Celebrity chef Matt Moran hopes for Easter reopening at Rockley Pub

WORK AHEAD: Matt Moran is hoping work on the Rockley Pub can be finished by Easter 2022.
WORK AHEAD: Matt Moran is hoping work on the Rockley Pub can be finished by Easter 2022.

While the Rockley Pub remains closed, new owner and celebrity chef Matt Moran is hoping to have its doors open by Easter next year.

Mr Moran originally purchased the pub in the village of Rockley back in June.

Since taking over the pub in the small village approximately 35 kilometres south of Bathurst, it has remained shut until renovations are completed.

Mr Moran was at Caloola earlier this month as a part of Thankful's new GAP year initiative Thankful4Farmers and he confirmed that the pub is unlikely to open its doors until Easter in 2022.

"The Rockley Pub was closed obviously during COVID-19. But we've just put in our application to do a DA and we're hoping to open, I'd like to say, by Easter," he said.

"That'll be stage one, with a new restaurant, a new bar and a beer garden, with nine rooms for accommodation."

While Mr Moran is keen to develop the Rockley Pub, he's also keen to have his own market garden as well.

"Farms are great learning ground for my staff. I've got all these guys in Sydney that desperately want to come out to Rockley and work in Rockley, but also come out and work on the farm," he said.

"I think it's really important for a chef to cook but also know where food comes from. That whole paddock to plate is a big ethos for me.

"When we do open the Rockley Pub we are going to open a market garden on the flats, with a bit of irrigation to grow all our own veggies.

"Obviously the piglets, I hate to say it, will be going to the pub. We have about 500 lambs and 80 calves, they will all go somewhere as well."

Before purchasing the pub, Mr Moran had discussions about his plans with former mayor Bobby Bourke, the tourism body and others, receiving great support.

He's also previously spoken about his vision for Rockley, hoping to open some shop fronts and a bakery in the future.

Raised on a dairy farm at Badgerys Creek, Mr Moran left school at the age of 15 to start a career as a chef, working on weekends in the kitchen at Parramatta RSL.

He commenced his apprenticeship at La Belle Helene in Roseville, where he practised the art of classical French cooking.

Mr Moran launched his first restaurant - The Paddington Inn Bistro - in 1991, before opening up several more in Sydney.

He has also worked on several TV cooking shows including The Chopping Block, MasterChef Australia (where he served as a judge), Paddock To Plate and The Great Australian Bake Off (where he served as a judge too).

To keep up to date on the Rockley Pub's progress, visit @chefmattmoran on Facebook.