About2018-11-17T02:17:09+00:00
About Us

“All we’ve ever wanted is to cook with good mates, enjoy nature and put a smile on people’s faces.”

Meet the team

Get to know us

The Ducks is a great story of food, born in the surf! It all started with three good mates travelling the world, cultivating ideas around a better, more sustainable approach to living. Somewhere there, in a shared belief in good ethical food – Three Blue Ducks was hatched.

We returned to Bronte to live alongside sun and surf and soon our crew of three grew to six. We became friends organically over our love of sharing great food with no frills, cooking, fishing and surfing together whilst maintaining an ethical and sustainable business that we are amazingly proud of.

Want to be a Duck?

Mark Labrooy

“I still get a kick out creating dishes from something I caught myself or picked with my own hands.”

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Chris Sorrell

“You have to have fun doing what you love.”

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Sam Reid-Boquist

I’m fortunate that I get to work with my friends by the ocean.

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Jeff Bennett

“I needed a change and was lucky enough to find something I love with like-minded friends.”

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Darren Robertson

Honest, simple, tasty food, cooked and enjoyed with great drinks shared with family and friends, that’s why I’m here.”

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Andy Allen

“I still get a kick out of people enjoying our food everyday”

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Sam Morton

“Learning every day working with amazing produce and people is what inspires me.”

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Zac Knight

“Talking to people all day about a product I’m super interested in is my definition of “living the dream!”

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Meredith Hemmings

“I can’t think about starting my day without a cup of perfectly brewed Single O batch from my keepcup.”

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Stephanie Brodeur

“I love making our clients happy and I know this is exactly where I am meant to be.” 

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Katy Ferguson

“There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing an event all fall into place.”

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Kate Byron

“This job is all about the people, the legends I work with and the customers who give us a reason to come to work everyday.”

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Neil Walkington

“Its all about creating experiences that we would want to keep returning to with an amazing sense of hospitality.”

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Paul Dewhurst

“I love the freedom, culture and energy that surrounds The Ducks.”

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Lauren McKenna

“The Ducks have opened my eyes to the world of growing your own food, not limiting yourself to one style of menu or cooking and how to reduce your wastage by utilising 100% of a product.”

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Our Values

We encourage you to grow what you can, buy food mindfully, buy it locally, cook it thoughtfully and waste nothing where you can. 

At Three Blue Ducks, we stand by a set of principles that encourage us to continuously reinvent the wheel and ensure that we implement ethical and sustainable business practices on all levels. We work with honest suppliers we like who have the best quality produce.

We are committed to creating interesting dishes, banging with flavour that is simple and a bit rough around the edges. We are less white tablecloth dining and more come-as-you-are kind of vibe. It’s a Duck thing!

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Partners & Producers

Sometimes it’s not straightforward to pick the most ethical ingredient. There’s food miles, farming practices – grass fed vs. grain fed, free range, sustainable species, line caught fish, farmed fish, packaging, GMO, organic etc. There’s no simple way to decide the “best” ingredient given all these categories, but we do consider them when putting a dish together and we do try and get it right.  If we can all be a little more conscious of these issues and make more informed decisions, then we believe it can only be a good thing for our planet.

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Our Locations

REAL FOOD EXPERIENCES ACROSS FOUR VENUES. EXPLORE OUR LOCAL OFFERS.

Bronte
141-143 Macpherson St, Bronte, NSW
(02) 9389 0010

Byron
11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale, NSW
(02) 6684 7795

Rosebery
1/85 Dunning Ave, Rosebery, NSW
(02) 9389 0010

Brisbane
W Brisbane, 81 North Quay, Brisbane, QLD
(07) 3556 8833
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Please note - we have some venue closures in the coming weeks. Please review our restaurant pages for more information. 
Bronte
141-143 Macpherson St, Bronte, NSW
(02) 9389 0010
Byron
11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale, NSW
(02) 6684 7795
Rosebery
1/85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery, NSW
(02) 9389 0010
Brisbane
W Brisbane, 81 North Quay, Brisbane, QLD
(07) 3556 8833
The Ducks

Andy Allen

Andy was only one exam away from becoming a fully qualified Electrician, but knowing he wasn’t satisfied with being a sparky for the rest of his life, he took a dare from one of his good mates to enter as a contestant on MasterChef 2012.

