Published in the Warrandyte Diary, December 2012
Locals will start to notice many changes at the Warrandyte Grand Hotel during the coming months: new owners and chefs and a new manager are working around the clock to make our town’s pub an iconic feature of Warrandyte.
Local owners Greg Kennedy, Steve Graham and Steve’s son Matthew took over the pub last month because they wanted to enjoy great food closer to home.
“The opportunity came along and we said we could have a crack at this,” Greg Kennedy said.
“It’s a lovely old building and it has a lot of character about it with the trees and the river right across the road—they just don’t come like this that often.”
They told the Diary that locals would start to see external changes very quickly, as painting has already begun and a state of the art $700,000 kitchen is underway.
“You can’t run a good food pub without a good kitchen,” Greg, who is captain of the South Warrandyte Fire Brigade, told the Diary.
“We are just passionate about having a place where there is great food available and we want to make it a friendly place for people to come.”
They also let the Diary in on a few plans to use the upstairs bar more and have customers dining on the upstairs balcony once renovations are complete.
A new bar menu is also on the table, thanks to chefs Sam Pinzone and Stewart Neighbour.
Head chef, Sam Pinzone, has worked as a chef for several years, and has worked under some big names in the industry, including Neil Perry and Jacques Reymond.
“To cook great food you need great produce and at the Grand that is exactly what we are doing—fresh fish, dry aged beef and some great local produce.”
They are proud to say that virtually all their food products will be Australian, and they will source as many products as possible from local growers and producers.
“All the ingredients in our food are top quality and made on the premises—everything from our sauces to our chips to our ice creams,” manager Peter Appleby said.
The three owners and Peter have all lived locally for several years. They say buying the pub was a “passionate investment” and they are looking forward to putting money and time into making the Grand a local icon.