Last week we were lucky enough to catch up with Ollie Gould who has been making waves as Executive Chef at The Shorehouse in Swanbourne. Arriving from Melbourne in 2015, Ollie had already built a national reputation as one of Australia’s best chefs.
His new role in the West wasn’t just about a shift of location, but an opportunity to get to know some great WA producers. We asked Ollie what the highlight of his year in WA has been.
“I think for me the seafood has been the big winner, particularly from Shark Bay, the crab meat, prawns and cuttlefish; but also by-catch that perhaps people wouldn’t generally buy like golden and silver trevally, cobia and red mullet. It’s nice that I can build good connections whereas in Melbourne you rely upon suppliers more.”
Buying locally is important for a lot of chefs and Ollie is no exception, with The Shorehouse being a Buy West Eat Best restaurant member; meaning that 70% of entree and main characterising ingredients are fished, farmed or grown in WA. For Ollie the reasons for this commitment stack up.
“It's the right ethos to support local business and produce that's in season. Buying locally in WA could mean up north or down south, and it's a big area, but it’s what’s in season and not relying on the rest of the country. It’s really about thinking about what should be on your menu based on what’s around at the time.”
With that in mind we asked Ollie what he’s looking forward to as we move into spring.
“I love fruit and particularly using fruit in savoury dishes. So blueberries and mangoes are about to kick in, grapes in the warmer months. Strawberries from Carnarvon are pretty special at the moment so fruit for me is number one. And spring veggies of course are fantastic, like broad beans and peas, and zucchini flowers are always exciting to get your hands on.”