Imperium Collection appoints Masterchef’s former right-hand man

27 March, 2018 by
Hospitality Business

The Imperium Collection has appointed James Worthington as General Manager of food and beverage across its Queenstown outfits The Grille, No5 Church Lane and Eichardt’s Bar.

Having carved his name working alongside Masterchef’s Gary Mehigan as Assistant Manager of his award-winning Melbourne restaurant Fenix, James later spent eight years in Dubai where he headed up the food and beverage operation at the Intercontinental Dubai Marina and the Rivington Grill. He also worked in collaboration with Jason Atherton (of Michelin star stock) on Marina Social among other milestones.

Most recently he has led the food and beverage team at Kauri Cliffs in Northland, catering to ultra-high net worth visitors across its inhouse and experience-based offering.

Venturing from the winterless North down South and presiding over the collective of luxury Queenstown accommodation and dining offers that include Eichardt’s Bar, The Grille and No5 Church Lane Restaurant and Bar, he has been tasked with creating a distinct identity at each location for the adventurous alpine crowd.


“I’ll be accentuating the best in show waterfront views at The Grille, creating a cosy environment for drinks and tapas at Eichardt’s Bar and placing a soon-to-be-revealed new spin at No5 Church Lane to keep things interesting.

“With each of the restaurants having already carved a reputation for local produce and charming, world-class service, I’m keen to inject a few trademarks I’ve learnt in my 20 years of hospitality, while maintaining the efficiency of the existing operation,” says Worthington.

Imperium Collection owner Andrew Cox is impressed with James’ credentials, noting his local and global experience is the exact fusion the travelled international set visiting Queenstown expect.

“With the busy, specific requirements of each of our busy kitchens and hotel operations, knowing James has helped a few of the world’s best chefs make their mark leaves us with no question we are in good hands.”