The Taphouse has announced the appointment of new head chef Richard Price.
An American barbecue smokehouse menu, inspired by Price’s time working in the American South, is now on offer, with a specially designed smoker built into the rooftop fireplace.
Price describes himself as a ‘traditionalist’ when it comes to smoked meats and has developed recipes that stay true to their origins. Think Texas salt and pepper seasoning mix for the brisket or a Memphis-style sweet heat mix for pork ribs.
Price will use a mix of Australian iron bark as the main heat source and a range of different fruit woods to add another level of complexity. “I like to blend my woods during long cooks to impart different flavours into the food, but the main secret is just using quality local ingredients and treating them respect,” he says.
The menu change is equally motivated by Thorpe Hospitality’s acquisition of the Oxford Tavern earlier this year.
“Barbecue and beers have long been a match made in heaven, and when we bought the Oxford Tavern [in Petersham] and its larger-than-life smoker barbecue, we immediately knew we needed to integrate the smoker into our Taphouse experience,” says owner James Thorpe.
While guests at Oxford Tavern line up to get their meats weighed and plated up by the pit master, the Taphouse barbecue experience will incorporate gastropub influences — something Price has developed over his 20-year culinary career.
Slow-smoked brisket, served with traditional sides, like a maple corn bread, Carolina style coleslaw and a selection of house made hot sauces will be on offer alongside a refreshed selection of beers on the rotating taps, with darker pours to suit the winter season and pair with the smokey flavours of the menu.
The smoker will also add a unique spin to The Taphouse’s Sunday Roast and a new rotating jaffle concept at Odd Culture the wild ale and natural wine bar on level two of the pub.