Chef Patrick Friesen has been appointed head of culinary at Applejack Hospitality after stints at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane and a long tenure at Merivale.
Friesen first worked with Applejack earlier in the year when he consulted on a new menu for Sydney pub Forrester’s before taking on a permanent role.
“I am incredibly excited to be a part of the next phase of growth with Applejack,” says Friesen.
“I love that ‘people’ is Applejack’s why and the focus on leading and mentoring the next generation of hospitality is always at the forefront.
“Lastly … sustainability being at the top of our priority list is a shared value, and I’m looking forward to helping drive that across all aspects of the business.”
The chef will work across Applejack’s growing portfolio, which includes venues such as SoCal, The Botanist, Bopp & Tone and a new concept in North Sydney that will open on Mount Street in spring.
Long-time collaborators Luchetti Krelle will design the space, which will see a venue that offers indoor and outdoor dining alongside a premium food and beverage offering.
The group has continued to engage its staff, retaining 90 per cent of the Applejack team during the pandemic as well as hiring 150 additional workers since 2020.
“The new venue on the horizon … provides an opportunity for career advancement and development for our people,” says Matthew Jenkins, head of people and culture.
“With the growth of the company, younger hospitality casuals can take their first step into management and mid-level managers into higher and more challenging roles. It’s an exciting time for the business and our people.”