Federal pub chef Nathan Streckfuss (left) and licensee Mick O’Connor are onto a winner with fresh local produce and seafood.
Federal pub chef Nathan Streckfuss (left) and licensee Mick O’Connor are onto a winner with fresh local produce and seafood. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Fillip for good food dudes

THE Federal Hotel at Alstonville has been awarded a prestigious "Schooner" by the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Pub Food Guide 2012.

Licensee Mick O'Connor said the award was nice, but making customers happy was what really counted.

"We just try to provide high-quality food and good-sized meals," he said.

"We try to have a bit of fun, be polite to the customers and create a friendly atmosphere."

Mr O'Connor said a ban on smoking meant the pub had been forced to develop other areas of its business to remain viable.

It settled on food and had not looked back since.

"It was a blessing in disguise," he said.

Mr O'Connor said the pub had moved away from deep-fried pub food to a more upmarket, but still affordable, menu.

This is the second year the pub has been awarded a Schooner.

A team of five chefs led by Nathan Streckfuss and Kelven Parker used local ingredients to create a menu which featured seafood and changed regularly.

Mr Streckfuss said his cooking philosophy was to always use fresh, local produce.

Keith Harding, of Lismore, was dining at the hotel yesterday with his partner Kathleen Armstrong, also of Lismore.

He said in the many years he had been eating at the hotel he had never had a bad meal.

"It is very consistent food and fresh and the serves are a good size," he said.

Also making it into the guide this year was the Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, which scored 13/20; The Court House Hotel, Mullumbimby, 14/20; and the Eltham Hotel, Eltham, one point below the Federal Hotel, on 15/20.

The Federal Hotel seats up to 150 people and can cater to functions of up to 90 people.

It is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week at 77 Main St, Alstonville.

See thefedhotel.com.au



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