Three Blue Ducks
Award Winning, Sustainable Restauranteurs
Three Blue Ducks is one of Australia’s great food success stories that has been driven by the desire to find a better, more sustainable approach to living and eating, from farm to table. Established by Mark Labrooy, Sam Reid and Chris Sorrell in 2010, The Three Blue Ducks was the first café to be invited to the Good Food Guide restaurant awards under a new category ‘best breakfast’.
Three Blue Ducks became five when they joined forces with Jeff Bennett and Darren Robertson to open for dinner. Six weeks later, they were awarded their first Chefs Hat.
In 2014, The Ducks built and opened Three Blue Ducks on The Farm in Byron Bay for which they were awarded Gourmet Traveller’s Best Regional Restaurant. In 2016, Three Blue Ducks Rosebery opened with co-owner Andy Allen, which was awarded a Chefs Hat in the 2018 Good Food Guide. The Ducks went on to open a restaurant at the W hotel in Brisbane and made plans to open another venue in Melbourne.
About Mark Labrooy:
Mark Labrooy was an apprentice under Klaus Huber, the executive chef for Bennelong and the Opera House restaurants and he worked at Tetsuyas before opting out of fine dining. He was invited to run café Morso on Jones Bay Wharf and became a registered buyer at the Sydney Fish Markets, where he selected fresh fish for services daily.
Mark is passionate about subsistence hunting, seeing it as an important way to engage with the environment. He has co-written three books, The Blue Ducks (2012), Real Food (2014) and Blue Ducks in the Country (2017). Mark is an OzHarvest ambassador.
About Chris Sorrell:
Prior to Three Blue Ducks, Chris Sorrell had little experience in hospitality but plenty of enthusiasm, a background in retail, great people skills and a passion for coffee. With the help of the crew at Single O, Chris honed his knowledge and ability, learning a lot of the coffee business on the job once Three Blue Ducks Bronte opened.
Today Three Blue Ducks is renowned for its incredible in-house coffee culture purely because of Chris’ dedication and devotion. He also implemented Three Blue Ducks Tea range.
About Sam Reid-Boquist:
Sam Reid-Boquist always had an appreciation for quality produce and at the age of 23, started what was to be a successful fruit box business call ‘Fruitman Sam’ which ran throughout the Eastern Suburbs.
A few years later, while vagabonding overseas, he and his two close friends Mark Labrooy and Sam Reid Chris Sorrell stemmed the idea to start a cafe together.
Soon after his return to Australia, Sam found a location in his hometown of Bronte and Three Blue Ducks opened with a bang.
About Darren Robertson:
Darren Robertson trained in the UK under acclaimed chef Mark Raffan at the Michelin-starred Gravetye Manor. Moving to Australia in 2001, his skills were further honed working at Tetsuya’s, where he rose to the position of head chef. At the time, the restaurant held three Chefs’ Hats and was voted the fifth best restaurant in the world. In 2011, Darren founded The Table Sessions – a guerilla-style dining experience, which was awarded Best Event by Australian Gourmet Pages.
In 2012, Darren joined forces with like-minded mates at Three Blue Ducks. He is the co-author of three cookbooks and writes for Delicious. He has appeared on MasterChef, Iron Chef USA, The Great Australian Cookbook and MKR.
Darren is an ambassador for the Australian Cancer Council, Oz Harvest and sits on the judging panel for the Delicious Produce Awards.
About Andy Allen:
Andy was only one exam away from becoming a fully qualified Electrician, when he took a dare to enter as a contestant on MasterChef 2012.
Despite being by far the most inexperienced and weakest cook amongst the group, he read, researched, watched and listened then emerged the youngest winner of MasterChef with a thirst to learn as much as he could about food.
Andy reached out to the boys at The Ducks and took a role down at Three Blue Ducks Pop Up at Falls Creek in 2013. Then in 2016, he officially became part of the group, becoming a co-owner of Three Blue Ducks Rosebery.
About Jeff Bennett:
Jeff Bennet’s first foray in the food industry was a brief stint at McDonalds. From there he moved to small restaurants and studied hospitality business management at uni before travelling the world then studying computer science. He worked as a programmer at Macquarie Bank before realising his true passion for food.
Jeff opened a new pizza shop in Bronte alongside what was to become Three Blue Ducks’ first cafe. Soon after, over a discussion about chicken soup, he and Mark Labrooy came up with a crazy idea of joining the two spaces together by knocking some holes in walls, putting tables in the alley between, building a bar and taking Three Blue Ducks to the next level. One week later the pizza shop closed and the tools were out.
Jeff helped the boys take Three Blue Ducks from cafe to restaurant, and has been a key to the Ducks’ operations, creating a brand that’s focused on conscious consumption.