Two new senior appointments are expected to shake things up at Wills Domain’s restaurant, according to managing director Darren Haunold.
Mr Haunold told the Times he lured executive chef Bradley Hornby and operations manager Liz Buttimore to the winery to add to its personnel arsenal.
Mr Haunold said the “stars aligned” and he was lucky to snare the couple, who he described as a “lethal combination,” from Melbourne.
“It was only on a hope that I called Liz to see if she was interested in the role and at first she said she and Brad were happy where they were in Melbourne, but they hadn’t found that special job they were after so I was able to coax them back to Margaret River,” he said.
“Obviously my pitch was good enough.”
Haunold said Mr Hornby and Ms Buttimore had spent much of their careers working in five-star hotels and resorts, including New Zealand’s Huka Lodge, and Lizard Island Resort.
“Most recently they spent three years managing a local Margaret River winery. Their management attracted many awards and accolades, including becoming a two hat restaurant and ranked best in the region by the AGFG in their final year,” he said.
Hornby has top 10-rated dishes according to Gourmet Traveller.
“Liz joins Wills Domain as a certified sommelier with the UK Court of Masters, Gold medal for service in New Zealand Restaurant of the year and recognition by respected critics for her dedicated service and front of house management skills,” Haunold said.
Ms Buttimore said a change of menu and dining style was on the cards for the winery’s restaurant.
“We feel that bringing back some of the shared dishes and conversation food we all loved at Wills Domain was really important, this time utilising the unique hand-crafted ceramics and stave platters from the Wills Domain Gallery,” Ms Buttimore said.
“With Bradley’s style of cuisine, Wills Domain’s award-winning wines and focusing on a welcoming style of service, we are hoping to create something really special.”