Artisan Bakery & Patisserie at Harvest Cafe in Newrybar, NSW, Australia

 

Croquembouche and their sugar garnish at Harvest Cafe Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Croquembouche and their sugar garnish at Harvest Cafe Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

As some of you know I am a well qualified  baker and pastry chef by trade, trained by a well known family bakery and patisserie just outside Hamburg in Germany.        A few years back, I had the opportunity to work at Harvest Cafe in Newrybar, a small town in beautiful Byron Bay hinterland. Litte did I know what Harvest Cafe had in stall for me, a surprise in many ways.

Newrybar itself was founded in the late 1880s and still has the charm of its historic past. This ‘one street town’ is literally flying under the radar of the old pacific highway, which has become a popular tourist route since the upgrade. I passed this very small community on the old Pacific Highway many times before, but I never noticed this hidden, but the well-known gem in the area. I was even more surprised when I was called in for a job interview.

Harvest Cafe Deli in Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Harvest Cafe Deli in Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Harvest Cafe’s restaurant, deli, and wood-fired oven artisan bakery has a wow factor ambiance which is noticed immediately. The wood-fired bread oven was installed decades ago and was well known as the ‘sourdough king bakery’.

Entrance and Cafe area at Harvest Cafe restaurant, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Entrance and Cafe area at Harvest Cafe restaurant, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

The historic family house was converted to a modern kitchen in an old style restaurant, as was the deli building opposite to the restaurant.

Happy in charge, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Happy in charge, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

All bakery staff left at the same time and I was appointed to be in charge of the bakery and pastry section, my biggest professional challenge yet. All recipes needed an overhaul to ensure constant and equal quality. Only if I know exactly how to use the recipes and wood-fired oven, I was able to teach my young, fairly inexperienced team. The result was convincing.

Golden brown yeast free sourdough bread baked in wood fired oven at Harvest Cafe bakery, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Golden brown yeast-free sourdough bread baked in the wood-fired oven at Harvest Cafe bakery, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Yeast free sourdough bread was baked golden brown with a clean cut as breakout point.

A basket of freshly baked sourdough bread selection, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

A basket of freshly baked sourdough bread selection, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

The 5 seed sourdough was just as popular with customers, as was heavy fruit loaf, which had 20% fruit content.

Rye bread and Ciabatta bread baking in the wood fired oven at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Rye bread and Ciabatta bread baking in the wood-fired oven at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

My personal favorite, however, was the olive and rosemary Ciabatta, fresh out of the oven. Croissant and pastry production was my pride and joy. 

Pastry selection on market display, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Pastry selection on market display, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Extensive previous experience with these delicate pastries resulted in a large variety of croissants, pain au chocolate, pain aux raisin, cinnamon twists, and multiple types of fruit and savoury danish.

Cinnamon danish and pain aux raisins at display, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Cinnamon Danish and pain aux raisins on display, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

all of the yummy pastry creations proved extremely popular with the customers.

Almond croissants lightly dusted with icing sugar, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Almond croissants lightly dusted with icing sugar, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Almond croissants were high on the consumers’ list.

Fresh golden brown croissants, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Fresh golden brown croissants, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

It gave me enormous satisfaction to create and bake this French specialty pastry.

Sourdough weekends at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Sourdough weekends at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Sourdough Saturday’s and Sundays were the standout exhibition days for our bakery and pastry section.

A comfortable relaxed seating area in the Harvest Cafe bakery in Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

A comfortable relaxed seating area in the Harvest Cafe bakery in Newrybar, NSW, Australia

The large, comfortable seating area was opened to the public, which could sit out in the garden sun as well.

Rustic sourdough  bread display, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Rustic sourdough bread display, Newrybar, NSW, Australia

Wooden planks held freshly baked sourdough bread, which had been mostly baked by my workmate Shailesh.

Shailesh swiftly loading the wood fired oven with sourdough bread, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Shailesh swiftly loading the wood-fired oven with sourdough bread, Newrybar, NSW, Australia

A large selection of our specialty pastries and cakes were on display to tempt the customers.

