Jamie Oliver officially takes reins of Australian restaurants

28 March, 2017 by
Danielle Bowling

The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group has officially bought back the Jamie’s Italian Australian portfolio, following the collapse of its previous owners, the Keystone Group.

Under the leadership of founder Jamie Oliver, who will visit Sydney between 8–12 May, the six Jamie’s Italian restaurants will recognise the occasion with the launch of a new menu, which Oliver discusses in this video.

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Oliver said he wishes he could have taken the business’ reins earlier.

“The reason we work with partners is because they’re the local experts. We’re not bold and arrogant enough to believe we’re good at everything everywhere, but the Jamie’s Italian Australia business has always been extraordinary and, now we’ve gone through this unique process, everything I’ve ever dreamed of has happened. The staff have stuck with me – which is a testament to the amazing culture we’ve got at Jamie’s Italian – and I’ve got a business that I fully own and couldn’t be prouder of.

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“I believe in Australia and I’m invested in it in so many ways. I can't wait to get over there.”

Ben Shaughnessy, managing director of The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group Australia, moved to Sydney to take up the role earlier this year, after seven years at The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group UK.

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“The Australian restaurant industry is thriving and we’re really proud to be part of it. The purchase has put us in a fantastic position to invest even more into our people and restaurants in order to deliver a world-class Jamie’s Italian experience here in Australia,” he said.

Featuring Italian classics made “with a Jamie twist”, the menu includes wild mushroom ravioli; oxtail lasagne; slow-roasted stuffed with garlic, chilli and herbs, with pan-roasted mushrooms, sage and lemon zest; and desserts such as wobbly panna cotta with black cherry compote, spiced oaty crumble and orange zest.

The wine list will feature both established and emerging Australian producers, alongside Italian drops.

As part of the takeover, Jamie’s Italian Trattoria in Parramatta will become Jamie’s Italian, joining the other five restaurants across Australia: Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Sydney.

The restaurants’ former owner, The Keystone Group, entered receivership in June last year, citing Sydney’s lockout laws and the debts incurred from rapid expansion for its demise. All but one of the group’s venues, which included Cargo Bar, Manly Wine, The Winery, Gazebo and The Sugarmill Hotel were sold, while the Chophouse Perth was closed and the venue returned to its landlord.