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Former ARIA head chef Ben Russell to oversee Jonathan Barthelmess’ Greca and new Japanese izakaya

Former ARIA head chef Ben Russell to oversee Jonathan Barthelmess’ Greca and new Japanese izakaya

The winds of change are rustling through the Brisbane restaurant industry, with Jonathan Barthelmess nabbing experienced chef Ben Russell for his latest local offerings.


You may have heard whispers of a new Japanese izakaya and bar to open at Howard Smith Wharves in November, and now we’re pleased to announce that culinary heavyweight Ben Russell (pictured, left) will be overseeing the new venture, alongside Howard Smith Wharves hotspot Greca. Restaurateur Jonathan Barthelmess (pictured, right) – of The Apollo in Tokyo and Cho Cho San in Sydney ­– secured Ben following the closure of ARIA Brisbane last month, where he was head chef for a very successful 10 years. As of this month, Ben has taken on the role of executive chef, Brisbane Operations, to support the group’s local expansion.

The chef brings a wealth of local and international fine-dining experience to his new position, which will involve overseeing Greca, a contemporary take on the traditional Greek taverna with a focus on communal eating, as well as the as-yet-unnamed Japanese eatery. The waterfront izakaya and bar will boast raw menu offerings based on sustainable seafood, specially sourced and selected Wagyu beef, and an extensive sake and wine list. We’ll have more details on that one closer to its opening!

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.



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