June 9, 2012

Soul Espresso

Coffs Jetty Strip – Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour NSW (02) 6652 4110

Coffs Harbour’s famous jetty strip has seen one of its old favourites get a face lift, with Foreshores Café becoming the new Soul Espresso.

A well known Woolgoolga banana farmer’s wife, Harpreet Atwal has combined a healthy fresh farm philosophy of seasonally grown food into a new age café menu.

She has teamed up with award winning chef Dustin Bowie-Ford, who has swapped his leading role at the popular coastal café Saltwater at Emerald Beach for this new head chef position.

Dustin’s career came into the limelight on the New South Wales North Coast when he won the prestigious signature dish award, judged by a panel of famous Australian chefs, including Serge Dansereau from Bathers Pavilion. Dustin’s prize package was the opportunity to spend time in some famous city kitchens, which included Bathers, Quay, Rockpool Bar and Grill and Zumbo’s.

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Dustin has taken on the challenge and jumped at the opportunity to work with the best farm fresh produce within that season, creating simple, clean soul food. Dustin’s regional chefing has forced him to become a “Locavore” and to develop the skills of fresh food sourcing – which sounds a bit crazy, but is sometimes harder to do in country locations, where much of the good produce gets shipped out.

I am a serious critic when it comes to Eggs Benedict on the breakfast menu. Dustin excelled himself, and I rated it as one of my best Eggs Benny yet. The fresh orange Hollandaise was amazing with perfect soft poached eggs on double smoked ham on a real muffin. This is only one example of the food items on hand at Soul Espresso. Most of the food looks simple in its description, but is an amazing assortment of flavour experiences.

The coffee was a serious part of the café equation, and they chose local roaster Peak Coffee, showcasing some South Indian coffees from Thalanar Estate to set the mood. The business focus is to create cool café mood food that is simple yet totally constructed from scratch using local produce and manufacturers.

Soul Espresso has been overwhelmed by the support they have received in the short time they have been open. The team is enjoying the flexibility of the café business structure and will experiment with some nights and some special occasion functions. The café is open from 7am, seven days a week and is quickly becoming the talk of the Mid North Coast foodie scene. It is a credit to see passionate operators venture into regional Australia to practice their craft.

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