This is where Andy met Mark and Darren as they were guest chefs on the show.

Once he was on the show, Andy was open to admitting he was by far the most inexperienced and weakest cook amongst the group. Andy read, he researched, he watched and listened and saw every opportunity as a learning opportunity. After an 8 month commitment, locked away from his friends and family on some sort of rapid culinary apprenticeship on steroids, Andy emerged the youngest winner of MasterChef with a thirst to learn as much as he could about food.

With learning being at the top of Andy's list he reached out to the boys at The Ducks and took a role down at Three Blue Ducks Pop Up at Falls Creek in 2013.

Then in 2016 Andy officially became part of the group, becoming a co-owner of Three Blue Ducks Rosebery.

 
The Ducks

Darren Robertson

A chef with a passionate advocate of farm-to-table cooking, Darren champions sustainability and using ethically farmed produce.

Trained in the UK under acclaimed Chef Mark Raffan at the Michelin starred ‘Gravetye Manor’.
Moving to Australia in 2001 his skills were further honed working at ‘Tetsuya’s’. Rising to the position of Head Chef the restaurant held three chefs hats and was voted the 5th best restaurant in the world in 2007.
Darren starred Table Sessions in 2011 a guerilla-style dining experience.These were awarded Best Event 2011 by Australian Gourmet Pages.

In 2012 Daz joined forces with like-minded mates at ‘Three Blue Ducks’

In 2017 he then opened "Rocker" in North Bondi, a European style coastal eatery in Bondi. Rocker has since earned a SMH chefs hat.

He has appeared on MasterChef, Iron Chef USA, The Great Australian cookbook and most recently a guest judge on MKR.

Daz is also the co-author of three cookbooks and writes for SMH Spectrum Mag and Delicious.
He is an Ambassador for the Australian Cancer Council, Oz Harvest and sits on the judging panel for the Delicious Produce awards.

When he’s not foraging or surfing, he’s in the kitchen cooking, fermenting, pickling, and testing recipes with his fiancée - meteorologist, journalist, TV presenter and food author, Magdalena Roze and son Archie.

 
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Mark Labrooy

Mark started his career in cooking straight after high school in 1999 and landed an apprenticeship under Klaus Huber, the executive chef for Bennelong and the Opera House restaurants. He went on to work at Tetsuyas where he met fellow mate and Duck, Darren Robertson. Opting out of fine dining he was invited to run café Morso on Jones Bay Wharf and became a registered buyer at the Sydney Fish Markets, where he selected fresh fish for services daily (right up his alley).

In 2004, he left to live the dream, snowboarding and cooking in chalets during the winters and surfing the French, Portuguese, Spanish and Moroccan coastlines during the summer with his well-earned Swiss Francs. In 2008, Mark set up residence in Zurich where he worked at Josef and quickly became the sous under the owner/head chef, loving the progressive style of cooking in an otherwise traditional cuisine city.

It was 2010 when the penny dropped and the idea behind Three Blue Ducks came to fruition. The Ducks found instant success and became the first café to be invited to the Good Food Guide Restaurant awards under a new category ‘best breakfast.’ A year later Three Ducks became five when they joined forces with Jeff Bennett and Darren Robertson to open for dinner. 6 weeks later they were awarded their first hat.

Mark has co-written three books, The Blue Ducks (2012), Real Food (2014) and Blue Ducks in the Country (2017). In 2014, The Ducks built and opened Three Blue Ducks on The Farm in Byron Bay for which they were awarded Gourmet Traveller’s Best Regional Restaurant. In 2016, Three Blue Ducks Rosebery opened with co-owner Andy Allen, which was awarded a hat in the 2018 Good Food Guide.

Mark is a weekly columnist for Spectrum Magazine and an OzHarvest Ambassador. Away from the tools Marky, as he is affectionately known, is best known as avid road bike motorcycle racer (he competes on a national level), spearfisherman, cyclist, forager, surfer and loving partner to Hannah Reid soon to be Hannah LaBrooy.

 

 
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Jeff Bennett 

After a stellar career at 13 delivering pharmaceuticals on his bike, Jeff moved on and found his feet with his first foray in the food industry.  Not quite the upper end of the industry, but a brief stint at McDonald's was at least the first step on the ladder.  From the Big Mac to small restaurants “Hospo” took him through the school years and led him to study hospitality business management at uni before giving in to a beckoning call to travel the world.

