Ben Varela and Kurtis Bosley have worked together at different venues throughout their careers. But at Public House Management Group, they’ve both found their niche.
As group executive chef and group bars manager of Sydney’s Public House Management Group (PHMG), Ben Varela and Kurtis Bosley have come a long way from their days at the Blue Gum Hotel, where they first met in 2009. Their career paths have differed greatly, but their attitudes towards food and beverage in pubs has provided them with a kinship that’s seen them work in several venues together, before taking on group roles at PHMG.
Varela started his career in the kitchens at Berowra Waters Inn as an apprentice, before moving around to a few other restaurants, learning different skills and working his way up as a cook. He did a stint at Blue Gum Hotel as sous chef, before working as a consultant for a food manufacturing company. After missing the kitchen, he returned to the Blue Gum Hotel as head chef, where he met Bosley. Eventually he moved to The Collaroy as head chef, to help PHMG launch the pub.
Bosley’s career path was far less clear cut. He began working as a bartender at the Blue Gum Hotel straight out of school, while he was studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture. His interaction with Varela increased when he began helping out in the kitchen, “when pizzas were first taking off in pubs”. He eventually made his way back to the bar though, and followed Varela to the Greengate Hotel. After he finished his degree he decided to pursue bartending, rather than architecture, and once more followed Varela to The Collaroy.
“When I graduated, I decided to pursue a different creative outlet for that train of thought, and I’ve found that in the cocktails and the beverage creation side of it in what we’re now doing.”
The pair have always worked well together and respected each other, and Varela says that comes down to a shared philosophy in how they approach their work, whether in the kitchen or behind the bar.
“We just have always had that working relationship. I know what Kurtis can bring to the table so together we’ve always had that relationship where we talk about top-line stuff as well, not just about beverages or food and promotions and things – it’s the whole customer service, the experience, everything. That’s where we broke down the walls and why we work well together.”
Both quickly rose through the ranks of the newly formed Public House Management Group, moving from to their group roles less than a year after starting at The Collaroy.
This is an excerpt of an article that was initially published in the April issue of Australian Hotelier. You can continue reading the article here.