Luxury farm getaway Mona Farm is about a three-hour drive south of Sydney in the pretty town of Braidwood. The 124-acre property is made up of a series of stand-alone historic buildings that have been converted into stylish, well-appointed guesthouses.

The original 1859 stables, for example, was the latest to be transformed – it’s now the Old Stables, a luxe two-person, self-contained house with a very slick fit-out.

Food has always been a big part of Mona Farm – the guesthouses have well-appointed kitchens for you to make feasts of your own, or you can outsource the hard work to the property’s chefs.

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Tristan Rebbettes has just been appointed executive chef of Mona Farm and will run both its in-house dining service and its events space (it’s become a wedding destination). The 27-year-old Rebbettes has worked in a number of high-profile Sydney restaurants, including Saint Peter, Cafe Paci and the now-closed Sepia, and has been tasked with offering guests a contemporary dining experience that will challenge what’s expected of a farm stay.

The owners, Bill and Belinda Pulver, along with general manager Romy Besnard and operations manager Julien Besnard, have big plans for Mona Farm – they want it to be considered among Australia’s best culinary holiday destinations.

Before Rebbettes takes the role in June, Broadsheet chatted to him about his new job, his culinary background and what he’s got planned for the estate.

Why did you decide to join Mona Farm?
When I made my first trip to Braidwood I was taken aback by how much it reminded me of home – a small village called Sarisbury in Southampton, England. It was quite a nostalgic experience for me and after eight years in Sydney’s CBD, the idea of large expanses of space and being surrounded by nature deeply appealed to me.

Will being on a farm guide the food you’ll serve?
We’re lucky enough to grow a lot of our own produce here. We have our own livestock and harvest our own honey. To me, that’s what I consider luxury.

Tell us a little about yourself
Over the past few years I’ve had the great privilege of working in some of Sydney’s best kitchens and this will no doubt have an influence on what I bring to the table. The time I spent working at Saint Peter with Josh [Niland] and Pasi [Petanen] at Cafe Paci have had a huge impact on the food I like today, and the nose-to-tail approach I’m dedicated to continuing.

Do you have any plans or ideas for your new role?
One of the things that excites me is the fact I get to build my team from scratch. I’m dedicated to making it a space where chefs can continue to learn, grow and create. In the next few months, I would love to invite chefs from the city to join us here in Braidwood and collaborate on a menu. Collaborating with other chefs is always great fun.

What sort of food will we see?
I think you will also see some inspiration from my hometown; fresh seafood and English classics are definitely on the cards. The idea for the menu is to hero seasonal ingredients, highlight local produce and create dishes by hand wherever possible. I plan to cook a lot over our outdoor firepits, pick up seafood from the coast and showcase as much of the Mona Farm produce as possible. Overall, I’m excited to share Mona Farm with the wider community. It’s the country escape a lot of people need right now – including myself.

Tristan Rebbettes will start at Mona Farm on June 1.

monafarm.com.au