IF home is where the heart is, Mitta Pub is a home away from home. Chris O'Connor and Heather Smith took over the community-centred hotel restaurant about three years ago. As front of house and head chef, respectively, O'Connor and Smith have developed a loyal following of Mitta residents and visitors alike. Smith said the hotel venture had appealed to them immediately. "There was no TAB, no pokies and back-to-basics country hospitality," she said. "We have a lot of locals and holiday people flowing through from the mountain-biking trails, fishermen, campers and families." Smith (formerly of Cafe Victor, South Cali Cantina and North Albury Sports Club) said they focused on High Country produce. She said Mitta Valley Beef, Mitta-grown mushrooms and Mitta Mitta Beer Company were favourites in their neck of the woods. "We use as much regional produce as possible," Smith said. "Everything we do is made from scratch. "We promote hospitality; when people visit they should feel like we're inviting them into our own home." MEET MORE HOMEGROWN CHEFS: What's your favourite spring dish? Burrito bowl, new on the upcoming menu. What's your favourite season? Spring What are the staples in your pantry now? Cheese - triple creme camembert or a nice blue; fresh produce like Mitta Valley Beef, Mitta Mushrooms and Mitta Mitta Brewing Company beer. What is your earliest cooking memory? Making cheesy hot dogs in Grade 6 at school. Which ingredients do you grow yourself? Herbs. We make a lot of salads where the components are herb-based. Which six people would you invite to dinner? My stepdaughter and her husband, my brother, Denis and Kim Cardwell and Keanu Reeves What is your favourite foodie ritual? Making fresh produce and cheese platters to enjoy at home. What are you bingeing on TV? If anything. The Block What did you have for dinner last night? A punnet of blueberries, coconut yoghurt and berry sorbet What are you drinking at the moment? Vodka and soda Details: Mitta Pub, 5557 Omeo Highway, Mitta Phone: (02) 6072 3541 Open daily for lunch from 11.30am and dinner, 5.30pm to 9.30pm.