Working at a restaurant run by the Mafia – that was no big deal for Gregory Llewellyn. In fact, whether it’s blitzing through 300 covers a service in New York, enduring sanity-testing celebrity demands for hotel riders or watching smoke clouds billow into parts of a restaurant where they definitely don’t belong – Gregory has proven himself to be an unflappable chef.
He started in hospitality as a 15-year-old, incredibly psyched just to be a dishwasher because it was a front-row seat to the full-blaze drama of the kitchen. Now, he runs Hartsyard with his wife, Naomi Hart. The hatted Newtown restaurant is known for its non-stop popularity and this Sydney institution is so famous for its fried chicken that it has become the focus of their new publication, Fried Chicken & Friends: The Hartsyard Family Cookbook. Accordingly, there are more than 10 pages dedicated to making this recipe alone in the new publication. The book also tells the story of how the restaurant came to life, including all the disasters that haunted them when trying to open the venue (such as the restaurant’s chairs not turning up, having to go to crazy lengths to source much-needed ingredients, and witnessing the disastrous smoker accident).
In this podcast, Gregory also chats about everything from his knack for “shockingly over-ordering” food, that time he endured the Franny Llewellyn Apple Diet and the crazy things he did to make sure Hartsyard would be built on time. He also covers the opening of The Gretz, which was as intense as Hartsyard’s birth. It’s also worth listening to this chat just to hear Gregory crack the line, “Couple cases of Crownie”, in his attempt at a broad-as-hell Australian accent.
Interviewing Gregory was great fun (and in fact, I laughed out loud multiple times while editing this – it’s a hugely entertaining chat, I LOVED how much this conversation highlights Gregory’s full-volumed enthusiasm, warmth, mega generosity and infectious wit). Listen in also to hear his list of recommended places to eat and drink in Sydney (such as Bodega, Osteria di Russo & Russo, Moon Park) and keep an eye out for the Fried Chicken & Friends cookbook, out in August through Murdoch Books.
You can listen to this episode on iTunes or download it via RSS or directly. And mega gratitude to everyone who has ultra-kindly spread the word about this podcast or left a rating or comment in the iTunes store – it makes all the ZZZs lost while editing these podcasts worth it!