NIBBLES: Bondi Harvest

Mark Alston of Bondi Harvest fame at Moor, Newcastle East, with his four-year-old daughter Summer.  Picture: Darren Pateman
Mark Alston of Bondi Harvest fame at Moor, Newcastle East, with his four-year-old daughter Summer. Picture: Darren Pateman

MARK Alston, one of the creators of the wildly successful Bondi Harvest online TV series - which now also includes an equally popular restaurant in Bondi - has made Newcastle his home.

With the Hunter Valley and mid-north coast on the doorstep and Newcastle's growing foodie scene as inspiration, Bondi Harvest could soon be stretching its wings to showcase Mark's new home town.

Filmmaker Mark and chef Guy Turland started their weekly YouTube cooking show, Bondi Harvest, in 2012, armed with only a surfboard, a camera and a camp oven to show off seasonal and vibrant dishes.

Soon they gained a following for cooking food al fresco in some of Bondi's most iconic beauty spots. Just a few years later, Bondi Harvest is an award-winning hit, with almost 2 million views and 55,000 subscribers, a restaurant in Bondi and their first cookbook, Bondi Harvest (RRP $39.99, out now).

Seeking a base outside Sydney, Mark relocated to Newcastle about a year ago with partner Lucy Craig and their two children. He still travels to Sydney regularly for work, but also handles many of the Bondi Harvest commitments from Newcastle.

Hopefully it's just a matter of time before Mark's new home base seeps into Bondi Harvest - a series which has already branched out beyond the famous Sydney beach to the likes of LA, Tokyo, Italy and Fiji.

"Bondi Harvest has always aspired to not just sit on the beach in Bondi but actually get out and experience things," Mark said.

"Certainly with me being up here, it opens up the door to get up the coast [from Bondi].

"The Hunter Valley has some incredible produce and I think Newcastle is starting to really reap the benefits of that, being so close to the producers and the artisans. You can see it around town, there are some really great local restaurants and cafes doing incredible stuff."

The duo could also add the further reaches of the Hunter region and our neighbours to their itinerary.

"We're keen to head up to the mid-north coast and do some surfing around Seal Rocks and some camping around Treachery. We're hoping to get up around Barrington into the wilderness and also up into the Hunter Valley to meet the farmers and stuff," Mark said.

"We're always looking to do those things, we just have to get it into the schedule which is the hard thing these days."

Though the Bondi Harvest duo already have more than enough on their plate as it stands, Mark has a "never say never" attitude to a possible pop-up dining experience in the Hunter.

"Produce in Australia in the restaurant scene is at the forefront of paddock to plate. It is a pretty overused term, but I love that style of eating."

In the meantime, fans of Bondi Harvest can satisfy themselves with the duo's first cookbook, Bondi Harvest.  


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