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Chef Chat with St Hugo’s Chef, Simon Hicks

By Leigh O’Connor.

When Simon Hicks decides to relax over a movie after a hard day in the kitchen, it’s a Rom-Com he’ll turn to – usually something with Anne Hathaway.

While action films may not be his thing, there is plenty of action in the kitchen at St Hugo Restaurant in the Barossa Valley where Simon oversees a Modern Australian menu of approachable food packed with flavour.

Expect an immersive sensory experience at this Rowland Flat dining destination, nestled in the heart of wine country in a captivating setting overlooking the vineyard. The restaurant and winery pay tribute to winemaking legend Hugo Gramp in stunning surrounds of exposed brick, arched windows and recycled timber. 

From humble beginnings at a South Australian motor inn, Simon worked at both Clare and Barmera Country Clubs, before moving to Adelaide to work at Ayres House gastro-style pubs.

Chef Chat with St Hugo’s Chef, Simon Hicks
Moving to the UK, he worked at the acclaimed Prestonfield house in Scotland and boutique smaller restaurants in Northern Ireland.

"As any UK Chef will tell you, London will always draw you in and that’s what happened to me,” he tells AGFG. "I was reacquainted with an old work friend from Melbourne in Central London and together we operated out of a small basement just off Baker Street, doing delicious food for a strong loyal fan group.”

Jumping up a few squares on the Monopoly board, Simon headed to Mayfair taking his first leadership role at Hix Soho and the Hix group.

"As my family grew, I moved to the rural grandeur of Northumberland which I called home and settled into a role as the opening Chef at Lord Crewe Arms Hotel in the Northern Pennines in County Durham.”

Simon says there is so much more to being a Chef than putting on a jacket and seasoning a steak.

"It’s a lifestyle, passion and an industry you can swim as deep as you dare.”
Chef Chat with St Hugo’s Chef, Simon Hicks

Great wine, care and attention await guests at St Hugo along with dishes like Simon’s recipe for chicken and leek terrine, which he shares with AGFG home cooks.

"I’m a great supporter of using up products and getting something a little special out of everyday ingredients. This terrine is a great way to use up leftover chicken to create a delicious entrée, light lunch or pre-dinner nibble.”

Describing his style as clean, simple, seasonal, classical yet a little quirky – it’s not likely this Chef will be leaving the kitchen any time soon.

Featured Locations

Modern Australian    $$$$$

St Hugo Restaurant

Expect an immersive sensory experience at St Hugo Restaurant on Barossa Valley Way in Rowland Flat. Nestled in the heart of the Barossa Valley in a captivating setting overlooking the vineyard, thi...

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