During their travels around Australia in 2003, Eric & Monica Robinson were inspired by many regions that had a great culture of locally made artisan products, using fresh, locally grown ingredients. When they settled in Port Macquarie on the beautiful mid-north coast of NSW, they were once again inspired by the array of wonderful fresh produce grown in the surrounding hinterland.
At the encouragement of a long-time friend Donna Carrier, they started a small range of products that she kindly stocked on the shelves of her award winning store & cafe, Bent on Food.
In the early days, Eric worked with a 10 litre pot on a 1970's electric stove in the granny flat attached to their small cottage. Eric worked many jobs - as a chef in a busy restaurant, teaching Commercial Cookery at TAFE - and in his spare time, keeping their growing list of customers supplied with The Other Chef range of products.
Their first-ever award was won at The Sydney Royal Fine Food Awards for a strawberry jam, made from fresh local fruit. This caught the attention of the strawberry grower, Anthony Sarks of Ricardoes Tomatoes. Within a short time, The Other Chef Fine Foods were making jam for Ricardoes, and today their range has grown to over 20 unique products.
Boxes of stock started to take over the Robinson's small family home, and it was obvious their business was getting to big to remain home-based. Finally, the business reached a point where Eric was able to stop working nights in restaurants, and focus on growing the business.
Today, The Other Chef Fine Foods operates from a modern production facility in Port Macquarie, where Eric & Monica work with their clients to design and hand-craft award-winning products. Whilst their original brand, The Other Chef, is still winning medals, and will always remain a flagship of the business, contract manufacturing and private label services have become the core to this family owned & operated business.
Whether The Other Chef team is working on a product for a small start-up business (perhaps a hip city café), an emerging gourmet brand or an established national brand, they personally ensure the same care that went in to that first award-winning small batch of jam goes into every product they make and that the results are equally high quality.
With over 30 years of experience as a Chef, including seven years operating his own restaurant, Eric has received high acclaim for his innovative style and passion for hand-made food. He brings the same respect for fresh quality ingredients and flavour combinations to all products produced at The Other Chef Fine Foods. The business' services are now sought by clients across regional NSW, Sydney and interstate.