The Van Haandel Group is stoked to announce its appointment of award-winning Oliver Hansford as Executive Chef at Stokehouse Q, Brisbane.
Ollie returns to Brisbane and Stokehouse Q, having been awarded the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide Young Chef of the Year Award in 2016, and following on from his current role with the Group as Head Chef at Stokehouse St Kilda, overseeing the relaunch of the iconic Melbourne restaurant.
Ollie commenced his career in Australia at Stokehouse Q in 2013, prior to taking up an opportunity at Gauge Brisbane as Head Chef. Ollie returned to the Van Haandel Group in late 2015, before being appointed to his current position at Stokehouse St Kilda in 2016. Ollie has driven the menu at Stokehouse St Kilda – perfectly pairing the tradition and history of Stokehouse with his personal ethos of sustainable, produce-driven dishes.
‘There is no one who knows Stokehouse better than Ollie and he was our obvious choice to take over the helm at Stokehouse Q. Following on from our renovations at Stokehouse Q late last year, we are excited to have Ollie bring his talent, energy and passion to Brisbane. We love being a part of the Brisbane dining community and we know that Ollie will embrace all that Brisbane has to offer,’ said Frank van Haandel.
‘It has been an incredible 48 hours for me. To be offered this opportunity to take another step up with the Group which has shown so much faith in me since I came to Australia is really humbling. I know the Stokehouse Q team well and am looking forward to working with them all again, particularly Marcel (Head Chef). It is an honour to be named Executive Chef of another iconic Australian restaurant. I have learnt so much in my time at Stokehouse St Kilda, I can’t wait to bring this knowledge to Stokehouse Q and to continue learning from the industry there,’ said Ollie Hansford.
Ollie’s passion for food started from a young age and his background is rich in food experience with an impressive European pedigree. He studied at London’s finest catering college, Westminster Kingsway, and has worked at London’s Soho House, before moving on to learn his trade under leading chefs Simon Hague at Mallory Court and Galton Blackiston at Morston Hall in Norfolk.
Stating that ‘you should never stop being influenced’, Ollie left Leicestershire in 2011 where he helped run Woodhouse Restaurant, and headed to Australia, quickly landing a position with Stokehouse Q in April 2013.
Ollie is renowned for his modern, respectful, produce-driven approach. This has remained a constant wherever he has worked, and he is continually pushing his cooking forward. ‘I have been fortunate at Stokehouse St Kilda to have the support of a great team and the freedom to really consider which producers we work with. It is a big decision for me to make this move, however I am not leaving Stokehouse and I know that St Kilda is so well placed and in great hands.’
Ollie will take up his role at Stokehouse Q this spring.
‘We’re on the hunt,’ said Frank van Haandel of the opportunity that now exists for someone to join the lauded list of Head Chefs at Stokehouse St Kilda, which includes Ollie Hansford, Oliver Gould, Anthony Musarra, Maurice Esposito and Michael Lambie. ‘We pride ourselves on delivering dining experiences which reflect tomorrow’s expectations, we are excited to speak with the up and coming generation of chefs from across Australia and beyond.’