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Chef series | Anna Mortimer ~ Honour

Can you tell us a little about why you became a chef? Before ‘food’, I had an exciting corporate career that took me around the world for more than a decade, but food was always my first my love; reading about it, shopping for it, cooking it, eating it and talking about it.   With more than a nudge from my friends I bit the bullet and applied to attend famed French culinary school Ferrandi. I think one of the most thrilling days of my life was when I received my acceptance letter. I packed my bags and moved to Paris and the rest, as they say, is history.  I had the good fortune of meeting my cheese and wine loving husband Aymeric (and business partner) while I was there and the unique opportunity to work at some incredible restaurants including Septime and Verjus. I returned to Australia to train as a butcher and small goods maker at Andrew McConnell’s Meatsmith in Melbourne.  How would you describe the food and experience at Honour?   Our customers tell us they feel like they are back in Europe when they dine with us and really we couldn't hope for anything more.  My time in France has undoubtedly coloured my approach to food. It’s produce driven, stripped back and usually requires bread for mopping. I learnt very quickly that you don’t need to do much when the produce is this good. Charcuterie is also a strong focus for us at Honour and I prepare a lot of farmhouse products from terrines to pates, hams, sausages and rillettes. It’s something that I learnt during my time in the south-west of France that’s quite special.    Aymeric who runs the front of house, sources interesting and hard to find wines. I think we have the most exciting natural wine list in the region.  All our wines tell a story of people and place. We support small family producers that make great wines, which are natural, biodynamic or organic.   3) What do you love most about the food scene in the Northern Rivers?   For me it’s the farmers markets. It’s one of the things I miss most about France. Visiting the Mullumbimby Farmer’s market just ten minutes from our restaurant each week is such a joy. I think what we have here in the Northern Rivers is really unique. We have access to four or five farmers markets a week. I can’t think of anywhere else in Australia quite like it.    4) What inspired your menu for the collaboration with Le Petit Brekkie?   I’ll be honest, it’s something I’d want to eat myself! Brunch in the sunshine with a little bubbles is a very sensible way to begin one’s weekend. These are really classic French dishes that you will find in your neighbourhood bistros throughout France. It brings back wonderful memories of my time there.    5) What is your favourite weekend breakfast?    Coffee and croissant in bed with a broadsheet newspaper is my idea of indulgence and the perfect weekend breakfast.