Original Portuguese tarts, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Original Portuguese tarts, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Portuguese tarts were very popular, a custom made recipe.

Mille-feuille is translated as thousands leaves in French, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Mille-feuille is translated as thousands of leaves in French, Newrybar, NSW, Australia

Mille-feuille, or vanilla slice, were coated and decorated with icing sugar. Australians love a Vanilla slice.

Freshly fried ‘Berliner’ donuts by our Japanese Chef, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Freshly fried ‘Berliner’ donuts by our Japanese Chef, Newrybar, NSW, Australia

‘Berliner’ donuts were freshly deep fried in two rather small deep fryers.

Croquembouche are profiteroles glued and garnished with liquid caramel, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Croquembouche are profiteroles glued and garnished with liquid caramel, Newrybar, NSW< Australia

Croquembouche, a French delicacy, were garnished with liquid sugar caramel in front of astonishing customer’s eyes.

Fine sugar art, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Fine sugar art, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

These sugar strings looked like fine blond hair against the sun.

Chocolate and yogurt mousse cakes made to order, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Chocolate and yogurt mousse cakes made to order, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Chocolate and yoghurt mousse cakes could be pre-ordered from our friendly sales staff,

Friendly and happy sales staff at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Friendly and happy sales staff at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

which complimented the Harvest market vibe.

Sourdough bread selection on wooden planks, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Sourdough bread selection on wooden planks, Newrybar, NSW, Australia

Customers met for coffee and fresh cakes whilst sourdough bread was baked in the oven, a brilliant concept. 

Shailesh glazing hot cross buns, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Shailesh glazing hot cross buns, Newrybar, NSW, Australia

Seasonal baking goods were baked freshly produced as well.

Ooops, missed one, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Ooops, missed one, Newrybar, NSW, Australia

Hot cross buns are a favourite for Easter, while the selection over Christmas varied even more. Traditional German goods such as marzipan stollen and cinnamon star cookies kept me even busier over the Christmas period. Lebkuchen are traditionally from Germany and famous worldwide. Known in Australia as Gingerbread, we produced German-style gingerbread men and houses. Communication in between one Michelin star restaurant, a gourmet homemade deli and event staff was a key factor for a harmonious work environment within the Harvest family.

The bakery and patisserie ensemble at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

The bakery and patisserie ensemble at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, NSW, Australia

Even though working in this very busy environment, bad tempers hardly ever flared within work colleagues all around. An efficient professional, happy and friendly etiquette towards any customer kept everyone in tune with the Harvest vibe.

A happy green tree frog made his home at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

A happy green tree frog made his home at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

That seemed to be the case with friendly critters too.

Another chilled customer at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Another chilled customer at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

A green tree frog felt at home in the toilet area.

Big smile on his dial, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Big smile on his dial, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Now and then, he appeared and made himself at home with a big smile on his face.

A water dragon in a spa bath at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

A water dragon in a spa bath at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

This water dragon enjoyed a cooling spa in the water fountain.

Wary water dragon, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Wary water dragon, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

He was always cautious by who is around him. 

Shailesh with his magic tool to create a fine selection of sourdough bread, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

Shailesh with his magic tool to create a fine selection of sourdough bread, Newrybar, New South Wales, Australia

I stayed at ‘Harvest Cafe’ for a year as it was time for me to move on. Shailesh took over my position in this well-tuned artisan bakery and patisserie. I have learned a lot and hope that others learned from me as well. It was an absolute pleasure being involved and part of the Harvest family. 

One thought on “Artisan Bakery & Patisserie at Harvest Cafe in Newrybar, NSW, Australia

  1. Ben, we (5 South Africans camping) met you in Pioneer. Your baking is amazing and have had my mouth watering. We are going back to Zambia in 6 weeks time. Go well. All good here. Yvonne 😘

    Liked by 1 person

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