George Francisco

George Francisco | Modern Australian ‘Soul Food’

George’s ‘Soul food’ bent on modern Australian cuisine sees a deep appreciation for the freshest seasonal produce, and a philosophy of no waste.  Soul food has a rich culinary tradition born out of necessity and innovation, an amalgamation of African, European, and early American resources and preparations for which George is a passionate advocate.

This passion has led him to create an artisanal bacon that he makes and smokes himself with love. Voodoo Bacon is 100% nitrate free. It embodies George’s memories of the soul of the Southern U.S. Now that flavour is available here in Australia.

It is George’s passion for Australian produce and sourcing the finest local ingredients that sets him above other chefs. George commenced his career in the U.S. and worked in some of the most revered restaurants on America’s west coast before moving to Australia in 2001.

After working at Wildfire Restaurant, Circular Quay and owning his own well-received restaurants Dish and the Chelsea Tea House, George earned a number of Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide hats. He revived the infamous Jonah’s at Whale Beach and Bonville International Golf Resort in Coffs Harbour. George then conceptualised the hospitality offering for QT Hotels & Resorts before bringing his expertise to New South Wales’, Hunter Valley. There he took over the reins at Relais and Chateau property Tower Estate, which comprised award winning Robert’s Restaurant, Restaurant Nine, Tower Lodge and Peppers Convent. He set up a 1.5 hectare organic garden with bee hives and a chicken mansion to sustainably supply the kitchens in his new creation restaurant 88 in Pepper’s Convent.

Testament to George’s undying passion for food is his membership of Slow Food, a grassroots international organisation that links pleasure and food with awareness and responsibility. George has also hosted an episode of SBS Food Safari, been featured on Foraged TV and in numerous cookbooks.


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