Phat ducks get a waddle on

At the launch of Ate Phat Ducks in Ballina were editor and writer Helen Fry, publisher Remy Tancred and Tammy Creagh, who named the book.

The concept was simple.

Eight ordinary women visit 30 extraordinary restaurants. (Or as comedian Mandy Nolan put it at the official launch last month: Theyre like food trollops. They are up for new experiences and theyll all give anything a go.)

Add in sumptuous photos and a recipe from each of the chefs and youve got yourself the glossy coffee table/guide book Ate Phat Ducks do Northern NSW brainchild of Lennox Head publisher Remy Tancred.

It all started two years ago when a group of friends got together for a birthday lunch for Lennox Wave writer and editor Helen Fry.

We all enjoyed it so much we thought we should do it every month and have a name, Helen said. Apparently theres a beautiful restaurant in London called the Fat Duck. We used the ph spelling to make it a bit more fun.

Helen started writing a light-hearted, monthly food column beginning with that very first lunch.

Meanwhile, publisher Remy Tancred had always had a dream of doing a food book.

And being a very entrepreneurial spirit, two years later shes now self-published 20,000 copies of Ate Phat Ducks, which covers restaurants as far north as Kingscliff, west to Casino and down to Yamba.

Three Lismore restaurants are featured The Left Bank, The Loft and Caf 29.

When shes got an idea, she believes she will deliver, said Helen, who describes herself as Remys right-hand woman. She started The Lennox Wave from nothing. She moved to town and thought: Magazine. Lets do it.

I think the books captured peoples imaginations, said Remy. These ordinary women travelling around eating and drinking. Its reality publishing. Its just something Ive had in the pipeline for a while. Weve got such good local restaurants who use local produce. I think thats important.

Remy said she knows first-hand how hard it can be running a food business as she and her husband also own a sushi bar in Ballina (not featured in the book).

A lot of these places in the book are quite hidden, she said. A lot of people at the launch said I never knew that was there. People often get in their car and take a little Sunday drive visiting places.

The book can be found not only in local newsagents but also in visitor centres and at the Ballina airport.

Freebie: The Echo has five Ate Phat Ducks showbags to give away consisting of a copy of the book, a cap and assorted local produce. To go into the draw to win phone 6622 2888 between 10.30 and 10.45am on Monday, December 10, and tell us where the Fat Duck restaurant is.

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