August 1, 2018
The Word – Darren Robertson
Darren Robertson is an advocate of farm-to-table cooking, championing sustainability and the use of ethically-farmed produce. Having trained in the United Kingdom, Darren moved to Australia in 2001, where he worked at Tetsuya’s. In 2012, he and his like-minded mates opened Three Blue Ducks and in June 2018, opened their fourth restaurant in the suite, in Brisbane. When Darren’s not foraging or surfing, he’s in the kitchen cooking, fermenting, pickling, and testing recipes with his fiancée, Magdalena Roze and sons Archie and Charlie.
The first thing I do in the morning is… remove my son Archie from jumping on my head, rub my eyes and stare at the clock in disbelief.
My first food/cooking memory is… probably Sunday roast with the family – roast beef, Yorkshire pudds, roast potatoes, vegetables and gravy. Usually followed by apple crumble and custard.
My first job in the hospitality industry was… washing dishes in a seafood restaurant in my home town in the UK. The head chef wasn’t the nicest guy in the world, looking back the food wasn’t great, but I did get to jump on the prawn cocktail/melon boat section when they were busy, which at the time was a lot of fun.
My go-to meal to cook at home when I’m in a hurry is… smoked meats and pickles or pasta.
My favourite ingredient to work with is… I really enjoy cooking with ingredients we pick up from Farmers Markets or The Farm in Byron, especially if it’s something I haven’t used before. For me, the sourcing of an ingredient is really exciting. The whole notion of dishes starting before the food reaches the kitchen is an important one. If I had to pick one type ingredient it would be a fresh citrus at the moment, probably finger limes or yuzu.
I don’t like… mass produced fast food.
My biggest blunder in the kitchen… there are too many to mention! Wearing Converse in the kitchen for many years trying to look cool probably hasn’t done the old back any favours!
My number one cooking tip is… don’t panic.
Breakfast, lunch or dinner… I like breakfast as it’s been seen as an underdog, the meal that’s often rushed and usually the cheapest. Really, a breakfast can and should be as exciting as any other meal of the day. That said, I’m not particularly a morning person, so dinner it is!
The best advice I’ve been given is… trust your gut, this has been valuable.
My vice is… too many coffees!
My hidden talent is… I’m pretty good at changing nappies.