A complete look at the formidable Howard Smith Wharves culinary team
Howard Smith Wharves, the game-changing lifestyle and restaurant precinct set on the banks of the Brisbane River under the iconic Story Bridge, has finalised their formidable culinary team. Featuring chefs with wide-ranging experiences and skills, Howard Smith Wharves has lured acclaimed chefs from some of the best establishments in Australia. Here’s a wrap-up of the chefs announced so far, proving Howard Smith Wharves will be a culinary hub to be reckoned with.
David Finlayson, Culinary Director, Howard Smith Wharves
David is at the helm of the culinary offerings at Howard Smith Wharves, and will oversee the food and beverage offerings for Felons Brewing Co., Mr Percival’s and Howard’s Hall and Rivershed events, along with a yet to be announced restaurant. Originally from Scotland, David brings an impressive global experience to Howard Smith Wharves and is a highly regarded Executive Chef and Operations Director within Australia.
Passionate about local suppliers, local produce and a farm-to-plate mentality, in his new role as Culinary Director, David is excited about getting the opportunity to mentor, train and assist some of the best chefs across Australia.
“Being able to train chefs across a precinct like Howard Smith Wharves is a very rare opportunity and I think it will attract some of the best trainees and apprentices from all over Australia,” said David.
Having spent time working for award-winning Tapas Bars in Hong Kong and at London’s highly regarded, 2 Michelin star Pied-a-Terre, David was the operations mastermind behind Melbourne’s iconic Chin Chin and Kisume, influencing the Melbourne and Sydney food scenes for the last six years, including the set-up of the development of Chin Chin Sydney.
Patrick Friesen, Executive Chef of Howard Smith Wharves
Patrick has taken on the role as Executive Chef of Howard Smith Wharves after running Queen Chow in Sydney since 2016, and Papi Chulo, now known as Queen Chow Manly, since 2013. Having been awarded his first Head Chef’s role at the age of 20, in Patrick’s role at Howard Smith Wharves he will be driving world class food across the precinct and providing a great team culture and environment where chefs can thrive.
Raised in Canada, Patrick moved to Australia and took on roles such as Chef de Partie at the legendary Guillame at Bennelong in Sydney’s Opera House, and Junior Sous Chef followed by Head Chef at Ms G’s. With a passion for food that excites him, Patrick said, “I like to cook simply and lightly and for the people I love the most.”
In his new role at Howard Smith Wharves, Patrick is thrilled to be part of making the precinct something to be proud of, “I am excited to be part of Brisbane’s most momentous and exciting opening and getting to explore the produce and seafood of the sunshine state all while working with a team who are passionate about Howard Smith Wharves.”
Damien Styles, Head Chef, Mr Percival’s
With a career spanning three decades and having been in charge of kitchens which have gained hatted recognition, Damien will be in charge of Mr Percival’s, the overwater bar at Howard Smith Wharves. A Brisbane native, Damien has spent the last two years working at The Fish House in Burleigh Heads, which received two consecutive hats under his helm (2018 and 2019).
Of his new role, Damien said, “My love of attention to detail in the food and dining experience, along with my love of all things seafood means Mr Percival’s is the perfect place for me.”
Damien’s menu is inspired by the locally-sourced underwater stuff of Moreton Bay and Australia’s East Coast region. Working closely with fishermen and producers to deliver the best quality possible, on Damien’s menu you will find offerings such as fried zucchini fritters, succulent lobster rolls, anchovies with olive oil, lemon and garlic, and whipped cod roe served in a warm baguette.
“Simple, fresh and tasty food wins every time,” said Damien of his food philosophy.
Steven Forrester, Executive Chef for Events, Howard Smith Wharves
Steven brings 19 years of experience to his role as Executive Chef for Events at Howard Smith Wharves. Having spent time working in the United Kingdom, France and Australia, Steven will deliver inspired menus which will support Queensland’s best growers and makers.
“I’m a big advocate of Queensland and Australian produce, and quality food which is cooked and presented simply,” said Steven.
With a food philosophy that every event will be enhanced by seasonal cuisine made from the finest local produce, Steven likes to get back to basics, using quality ingredients which he lets speak for themselves – with no micro herbs or edible flowers in sight.
Steven has a passion for training and development, and prior to joining the Howard Smith Wharves culinary team, Steven held the position of Executive Sous Chef of The Star Casino on the Gold Coast, overseeing the operations of the property’s seven restaurants, as well as other roles including Executive Chef at Parliament House Canberra, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and Stamford Plaza Brisbane.
Michael Hardy, Head Chef, Felons Brewing Co
Michael will be Head Chef of Felons Brewing Co. and has a food philosophy that pairs perfectly with Felons: “Keep it fresh, simple and local,” said Michael.
Having recently returned to Australia after spending four years abroad working in Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu in roles such as the Executive Chef at The Tanoa Hotel Group and as Executive Chef at Ramada Resort. This breadth of experience means Michael offers much to Felons Brewing Co., which opens its doors later this month.
In his new role, Michael is excited about the collaboration between chefs throughout the precinct and contributing to the hospitality industry by training its future leaders.
Of his role, Michael said, “I’m part of a once in a lifetime opportunity to open Howard Smith Wharves, which is very exciting.”