Darren's Little Black Book

Darren Robertson is a chef and co restaurant owner of Three Blue Ducks in Bronte, Byron Bay and Rosebery. He is the author of two cookbooks ‘The Blue Ducks’ and ‘The Blue Ducks Real food' with a third book due out in Sept 2017.

He’s also a regular columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald’s Spectrum and Delicious Magazine, and is soon to open a restaurant in North Bondi. When not at work he can be found playing crosswords with his missus Mags and son Archie. Failing that he's probably at his interpretive dancing classes.


All Chefs want to be Rockstars
— Darren Robertson

Most Kitchens are like a band of pirates
— Darren Robertson

Daz’s top Picks

Best New Restaurant: Good Luck PinBone
Chef Crush: Matt Wilkinson, Pope Joan, Melbourne
Hottest Chef: Dan Puskas, Six penny, Stanmore
Excited by: Automata, Clayton Wells, Chippendale
Go to breakfast spot: The Three blue Ducks 
Best Coffee: Table View Brunsick Heads
Best Takeaway: Billi’s Indian Billinudgel 

Daz’s Favourite Cookbooks

The Art of Fermentation Sandor Katz  
Thai cooking David Thompson's
Nose to Tail Cooking Fergus Hendersom 

It was the repetition that I think I now rebel against
— Darren Robertson

Daz’s fav beer

5 songs to cook to

Radiohead: Reconer
Beatles: Tomorrow never knows
Stone Roses: Where Angels play
Dire Straits: Sultans of Swing
Black Sabbath: Paranoid


Roasted figs, yogurt icecream, & macadamia crunch

Serves 6

When figs are ripe you really don't want to do much to them.  They are fantastic simple roasted with a little honey and this yogurt ice cream. This is a light summery dessert, very easy to throw together.  The cocoa nibs are available from most health stores.  They are essentially bits of, roasted, fermented dried cacao bean, they taste like chocolate, without the sweetness and add an awesome little crunch.
The fennel adds a lovely anise to the dessert.  If you grow fennel at home and let it go to flower, it produces fennel pollen, beautiful yellow buds, delicate and super for adding flavour to salads, deserts and cocktails. This is just an optional extra, you could of course you fennel fronds.

  • Roasted figs & honey
  • 6 ripe figs
  • 3 tbls honey

Score the top of the figs with a knife, drizzle over the honey and bake at 200 deg for 7 minutes.

  • Yogurt thyme ice cream
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 600g natural yogurt
  • 2 tbls honey
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 4 tbls water


  • 3 tbls chopped roasted macadamias
  • 1 tbls coco nibs
  • Half a tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp bee pollen
  • Pinch of salt

Pop the water, thyme, sugar and honey into a pot and heat until sugar dissolves and in becomes a light syrup.  Remove from the heat and stain off.  When cool, mix into yogurt then churn in and ice cream machine.

For the macadamia crunch, toast the fennel seeds til fragment in a pan then crush.  When cooled mix with the nuts, bee pollen and coco nibs.
Slice the strawberries, scoop some Ice cream ontop and cover with the nut crunch.

Photographer - Edwina Pickles as seen in SMH Spectrum

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