Raw talent keeps Fins restaurant at the top
By ALEX EASTON
BYRON Bay chef Steven Snow doesn't cook much any more: it's one of the things that has made his restaurant, Fins, one of the best in NSW.
It isn't that Mr Snow doesn't spend much time in the kitchen ? he describes himself as a front-line cook ? it's just that the latest craze for Japanese-style sashimi dishes demands seafood be cooked as little as possible; if at all.
"What I'm finding now is we're doing less and less," Mr Snow said. "Prawns might be blanched ... the fish is just filleted and put on the plate."
Happily, Fins also offers cooked seafood, and it is so good that the restaurant has won two chefs hats in the coveted Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide ? for the eighth year in a row.
Only one other Northern Rivers restaurant, Dish, also in Byron Bay, picked up a chefs hat, but 22 other restaurants and food stores in the Northern Rivers area rated a mention in the 2005 Good Food Guide.
They included: The Bower Room, Olivo, Rae's on Wategos, Boomerang, Cafe Wunderbar, Mongers, Red Ginger and Wholly Smoked in Byron Bay; Castalia and the Pacific Hotel at Yamba; the now closed Country Fresh (at the Bangalow Hotel), Utopia and Ate ? the Art of Food at Bangalow; Northern Rivers Seafood at West Ballina; Harvest Cafe at Newrybar; Paupiettes and Left Bank Cafe at Lismore; Milk and Honey and Poinciana at Mullumbimby; Pogels Wood Cafe at Federal; Ruby's By the Sea at Lennox Head; and Threeways at Huonbrook.