Croeso Pub Company, which owns The Philharmonic, Brewhouse, Retro and the newly refurbished Blue Bell in the centre of Cardiff, has appointed Jamie Newman as its executive chef.
Jamie has more than three decades of experience in the restaurant business, most recently managing the entire food function for the chain of Cosy Clubs in and around the UK.
He has joined Croeso Pubs at an exciting time for the business, as it reopens its venues following the pandemic, as well as the refurbishment of one of Cardiff’s oldest pubs the Blue Bell.
Jamie said of his new role: “I’m delighted to join the team at Croeso and I’m excited to start from scratch and design the menus for each venue.
“Each pub has a very different vibe, different clientele and so need very varied menus. It has been great to go back to the drawing board, work through what has been a success and what hasn’t and work with the great team here at Croeso to bring something new to the plates of the customers.”
Each pub will get a new menu in the coming months, but Jamie has been working hard on the food offering at the Blue Bell initially, as he explained: “The idea is not to reinvent the wheel or try to do anything too ‘out there’ but to deliver good quality, honest food at value for money prices.
“The Blue Bell is really close to Cardiff Castle and I’m hoping that tourists and locals alike can be tempted to come in and try a bowl of Welsh cawl or a Welsh rarebit. After all, where else can you get those in the city centre?
“I spent nine years in my previous role as Operations Chef for the Cosy Club and watched the company grow from a handful of sites to a massive company with over 170 outlets. I’m now ready for my next challenge at Croeso Pubs and I’m very excited about taking the food side of the business to the next level.”
Jamie trained as a chef at Barry Catering College aged 16, gaining knowledge of the catering trade with roles in The Fontygary Inn, Rhoose, Cardiff Wales Airport, The Sully Inn and Cardiff Bay Harvester, which he went on to manage.
The father-of-three also opened The Yard in Cardiff city centre, the Grape and Olive in Cardiff and in Swansea, and the Old Cottage in Lisvane before introducing the Welsh capital to The Cosy Club, where he broke records for the highest daily and weekly takings – a record that still stands.
He helped the company grow for nine years before joining Blue Bell, which is run by the Cardiff team behind Brewhouse and Retro as well as The Philharmonic in the city centre.
Manager of Blue Bell, Nick Newman, said it is great to have Jamie on board as head chef.
He said: “The Croeso Pubs team hope Blue Bell will become a firm favourite for those living in and visiting the city, and having Jamie as part of the team means we have a varied menu that appeals to regulars and visitors, shoppers and tourists. The food is warm and welcoming and we’re excited to see what other gastric delights Jamie will produce.”
Simon Little, Director of Croeso Pubs, added: “Jamie comes with a plethora of catering experience and is the perfect fit to be our executive chef at Blue Bell.”