There’s a lot of great things coming out of The Stag & Hunter at the moment – and it’s not just the awesome music line up every weekend! The Newcastle Live team decided to stop by The Stag for a (delicious) lunch and while we were there, we had a chat with head chef John about his signature dishes, and what he can’t live without in the kitchen…
When did you join The Stag family?
I officially started at The Stag on Tuesday the 9th of June. I was head chef in my previous position for five years, but when I was offered the position at the Stag & Hunter I could not refuse.
How would you describe the menu at The Stag?
Our menu incorporates locally sourced produce from around the Hunter region. Our steaks are our specialty such as our aged 250gm 1824 Scotch fillet and our award winning Black Angus rump. There are also a few share options included on the menu, such as the very popular Mexican share plate for either two or four people. The slow cooked shredded Mexican beef is delicious.
What’s your specialty or ‘signature’ dish?
Here at the Stag we have a few signature dishes such as our Moroccan seasoned pork cutlets, served on sautéed potatoes, chorizo, roast capsicum and spinach topped with saffron and pear chutney. Yum yum! In addition we also offer the Louisiana mixed plate which incorporates Southern fried chicken, Buffalo wings, slaw, grilled corn and of course a blue cheese dressing.
As for myself my cooking background is predominantly Asian food. I became a chef to mix Asian cuisine with Western, so my personal signature dish would have to be Chinese five spice rubbed pork belly, served with a Chinese rice wine poached apple, baked sweet potato, sautéed bok choy and house made chilli jam.
Where is your favourite place to dine when you have some time out of The Stag kitchen?
Funny you should ask that question. Whenever I’m not working or being a proud father, I love going to Paul’s Asian Affair on Lambton Road. Paul’s take on Chinese food is very different to most places, but still very delicious. For the most part though, I enjoy restaurants that offer a child-friendly atmosphere .
What’s your favourite thing to cook at home?
Normally I would say I love to cook a variety of curries, duck and pork belly at home, but of late the “baby food purees” have become my favourite dish. Trying to make food that my little monster will eat has become my favourite challenge.
One thing you can’t live without in the kitchen?
My old faithful cleaver that I have had since I first started out in the industry as an apprentice chef. It was actually a gift from the head chef at the Walkerville Chinese restaurant in Adelaide after I did two weeks of work experience there.
NEWCASTLE LIVE RECOMMENDS…
Snack: Grab a mate and share the Louisiana Southern fried chicken & buffalo wings, served with slaw, chargrilled corn cobs and blue cheese dressing. This is a meal The Colonel would be proud of…
Splurge: As John says, you can’t go past the 1824 Scotch Fillet cooked perfectly to your liking, with fresh vegies and potato. A meal match made in heaven for a venue like The Stag.
Sip: The Stag are all about the classic combos, and what works better than a perfect steak and a nice dark schooner of Tooheys Old.