Stars Power for Beaux Rumble in Brisbane
Take design inspiration from New York’s Grand Central Station, add homage to leading local potters from the turn of the 19th century, factor in one of the hottest dining destinations in Brisbane and welcome an internationally acclaimed Michelin-starred chef, who is also fiercely Australian, and the result is Beaux Rumble, the city’s newest dining venue.
Fusing classic French Beaux-Arts design with modern Australian woodfired cuisine but with a focus on seafood and plant-based dishes, and set to officially open in November, Beaux Rumble will be the culinary home of Michelin-starred Chef Alan Wise, who has returned home to Australia from New York for the role. Chef Wise is one of only a handful of Australian chefs who have Michelin status.
Victorian-born, Wise honed his culinary chops at Dublin’s Michelin starred restaurant, Chapter One (Chef de Partie), then in New York at Michelin restaurants Rouge Tomate (Sous Chef) on Manhattan’s upper east side under the tutelage of executive chef Jeremy Bearman, at Terrance Brennan’s Picholine (Sous Chef), at Shaun Heggert’s Juni (Sous Chef) and Brad Farmerie’s Public (Chef de Cuisine) before being awarded his own Michelin Star as Executive Chef at Rouge Tomate Chelsea in 2017. In 2018 he travelled through Africa cooking in rural and urban townships, raising awareness for clean cooking issues. Yes, he has quite the story to share.
The stars have definitely aligned, with Chef Wise the perfect fit for Beaux Rumble given his penchant for cooking with fire, his love of seafood and fresh produce, his preference for unusual and quirky dishes, and his deep understanding of menu creation and flavour profiles.
Based in Ada Lane beside the Calile Hotel in James Street, Beaux Rumble features dining experiences over two levels, and will be open from early morning into the evening, with a full New York style brunch menu one of the standouts – but don’t think “Eggs Benedict three ways”, because Chef Wise has other ideas.
“Dining at Beaux Rumble will be a ‘taste adventure’, and while the design features a huge custom grill and woodfire oven, what is prepared over and in it respectively, is not what Brisbane diners will expect. The fire and smoke will add extra layers and levels of flavour to what is predominantly an ocean and plant-based menu,” he said.
“Having been exposed to global food initiatives and the vision of New York dining, I’ll be leading the kitchen team in new flavour combinations, platings and menu development. It’s very exciting, I can’t wait for Brisbane to taste the food of Beaux Rumble.”
Which brings this story to the name.
The Beaux in Beaux Rumble pays tribute to the iconic Beaux-Arts architecture in New York’s Grand Central Station, with the overall restaurant design inspired by the ornate vaulted metal, marble features, archways and refined style of the 1913 building.
And the Rumble? This connection is much closer to home, in fact, just a few hundred metres away.
Gilson & Rumble were famed Queensland pottery makers who based their workshop in the James Street area, as well as in Ipswich from 1895 through to 1921, with many of their ceramic pieces now taking pride of place in galleries across Australia and internationally.
On ground level, Beaux Rumble features a vibrant terrace which looks out onto Ada Lane for breakfast, cocktails and casual dining, and the main dining room, which is hidden from initial view, features a softer palette and is a room of comfortable elegance. Upstairs, there are two private dining rooms with generous spaces that overlook the entry and beautiful staircase as well as The Terrace which will boast a New York rooftop style vibe.
“The two private dining rooms have been named the Biltmore Room and the Vanderbilt Room, both after rooms at Grand Central Station – the Biltmore Room is also known as the Kissing Room, where arriving travellers embraced their sweethearts returning from a long journey, and the Vanderbilt Room is after Cornelius Vanderbilt who built Grand Central Terminal in 1871,” said Chef Wise. “Diners will feel like they are walking into a place that has a story, one where you can discover more on every visit,” he said.
The kitchen is also on show. “When guests are taken into the restaurant, they will walk past the kitchen, with all the flavours, flames, sizzle and preparation on show. None of the kitchen is concealed; we want diners to see it before they get to their table, to see the honesty of it”.
