Accolades for local French restaurant

November 24, 2023 BY

Award winners: Louis Naepels and Tess Murray have put Heathcote on the fine dining food map. Photo: SUPPLIED

RECENTLY awarded Regional Restaurant of the Year by the Age Good Food Guide, Chauncy has made Heathcote a popular destination for food.

The owners Louis Naepels and Tess Murray opened the venue at 178 High Street, two years ago.

Naepels grew up in Paris and began his career in Michelin starred restaurants. He came to Australia in 2006 on a working holiday.

“I worked in several fine dining restaurants in Melbourne including as head chef at Grossi Florentino,” he said.

It was at Florentino Upstairs that he met Tess who was a sommelier.

“Tess is passionate about wine and she also runs the front of house at Chauncy and develops the garden,” said Naepels.

“She is good at multi-tasking.

“The garden is still a work in progress but we grow and use as much of our own produce as possible and also source from the farmers’ market.

“Winning the award means a lot to us and is a great honour.”

Local resident Graham Cailes is full of praise for the restaurant.

“They have the best French food I have ever tasted,” he said.

“My kids came up from Melbourne recently and treated me to a birthday lunch.

They are all foodies and visit restaurants all across Melbourne. They said Chauncy was the best they’ve been to.

“To have something like this in Heathcote is amazing, absolutely stunning.”

Chauncy is open for lunch only from Friday through to Monday and Naepels suggests diners allow at least three hours to enjoy the experience.