The food to wait in line for at the upcoming Beer & BBQ Festival will be Analiese Gregory’s, head chef of Hobart’s The Franklin, and one of the brightest stars of Australian cooking.
Analiese Gregory is a chef on the rise. The daughter of New Zealand chef Mark Gregory came to prominence at Quay, as Peter Gilmore’s second-in-charge. She’s also worked at former three Michelin-starred restaurant Bras (they famously gave up their stars) and Mugaritz (San Sebastian). More recently, she ran the kitchen of Sydney’s now defunct Bar Brose in 2016 before taking over the pans at one of the hottest kitchens in Australia: The Franklin, after David Moyle went to Melbourne to set up his Thai eatery Longsong.
Those who made the trek up to Sydney’s Bar Brose might find a menu item they are familiar with as she will bring back a Bar Brose classic for Beer & BBQ Festival: fried onions.
“Just snack-y things because it’s that kind of vibe, you know, you’re feeding like 10,000 people or something,” Gregory says of the food she will cook at Beer & BBQ Festival. “I’m working with Alana [Brabin], she’s doing smoked venison and we’re going to do something with fish wings. It will be something a little bit different to what I cook at home and a little bit fun.”
Gregory took over the kitchen at The Franklin — Tasmania’s trailblazing restaurant that along with Garagistes put the island state on the gastronomic map — just over a year ago. The Franklin just came in at number 14 on the AFR’s Top 100 Restaurants list. Gregory says it took her a month to completely take over the kitchen and make it hers.
“I changed one dish per day until they were all done,” she says of making the kitchen hers.
The former Acme chef didn’t have a grand scheme in mind when she made the journey south to head up The Franklin.
“I wanted to cook how I cooked when I was working with Michele Bras, it was: you get the produce and then you decide what you want to do with it.”
In Hobart, she’s found the perfect place. She lives 40 minutes away and is inspired by the place, the produce. “There are no preconceived ideas of what we were going to do. It’s literally what turns up on the day, and then we decide what to cook.”
Hobart has a community-feel that she likes.
“We all use the same suppliers, we all use the same farmers, and everyone knows each other. If a kitchen order doesn’t come in people message you, ‘hey, can you help?’ There is something very cute and nice about it.”
This extends to Dark Mofo, a June festival of which she is a fan, unlike Hobart’s mayor who wanted to put the brakes on it.
“Dark Mofo’s been amazing for Tasmanian tourism; it’s turned what would have been the worst month of the year, mid-winter, into something that’s bigger than Christmas now in Tasmanian hospitality terms. Everyone in hospitality just welcomes it.”
Beer & BBQ Festival
Friday, June 6 to Sunday, June 8