A Mediterranean Feast with The Olive Place

Shot at Picadilly House in the Hinterland, our Mediterranean Feast shoot was so much fun to put together with the help of lovely local deli The Olive Place. We are blessed to be surrounded by so many cultures to pull inspiration from and collaborate with. We chat to Antoine, french founder of the successful NSW wide business about alfresco picnics and European cuisine...
Tell us a bit more about the company and how you got to this point…
In 2015, Antoine Quezel, the founder of Byron Bay Olive Co. and The Olive Place, had just arrived in the Byron Shire and noticed that no one was offering the Mediterranean flavors of his home in Provence, France. He opened his first market stall at Bangalow Markets and sold out! 
From there, this French artisan fine foods company has grown considerably, from visiting weekly farmers and community markets from Sydney to the Gold Coast, to an online store. More recently we opened The Olive Place, a beautiful Café and Deli ideally located in the Byron Industrial Estate.
Why are you passionate about European cuisine?
European cuisine is a vast and diverse landscape of culinary traditions, techniques, and flavours. From the rich, indulgent dishes of French cuisine to the vibrant flavours of Mediterranean cuisine, there is something for every palate. For us European cuisine is a celebration of fresh, local and tasty ingredients which have the power to bring people together, to inspire creativity in the kitchen, and to provide a rich and rewarding culinary experience for everyone.
Do you have a memory of dining al fresco in your hometown that stands out to you?
There have been many summer evenings in the south of France, where my family and I have had dinner al fresco in our garden. I vividly remember the sun setting and casting a warm glow on our table. Enjoying a simple yet delicious meal of barbecued fish or lamb, fresh local vegetables, crusty French baguette, cheese, and chilled rosé. Being serenaded by the chirping of crickets and rustling of leaves, always in a peaceful and intimate moment that brought us together. To this day, I still remember the taste of those fine yet simple dishes and "la douceur de vivre" that came with sharing a meal with loved ones under the stars.
If you could be transported anywhere in Europe for an epic picnic right now, where would you go? And what food would you bring on the picnic?
Definitely the south of France. I would bring some simple, fresh, and tasty food from a local market. I would make sure to add some delicious French cheese and rosé to my picnic basket!
Where is your favourite place in Byron to have a picnic?
Tough question! There are so many amazing places to choose from. Whites Beach in Broken Head, Watergos, Tallow Beach to name a few...
We love Whites Beach too!! Do you have a favourite recipe that you could share with us?
This recipe is quick, easy and delicious!
A black garlic sauce with roasted chicken
500ml of chicken stock
6 X cloves of Black Garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
60 g of butter
Bring stock to boil, add black garlic, whisk gently and bring down to simmer.
While the chicken is roasting, baste it with black garlic juice.
Plus, any wine pairing recommendations for a Mediterranean themed picnic?
Of course I would suggest a nice chilled rosé or for those who have a preference for red wine I'd go for a light-bodied style such as Pinot Noir, Gamay, French Burgundy or Grenache. For whites I would suggest a Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling.
Thanks for the recommendations… finally, where can people find you if they want to pick up the perfect Mediterranean picnic?
Our Cafe & Deli is located at Unit 3/29 Brigantine street in the Byron Arts and Industrial Estate, next to the Bunnings/BP roundabout.

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