About the Design of Beaux Rumble – with designer Sally Taylor (s.t.udio)
“While we couldn’t build Grand Central Terminal, we have been able to reference the hallmarks of the design and the Beaux-Arts architecture though the use of marble, mezzanines, grand staircases, domed ceiling structures, intricate metalwork and finer details. For many people the connection may not be recognised, we used the building as inspiration.
“The discovery of different spaces is a feature of Beaux Rumble, and of course Grand Central Terminal is full of them - a hidden bar, a tennis court, a secret rail line to the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel, as well as all those wonderful retail, dining and public spaces. Beaux Rumble is some 400sqm yet being designed to deliver a grouping of smaller spaces, it feels intimate, and like an adventure. Each area has a slightly different feel, which allows customers to discover something new on their repeat visits and at different times of the day.
“Our benchtops feature Monaco Brown marble, as well as custom designed marble tiles with patterns inspired from Art Deco stained glass patterns from the 1930s. We have also used intricate steel grills in the kitchen, domed ceilings and hand-made subway tiles in the main dining room, Art Deco inspired bathroom ware, and a delicate marble logo on the floor at entry. This restaurant is about the finer detail, the simplicity and beauty of it.”
Ms Taylor said the materials used were chosen for their ability to age over time.
“The oak flooring will gain character, the brass fittings will age naturally, the brass floor logo will polish where there is heavy foot traffic and tarnish where there isn’t. The design is about telling a story, creating an adventure for diners and guests from the moment they arrive, to when they depart.”
Words of the Wise – with Beaux Rumble Chef Alan Wise
He’s worked in some of New York’s finest Michelin-starred restaurants, and also cooked food in the slums of Africa and written a cookbook about it, and now Chef Alan Wise is calling Brisbane home, and Beaux Rumble his culinary canvas.
A Victorian by birth, Alan was raised in Wangaratta before moving to Melbourne after high school where he studied Information Technology at Swinburne University before moving to London in the late 90's. It was here his culinary career begins.
He left a banking job for one washing lettuce and shellfish at his flatmate’s restaurant. Falling in love with food and the kitchen culture he returned to Australia to study cooking at Box Hill TAFE before completing his apprenticeship at ‘the king river cafe’ in the tiny town of Oxley, Victoria, in the King Valley wine region. Once qualified, he honed his craft in Vancouver, then Dublin where he got his first taste of cooking in a Michelin Starred restaurant - Chapter One.
Chef returned to Australia via the world but realized he had been bitten by the Michelin experience, and he wanted more. So, he looked to New York where he took sous chef role at the Michelin starred Rouge Tomate on Manhattan’s upper east side.
He spent the next four years there, under the tutelage of executive chef Jeremy Bearman. From there – he spent a year as sous chef at Terrance Brennan’s Michelin starred institution Picholine before becoming Shaun Heggert’s sous chef at the Michelin starred Juni. It was then he finally felt he had the experience needed to accept his first chef de cuisine role in NYC, with Brad Farmerie at the Michelin starred Public in NoLita.
After maintaining the Michelin star for four years at Public, he accepted his first executive chef job at the newly opened Rouge Tomate Chelsea, a Downtown reincarnation of the restaurant he'd spent years at previously. It was here in October 2017 that Chef Wise was awarded his own Michelin star, fulfilling a long-time dream.
In 2018, he left the restaurant to spend eight months driving across Africa to raise awareness for clean cooking issues in sub-Saharan Africa, a project undertaken with the international group, SDI. In what is a perfect refection of Chef Wise and the lens through which he sees the world and food, he has translated this incredible experience into a cookbook, celebrating the food of the African slums.
It was then he heeded the call of home, but opted to lay his hat in Queensland, and in a case of stars aligning he now heads up the brand new kitchen at Beaux Rumble, with a clean culinary canvas on which to create interesting, and yes even weird and wonderful menus.