Poached and highly stirred
BACK off and stop poaching my top staff.
That was the message from Sydney hotel king Justin Hemmes to an emerging Queensland rival after a number of Australia’s top chefs and restaurateurs were lured away.
On the receiving end of Hemmes’ blast was emerging hospitality glamour boy Adam Flaskas, who recently launched a $200 million dining precinct — Howard Smith Wharves — overlooking the Brisbane River.
Flaskas has already brought in one of Hemmes’ top people in ex-Queen Chow head chef Patrick Friesen.
But it was his recent moves on Merivale top dogs Dan Hong and Mr Wong head chef Jowett Ku that led to the call.
It’s understood Hemmes called Flaskas and told him to “back the f**k off”.
Flaskas confirmed phone call happened. the