Perth, Western Australia
The food produced by Young George executive chef and co-owner Melissa Palinkas has been lavished with praise by food reviewers who describe her food with words like ‘inventive, fun, smart, original and drop dead gorgeous’.
While she enjoys producing an innovative menu, Melissa runs a sustainable kitchen, making the best use of every part of vegetables and meats and minimising waste and plastic use.
Her ‘nose to tail’ or ‘root to shoot’ approach to cooking means that nothing is wasted. The trimmings of vegetables and meats are used in stock and leftover vegetables are fermented or used for preserves.
She tries to reduce the carbon footprint of the kitchen by reducing the use of disposable plastics in her restaurant. Sauces are stored in recycled glass jars and she sends the restaurant’s own crates to suppliers to be filled with produce.
Melissa’s first kitchen job was at the Brass Monkey, in Northbridge. She worked overseas in London and Dublin before taking the head chef at The Cabin Small Bar in Mt Hawthorn for 4 years, before setting up Young George, which she describes as a neighbourhood bar with a serious focus on food.
Melissa was honoured to receive her first Hat at this year's Good Food Guide Awards and to be named Chef of the Year by West Australian Good Food Guide.