Soul Sister Terase Davidson
Taste Byron Bay
Terase Davidson is a local foodie and founder of Taste Byron Bay. As the guest speaker of our July Soul Sisters event we thought we’d give our readers a bit of an insight into the life of Terase Davidson – food reviewer, caterer, event coordinator, food tour operator, salted caramel sauce creator and business owner!
Terase, tell us where does your love for food come from?
From as early as I can remember I’ve always been completely fascinated by food and its ability to bring people together. I come from a family of chefs, so food has always been at the core of all our family gatherings. In fact, my earliest and happiest childhood memories all revolve around shared family meals, around a big table (my mum is one of 5 and there are 17 grandchildren on my mum’s side of the family, so the table was …… yeah always big) with plenty of good times and plenty of laughter.
All our family holidays were in Byron as kids, and I spent most of my school holidays in the kitchen at my aunty and uncles restaurant (the Fig Tree Restaurant overlooking Byron) and was always keen to ask a million and one questions of my uncle and was eager help (one school holidays, when I was about 12 years old, I pretty much spent two weeks happily peeling garlic and just watch the hustle and bustle of the kitchen unfold and loved it!).
What are some of your favourite local products that you like to use in your cooking?
I’m very much inspired by the seasonal produce available in Byron, so my favourites change as often as the seasons. At the moment, I am loving all the winter vegetables and citrus fruits coming into season. Staples in my cupboard and fridge are: Rainforest Macadamia Oil, Nimbin Valley Dairy Orange Billie Goats Cheese, Alive Foods Kim-Chi, Byron Bay Peanut Butter, anything from Picone Exotic Fruit Farm, the list goes on!
Why is collaboration so important when running a business?
Collaboration is essential to success, particularly for small businesses like mine. Not only is it fun, it is also a great way to align your brand with other brands that share the same vision, goals and ethos as you. It’s also an awesome way to build brand awareness and gain further penetration through the “ripple effect”.
What is it about Byron Bay that made you want to live here and run your business here?
Oh gosh, where do I start?! Byron is like the perfect storm for anyone who gets excited about exceptional produce. We have a unique sub-tropical micro climate, mild winters, great rainfall, fertile soil and pristine ocean waters. We are also blessed with a big history and culture in farming with many local farms being in the family for 5 plus generations, so there is a lot of knowledge and know-how in them hinterlands hills!
The access to awesome produce is also really really easy, with (last time I counted) 9 farmers markets each week in and around Byron! As a professional chef like me, you can also often go straight to the farmer and collect your produce, so you know exactly where your produce comes from! I also am lucky enough to be able to use the garden at the Fig Tree Restaurant for my fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and of course indulge my obsession with edible flowers!
Before I moved to Byron I’d lived in London and Sydney, so I was also looking to get a better sense of balance in my live. Little did I know that running my own business would be so crazy busy! But on the upside, no matter how busy I am, I do usually get to sneak down to the beach for quick swim between running events, catering jobs and making Salted Caramel Sauce! I also try and do the lighthouse walk, as much as my schedule allows.
What does your ultimate day in Byron Bay include?
My ultimate day in the Bay would definitely start and finish with a swim in the ocean, I find swimming in the ocean incredibly restorative and nurturing, so if I can squeeze at least one swim in per day it’s a good day!
I also really love going to Bikram Yoga in the mornings (some days it feels like pure torture, but I always feel really good after) or a brisk walk up to the lighthouse with one of my friends, followed by a breakfast and plenty of shared giggles.
I love going to the Spa at Elements of Byron Resort, for a massage or facial. It’s a bit of a luxury, but hey you’ve got to treat yourself occasionally ….. because it’s good for your mind, body and soul!
I also really enjoy playing tourist and pottering around the villages of Newrybar, Bangalow and Brunswick Heads to indulge in my love of local designers, creatives, and vintage treasures.
Another one of my favourite things to do is of course catch up with friends at Balcony for Oyster Happy Hour on Wednesday nights. With a Stone and Wood beer in hand and the sun setting behind the hills, there really is no better place to be. Top it off with Sean’s Orgy of Mushroom Gnocchi and I’m in total foodie heaven!
To hear more about Terase and her stories of success running a business in Byron Bay, join us at Soul Sisters Brunch & Bellinis on Sunday July 8th.