After a bizarre "epiphany" Jeff returned to Oz to study computer science and then worked as a programmer at Macquarie Bank where he learnt what it was like to be a "fish out of water" and do something that you have no passion for.

With various attempts at finding his place in the working world, he decided the next move was to go out on his own.

At the time he was living in Bronte and was amazed at the lack of decent food options for such a busy little area.  A few months later a shiny new pizza shop opened and he had his first business.

As luck would have it, a few months later, three young lads (aka Three Blue Ducks) opened a cafe next door.  The four boys became mates, explored the world of food and beer and then one day, over a discussion about chicken soup, Mark (chef duck) and Jeff came up with a crazy idea of joining the two spaces together, knocking some holes in walls, putting tables in the alley between, building a bar and taking Three Blue Ducks to the next level.  One week later the pizza shop closed and the tools were out.

 

 
The Ducks

Chris Sorrell 

Born and bred in Bronte, Chriso grew up with saltwater in his blood. Both his parents loved the ocean, surfing and spearfishing, so it was inevitable that he spent most of his youth in the water.

After studying a sports science degree Chris decided to travel the world, spending 5yrs mostly in Europe and North Africa, but also in Indonesia, surfing of course. One favourite spot was Morocco where he met future Duck, Mark Labrooy.  Three Blue Ducks were born.

With little or no experience in Hospitality but plenty of enthusiasm, a background in retail and people skills he knew it wouldn’t be easy.

He had a passion for coffee and dove in deep, turning that passion into a skill. With the help of the crew at Single O, Chris honed his knowledge and ability, learning a lot of the coffee business on the job once Three Blue Ducks Bronte opened.

Since then the coffee culture in Australia has changed immensely, and with it the detail that Chris puts into the coffee at Three Blue Ducks.

Today Three Blue Ducks are well renowned for its incredible in-house coffee culture purely because of this dedication and devotion, Chris has to get every cup right. He also implemented Three Blue Ducks Tea range that can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.

 

 
The Ducks

Sam Reid-Boquist 

Born in Surry Hills in the heart of the Sydney City, Sam Reid was drawn to the salty brine of the ocean from a young age. During his early childhood years, his family moved to Bronte Beach where he grew up in a thick community of local surfers. Growing up in a family with a love for great food, Sam always had an appreciation for quality produce. At the age of 23, he started what was to be a successful fruit box business call 'Fruitman Sam' which ran throughout the Eastern Suburbs.

A few years later while vagabonding overseas he and his two close friends Mark Labrooy and Chris Sorrell stemmed the idea to start a cafe together. A short while later on his return, Sam had found a location in his hometown of Bronte and things moved quickly from there. Three Blue Ducks opened with a bang. Mark Labrooy's bold cooking, Chris Sorrell's attention to detail with Coffee and Sam's welcoming customer service meant they had cues out the door from day one, most of them being the local community. They won 'Best Breakfast in Sydney' in the first year they were open and things rolled on from there.

Three Ducks became five with Darren Robertson and Jeff Bennett and boys now have three humming restaurants across NSW. Sam still works in the restaurants full-time and now resides in the northern rivers with his partner Daisy and son Otto.

 

 
The Ducks

Sam Morton - Head Chef Byron Bay

Growing up and working in kitchens around Byron Bay for the last 17 years I could not see myself anywhere other than the Ducks. The philosophy and connection to the food are close to my heart.

Having direct contact with who, how, why and where your food is grown is an integral part of my personal and professional life. When you have an understanding of where your food comes from and what goes into it, it gives you a different appreciation and respect for the product.

I have been cooking ever since I can remember, one of my first memories is making bread with Mormor (Mum’s Mum).

Food was always a focus for my family growing up, I learnt to make dishes for our Danish celebration feasts.

This carried me into my first job at 14 years old, at a small pizza place. Here I saw the enjoyment of the diner’s first hand, which motivated me to improve my knowledge and skills. Here I worked through to my HSC. Then went into an apprenticeship. I learnt all different the sides of catering and wholesale. It also introduced me to early starts having dozens of cakes and muffins ready for delivery to cafes by 7am.

