Pepper Tree Wines reveals the ace up its sleeve | FOOD NEWS

NEW ROLE: Patrick Haddock, of Reserve wine bar, has joined Pepper Tree Wines as its new business development manager.
NEW ROLE: Patrick Haddock, of Reserve wine bar, has joined Pepper Tree Wines as its new business development manager.

One of the Hunter’s most well-known wine personalities is joining Pepper Tree Wines as its new business development manager.

Sommelier Patrick Haddock is co-owner of Reserve wine bar, which earned a coveted three-glass rating from Gourmet Traveller wine magazine in 2014 and ’15. 

He has more than 10 years’ experience in the wine industry including direct market copywriting, wine writing and wine show judging, and in 2015 he attended the Len Evan’s Tutorial with Pepper Tree Wines head winemaker Gwyn Olsen.

“Patrick is a highly-respected sommelier and his experience in the wine industry will really enhance our already-strong team,” Pepper Tree Wines owner John Davis said.

“To have someone of his calibre and dynamism step up as our business development manager is exciting for us – it’s a really important role for Pepper Tree and we wanted to appoint the best person for the job. We’re really looking forward to our next chapter.”

As for Haddock, he couldn’t be happier. 

“Pepper Tree has a strong tradition of winemaking and it’s exciting to think about building on the success of the business and brand and seeing just how far we can take it. It was an opportunity I could not resist.”

He starts the role in mid-February and will be based at the winery’s Pokolbin headquarters.

The Atrium opens

48 Watt St is as versatile a venue as it is attractive. The former church in Newcastle’s east end will become an outdoor pop-up bar and eatery from 5pm this Friday, February 9. The Atrium, as it will be known, will offer a boutique range of craft beer, Hunter Valley wines, classic cocktails and Newcastle’s best street food on rotation. This week’s theme is Vietnamese street food and fresh, summery cocktails. 

The Atrium will operate on Fridays and Sundays for a limited time and will feature a regularly evolving decor and menu.

“We want to create an ongoing feeling of discovery,” events coordinator Katie Smith said. “We had so many great ideas for the space. In the end, we decided to do them all.”

Banh Mi time

Roy’s Banh Mi Kitchen is now open at 301 Hunter Street and selling Vietnamese rolls, salads, rice paper rolls and Vietnamese curry pies. It’s just around the corner from Screemin' Veemis on Darby Street. Check it out at The prices are very reasonable. 

Relax, enjoy

The Corner House Cafe at 29 Union Street opened late last year and is serving breakfast, lunch and coffee. The interior’s botanical theme is attractive and relaxing and the service friendly.  

Baking glory

Hunter TAFE teacher and baker extraordinaire Dean Tilden is flying the Australian flag at the 2018 Bakery Masters in Paris in the “nutritional bread making” category. His Opera House-themed sourdough loaf was a thing of beauty. The outcome is currently in the hands of the judges. Watch this space.

Fresh and funky

Doughheads has a new February menu – notable mentions go to the citrus cheesecake, neapolitan and strawberries and cream varieties. 

Spanish flavours

Moor Newcastle East is now open seven days however will no longer offer a dinner service on Friday and Saturday nights (private functions can, however, be catered for). Thursday is still tagine night and Moor is introducing a new themed night once a month. The first is on March 3 when flamenco dancer Deya Miranda Giner will perform with her husband Paco Lara Puerto, a renowned flamenco guitarist, and a Spanish flamenco singer. A Spanish tasting menu will be offered and rest assured, there will be plenty of sangria. Bookings are now being taken. 

Shop for fun

Kwon Mart at New Lambton has opened a second Asian grocery store at Westfield Green Hills. You never know what you will find at Kwon Mart but browsing the aisles is always interesting – and fun.

Doors closing

Pino Italian restaurant at Islington will close its doors – for good – on February 24. Owner Lisa Sams thanked customers for their support over the past two years and said the business was still on the market for sale or lease.

Know your fish

Margan Family Wines at Broke is hosting a special hands-on cooking class on Sunday, February 11, 10am to 1pm. A chef will guide you through the process of filleting, descaling and deboning a fish, as well as curing and plating up. Lunch will follow in the hatted Margan Restaurant. Cost $150 per person, bookings essential at 

A new chapter

Daniyella Spudic closed the doors to her beloved King St Depot in Warners Bay on December 16. It was an emotional time for the much-loved business owner and barista, who ran the cafe with her partner Johan Astrud. He tragically lost his life to brain cancer in 2013. The good news is that the sassy Spudic is having the time of her life travelling the world and you can follow her hilarious journey on social media.

True romance 

Love will be in the air at King Edward Park this Valentines Day. On February 14, 6pm to 9pm, you can sample Mexican fare from El Poco Loco, handmade eclairs from CHOUX Patiesserie, French crepes from Kid & Cat and coffee from Retro Kombi Co. while listening to smooth jazz tunes from local band Soda. Two Wild Hands will be selling flowers and Magnetic Shots will have a free photobooth on site to capture loved-up memories. 


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