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THE GREAT ESCAPE

Fifteen years ago, I walked into Sydney’s Quay restaurant, wearing my publishing hat, to meet a gentle bloke who’s name I barely recognised. Moments into the first course it was evident that he was top of the pots. Within the early stages of creating two successful culinary tomes Peter Gilmore had become a household name and, by completion, mutual trust and respect had fortified our friendship.

I was therefore compelled to learn why he’d fallen for Byron Bay, despite my initial disappointment… Not long before meeting Gilmore I’d been run out of Byron by a posse of BMX bandits chanting ‘go home, tourists!’ and swore never to return. On reflection they were reacting to the development of their once sleepy beachside town, reliant on little

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