Who is HY?
Hartsyard is owned and operated by husband/wife team Gregory Llewellyn and Naomi Hart. The kitchens are Gregory’s domain, while Naomi runs Front of House, a division of labour they’ve used in New York, Santa Monica, and now in Naomi’s hometown of Sydney.
Theirs is a typical New York hospitality story. He was the chef. She was the hostess. He asked her out, they dated in secret, (leaving the restaurant at different times and meeting at various establishments all over the city) then announced their engagement and married shortly thereafter.
In 2008 they found themselves living on the sunny shores of Santa Monica, sipping G and T’s and discussing Gregory’s dream restaurant with their good friends Anna and Ashley.
Luckily for them, Anna and Ashley are both industry professionals, but Ash also happens to be an architect, which comes in handy when you need someone to design your space.
Gregory talked of the garden he’d have to grow his food, how he’d allow baseball caps in his kitchen and how a dirty martini was a must on the cocktail list. Naomi talked of how there are never enough deuces in a dining room, why there’s always one table that all the guests want and how she used to earn over $600 a night as coat check in an upper east side restaurant.
Fast forward to November 2011 when Allie Ko, (another dear friend) took it upon herself to firmly encourage Gregory to stop imagining his dream and to make it happen. That dream is Hartsyard. An inner-city homestead built for comfort and conversation.
Gregory has always cooked according to the seasons, (easier now with his own garden and greenhouse) he’s also always been big on nose to tail and leaf to root cooking, finding ways to use all parts of his produce, and is thrilled he can pair it all with house-made breads and pastries by the incredibly talented yet rather kooky pastry chef, Andrew Bowden. Actually, everything is done in house, down to the in-house carbonation system which we pair with house-made syrups for ginger, apple-mint and blood orange sodas.
Mostly though, Gregory cooks for feeling and taste. Good food makes good memories. It should be shared, savoured and enjoyed in fine company. We hope that’s exactly what you do at Hartsyard.
Gregory started cooking when he was 15 and used to skateboard to the only restaurant in town – a little Italian joint in upstate New York.
Gregory counts Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse and Andrew Carmellini as his mentors.
He’s had his work showcased in Art Culinaire, received a review of ‘excellent’ from the New York Times and opened 14 restaurants along the east coast of America.
His last US gig was running the kitchens of boutique hotel Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica California and he worked as Executive Sous Chef at Sydney’s Wildfire before taking a sabbatical to plan the restaurant.
Naomi has earned her living as a nun, a cow, a duckling, a murderer, a diva, a whore and a dancing plate.
She was, of course, a performer in Musical theatre and spent most of her 20’s living in New York.
She also likes to write and has had her work appear in journals and on radio, and keeps a haphazard blog that has suffered somewhat during the opening of HY.
Singer, dancer, writer, restaurateur. She loves the performance of them all. But far and away her greatest role is mother to the divine Miss Q who completely rocks (and rules) her world.