The Innovator: Andy’s Quest To Honour A Legacy

The Innovator: Andy’s Quest to Honour a Legacy

When Harry retired in the early 2000's after decades delighting Sydney’s tastebuds, he left enormous shoes to fill. Back then, the competitive landscape in Sydney's restaurant industry had shifted. Chilli crab had become ubiquitous on local menus, with many eateries settling for lower B-D grade crabs to sell it cheaply.

His son-in-law Andy Jeme, descended from a lineage of Chinese visionaries including his father, a well-respected doctor, and great-grandfather Jeme Tien Yow, the father of China’s railway, took up the challenge. Despite his own inexperience in hospitality, Andy was no stranger to fine cuisine and dedicated himself wholly to preserving the restaurant’s spirit through relentless innovation, most importantly, he refused to compromise on Harry’s uncompromising standards.

Seeking inspiration, he voyaged through Southeast Asia visiting open-air markets and learning from eminent chefs like Janet de Neefe and Will Meylick. Andy returned armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of exotic spices like cardamom, clove, fenugreek and even rare ones like asafetida and long pepper that almost never heard in Australia.

Ensconced in the kitchen, Andy tirelessly experimented until creating his original masterpiece - white pepper crab. The subtle, layered heat announced a sublime symphony of mud crab and the complex peppery freshness of white pepper. Andy had crafted an ingenious new dish worthy of Harry's legacy.

This breakthrough was just the first movement in Andy’s culinary opus. Soon, more novel creations emerged like his signature garlic butter crab, dry curry crab popping with cardamom, clove together with the mysterious asafoetida, and the new star dish apple puree caramelized pork, with apple puree lending its natural sweetness in place of sugar. Andy had expanded the menu nearly twofold, weaving in global flavours while staying true to the restaurant's soul.

Here the story continues, of an inheritor honouring the past through relentless innovation. Two generations linked by a shared devotion to delight. A legacy preserved by those who expand boundaries yet never forget where they began.

At Harry’s, the second-to-none spirit lives on.