Despite the boom in regional restaurants, there hasn't been a lot of new action in and around Coffs Harbour. Until now.
After a tip and some online sleuthing, it turns out the Three Blue Ducks team is doing some northern NSW recruiting, not for its Byron Bay venues, but for a new venue close to Coffs.
A spokesperson for the Ducks declined to comment on the new restaurant, which Good Food understands will not be located in the home of the Big Banana but in a nearby town.
Coffs Harbour has also snared The Mermaid Beach House, which Rowan Tihema (Pearl, Cutler & Co) opened late last year.
Tihema, who ran Neram Harvest in Armidale as well Norway's Kirkenes restaurant, located in the Arctic Circle, says the experience at both helped with his latest move.
"Isolated and regional restaurants don't necessarily get the same access to produce that capital cities do so you need to be resourceful, adaptable and creative," he says. "The produce for The Mermaid comes from as close to Coffs Harbour as possible, without being fanatical about it.
"My mum has always instilled in me the 'fish your feet first' philosophy and luckily there are some exceedingly good local producers nearby, such as Milly Hill Lamb, Raspberry Creek Farm and Arc-en-Ciel Trout, so I'm spoilt for choice."