Sean Connolly has accepted the executive chef role at The Bon Pavilion, located on the ground floor of John "Singo" Singleton's 14-storey Bonython Tower in Gosford.
The tower is a fully integrated residential and commercial building, and The Bon Pavilion is a bold project driven by Singleton's stated desire for “a meeting place in the heart of Gosford for everyone to enjoy”. That also means enticing Sydneysiders north (and Novocastrians south?) to this fresh, new, dining hub.
The ground floor will encompass seven distinct areas: a cafe (Bon Bon Espresso); a cocktail and tapas bar (Bon Bar); a restaurant (Bonfire); a Wi-Fi lounge; a bar specialising in craft beers and whisky; a private dining room (Bon Vin Private Dining); and Bon Vin, where quality wines will be available for purchase.
To realise his dream, Singleton has reunited with the team behind Bells at Killcare and Pretty Beach House: Brian and Karina Barry. The Barrys managed Hunter Valley Resort at Pokolbin, worked with Singleton at Bluetongue Brewery and purchased Bells at Killcare from Singleton in 2016 after their successful tenure as managers. They also continue to manage the luxurious Pretty Beach House.
Chef Connolly runs five successful restaurants in Australia and New Zealand and is an author and television host.
The Bon Pavilion is expected to open next month - April 4, to be exact - at 159 Mann Street, Gosford.
Speaking of the Central Coast, it's starting to develop a serious foodie reputation. Should Newcastle be worried? Former Three Blue Ducks chef Dan Hughes, aka Mr Goaty of food truck Mr Goaty's Gelato, is opening Bar Botanica at the Fragrant Garden in Erina opposite Distillery Botanica. It will be a gin, gelato and coffee cafe. Smoke on the Water Coffeeshop has opened on Ocean View Road at Ettalong, claiming to be "Australia's first Amsterdam-themed coffee shop" and selling food as well as hemp products. And at stunning Hardy's Bay The Lucky Bee will be opening soon, a sister restaurant to The Lucky Bee at Woy Woy launched by restaurateurs Rupert Noffs and Matty Bennett.
Indoor food market opens
The Newcastle Food & Flower Markets opened at Sandgate on Saturday. Here is a gallery of photos taken by David Griffen (www.davidgriffen.com) at the event. Were you there?
Murray's stout released
It's St Patrick's Day this Sunday and Murray's Brewery are celebrating with a special release Irish Dry Stout. The fun doesn't stop there though. Throughout the weekend there will be live music, dancing and best-dressed prizes. The menu will feature Irish-themed food specials like the Paddy’s Burger (beef brisket and a hash brown) and one-off cocktails will be served.
“We’ve been working on how to get that Gaelic feeling for St Patrick’s Day. Previously we have done really good, simple ales. But this year we thought we should mix it up a bit," Murray's brewer Sean Costigan said.
"So we’re brewing that other great beer from the Emerald Isle – an Irish Dry Stout - just for the occasion."
Complimentary beer and wine tastings will be on offer all weekend and a $5 tour of the brewery takes place at 2.15pm both days.
Murray’s Brewery and Port Stephens Winery can be found at 3443 Nelson Bay Road, Bobs Farm. It is open from 10am until 6pm this Saturday and Sunday. Bookings are advised. Phone 4982 6411 or visit murraysbrewingco.com.au. A bus will run to and from Nelson Bay at a cost of $5 return (bookings are essential).
Someone threw a brick through the window of Oma's Kitchen on Watt Street, Newcastle, last week. Only days earlier two chilli plants were stolen from the restaurant's herb garden. The brick-thrower was identified by passers-by and police have been involved, however the chilli plants remain at large. And last month at Asa-Don on nearby King Street, a man was caught on security camera tearing down and stealing plants from the shop's rear courtyard before putting them in a wheelie bin and taking off. It's not the first time, either. Did anyone see anything?
Friday at Station kicks off
A new weekly event kicks off at The Station, Newcastle, on Friday night (March 15). It's called Friday Bar Eats N Beats and from 4pm to 10pm there will be food vendors, market stalls and entertainment. There is a licensed bar on site as well. The launch event will have a St Patrick's Day theme.
Irish at The Bavarian
The Bavarian Charlestown opens at 11am today (March 13) with 500 free hotdogs. You snooze, you will lose. On Sunday, diners are invited to "get their green on" for St Patrick's Day, order green beer in a one-litre glass boot ($25) and tuck in to a St Patrick’s Day schnitzel ($30) loaded with cabbage, bacon, mash and gravy.
Prime position at Toronto
Southern Smoke Cafe & Catering has opened at Shop 3, 58 Victory Parade, Toronto (next door to Toronto Hotel). If the name sounds familiar, that's because it is - Southern Smoke have been travelling the market and event circuit as a "food truck" for a while now. Known for meat-filled burgers, there are also vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. It's open Monday to Friday, 6am to 2pm, and there's all-day breakfast too.
Cafe a hidden gem
Pegs Cafe at Whitebridge has been drawing a Thursday and Friday night crowd with its Feed Me Package - a themed dinner that features the cuisine of one country for a month. This month, it's Vietnam. Now the cafe is branching out to host a five-course, wine-matched Vegan Degustation Dinner on April 6 with Dirt Candy Wine. Tickets $110 per person; phone 4943 2006 to book.
Freebie: Be good to your gut
The CSIRO has launched The CSIRO Healthy Gut Diet to help us understand how the gut is pivotal to a healthy metabolism, a healthy brain and a healthy immune system.
Based on decades of research, The CSIRO Healthy Gut Diet contains 85 delicious easy-to-cook recipes, plus fibre-boosted daily meal plans, providing another variation of a high in fibre and resistant in starch diet designed to benefit the gut and overall bodily health.
The CSIRO Healthy Gut Diet is out now through CSIRO Publishing, RRP $34.99.
Food & Wine has a copy to give away. To enter, send the words "Healthy Gut Diet" with your name, address and number to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries close on Monday (18/3/19) at 9am.