PIZZA, MILK AND HONEY
I used to live in Italy and I love pizza. The field mushroom pizza with sweet onion, mozzarella, parmesan, parsley and garlic at this Mullimbimby pizzeria is a stand out.
You can see they built the wood-fired oven themselves. I like the vibe – the smell of the fire, great music and artisan beers. See milkandhoneymullumbimby.com.au
BEER, THE BANGALOW HOTEL
This is an old-style pub with a timber deck in the Bangalow palms, a fireplace, pool tables, friendly charm and Stone & Wood on tap. I love that Stone & Wood is a local beer and it's great to cook with. We had a Stone & Wood with mussels dish on the menu for a while.
FORAGER'S MENU, HARVEST
The cabbage and other side dishes prepared for Harvest's Wednesday night Foragers Menu speak to the fact that chef Bret Cameron thinks outside the box – it's always exciting. They have a booklet that explains the menu. This amazing Newrybar restaurant has forager Peter Hardwick on the team … I'm jealous of what they do. See harvestnewrybar.com.au
MEZZE PLATTER, LEBANESE LIL
Lebanese Lil is a fixture around the markets of the region: at the monthly markets at Byron Bay (first Sunday of the month), The Channon (second Sunday) and and Bangalow (fourth Sunday). The stallholders work hard for their living. This offering is a must.
OLD SCHOOL AVOCADO ON TOAST, THREE BLUE DUCKS
Three Blue Ducks is a licensed restaurant and produce store at The Farm a working biological property in Ewingsdale. Breakfast is hugely popular and this dish features bread made right there by The Bread Social, roast tomato and I add their ethically farmed bacon. Great flavours you can get your teeth into. It's always busy with a terrific rough-and-ready atmosphere – a really good concept. See threeblueducks.com
MULLUMBIMBY ROLLS, IZAKAYA YU
It's sushi with tempura prawns, avocado, cucumber and fish egg. Sushi is all about the rice and the rice here is good. The place, in Mullimbimby of course, is chaotic with a great vibe and they sell Jim Barry wines. Reservations recommended.
FIELD MUSHROOMS, SHELTER
Braised mushrooms, mixed grain, seasoned goats labneh, pickled radicchio, shredded kale, herbs and sourdough. As you graze at this Lennox Head beachfront set up, you can sit and watch whales swim past, the view is sensational. It's the kind of place you can nip in for ten minutes or spend hours. See shelterlennox.com.au
Simon Jones trained under Raymond Blanc in Oxfordshire, England. Later roles included Restaurant Chef at The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills California and three years as Head Chef at Marco Pierre White's one Michelin starred L'Escargot in London. See elementsofbyron.com.au