Michaela moves on and Mitch steps up at On The Inlet


Victoria Stone-Meadows


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CHANGING THE GUARD: Michaela Newton will say goodbye and Mitch Nisbet will take over restaurant operations at On the Inlet. Images: Victoria Stone-Meadows.

A Port Douglas institution is saying farewell to a staff member who has been part of the fabric of the business for over a decade.

Michaela Newton is saying goodbye to On the Inlet after managing the popular restaurant for more than 10 years while executive chef Mitch Nisbet will take over the running of the business.

Ms Newton said she has enjoyed every minute of her time at On the Inlet and says she will miss being a part of customers' special occasions.

“I’ve done 17 years on one job but it’s time for me to do something else. I have no bad things to say about the job, it’s been the best job and I have just loved it,” she said.

“I have made so many great friends and I’m going to miss sharing those occasions like proposals and birthdays.

“A few years ago we did a woman’s mum’s wake and there was a man who all four of his children were married at On the Inlet,” she said. 

“I caught the sickness in hospitality when you know you have given someone a great experience and you get really pumped up by it.

“Mostly I’ll miss the crew here, we have stuck together for a long time but I’ll see everyone around, I’m not going anywhere from Port Douglas yet.”

While Ms Newton said there is some sadness in her leaving, she feels like the time is right for her to try something new and she says she has complete faith in Mr Nisbet taking over as general manager.

Mitch Nisbet has worked as executive chef at On the Inlet for about nine years and said while leaving the kitchen is like giving up his baby, he's excited for the new challenges ahead.

“The biggest thing with any business is continuity and it’s weird to be stepping in and filling a role that’s been occupied by one person for so long,” Mr Nesbit said.

“I have massive shoes to fill but every day I have been doing this job I realise how little I know and how much I have to learn but that is why I’m doing it, to learn new things.”

Mr Nesbit said he is looking forward to stepping out from behind the kitchen pass and building new relationships with people in the front of the house.

He said he wants to put his own mark on the restaurant but isn’t interested in changing things too much.

“There will be a few changes and I will put my own spin on things but the heart of what we have won’t change, the core values and basics will remain the same,” he said.

“The goal is that customers won’t notice the transition at all and the people who have been coming here for years should be able to keep coming here as nothing has changed.”

Meanwhile, Ms Newton said On the Inlet will always hold a special place in her heart and she will keep coming back, even when she finds more work.

“I am definitely ready to try something different, I don’t have a new job lined up just yet and I’m looking for something more low key in the short term,” she said.

“I’ll definitely be coming back and dining here, I love it here and I’ll always love it here.” 



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