South West Rocks chef Matt Atterton has created the kind of menu you’d expect to see in Melbourne or Sydney.
Matt co-owns Sixty Degrees Café with partner Emily Mainey and they are putting South West Rocks on the map as a foodie destination. It all began when Matt and Emily, who both worked in the hospitality industry all over Australia, decided to move back to their home town and start their dream business in 2016.
Matt had grown up in South West Rocks, beginning as an apprentice at the Rockpool Motor Inn before moving to Brisbane and falling in love with the industry by working in a host of high quality restaurants and hotels.
“We knew the previous business was looking to sell, so we jumped at the opportunity to return home and create something new in South West Rocks” Matt says. “Me and Em love to travel but we also love coming home.”
Sixty Degrees has won a slew of business awards in the short time they have been open and continues to impress locals and visitors with and exotic seasonal menu that revolves around fresh local produce.
“My dad is a Farmer so I know how hard it can be for producers,” Emily says. “ We started using a little bit of local produce and have gradually added more. Now we’ll have customers come in with lemons or quail eggs- it’s fantastic! We love the creative aspect of incorporating these items into the menu and having a retail option for our customers.”
“We regularly use local lettuce, tomatoes, avocados which we source from ‘Pick of the Crop’ and macadamias and bread, and we’ve just started using Kempsey’s Lo-Bo Butchery for our meat,” Matt says. I like to drop into the local Community Garden to pick up fresh herbs and we also love the free-range organic eggs we get through Yamstick in Bellingenthey cost us more but the product is worth it!”
“The feedback we get from our customers tells us we are on the right track.”
“We also work in conjunction with the girls from ‘Plastic Free South West Rocks’, brainstorming ideas on us moving towards a Responsible Café in the Rocks by reducing our use of plastic – We will be the first in the area!”