Why do people come to North Bondi Fish, Aria or Chiswick? It comes down to each restaurant’s story narrative. At the core is the produce that we source, cook, showcase and plate.
It’s a simple concept, but it’s one easily lost. Take barramundi, 60 per cent of our ‘national fish’ is imported into Australia with little transparency in some hospitality venues about where it’s sourced. It’s a statistic I still find astonishing.
Are customers willing to pay more for barramundi farmed in the pristine waters of tropical North Queensland or thermal springs in Victoria, to high health, safety and sustainability practices? In my experience, absolutely. In fact, it’s an expectation.
It’s my hope that instead of asking the question: “how is the barramundi cooked?” people ask: “where is the barramundi from?”
That’s because our whole dining experience, no matter which restaurant you visit, is tailored around telling the story of provenance.
How do we do it? Our menus display exactly which farm the fish is from, whether it’s Humpty Doo in the Northern Territory, Coral Coast near Townsville or Mainstream Aquaculture in Victoria. In my view, it’s just as important as how the fish is cooked.
The chefs, staff and I take pride in our relationships with our suppliers who take pride in the local and seasonal produce they deliver. They all play a part in the narrative.
We guarantee our guests experience a menu which speaks of the flavours our land, water and people help bring to the plate. It’s this experience that people come back for time and time again, and it’s one we couldn’t deliver without our local farming community.
I am a fourth-generation farmer and truly believe the hospitality industry owes a huge debt to our farmers, who are facing daily challenges.
Barramundi is a crowd-pleaser with its light and buttery texture as well as it’s health benefits; so why wouldn’t we give our guests the best possible Australian experience with it that we can?
To celebrate this amazing fish and the passionate local farmers who work so hard across the country, I’m supporting National Barramundi Day with nearly 40 restaurants this Friday, 18 October.
Image credit: Madeleine Ryan, Papaya