Chef Josh Gregory spills the beans on his new dining venture

Josh Gregory. Picture: Dominique Cherry
Josh Gregory. Picture: Dominique Cherry

A new dining adventure awaits keen foodies thanks to talented chef Josh Gregory and his wife Jessica.

The pair are laying the foundations of their very own restaurant, Hunter, and will begin with regular pop-up restaurants at different sites throughout Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. 

The first is being held at Keith Tulloch Wines on Monday, August 14.  

“The word is out and we have launched a website and are taking reservations for the first pop-up,” Gregory told Food & Wine yesterday. 

“We’re hoping we can keep ‘popping’ up until we find a permanent home. We will definitely both still be at EXP. restaurant until we find ourselves a space, and pop-ups will always be on a Monday or Tuesday night to keep our hospitality mates interested.”

Gregory won the coveted Brett Graham scholarship in 2012 and used it as a stepping stone to explore, among other things, Nordic cuisine and its focus on the provenance of food. He is a keen “forager” of ingredients so Hunter is an apt name for his restaurant, which he hopes to open at the end of 2018. It will be modern Australian with contemporary Nordic dining influences and definitely worth a look.

To book your seat at Gregory’s first Hunter pop-up restaurant on August 14 go online to hunterdining.com. For $105 you can indulge in five courses plus snacks. 

Celebrity chef in town

Chef Adrian Richardson is putting his La Luna Bistro and Good Chef Bad Chef duties aside for a good cause in Newcastle in September. 

GOOD CAUSE: Clockwise from top left, David and Jane Musgrave, Margaret Haren, Jason Bourke, Amelia Musgrave and Adrian Richardson at the Variety of Chefs launch.

GOOD CAUSE: Clockwise from top left, David and Jane Musgrave, Margaret Haren, Jason Bourke, Amelia Musgrave and Adrian Richardson at the Variety of Chefs launch.

He will be joining Hunter chefs Chris Thornton, Ebonnie Newby, Frank Fawkner and Troy Rhoades-Brown in the kitchen to cook up a storm for the annual Variety of Chefs Newcastle Gala Dinner.

Each chef will prepare a signature dish matched with premium wine. The event will be hosted by Daniel Gibson from Prime 7 and Erica Davis from Sydney Weekender, with entertainment by Darren Percival.

Josh Gregory and Ebonnie Newby in action at the Variety of Chefs Newcastle launch on July 7.

Josh Gregory and Ebonnie Newby in action at the Variety of Chefs Newcastle launch on July 7.

Richardson was in Newcastle on July 7 for the official event launch at the PKF offices. 

Adrian Richardson in action in Newcastle on July 7.

Adrian Richardson in action in Newcastle on July 7.

Money raised from Variety of Chefs will go towards supporting Australian children disadvantaged as a result of a disability, chronic illness, geographic isolation or financial hardship. Guests will be asked to dig deep to help fund a Sunshine Coach for Newcastle Junior School, which supports students with additional needs.

Adrian Richardson and Amelia Musgrave in Newcastle on July 7.

Adrian Richardson and Amelia Musgrave in Newcastle on July 7.

Book now to secure your seat at Newcastle City Hall on September 2 by visiting variety.org.au/nsw. Individual tickets are $180; table of 10 $1700; corporate tickets $3000.

A Winter Feast

If an evening of fine food and good company in front of an open fire sounds tempting, you might want to grab a ticket to A Winter Feast. Apothecary Kitchen chef Ben Armstrong and Cooper Thomas from Talulah Bar are joining forces to create what promises to be a memorable dining experience. A Winter Feast will take place at Talulah Bar, The Junction, on Wednesday, August 2. Tickets are $55 per head, with drinks extra. Phone 4969 2060. 

Mosh on move

The Mosh Pit at Cardiff is changing hands and will soon be called The Stubborn Scorpio Cafe and Art House. The record part of the business will move to a shopfront a few doors down Main Road and will also sell retro clothing. The Stubborn Scorpio will serve a cafe menu and sell works by local artists.

Street food

The Chop Shop kicked off last week on Darby Street with a unique spin on Brazilian street food. Their breakfast and lunch toasties are definitely out there – think smoked pork belly toastie with cheddar, pickles and mustard aioli, or the Nutella, peanut butter and banana toastie.

The Chop Shop is a new pop-up venture from the team at Meet Restaurant, Honeysuckle. 

The Chop Shop, 67-69 Darby Street, Newcastle, is open Friday evenings and weekends.

The Chop Shop, 67-69 Darby Street, Newcastle, is open Friday evenings and weekends.

More on Moor

There have been some behind-the-scene changes at The Kiosk Newcastle Beach. Two of the three couples who were involved in setting up The Kiosk own and operate Moor Newcastle East however are no longer involved with The Kiosk. Instead, they will be “focusing on making Moor even more fabulous”, Kylie Pratt told Food & Wine. 

Moor has introduced a new “fluid” menu which changes when chefs Shane Brunt and Graham Sincock feel inspired, and not just in line with the seasons. Also, there is a “just feed us” four-course option on the dinner menu, and the lunch menu is designed around ingredients sourced “within 100 miles” of the restaurant. More on Moor in an upcoming Food & Wine. 

Royal Oak news

Casey Parsons left Bistro Artisan a few months ago to take up the head chef position at The Royal Oak in Cessnock, where Jonathan Heath is executive chef. Food & Wine visited the beautiful old pub with its amazing leather couches this week and it is well worth the drive – as is the food. A funky new cocktail bar is opening there soon and the rear outdoor area is being overhauled. 

A Christmas in July dinner is taking place at the hotel’s 221 Restaurant & Bar this Friday, July 21, Parsons said, with wines from Comyns & Co. Tickets are $65 per person, phone 4991 3700. Also, a Comyns & Co Degustation Dinner is being held at The Royal Oak on September 15.

The ever-ambitious Parsons is also “working on a product line” which he will reveal soon. 

Tributes to chef

This week Hunter chefs have publicly expressed their sadness at the passing of Jeremy Strode, executive chef of Bistrode CBD and a mentor to many in the industry. Food & Wine echoes that sentiment.