Life of an Expat: James Orlowski

Helena M. von Schuler

People from all over the world relocate to Peru for many different reasons. What made it so attractive for this entrepreneur from New Zealand?

Life of an Expat: James Orlowski

The author, left, stands with entrepreneur, James Orlowski, left (Photo courtesy of author)

Expat · from the Latin prefix ex (out of) and the noun patria (home country, native country, or fatherland).

Every other week we will be focusing on the lives and stories of the Expat community in Peru. People from all over the world relocate here for many different reasons; complete a job assignment, a career change, learn a new language, open up a business, travel, volunteer, find adventure, retire or build a life. Whether it’s a temporary relocation, a long term assignment or persons seeking to build a new and permanent life in Peru, the stories are always interesting and the perspective is unique from the members of this group, the expat community.

The name Brewpub Wicks in Barranco, Peru comes up, you will often see reviews posted such as this one:

“Cheers mate!” Brewpub Wicks: an authentic English pub located in the heart of Barranco, Peru. When we entered this local gem, we were greeted with a refreshing pint of stout and witnessed a whole heap of happy people dancing to rock ‘n’ roll and sippin’ on their bevvies. The pub has a unique selection of beers on tap to satisfy any taste, some made right there in the brewery. Don’t forget to ask for the beer battered fish and chips! Come on, chop to it!

(Photo: Brewpub Wicks Facebook)

There on a street lined with an array of international and Peruvian restaurants, bars and some of the most notable museums in Lima, rests a quaint English pub called Brewpub Wicks. The Executive Chef and Consultant of Brewpub Wicks is James Orlowski. He was chosen as the centerpiece of this particular expat story not only because he is an accomplished chef and restaurant consultant, but is also an entrepreneur with several restaurants under his belt- and plans for more. In other words, he is an entrepreneur, a successful one.

When you see James, you wonder about that accent, not quite Aussie or British. He is from Whanganui, New Zealand, home to approximately 43,000 people and one of the oldest settler towns in the island country. A picturesque city (its name means “Big Bay”), Whanganui is home to New Zealand’s largest arts community in the country.

Having studied hospitality and management at the prestigious City & Guilds Institute of London, James is an accomplished chef. Everything at Wicks is made from scratch and is reflected in the food. He has lived in the United States and in Brisbane, Australia, where he met his beautiful Peruvian wife. He is a proud family man and now makes his home in Lima.

So my three questions to James, as to all the expats, are:

1. What brought you here?
2. What keeps you here?
3. Why Peru?

What brought him here? For James, he came here because of the importance of being surrounded by family and now all of the friends he has made here. He is part of a community and lives here with his wife and two young children.

What keeps him here? Easy, the opportunity to do what he does best: buy and sell restaurants; consult and manage restaurants to keep elevating the quality standards of today’s restaurants; and last but not least, being an awesome chef (not his words, mine).

Why Peru? Without batting an eye, the common thread of friends and family, the gorgeous weather and beaches, the heritage of Peru, the opportunities, and a proud culture that he wants to impart to his children.

James and his family have a great life; robust and successful businesses, opportunities galore (not necessarily “easy”) and cultural heritage. Next time you are at Wicks, stop in and try the fish and chips, or the artisan beers. I can promise you, even though I am not a food critic, the quality of food is great and the atmosphere even better!

Brewpub Wicks
Av. Pedro de Osma 201 A, Barranco

Next time on Life of an Expat, a man and his belts….







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