Continuing his legacy to the pub kitchen, international chef James Metcalfe will soon be rolling out the JRM Social Series of fine-dining pop-ups at pubs.
UK-born Metcalfe has worked in Michelin Star and Hatted kitchens with the likes of Marco Pierre White. Coming to Australia in 2001 he helped launch Becasse, rising to the role of head chef.
Australian hotel projects have seen him engineer the fine-dining menu of Chris Cheung’s The Bourbon when it reopened in 2013, and WDS Group’s Bellevue Hotel, reopening mid-2015 after a massive renovation and overhaul.
It was here Metcalfe became acquainted with Ben Pearce, fellow Brit who had made the journey Down Under in 2008, continuing the roles in hospitality he began years before, becoming a licensee at age 20.
Together they now drive JRM Hospitality & Consulting, with Pearce as GM, combining collective experience to offer hospitality businesses a broad service catering to one-day emergencies through to full consultation and planning on all matters for foodservice and beverages.
Metcalfe says they aim to help operations expand and evolve in what is a competitive business, whatever market they are feeding.
“We bring an element of quality, but it doesn’t have to be high-end … simple food but about quality.”
JRM reports ongoing projects with a number of venues in the capitals, but the hot topic for the chef is the business’ new initiative, rolling out pop-up dining extravaganzas at hotels around Sydney.
“We’re talking to potential pub venues, and looking for more,” he says, refusing to go into detail before details are finalised.
Although JRM has been operating for a few years, the consultancy arm was launched just last year but has grown to the point of a full-time commitment for Metcalfe, necessitating the induction of Pearce. Together they plan to leverage their extensive overseas connections to help source quality chefs ready and eager to tackle Australia’s shortage of kitchen expertise.
The types of services JRM offers are:
- MENU CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT, including design and development, implementation, training, recipe testing, costing and standardised recipe card formation, supplier sourcing, agreements and pricing negotiations, operational templates and procedures
- COSTING, including actual cost and gross profit margin of each dish, sales mix over time, expected gross profit
- MENU ENGINEERING, including identifying, adjusting or removing incorrectly costed menu items, replacing high cost or low sales dishes, correcting operational inefficiencies, tweaking recipes to improve sales / reduce costs, implementing new procedures, changing cooking / preparation methods
- PROCEDURE IMPLEMENTATION, including cleaning and maintenance checklists, kitchen opening and closing procedures, fridge temperature log templates, goods received and supplier spot check templates, food cost calculator, ordering templates and par levels
- SUPPLIER REVIEW
- KITCHEN DESIGN
- FRONT OF HOUSE AND BUSINESS OPERATIONS
- WINE LIST CREATION
- COCKTAIL MENU
- STAFF TRAINING
- MYSTERY SHOPPERS
- POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
- SYSTEMS ASSESSMENT