He’s just 30 years old and already a well-known name among foodies in the Hunter Valley and beyond.
Frank Fawkner, winner of the Hunter Culinary Association’s 2018 Food Fight Challenge, owner of the highly regarded EXP. restaurant and pioneer behind Fawk Foods and the recently launched Fawk Kitchen & Bakery is on a roll (no pun intended). As a young boy, Frank had his plan mapped out – to open his own restaurant – and since that time he has diligently gathered all the right experience and mentors he could. At the tender age of 15, Frank began his cooking career at Mount Broke Wines cafe in Broke. From there he joined the opening team at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley where he worked for three years to complete his apprenticeship. Then a move to London saw him working for Tom Aikens and climbing to the rank of Sous Chef at Tom’s Kitchen. In 2008, when he returned to the Hunter, he landed a position at the renowned Muse Restaurant working alongside owners Troy and Megan Rhoades-Brown and it was under Troy’s mentorship that Frank says his ideas really began to flourish. Frank says, “Troy was always so easy to be open with, in terms of my own ambitions. He was incredibly helpful; sharing his knowledge and willing to help me grow.” Frank became Head Chef in late 2013 and was part of the team when Muse reached the highly coveted “2 Hats” from the SMH Good Food Guide.
Opening hours EXP: Wednesday to Friday 2 pm – late, Saturday 12 pm – late, Sunday 12 pm – 3 pm
Read more in Edition 93 of Hunter&Coastal Lifestyle Magazine
Story: Lesley Horsburgh
Photography: courtesy of Frank Fawkner