchase.
“They were delighted and, in many cases, surprised not only at the quality and wealth of fresh produce but the innovation and combinations presented,” she says.
Chef Stefano Manfredi and restaurateur Julie Manfredi Hughes have been running restaurants under the Manfredi brand for two decades.
Apart from Balla at The Star, Manfredi looks after John Singleton’s Bells at Killcare restaurant.
The elegant Manfredi at Bells sits in the Manor House overlooking the gardens and Manfredi’s ever-expanding veggie patch — which now takes up 500 sqm.
Other local produce includes Hawkesbury River oysters and MacMasters Beach crays, Gundooee Wagyu beef and Bangalow Sweet Pork from the Northern Rivers.
Hospitality supplies companies have been excited about the latest signs of improvement in the Restaurant industry, to cook good food, you need to have good cooking equipment.