Liz and Hugh at Reef and Beef
Liz and Hugh at Reef and Beef

Who remembers Liz and Hugh from Yeppoon’s Reef and Beef?

Although they weren't born and raised in Central Queensland, Liz Taylor (nee Pilbury) and her sisters certainly made their mark on the social landscape.

Mary had the service station at Lammermoor, Lou built the supermarket at Cooee Bay - which Pam ran - and Desley continues to provide community solutions and volunteer on a range of projects.

Liz recently returned to coast, where she and her late husband Hugh opened their first restaurant in the 1970s, to launch her first cookbook.

 

Liz Taylor in front of the building where she and her late husband opened the Reef and Beef restaurant in the 1970s
Liz Taylor in front of the building where she and her late husband opened the Reef and Beef restaurant in the 1970s

 

The couple were newly married when they landed jobs on Great Keppel Island when it was owned by TAA airlines; Hugh was second chef and Liz worked in the office.

"We were friends with the people who delivered our fruit from the mainland and, one day, they told us there was a little shop for sale," Ms Taylor said.

"We opened Reef and Beef where Subway is now, and after a year in the caravan park, we moved into a unit above the restaurant."

Ms Taylor said Yeppoon was little more than a country town at the time, where everybody would know your name.

"We would stay open late Friday and Saturday nights and we got to know all the young ones coming home from the pub," she said.

"It's not the same anymore; it's more spread out and people have more places to go."

She remembered when the birds would get drunk on the berries and reel about the streets and how, on holidays, the entire coast became "like Pitt St in Sydney", it was so packed.

"People camped on the beachfront then; there were tents and caravans stretched out all the way up to Kinka Beach."

 

Capricorn Community clipping from 1983 announces Kanangra's opening
Capricorn Community clipping from 1983 announces Kanangra's opening

 

Next the couple moved on to open Kanangra (now Kanangra Heights) in Taroomball where Ms Taylor held the official cookbook launch.

"It was Hugh's dream to build Kanangra; it's where we had our daughter Jessica, before Hugh succumbed to cancer in 1989."

Ms Taylor said those who remembered the two restaurants would remember her late husband, Hugh, as "always happy, always whistling".

"We were very customer focussed; we chatted with the customers and got to know them."

In Feed a Crowd, Ms Taylor singles out customer service as the one thing that can go wrong with a catered event.

 

Desley (with cookbook) and Liz at the formal launch
Desley (with cookbook) and Liz at the formal launch

 

"Just the other day we went to a restaurant and were told to wait at our table for service; we waited 15 minutes until we gave up and ordered at the bar," she said.

"Worst is when you walk into a restaurant and there two staff standing behind the counter talking to each other and they don't acknowledge you."

The self-published 150-page publication also delves into initial consultations with the client, planning, ordering, and it offers a range of sample menus.

It contains all the tips and trick Ms Taylor picked up after Hugh passed away and she moved on to catering for schools, clubs, organisations and now a nunnery.

 

 

Liz and Hugh at Reef and Beef
Liz and Hugh at Reef and Beef

 

 

Such as "There's no need for frozen veges, they're for emergencies only."

The original run of 250 cookbooks sold out and the second run is half way there, with copies posted to New Zealand, Japan and Canada.

Copies of Feed a Crowd cost $40 including postage to Australia and $30 without. Email feedacrowd01@gmail.com to order a copy.



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