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The RAFI People
Say hello to the crew heading the RAFI team – the innovators, creators and passionate individuals who will be running the restaurant front of house, the kitchen and the bar.
From the design team to the masterminds in the kitchen, the crew in charge of beverages, the hard working operations team, HR legends, creative marketing and passionate events people, work with and learn from some of the best in the industry.
Front Of House
RAFI General Manager
Meet RAFI’s General Manager, Shaun Brown. Shaun has been with Applejack Hospitality for a total of 7 years in senior management roles at Bondi Hardware, The Botanist Kirribilli, Della Hyde, SoCal Sydney and was most recently the General Manager at Forrester’s in Surry Hills.
Shaun will be heading up the team at RAFI. Whilst he makes a mean Margie, he also will go out of his way to help anyone and is a great mentor to his team. Stop by and say hi!
Applejack Group Operations Manager
Chris Rolls has been part of the Applejack family for 8 years starting in management positions before taking on the role as Applejack Group Operations Manager and launching both The Butler in Potts Point and most recently Bopp & Tone in Wynyard. Chris is an inaugural member of the team and an amazing leader and mentor.
RAFI Event Manager
Sam started his career in hospitality in 2011. He worked for the Grand Pacific Group before taking on the role of Event and Venue Manager at The Blue Room in Bondi. With 11 years of front of house experience under his belt, Sam has come across to Applejack to head up the events team at RAFI.
Applejack Head Of Culinary
Patrick Friesen was appointed Head of Culinary at Applejack earlier this year after stints at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane and Merivale. He has plenty of credits on the north side, with stints as head chef as Queen Chow Manly and Papi Chulo on his CV.
Friesen had recently consulted on a new menu at Forrester’s and masterminded its sellout The Big Yorkie – a roast dinner in a plate-sized Yorkshire pudding. Now the move is permanent; as well as working across all of Applejack’s menus, he’ll be part of a hiring and growth regime to expand the business, plus take responsibility for building relationships with producers and suppliers.
RAFI Executive Head Chef
Matias was born in Peru and will be coming to Sydney as Executive Head Chef of RAFI. Matias studied Gastronomy and Culinary Arts at Le Cordon Bleu before working for Four Seasons & Hilton Hotels in the USA & Australia. On his return to Peru, Cilloniz worked at one of ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’, Central Restaurant, alongside Chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León, as well as undertaking internships at 2 Michelin star restaurants Paco Roncero’s in Madrid and 42 Grams in Chicago.
Cilloniz says, “Rafi is all about enjoyment in a respectful way. Our food is meant to surprise and nourish with simple dishes creatively combined to be as tasty, nutritious, and sustainable as possible.”
Applejack Group Bar Manager
Lachy Sturrock has made quite a name for himself mixing things up on the Sydney bar and cocktail scene. He took on a role at Kirribilli bar, The Botanist in 2011, before working across a number of Applejack’s venues and has since been promoted to Group Bar Manager.
RAFI Bar Manager
Cameron’s first hospitality job began after high school at The Terrace North Sydney as a bartender. After a few years of progressing through the industry he then landed the gig opening The Fernery as the Bar Manager. This is where he discovered he wanted to make an impact on the hospitality industry by encouraging sustainable practices. Throughout his years of working in bars, his love for the industry has only grown stronger.
Cameron will join the RAFI team as Bar Manager and will continue to be a leader in the sustainable practices across the venue and the group.
Applejack Group Sommelier
Amandine grew up in the countryside surrounded by wineries. After finishing school, Amandine went on to study hospitality and pursue Sommelier courses before working in Michelin star restaurants in France and London.
After 2 years at Le Gavroche in London, Amandine moved to Sydney and worked at Merivale for 6 years working her way up as Head Sommelier at Bert’s.
Amandine will be working across all Applejack venues, from curating wine lists, to wine training and partnerships, she will be overseeing all things wine across the group.
Applejack Legends Joining The Crew
RAFI Sous Chef
Originating from Finland, Jenni started her career in Hospitality when she finished school working as a cook and waitress. Jenni’s ability to work both in the kitchen and on the floor allowed her to experience a variety of different restaurants, bars, and cafés having worked in Finland, Spain and Australia.
Since joining Applejack in 2019 working at Bopp & Tone, Jenni has been a strong leader and mentor for the younger chefs at the restaurant. Jenni will join the RAFI kitchen team as Sous Chef and will continue to be an inspiring mentor for the younger chefs.
RAFI Junior Sous Chef
Julie started her Hospitality career in Western Australia working as a cook for Novotel before completing her qualifications to take an opportunity to work with Crown Casino at the Merry Well Restaurant. Julie was in charge of the busiest and most technical section in the kitchen, the Chargrill and Josper Oven.
Julie spent 3 years with Crown before making the move to Sydney where she joined Applejack in 2018 to work at the Botanist Kirribilli. After 4 years with Applejack, Julie is now taking on the role as Jnr Sous at RAFI and ready to show off her skills on the Chargrill.