Tom Westcott

Tom McHugo's

2 min read

Chef Tom Westcott is the co-owner of Tom McHugo's in Hobart, a historic pub with a rich legacy dating back to the 1940s. In this interview, he shares insights about the pub's history, philosophy, and its unique approach to food and community.

Tom McHugo's reimagines the pub food scene, showing that it can be adventurous and bold while retaining its community appeal.

Located at the corner of Macquarie and Argyle streets in Hobart, Tom McHugo's occupies a traditional two-story brick building with an original "HOBART HOTEL" sign, offering a unique charm.

The pub focuses on fostering a sense of community by eliminating distractions like gaming machines and TVs, encouraging patrons to socialize and enjoy each other's company.

With a superb selection of craft beers and wines, Tom McHugo's stands out as a local gem for its beverage offerings.

Chefs Tom Westcott and Whitney Ball have crafted an inventive and exciting pub menu that defies traditional expectations, offering a refreshing twist on pub cuisine.

Elevated Pub Fare

The menu features dishes such as braised arrow squid with merguez sausage, inventive lamb preparations, and whole-grilled blue mackerel, pushing the boundaries of traditional pub cuisine.

Tom McHugo's maintains high-quality ingredients throughout its menu, ensuring that even standard pub items are exceptional.

From hot house-made pastrami rolls to braised short ribs on steamed buns, the pub offers a wide range of options, including steaks, pies, and house-made Worcestershire sauce.

Tom Westcott's Culinary Journey

Chef Tom Westcott's culinary path, from a sheep farm in the Tasman Peninsula to becoming a renowned chef, reflects his growth and evolution in the food industry.

Working at Garagistes was a turning point for Westcott, where he realized that cooking could be more than just preparing food; it could be a transformative experience.

Westcott learned the importance of slowing down, managing time, and delivering meticulous service during his time at Garagistes.

Westcott's experiences influenced his innovative approach to food, emphasizing credibility, food knowledge, and participation in Tasmania's culinary movement.

The pub focuses on sourcing top-notch ingredients from various local suppliers, ensuring the use of fresh and diverse produce.

Tom McHugo's emphasizes flexibility in its meat and produce, adapting to seasonal changes for a dynamic menu.

The inclusion of offal items on the menu demonstrates that patrons have embraced unconventional offerings with enthusiasm.

Innovation: The Haggis Bao

One standout dish, the "haggis bao," exemplifies Westcott's creative approach to using offal, turning traditional ingredients into something extraordinary.

Tom Westcott believes that pub food serves as a bridge that unites people from different walks of life, creating an inclusive space for all to enjoy.