Mark LaBrooy started his career in cooking in 1999, straight after high school, when he landed an apprenticeship under Klaus Huber, the executive chef for Bennelong and the Opera House restaurants. He went on to work at Tetsuya’s where he met fellow ‘duck’ Darren Robertson.
Opting out of fine dining, he was invited to run Café Morso on Jones Bay Wharf and took on the task of selecting fresh fish for the café at Sydney Fish Market’s daily seafood auction.
In 2004, he left Australia to live the dream - snowboarding and cooking in Swiss chalets during winter and surfing the French, Portuguese, Spanish and Moroccan coast during summer. In 2008, Mark set up residence in Zurich where he worked at Josef and, loving the progressive style of cooking in an otherwise traditional city, quickly became sous chef.
In 2010 Three Blue Ducks opened in Bronte and found instant success, becoming the first café in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide restaurant awards under the new ‘best breakfast’ category. A year later three ducks became five, when Jeff Bennett and Darren Robertson joined them to open for dinner; six weeks later they were awarded their first Good Food Guide hat.
In 2014, the Ducks built and opened Three Blue Ducks on The Farm in Byron Bay, which was awarded Gourmet Traveller’s Best Regional Restaurant. In 2016, Three Blue Ducks Rosebery opened with co-owner Andy Allen, receiving a Good Food Guide hat in the 2018 restaurant guide. In 2018, Three Blue Ducks Brisbane also joined the fold.
Mark has co-written three books, The Blue Ducks (2012), Real Food (2014) and Blue Ducks in the Country (2017), is a weekly columnist for Spectrum Magazine and an OzHarvest Ambassador. Away from the kitchen he competes in road bike motorcycle racing at a national level, and is an avid spearfisher, cyclist, forager and surfer.
Visit Three Blue Ducks for more information.