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11 May, 2022

"Gazza's Goss: Brendon is… Cooking With Gas!"

AS was the case last year, the recent holiday festivities have extended into a lengthier period with visitors to the Douglas Shire arriving in abundance over the recent long weekends.


Brendon Bayes, Salsa’s Star Sous Chef

Despite the heavy rainfall and high water levels, I believe that the Daintree has also seen good numbers across the river. There’s nothing good to be said about COVID, other than the fact that over the last two years the International travel restrictions have encouraged Australians to play in their own back yard, rather than overseas. This has resulted in either reminding past visitors of just how good FNQ really is, or allowing ‘newbies’ to the Region to experience paradise equal or probably better than anywhere else on the planet. 

Much of this is due to the well organised infrastructure, quality accommodation, natural beauty and fun entertainment experienced by those who head to the Tropics. 

What we must also celebrate, are the amazing people that have weathered the depths of the pandemic days and have bounced back with continued energy. 

This includes the restaurateurs, publicans, shop owners, day trip organisers, musicians, shuttle drivers and so many more, including their incredible staff members. 

One such shining example that typifies what I’m talking about here is 24 year old Sous Chef, Brendon Bayes. 

Starting with some history, Brendon began cooking when he was 15 which resulted in him landing a school based apprenticeship with Barnacles Bills in Cairns. Aged 18, he then moved to Salsa Bar and Grill, in Port Douglas, to finish his apprenticeship and start moving up the ranks in the kitchen. 

Not just satisfied with that, Brendon, still as a teenager, competed in the Worldwide Bocuse d’Or competition reaching the top four in Australia. 

Realising his potential, Salsa moved Brendon up to Junior Sous Chef this year and this has culminated in his nomination for the ‘30 under 30’ most influential people in the FNQ Region. 

This accolade recognises pioneering young people who are leaving their mark in industry and culture. These include examples like musicians, athletes, business owners, lawyers and, naturally, chefs. 

So, congratulations to Brendon who may well serve you up a treat next time you’re in Port Douglas. 

I’m off to see if there is a category for the over 50’s, so for now it’s Gazza signing out! 

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