Food & Drink

Where Chefs Eat | Three Blue Ducks’ Darren Robertson

By Brooke Darling
13th Aug 2019

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If there is one chef that everyone and his dog in the region knows about, it’s Darren Robertson. The man is a culinary legend, leading the charge of The Three Blue Ducks at Byron Bay’s The Farm and W Brisbane. And at the end of this month, he'll even be taking his unique approach to cooking to Seminyak in Bali, giving a Three Blue Ducks twist to locally caught, sustainable seafood at W Bali's Starfish Bloo for a vibrant dinner. While Darren will only be taking the helm in the kitchen for one night on Friday 30 August, a selection of dishes from the menu will also be available at Starfish Bloo from November onwards, which sounds like an exuse to head for Bali if we ever heard one. Stay tuned for the lowdown on that one...

Darren is a chef, co-owner of multiple Three Blue Ducks restaurants, author and TV presenter; basically there’s little this man can’t do. UK born and trained in Michelin starred restaurants before bringing his incredible talent and enthusiasm for paddock to plate dining Down Under, he’s been at the forefront of a progressive movement embracing organic local produce and sustainability. We asked Darren to tell us his favourite local dining experiences and other gems that he’s loving right now.  

What is your favourite place for coffee and breakfast in:

Byron Shire?

My go-to spots for breakfast are The Ducks, Bayleaf or Ethel. 

And dinner in:

Byron Shire?

Fleet—Josh, Astrid and Rob know how to put on a spread. If you can nab a table, you’re always in for a treat!

Gold Coast?

I really like what Guillaume has done at Burleigh Pavilion. He’s one of the nicest guys in the industry and is cooking really tasty, casual food in one of the busiest restaurants in the area—hats off, mate.

Brisbane?

Arc—Alana Sapwell is doing some pretty exciting things right now. Arc hasn’t been open for very long, but is already making waves and I’m sure Brisbane is stoked to have her back.

What about your favourite bar in:

Byron Shire?

Super Natural, which is a pretty epic natural wine bar in town.

Brisbane?

Death and Taxes is up there for a good night out.  

Who is inspiring you right now? 

Matt Wilkinson from Pope Joan in Melbourne is doing some awesome work with byproducts. He’s also one of the most genuine, honest chefs I know. Plus, he’s bloody funny and very good looking (as he constantly reminds us!).

Where can we find the region’s best local produce?

Boon Luck Farm in Byron; basically anything Palisa Anderson grows is generally incredible!

Your favourite ingredients to cook with?

Anything picked, grown or caught yourself is always a thrill—mud crabs caught with the kids on the river would be a highlight. 

Best cooking skill every person should master?

Taste more, trust your gut and don’t worry if you mess up.

What’s next for you? 

Three Blue Ducks opening in Melbourne this summer, which is pretty exciting!

Image credit: Supplied

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