Natalie Airey is no stranger to being in the kitchen as she embarks on her new journey at the Lone Pine Lounge at the Circular Head RSL Sub Branch.
Better known as ‘Nat’, her career in the food industry began at the Fitzgeralds Food Hall in Burnie when she was just 14 years old. She moved on from her original job after the birth of her first son, taking a cleaning position at the Marrawah Pub. She naturally progressed into the bar and kitchen before being promoted to Kitchen Manager and becoming a mum two more times.
“Local legend Peter Benson became my mentor during this time,” Mrs Airey said.
“He taught me so much which I still rely on to this day.”
Mrs Airey remained at the Pub for 19 years and during that time, became manager of the entire establishment.
A change of direction at age 40, Mrs Airey left Tasmania bound for the Sunshine Coast where she held roles at the Caloundra Seafood Market and Point Cartwright Seafood Market. After a two-year stint in Queensland, she returned to the north west coast to take care of her father who was battling cancer. After his passing, Mrs Airey took some time to go travelling before taking on Head Chef positions at Corinna on Tasmania’s West Coast, and then Cradle Mountain Hotel where she overlooked up to 15 chefs in what she described as a massive operation.
“My passion has always been with food and cooking, and I love providing positive dining experiences to customers,” she said.
“Family has instigated the move back to Smithton which is home for me, and I am excited to take on the role of Kitchen Manager at the local RSL and look forward to providing a dining experience that patrons will return to time and time again.”
The Lone Pine Lounge is open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday from 12noon-2pm and dinner Wednesday to Saturday from 6pm-8pm.
Serving locally sourced products, the Lone Pine menu consists of all your pub favourites including, but not limited to, pork belly, porterhouse steak, roast of the day and vegetarian lasagne for mains, garlic and cheese pizza and salt and pepper calamari for entrée, and sticky date pudding and chocolate brownie for dessert. Vegetarian and gluten free options are also available.
There is currently a snack menu, with plans to implement a full bar menu in the coming weeks.
Airey is keen however, to cater to the needs and wants of the entire community. “I feel its really important to involve the locals and non-members are always welcome,” she said.
RSL members receive a 10% discount off all meals with the club encouraging people to sign up today.
In addition to the new menu at the Lone Pine Lounge, the RSL Club will begin serving breakfast each Sunday morning from 8am-11am and are encouraging people to pop in. Present the coupon in this week’s Chronicle to receive your own 10% discount off meals for one week only.
What would you like to see on the menu? Call the RSL today on 64521523 or pop in and say hi to Nat as we support another local providing service to the Circular Head community.