Kelly Landry's love affair with food reached a pinnacle and as she set out on a four-hour drive south of Sydney. She was about to meet one of the world's best and most famous chefs.
In the unlikely, but beautiful, little seaside town of Mollymook, British chef Rick Stein has put down roots and is sharing his passion and knowledge with locals and visitors to Bannisters.
It all began in the 1960s with a memorable weekend of eating Pambula oysters and flathead in Merimbula. The memory of the seafood and blue sea remained, and many years later when he was introduced to Mollymook, Rick knew he had to have a restaurant there.
He's written 11 cookbooks and owns four restaurants, a bistro, a seafood deli, a patisserie, a gift shop and a cookery school around the UK.
He spends half of the year in Mollymook and his opening a restaurant in Australia was a real coup, particularly one outside of a major city. When the fishing boats come in to Ulladulla Harbour, you will see him checking out the catch and buying up. He's very much a hands-on chef.
Built in the 1970s, Bannisters is a mix of things it's a 4.5 star resort, lodge, bar, restaurant and day spa all adding up to making it a fantastic place for a getaway.
There has been a series of refurbishments and upgrades to make Bannisters what it is today. It won Best Deluxe Accommodation South Coast Regional Tourism Award 2010 and Best National Luxury Accommodation HMAA 2010.
Bannisters has 32 rooms including nine suites and penthouses, each with private balconies and grand views. Rick's Place is a 4.5 bedroom beach house just a minute from Bannisters.
While chatting with Rick in his kitchen, Kelly was amazed with the ease in which he whipped up his famous grilled snapper with hot, sweet and sour sauce. It's a long way from the fish and chips Rick was served on his early visits to Australia. The food was good then, but now it is served with the unmistakable Rick Stein touch.
For a relaxed dining experience, Bannisters Pizza and Cocktail Bar serves bar food, light snacks, sandwiches, gourmet pizza and salad. The views take in the coast and Point Perpendicular, and at night, it transforms into a comfortable bar.