Applejack Hospitality has announced the appointment of well-known chef Patrick Friesen as its Head of Culinary.

The permanent post follows on from a consulting role which saw Friesen create the new menu at Applejack’s Surry Hills pub, Forrester’s, including a sell-out viral dish called The Big Yorkie.

Friesen started his career at Bennelong, and later worked across various Merivale venues as Head Chef at Ms. G’s, Queen Chow and Papi Chulo, and then went on to become executive chef at Howard Smith Wharves.

Friesen will be working across all Applejack venues over the coming months to revitalise their menus, according to the company.

“I am incredibly excited to be a part of the next phase of growth with Applejack,” Friesen said. “I hope to bring to the team a focus on premium local produce and really strengthening our relationships with growers, producers, and fishermen.

“I love that ‘people’ is Applejacks ‘why’, and our focus on leading and mentoring the next generation of hospitality is always at the forefront.

“Lastly the focus on 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 group has announced it is also preparing to open a new 300 pax restaurant and bar at Mount Street in North Sydney in the spring, adding to its northern suburbs portfolio which includes SoCal and The Botanist.

Applejack said it had retained 90 per cent of its permanent full-time staff during both Sydney lockdowns. The group also acquired and reopened the Forrester’s pub in Surry Hills following a $1.5 million renovation in 2020, and has made 150 new hires in the last two years.

Last month, Applejack won the 2022 Restaurant & Catering NSW Celebrating Industry Night – Strength Through Adversity award.

“We’ve been very fortunate to retain most of our full-time staff, and with the new venue on the horizon it provides an opportunity for career advancement and development for our people,” Matthew Jenkins, Head of People & Culture at Applejack said.

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