OPENING: Barista Andrea Daly at the opening of Cooks Bar and Grill
OPENING: Barista Andrea Daly at the opening of Cooks Bar and Grill Claudia Alp

Cooks cuisine captivates Airlie

WAVE goodbye to antisocial dining and tantalise your tastebuds - the new Cooks Bar and Grill brings tastes of the world to Airlie Beach.

Cooks Bar and Grill officially opened its doors opposite Airlie Beach Lagoon on Friday taking the place of what was formally Mr Bones café bringing cuisines inspired from various locations around the world to the on the bustling strip.

Restaurant owner, Jane Patterson was visiting Airlie Beach with a friend when she realised the café she used to attend regularly was closed and from that moment she said her mind started ticking.

"We'd never even stepped foot in the place when I signed the lease,” she said. "I didn't need to. It was just where it was and my vision for it.”

The café was a shell of its former glory when Ms Patterson signed the lease. That's when the locals stepped in.

Ms Patterson put an advertisement on Facebook and offers poured in from local trades and businesses eager to lend their expertise.

Ms Patterson has travelled the world extensively and said both the theme of the restaurant and its cuisine were inspired by her travels.

The rustic, farmhouse style brings a traditional French family feel to the table encouraging an interactive vibe through its sizeable tables and open space.

OPENING: Owner of Cooks Bar and Grill Jane Patterson stands by for the opening
OPENING: Owner of Cooks Bar and Grill Jane Patterson stands by for the opening Claudia Alp

It was this social, comfortable vibe paired with the companionship of a shared meal that Ms Patterson said she hoped to achieve.

"When you eat in France, the whole family sits around a big table and they'll all grab off each other's plates,” she said. "They'll spend a couple of hours eating a meal and drinking wine and that's what I was going for.”

The location itself is enough to reel in local and visiting foodies with an immaculate view of the Airlie Beach Lagoon, the ocean and the islands etched on the distant horizon. It's a location that Ms Patterson described as "the number one spot in Airlie Beach”.

Despite Cooks joining numerous eateries in Airlie, Ms Patterson says her menu is a cut above the rest with a completely different selection of continental cuisines originating from various countries.

One such dish is Louisiana Gumbo, a hearty American meal featuring Creole style chicken and prawn which poses a stark contrast to Blooming Onion, a British dish of lightly spiced and battered onion.

But Ms Patterson hopes Cooks will best be known for the vertical skewers she sourced from England, providing a choice of meat, seafood or seasonable vegetables.

Cooks also boasts one of the largest vegan and vegetarian menus which Ms Patterson said was extended significantly to provide more options to customers.

To top it off, whilst spoiling diners with delicious foods, the menu is designed to be affordable.

"I want the locals to love me, but also those people who are looking for a nice dining experience without it breaking the bank,” Ms Patterson said. "Somebody can have a beautiful view and a beautiful meal but still be able to afford to enjoy the rest of their holiday.”


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