Coffee, whitebait and bacon sammies with a view

A former army chef says his passion for West Coast ingredients has inspired him to open a food cart overlooking Cobden Beach.

Paul Darry operates a food and coffee cart called that patio serving coffee alongside whitebait sandwich and bacon and egg butties. His mission statement is “West Coast Most”.

“We came up with that statement because what we were trying to do was to use products from here and really cut our miles down.”

“Our coffee is Kawatiri coffee. So that comes from Westport a guy called Buck Couchman, flame roasts up there. Our butter is Westgold. My bacon comes from Harihari (Thomsons Butchery)”

Paul even supplies his own whitebait. “I catch my own whitebait. Halfway through this season I didn't feel good about selling whitebait off the river fresh and I really wanted to legitimise what I was doing. So I thought, well, look, I'll find a cart somewhere. And this cart turned up of all places at Mount Cheeseman. So we stripped it out and decided we would cook the whitebait, work with the tourists.” Paul adds.

“I was looking for something I could do that had my passion of food, surfing and diving. This was the ideal location,” he said.

Whitebait at Patio (credit Development West Coast)

Paul thinks the best thing about West Coast produce is the passion that comes from it.

“You look at Lynley, and Nui down in Hari Hari who do my bacon (Thomsons Butchery). It's a dry-cured five day product. To get it I have to order at like ten days in advance. But I know the product that I get is excellent. Buck who does the coffee is flame roasted in Westport, I have to order it in advance, but I know what I get is something that's created with passion rather than thinking about the money.”

Patio food cart (credit Development West Coast)

Paul has his cart parked at the Cobden Tip head in Greymouth. He picked Cobden because freedom campers stayed at the campervan and car park beside the beach and because of the Cobden Aromahana Lagoon.

“It gave us the ability for that extra market rather than just the locals. It's such a great location.

“We've got a beautiful coastline right here. I'm looking at about 3km to 4km of empty beach, perfect for walking the dog, brilliant for swimming. And just off to my left, we've got the river mouth where you can watch the boats coming in and out.”

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