QT Sydney recruits chef Sean Connolly to steer Gowings restaurant

Chef Sean Connolly is giving Gowings Bar & Grill an Italian accent.
Chef Sean Connolly is giving Gowings Bar & Grill an Italian accent. Photo: Supplied

Gowings Bar & Grill at QT Sydney is set for a mid-year Italian turn after the hotel recruited chef Sean Connolly as its new creative director of food and beverage.

Connolly, who earned his stripes at Star City fine diner Astral before getting involved everywhere from The Morrison to Bells at Killcare, evidently impressed the QT bigwigs with the successful launch last year of Esther restaurant, in its Auckland hotel.

"I've just signed on [to QT Sydney] so it's early days, but it'll be an Italian grill," says Connolly. "Somewhere you can get bistecca, crayfish and caviar." 

Gowings Bar & Grill will get a design refresh when it reopens in July.
Gowings Bar & Grill will get a design refresh when it reopens in July. Photo: Peter Rae

Connolly says the restaurant's current culinary focus is New York. It will get some design love before its transformation in July.

When the restaurant opened in 2012, it was under the watch of chef Robert Marchetti. 

The restaurant is named after the department store that once occupied the site, and Connolly says "Gowings" will be incorporated into its new moniker: "It's iconic; you don't change iconic names."

It helps that when you say Gowings, most Sydneysiders know exactly where it is.