Tony Harrison is a Newcastle-based chef who has manned many of the region’s best kitchens. Born and raised in the Hunter, Tony’s understanding and appreciation of the produce that our backyard has to offer is unparalleled, and his latest venture Harrison’s Food and Wine in Hamilton is a true testament to this. We recently had the chance to check out Tony’s restaurant and the amazing showcase of locally-grown, caught, farmed and fermented products around which it is built.
The son of a keen fisherman, Tony was exposed to the world of fresh seafood from a young age and credits his early days in the family kitchen for sparking his love of cooking.
Tony’s career began to take shape as a junior chef under the godfather of Hunter Valley cuisine Robert Molines. Spending 7 years honing his craft at Robert’s, Tony became an expert in traditional French cooking and developed a love for everything the Valley had to offer – something he took with him to his first venue Nor’ East at Queen’s Wharf.
Having run, directed and consulted for a number of venues throughout the region, Tony’s excitement for the food and beverage offering of the Hunter continues to grow. As a figurehead of the Newcastle food scene’s next generation, his new space Harrison’s sees him championing the work of some of his fellow local game changers – particularly when it comes to wine.
Harrison’s is Tony’s ode to the style of dining he loves most – locally-sourced rustic food served professionally and comfortably in a cosy environment. While running a kitchen, let alone your own venue can be a tough, energy-consuming gig, he assures us that the pure joy he gets from seeing someone enjoying his food is enough to keep him in love with what he does.
Tony also enjoys the creative freedom that comes from having his name printed across the window of his Tudor Street abode and notes the flexibility that comes from running his own space allows him more time to see his family and loved ones. When he’s not effortlessly slicing locally-farmed wagyu or shucking some of the juiciest oysters our waters have to offer, there’s a good chance you’ll find him with them and his pup down the road at Wil & Son’s enjoying a meal and a beer.
Learn more about Tony and Harrison’s here.