POPULAR Lismore restaurant Palate at the Gallery has been sold and its outgoing owner is ensuring a smooth handover.
Owner and chef Yves Al-Ghazi , who so gallantly rebuilt the business after the March floods, will hand over the head chef's apron to Sarah Williams, who has worked at the restaurant under previous owners.
Praised for offering a menu designed to offer a taste of France, the restaurant received consistently excellent reviews for its modern cuisine in various print and online travel guides, including Lonely Planet.
Running the business since 2015, Mr Al-Ghazi's made the most of the abundance of delicious produce available in the Northern Rivers.
Mr Al-Ghazi said he and his wife already have a young daughter, and wanting to spend more time with his growing family was a key reason for the decision to sell.
He said with a new baby on the way in just 10 days or so, it's time to hang up his apron and return to the world of molecular biology.
"Restaurant hours can be difficult with a family," he said. "My PhD is in molecular biology and I think this (field) is where I'll be working, but I will be here for a while to make sure there's a smooth handover to Sarah and the new owners".
Ms Williams said she has enjoyed sharing the restaurant's open kitchen with Mr Al-Ghazi and is looking forward to the next stage of the restaurant's evolution.
The pair laughed as they each simultaneously started to say how positive it has been to work together.
"I've liked working with Yves, I hope he's liked working with me," Ms Williams said as Mr Al-Ghazi nodded.
"I hope Sarah's enjoyed working with me and of course it will be different when I'm gone," he said.
"But I'm sure she and the new owners will do very well."
Fans of the restaurant, located next to the rose gardens in Spinks Park on Molesworth St, Lismore, can be sure the food quality will remain high, the service friendly and the welcome always warm.