Masterchef behind new grill house

Jay Huxley is excited for the season after taking on the management of the Woolshed Bar and Grill. PHOTO: Kate Kiernan.

A SMOKIN’ good outback dining experience has arrived in Longreach, with the reopening of the Woolshed Bar and Grill and a range of smoked meats on the menu.

The Woolshed reopened earlier this month, and they have been booked out each week.

Jay Huxley along with his young family has taken on the role of food and beverage operations manager and chef at The Woolshed.

Mr Huxley has always had a passion for food and was a former contestant on Master Chef in 2011.

Mr Huxley and his partner Amy previously ran a catering business on the Sunshine Coast and as well as a restaurant in Sydney but decided to make the change from the city to the outback.

“It was an opportunity arose and we love a challenge and a change of scenery, and we thought we would give it a go for the season,” said Mr Huxley.

“We haven’’t had a single quiet day, which is a bit scary considering we don’t have much staff.

“There have been some waits and delays on food, but we just want to ensure that every plate of food that goes out is as good as we can get it and that has been our main goal.

“Eventually we would like to be able to ramp up and start doing events, lunches, and more things like that,” said Mr Huxley.

The Woolshed is currently open seven nights per week for dinner, however, they do have pre-booked breakfasts for buses of tourist groups.

There is a weekly menu however on Sundays, locals will receive a variety of buffet-style foods.

“Sunday’s menu is my creative release, we write a new fresh menu and change it every week, we base it around our smokers, so we love to create ideas around smoked meat, like pulled pork, beef brisket, and beef cheeks.

“Last week we had a Mexican-style buffet and this coming Sunday it will be an Italian pasta buffet.

“We have some cool ideas coming up, and it is exciting to be doing something different every Sunday,” said Mr Huxley.

Mr Huxley said he is incredibly humbled by all the local support The Woolshed has received in the last few weeks.

“I am starting to feel like a local already, I get my morning coffee at Casey’s, a pie at the bakery, and even a beer at the pub.

“I have loved every part of moving out to Longreach and we have really embraced the lifestyle out here.

“I would like to thank Longreach for the support and a big thank everyone who got behind it and with that continued support we can only get bigger,” said Mr Huxley.