Head Chef Oliver Gould

Born and raised in Melbourne, award-winning Head Chef Ollie Gould knew from a young age that it was the adrenalin rush of a bustling kitchen that had him hooked.

Chef Ollie’s signature style of sourcing the highest quality local produce landed him the coveted Age Good Food Guide’s Young Chef of the Year in 2014.

Starting out juggling full-time employment as an apprentice downstairs at iconic St Kilda restaurant Stokehouse, while finishing his secondary school studies, Chef Ollie’s insatiable work ethic and skill soon saw him move on to Prahran’s Souk.

A rare aptitude and flair for creating sophisticated, yet unpretentious, dishes that appeal to both the gourmet and casual diner, has taken Gould around Europe with stops in London, Spain and Greece before returning to Stokehouse in 2006. At the ripe age of 26 he was promoted to head Chef which enabled him to craft his own style during his 5 years in the role.

When fire ravaged the Stokehouse to its foundations in 2014, Chef Ollie engaged his community and played a central role in establishing a Stokehouse pop-up site within three weeks of the blaze. Spreading his wings to Perth’s The Shorehouse, Chef Ollie’s next venture prized his affinity for locally sourced, seasonally driven dishes.

But a new challenge awaits Chef Ollie with Melbourne’s fine culinary scene crying out for the group’s new baby Palermo and its highlight offering: whole animals roasted over a traditional, country-style Asado fire pit.

It is the first time this primal Argentinian cooking technique has been introduced in Melbourne. However Gould says diners shouldn’t expect a traditional barbecue restaurant.

“Palermo’s menu style can be best described as progressive primal, with a European slant. Along with the open fire pit and parilla grill, we will pay tribute to the important influence Spanish and Italian cultures have had on Argentinian cuisine. Think of it as a modern spin on 500 years of culinary history.”

This is the first time the group has committed to exploring cuisines outside of Latin America, so naturally there will be a lot of firsts at Palermo”, said Gould.

Buenos Aires’ largest barrio Palermo shares unmistakable parallels with Melbourne’s thriving laneway culture, playing similar homage to its strong Italian immigrant roots. With an intuitive feel for that fusion, Chef Ollie will have Melbourne salivating over the menu that will include all of San Telmo’s trusty classics at Palermo’s Bourke St laneway corner location.