From here I started working in Lennox head, finished my apprenticeship and moved into the Head Chef at 23 and loved the challenge. Then onto Newrybar while I was Head Chef, our team won their first hat. A proud moment for me. Learning every day working with amazing produce and people is what inspires me.

 

 
The Ducks

Zac Knight - Head Barista Byron Bay

I make coffee. That's it.

When I was younger I had a job doing door-to-door sales, and instead of grinding it out trying to talk to as many people as possible, I'd be checking to see where the best coffee in the suburb was; where I'd hang out and drink coffee all day. Obviously, that didn't work out too well so I decided to find a job making coffee.

I literally love it. Being able to talk to people all day about a product I'm super interested in is my definition of "living the dream". At The Ducks, we're lucky enough to have some epic equipment and are able to get our hands on some incredible coffees from all over the world. I enjoy learning more about the processing and growing involvement in getting some of these super delicious flavours from a pretty basic plant.

If I'm not going about the daily grind at The Ducks, I'm more than likely working for myself in the coffee trailer that my wife and I own.

 

 
The Ducks

Meredith Hemmings - Bronte Manager

I hale all the way from the Midlands in the UK. Over there I worked for True North Brew co group then moved to Australia after a visit from my dearest cousin Elliott. I made the decision I simply couldn’t live with 11 out of 12 months of grey skies so I packed the old rucksack to follow my beloved cousin on a big jet plane to Australia’s sunny shores. I was quickly scooped up by the Three Blue Ducks working on the floor as I  was drawn to their philosophy around locally sourcing and sustainability.

I now run their Bronte cafe, the original outpost started by Sam, Mark, Chrisso, Daz & Jeff. Since moving here I have developed a taste for Australia's fine wine and for its coffee! I can’t think about starting my day without a cup of perfectly brewed Single O batch from my Three Blue Ducks keepcup.

 

 
The Ducks

Stephanie Brodeur - Weddings & Events Manager

I took some time out to travel around Australia and fell in love with Byron Bay in 2014. The idea of moving here wouldn’t go away, and I kept dreaming of creating a life for myself and finding a job in my field. I moved here within the year.

I was introduced to Three Blue Ducks and was very inspired by the project and their ethos. Our values are really aligned. I thought that I could contribute and create something different to what they already offered, pushed for a job.

I started with working on the floor, and not long after I started I began talking to the owners, highlighting my experience in events coupled with sending my CV to them every week for 2 months!!! I really wanted to show them just what I could bring to the company. 

I was offered the position I kept putting myself forward for, and set about creating an entire department from scratch. That has been a huge and exciting project, for which I am incredibly grateful for.

Now we have a well-established department and over 50 happy couples.

The wedding industry comes with challenges but working for the boys I feel really supported.

I love the fact that I am creating the most magical day for a couple. It makes it all worthwhile and reassures me that this is exactly where I am meant to be. 

 

 
The Ducks

Kate Byron - Office Manager Bronte

When you call I’m usually the one that answers the phone.

I wanted to work at The Ducks as I love to cook and to eat. The Ducks philosophy of using locally sourced, sustainable, ingredients, reducing waste and considering the environment are all important to me. It’s amazing to work alongside so many like-minded people. 

I get to work across all three restaurants, which means no two days are the same. Working with chefs, the FOH team and in the office team, it is so interesting to me to see how each of these sections work and how they all come together to create The Ducks experience for the customer. Everyday I am impressed by all the staff who work so hard and still manage to laugh and have fun.

Everyone who visits us has a different story, I enjoy chatting to so many different people and hearing why they are coming in. People come together over a meal to celebrate all sorts of occasions and it’s so great that they choose to celebrate with us and share their story with me when they call to book.

 
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Katy Ferguson – Event Manager Rosebery | Bronte

There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing an event all fall into place - even better to have a client approach you to say that their event was everything they imagined and more. I love that the ethos of Three Blue Ducks continues to attract like-minded clients who have a passion for good food, urban aesthetics and having a great time! My role at Three Blue Ducks allows me to be involved from the conception of ideas to the planning, creation and execution of a wide range of events, functions, parties and weddings.

During the 15 years I have worked in the hospitality industry I have developed extensive experience in on the spot problem solving - ensuring that customer experience always comes first - even when the unexpected pops up. I have worked in many different areas of events however I would have to say my keen eye for detail was developed over the 6 year period I spent managing a team of stewardesses running events for high profile clients onboard luxury yachts between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. I now am well practised in coordinating successful events and functions and maintain great relationships with external suppliers and contractors.

