NOTED chef George Francisco is at the helm of the newly opened restaurant Eighty Eight at Peppers Convent Hunter Valley.
The restaurant's name is a nod to the Peppers Convent address of 88 Halls Road, Pokolbin, the infinity symbol and No.88, which is considered a lucky number.
Peppers Convent, Roberts Circa 1876 and Eighty Eight are all owned and managed by the Cowley family.
Francisco remains executive chef at Roberts Circa 1876 as well as taking on the position at the new venue.
Francisco, who moved to the Hunter Valley in 2011 after stints in acclaimed venues including Sydney eatery Jonah's, says the Eighty Eight menu emphasises the integrity of ingredients and nourishment.
"All items on this menu are ethically sourced. They are organically grown on the property, gathered or acquired locally or sustainably farmed," Francisco said.
"These ingredients have been nurtured by nature, prepared with respect and cooked with love.
"The meal that you eat is the culmination of every step in this important process, imbued with goodness."
There will also be a heavy focus on being able to cater to all dietary preferences: once guests book and mention any allergies, intolerances, dislikes and dietary preferences, they will not have to worry about them again throughout their meal.
Eighty Eight is expected to be a popular venue for functions such as weddings, corporate events and parties.
Peppers Convent was built in 1909 to home an order of nuns in Coonamble, central NSW. In 1990, it was transported to the Hunter region and was extensively restored this year, being nominated in the 2014 World Luxury Hotel Awards.
For more, visit peppers.com.au/convent or call 4998 4999.
THE main street of Dungog will be transformed into a giant dining space under the stars for more than 200 guests at next month's Dungog Festival Long Table Dinner.
The August 28 event will feature special guests My Kitchen Rules couple Carly and Tresne Hart, as well as produce from local suppliers Bunna Banoo Olive Grove, Fosterton Farm Bakery, Destiny Haven and homegrown wares from the community garden at Dungog Primary School and local farms.
The Harts, who launch their food and wine tour company Carly and Tresne Inspire (carlyandtresne.com.au) this week, will cap off the dinner with a dessert of raspberry and rosewater bavarois with a rose petal praline, orange meringue and pistachio crumb which fans will recognise from the reality TV series.
Dungog area eateries Chillbillies, The Tall Timbers, Rattlers Restaurant, Clarence Town Cottage Cafe and Clarence Town Bakery will also take part.
The Long Table Dinner kicks off the four-day festival of food, film, music and outdoor activities.
Tickets and more information are available at dungogfestival.com.au.
WANT a little sweet treat to warm up this winter?
Tim Tam and award-winning patissier Adriano Zumbo have collaborated on a fourth dessert-inspired Tim Tam flavour.
Tim Tam Red Velvet is an indulgent combination of vibrant red biscuits and a velvety cream cheese centre, coated in a layer of the classic, irresistible Tim Tam milk chocolate.
The new flavour is a decadent variation of the classic chocolate Tim Tam which has been enjoyed by Aussies for 50 years.
Adriano Zumbo's Tim Tam Red Velvet biscuits are available at Woolworths and selected independent grocery stores, RRP$3.25.
Thanks to Arnott’s, The Herald has 10 packs of Adriano Zumbo’s Tim Tam Red Velvet to give away to three lucky readers. To enter, send the words ‘‘Red Velvet’’ with your name, address and number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entries close on Monday at 9am.