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A Masterchef's guide to NSW

Kiama Farmers Market, KiamaCREDIT: Destination NSW

Hayden picking up fresh produce from the farmers market.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

A Masterchef's
guide to NSW

Kiama Farmers Market, Kiama CREDIT: Destination NSW

Hayden picking up fresh produce from the farmers market.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

Sydney-based chef Hayden Quinn is one of Australia’s best-loved foodies – and he’s a surfer, marine biologist and all-round great Aussie bloke as well. He’s also travelled right across New South Wales hunting down the very best local produce for his TV cooking show Taste of Australia. Here Hayden reveals where you can sample the best fresh produce and great food across the state.  

You spent a lot of time travelling around regional NSW filming a series of Taste of Australia. Was there a highlight from your travels?

“Everywhere we went was so amazing and all the people so accommodating — we are very lucky here in New South Wales to have so many world-class places to visit right on our doorstep. The standout for me was the New England region: so many incredible things to do and amazing produce to cook with. We visited at the start of winter, so there was a chill in the air, the fire was crackling and the cool days led to warm nights by the fire. So good.” 

As a foodie and chef, which NSW region do you love sourcing local produce from?

“I love the South Coast around Gerringong and Kiama — still super-close to Sydney [it’s a two-hour drive to Kiama], but there are some incredible small producers creating and growing amazing products, most of which is sold locally at farmers markets and the farm gate. My friends Fi and Adam [Walmsley] from Buena Vista Farm have the most incredible goat’s cheese, plus many, many other products grown and produced on the farm.” 

You grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, a string of beachside suburbs stretching north from harbourside Manly. What do you love most about the area?

“What's not to love! I think for me, being my home, that is why it is so special. I spend a lot of time away from home and coming back to the Northern Beaches is the best; the people, the lifestyle, the sense of community, the familiarity, the beaches, the nature — we have it all here and we are super-lucky.” 

Fossicking, New England CREDIT: Destination NSW

Hayden fossicking with local legend Al Davis in the New England Region of NSW.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Fossicking, New England CREDIT: Destination NSW

Hayden fossicking with local legend Al Davis in the New England Region of NSW.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Buena Vista Farm, Gerringong CREDIT: Destination NSW

Hayden tasting fresh produce with Fiona from Buena Vista Farm.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Buena Vista Farm, Gerringong CREDIT: Destination NSW

Hayden tasting fresh produce with Fiona from Buena Vista Farm.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Can you tell us about your favourite place to grab a snack on the Northern Beaches?

“I love a good hot chocolate and pastry, and there is only one spot for that, and it is my buddy Jimmy's Rollers Bakehouse. They have an amazing selection of croissants and pastries, and from what I hear their coffee is pretty epic too. Get in early on the weekend, as the pastries sell out fast.” 

Do you have a favourite restaurant in Sydney and regional NSW?

“Favourite restaurant in Sydney? That’s a tricky question, as there are so many good ones! My girlfriend and I love to have dinner at Josh Niland's restaurant Saint Peter in Paddington [which showcases sustainably sourced Australian seafood]. In regional New South Wales, I can't go past visiting the Usher Tinkler winery’s cellar door in the Hunter Valley [a two-hour drive north of Sydney]. It’s not really a restaurant, but once you have a couple of wines and one of their massive cheese and charcuterie boards, you won't be needing lunch!” 

What is your perfect NSW holiday spot?  

“My girlfriend and I recently discovered the amazing holiday park right on the beach at Bonny Hills on the mid-North Coast (a four-hour drive north of Sydney). They have amazing modern cabins (plus camping and campervan spots) and you have a direct view over the water and the beach. It’s the perfect spot to relax, wind down and just chill out, plus my girlfriend loves going fishing on the river at North Haven.” 

Usher Tinkler Wines, Pokolbin CREDIT: Destination NSW

Salumi and cheese plate at Usher Tinkler Wines, Pokolbin.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Usher Tinkler Wines, Pokolbin CREDIT: Destination NSW

Salumi and cheese plate at Usher Tinkler Wines, Pokolbin.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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