Every client has a different idea of how they want their event to run and I absolutely love assisting in that process whether it be consultation or collaboration. My main aim is that your event unfolds exactly how you envisioned.

 
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The Ducks

Neil Walkington - Restaurants General Manager

Neil’s entire working life has been dedicated to the hospitality industry with 25 years’ experience covering all aspects of the restaurant, bar and members’ club sectors. This includes more than 20 years of restaurant management, 15 years of wine buying and four years’ experience as an owner/operator, opening St Germain restaurant in London. Although not able to withstand the credit crunch, this venture nonetheless taught Neil more in four years than in his previous 20. 
 
Management experience ranges across a very wide range of styles of operation, from the iconic and legendary Atlantic Bar and Grill to the hugely successful and influential launches of La Bodega Negra and Casa Negra. In between was a very important spell with the successful and global Soho House Group as General Manager of Electric House, situated in the heart of Notting Hill. 
 
Since relocating to Sydney, Neil has been fortunate to be involved with some of the best restaurateurs in the city. In assisting Lennox Hastie to launch Firedoor this was an incredible opportunity to work with both a great new concept and an exceptionally talented chef. Likewise it was a stepping stone to working with the Fink Group in opening Bennelong at the Opera House, one of the most important launches of recent times in the city. It was at the Fink Group that Neil formed a strong working relationship with Paul that led to the joining of forces here at the Ducks. The rest is history as they say...

 

 
The Ducks

Paul Dewhurst - Operations Manager

Although I can’t carry three plates, pour a beer or smash an avo, I have worked in hospitality now for over 10 years. Begging the question, what the fuck do I actually do? 
 
After 2 years in the UK & US working in the ski fields, investment banking and digital advertising I returned to Australia to join Human Resources at what would become Pacific Restaurant Group. 
 
After 8 years, building, operating and growing the group from 2 restaurants to 8, including bringing Jamie Oliver’s restaurants to Australia and spending the last 3 years as Director of Operations, I left after we sold the company to Keystone in 2014. 
 
As soon as my interview with the Ducks consisted of going crab fishing with Mark, making restaurant tables with Sam and enjoying 6 beers and pizza with Sam, Chriso and Jeff, I knew I would work for these boys........but they couldn’t afford me!
 
I joined Fink Group as General Manager and oversaw the opening of Firedoor and Bennelong before The Ducks came to their senses and agreed to demands! 
 
I’ve spent the past 3 years working with the boys to open Byron, Rosebery and now Brisbane. I love the freedom, culture and energy that surrounds The Ducks, and have enjoyed helping to transform what was once little seaside cafe into a lifestyle brand that stays true to its local roots. 
 
My day to day role includes guiding the strategic growth and development of the brand and ensuring the performance of the current operations is always improving, across HR, marketing, business development, events, finance and operations. We have a lot of fun and are extremely passionate about the team culture and the product we put on a plate.

 

 
The Ducks

Lauren McKenna - Head Chef Bronte

Spending her youth around the kitchen watching her mother and Nonna cook for the family, Lauren picked up the rhythm of how to move in the kitchen, and her love of cooking went from there.
 
In the year 2000, Lauren became an apprentice chef. As Lauren’s thirst for knowledge grew, she would work in all avenues of hospitality. In 2004, Lauren completed her apprenticeship, having worked in one, two and three hat restaurants. Lauren was hired at The Boathouse on Black Wattle bay, and for the next six years, she learnt how to scale, gut, fillet, cook and shuck a wide variety of fish, oysters and crustaceans. Lauren worked under Perry Hill for two years, then became Sous chef to Colin Barker for a further four years.
 
2013 quickly rolled in, and together with her love for the environment, and determination to reduce her kitchen waste, Lauren set out to work with people who followed a “nose to tail” approach to their cooking. Lauren took a job with the Ducks in 2014. Learning all things meat, fish and foraging. The Ducks have opened Laurens eyes to the world of growing your own food, not limiting yourself to one style of menu or cooking, how to reduce your wastage by utilising 100% of a product, and reducing packaging waste, and most importantly the balance of work and life!