Morgan McGlone brings another friend to Harpoon Harry, acclaimed expat chef James Henry of Belon in Hong Kong.
"Sometimes you have beautiful friends and James Henry is beautiful," says McGlone. "His cooking is really natural. He always wants to make sure the product is right and I really dig that sort of integrity."
Henry gained international recognition cooking in Paris at Au Passage and with his first restaurant Bones, in the 11th arrondissement, known for its minimalist, produce-driven small plates and charm. After closing Bones in August last year, Henry relocated to Hong Kong to open Belon, a French bistro on Elgin Street in Soho.
Henry is coming to Australia for McGlone's wedding on 20 June (the pair met in 2012 at the Omnivore Food Festival in Paris and instantly hit it off) so they thought it'd be fitting to keep the energy levels high with a collaborative dinner.
Henry will be in charge of the main menu, so expect fresh and seasonal with a spotlight on produce, while McGlone is on arrival snacks and a cheese course. "I'm going to Hong Kong tomorrow for my buck's party so the menu will probably come together in between a daytrip to Macau," says McGlone. "I know James and he'll change it when he gets here."
This is not the first time the friends have cooked together. For Bones' second birthday in February last year, McGlone took over the Bones kitchen slinging his cult-status hot chicken and a mac and cheese made with three kinds of Parisienne raw-milk cheese.
Henry is the second guest chef in the hotel's new Friends of Harry's series. His pop-up comes hot off the tail of South Carolina pitmaster Rodney Scott's sold-out takeover last month, where his low and slow barbecue was served to an impressive one thousand diners in just four hours.
Henry's dinner will be a more intimate affair; tickets cost $135 per person, which includes matching natural wines paired by sommelier James Hird, and there are only 50 tickets available for each night.
"James doesn't do well cooking for big numbers - it's not his style - so we wanted to make him feel comfortable," says McGlone. "It's going to be post wedding so I think the energy will just be really great. Everyone will be on a high."
James Henry at Harpoon Harry, 22 and 23 June, 6.30pm; tickets are $135 for five courses with matching wines. To book email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 8262 8800.
Harpoon Harry, 40/44 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills, NSW, hotelharry.com.au/bar