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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine

New Executive Chef Launches Home-Grown Menu


Boutique luxury property Tower Lodge, set amongst the vineyards and gumtrees of Hunter Valley Wine Country, has welcomed esteemed chef Anthony Fullerton to the team as Hope Estate Group Chef.

 

Family-owned and operated, Tower Lodge sits alongside a raft of premium hospitality and entertainment venues owned by the Hope family across the Hunter. It includes Hope Estate just across the road with its estate-grown wines, cellar door, distillery, craft brewery, and concert amphitheatre.


In line with Anthony’s appointment, the restaurant at Tower Lodge – formerly the Spanish-themed Sebastian restaurant - has been reinvigorated to offer a very Hunter Valley produce approach to dining, including beef and greens grown on the Hope family’s estates. Good food and beverages are central to the guest experience at Tower Lodge, with the restaurant taking its lead from the diverse, fresh produce sourced from local small farms and suppliers.


Anthony brings with him a dedication to using local and homegrown produce and a stellar, award-studded career history. Hailing from Griffith, in the state’s southwest, Anthony is most recently recognised for having opened the Bull & Bell Steakhouse, which prided itself on its range of premium, perfectly cooked local beef and lamb with around twothirds of the restaurant’s entire produce sourced from farmers within a 300-kilometre radius. Anthony was awarded Australian Hotels Association Australian Chef of the Year in 2022, while the restaurant came in #92 in the World's 101 Best Steak Restaurants 2023.


Tower Lodge Executive Chef Anthony Fullerton. Image by Jonathan Carroll.

At Tower Lodge and the broader Hope hospitality portfolio, Anthony plans to step it up a notch, using the Hope family’s own beef from their Barrington Valley farm in the Upper Hunter, which is then brought to the pastures adjacent to Hope Estate for a 40-day grain-based feed up. The grains are used from the other operations onsite, the brewery, winery and soon-to-open distillery, creating a sustainable production approach across the Hope outlets.


Anthony’s topline approach is one of ‘farm to table’, where the beef's journey from conception to life on the farm takes the highest priority. Anthony is keen to introduce a dry-aging facility onsite and to try raising different breeds of beef and lamb for diversity. He is keen to build a house-made charcuterie line and has plans for a smokehouse.


Accustomed to making friends with local suppliers and supporting the community, Anthony already has his sights on building relationships with the smaller producers in the Hunter Valley food bowl, including farmers of fresh vegetables, herbs and microgreens, mushrooms and garlic.


For the Tower Lodge restaurant, Chef Anthony Fullerton intends to let the premium local and regional ingredients – including estate-grown greens and meats – speak for themselves.


“With the Hunter’s rich and diverse food bowl delivering such a wide variety of premium produce, we are all about celebrating the products themselves – we let the food do the talking and add sauces and salts, as well as side dishes, to allow the hero produce to shine,” Mr Fullerton said.


“At Tower Lodge restaurant, we prefer to offer shared plates to dedicate each course to a whole cut of meat, fish or lamb, and it creates both a real sense of conviviality and a spirit of generosity,” he said.


Set under soaring wood ceilings with fans languidly circling above, the restaurant and its adjoining lounge are the venue for breakfast and long lunches, sunset drinks and canapes, followed by an a la carte dining menu that’s designed either for sharing or more formal dining. Guests, as well as visitors, can enjoy lunch and dinner at the lodge.


For bookings and more information, visit www.towerlodge.com.au or call (02) 4998 7022 for reservations for dinner and overnight accommodation.

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