Hannah Holleran: 30 Under 30

Published on 15 June 2022

Photo: Hannah Holleran (photo: Clint Peloso).

Hannah Holleran started working as a chef in her local restaurant in Somerset, England at the age of 14, and never looked back. After moving to London to expand her knowledge and improve her cooking, she quickly realised how exciting and diverse the hospitality industry really was. 

She spent two years learning classical French food at Roux at Parliament Square in Westminster before travelling to Southeast Asia and eventually settling in Melbourne.

Hi, my name is Hannah Holleran 

Right now I'm working atGimlet at Cavendish House as a junior sous chef.

Before I started here, I worked at Matilda 159 in South Yarra, where I spent a year working under restaurant owner Scott Pickett and head chef Tim Young. Matilda really showcases the best of native Australian produce; it was a pleasure to be a part of that team. 

All up I've been cooking for 12 years, three of which have been in Victoria.

I'm passionate about ultimately making food the best and most delicious it can be. I love teaching and supporting new and up-and-coming chefs, especially in my current role. 

Since living in Australia, wine has become a huge part of my life. Tasting the amazing quality and variety of wine that Australia and the rest of the world has to offer and working alongside such talented sommeliers gave me the motivation to start studying wine properly. I completed my first WSET course last year and look forward to carrying on studying in the future.  

For me, one of the best things about being a chef is being able to cook a variety of things on a daily basis. I've never been one to have favourite cuisines or dishes; I love experiencing and learning new things to try out in the kitchen. 

At 30 under 30 I'll be cooking potato langos and smoked eel with devilled quail's egg.

The person I'm most looking forward to working with for 30 Under 30 isRosheen Kaul. She's an extremely talented chef and a wonderful person. The way she introduces her heritage into her food at Etta while keeping it modern is a testament to her as a chef. I look forward to working with her in a professional environment as we have never done so before. 

My favourite thing to eat in Melbourne right now is the albacore tuna and kalamata olive toast at Embla. Sitting at the kitchen bar in the cosy, dimly lit dining room with a glass of natural wine and a few of these toasts, for me, is a perfect place to be. 

Finally, the key change I'd like to see in our food and drink scene over the next 30 years is the attitude towards new and training chefs. Nurturing and taking time to support early-career chefs results in faster learning, better productivity and a happier workplace in general. Chefs should feel supported and confident to come to work every day, rather than being downtrodden and undervalued. I hope this changes globally in the future. 

Catch Hannah Holleran at the 30 Under 30 Gala dinner on Thursday 28 July and at the 30 Under 30 dinner at Cutler & Co on Wednesday 3 August. Follow her further adventures at @hanholleran

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