Gerard's Bistro Isn't Just Undergoing a Big Revamp — It's Bringing in a New Chef with with Michelin Cred

Scottish-born culinary figure Jimmy Richardson will steer the kitchen as Executive Chef, returning after previously working as the venue's Head Chef.
Sarah Ward
Published on September 14, 2023

Shutting down for a makeover involves embracing change, but Fortitude Valley favourite Gerard's Bistro is taking that idea to heart in more than just its physical revamp. When the James Street restaurant reopens its doors after its current renovations, it'll do so under a new chef, too, with Scottish-born culinary figure Jimmy Richardson leading the charge in the kitchen.

Richardson brings some Michelin cred to Gerard's, thanks to experience in restaurants sporting stars — and chef hats as well — during his career both in Europe and in Sydney. Immersed in the hospitality industry since he was 15, he's notched up stints at Shangri-La Sydney's Altitude Restaurant, The Bridge Room and Café Paci, plus Sydney's Park Hyatt Hotel, Annata and The Tilbury Hotel. And, he's also worked at Gerard's before.

In his last gig at the Brisbane eatery, Richardson was the restaurant's Head Chef. This time, he'll be Executive Chef. He comes in after Gerard's said goodbye to Adam Wolfers in March when he departed for health reasons.

Lyndon Mechielsen.

"Jimmy is very confident and articulate when it comes to food," said Gerard's owner Johnny Moubarak. "Bringing a brilliant balance between traditional and creative and progressive cuisine, Jimmy has an amazing way of letting food speak for itself."

While Richardson's new menu hasn't yet been revealed — just like Gerard's Bistro's reopening date — it'll keep celebrating the Levantine region and its cuisine while giving classic recipes a contemporary spin. In the past, the restaurant has been known for its banquet-style feasts brimming with Maghreb and Middle East flavours, with its most recent culinary lineup including everything from smoked Moreton Bay bugs with baba ghanoush to sujuk-glazed octopus and cardamom ice cream.

Gerard's shut up shop at the beginning of July for hefty renovations. Exactly what the new-look venue will entail still hasn't been revealed as yet, but diners can clearly expect significant changes at the Gerard's Lane spot, which has ranked among Brisbane's best restaurants since first opening its doors 11 years ago in 2012.

When the revamp was announced via Instagram, the Gerard's Bistro crew said that it would "trade our culinary utensils for construction tools, immersing ourselves into this labour of love for a comprehensive makeover. Our team is eager to commence this renovation project, which will culminate in a reimagined exciting dining space".

Gerard's Bistro is currently closed for renovations, with a reopening date yet to be announced. Find the eatery at Gerard's Lane, 14/15 James Street, Fortitude Valley when it relaunches.

Top image: Lyndon Mechielsen.

Published on September 14, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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