It’s the stuff rivalries are made of: Two American chefs from opposite sides of the Mason Dixon Line, one from North Carolina, the other from New York State. Both wind up Down Under, in Melbourne and Sydney respectively, each running a restaurant that does a roaring trade in fried chicken. Even before they’d first met, a food industry type was trying to incite a Twitter war between Gregory Llewellyn of Hartsyard and Casey Wall of Rockwell and Sons, drawing battle lines over state divides and fried chicken.
The boys didn’t take the bait and have been firm friends ever since. In 2015, Gregory cooked alongside Casey at his Collingwood restaurant Rockwell and Sons. Last year Casey opened Fitzroy’s Bar Liberty, lauded for its punk approach to a wine bar and “a brief, vivid menu that’s pure hospitality-industry catnip”. This year the interstate chef exchange will finally be complete! On Thursday 1st June we’ll happily welcome Casey to rattle the pots and pans at Hartsyard. Together, the two ex-pats will cook a Creole feast inspired by the best of the Bayou.
“We’ve been talking about this for years,“ Llewellyn explains. “We’re both trained in classical French…two yanks down under…our brains then made the leap to Creole, Cajun, the Bayou.”
Gregory and Casey have been talking swamps and alligators and hillbillies (oh my!). Which in culinary terms might translate to Creole classic Étouffée, reimagined with local marron and duck, or perhaps fresh takes on a hearty Jambalaya and Dirty Rice. Keeping things convivial between chefs and guests alike, it’s a communal table affair. All happily lubricated with pitchers of cocktails such as Ramos Gin Fizz.
The set menu is $65 per head. Please note – due to the nature of the shared set menu, dietary requirements can not be accommodated. To book, head straight to the website.