Brisbane Times Young Chef of the Year 2016, Ollie Hansford has announced his departure from the Van Haandel Group.

Having trained at London’s Soho House prior to working with Michelin-starred chef, Simon Hague at Mallory Court, British-born Hansford first entered the Queensland hospitality scene in 2013. Hansford commenced his Australian career at Stokehouse Q before moving onto Gauge and receiving the coveted title of Young Chef of the Year from the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide 2016.

Ollie returned to the Van Haandel Group to take up the role of Head Chef at Stokehouse City (Melbourne) in September 2015, however the Group reluctantly sold the Stokehouse City premises last month into order to facilitate the successful relaunch of Stokehouse St Kilda which was destroyed by fire in early 2014.

“We have been working with Ollie since the announcement of the sale of the Stokehouse City premises to consider a number of options,” says CEO Frank van Haandel. “One of those options has been to explore opportunities to partner with Ollie in his own venue. Sadly Ollie has come to the conclusion that perhaps now is not the right time and I have therefore reluctantly accepted his resignation.

“Ollie has delivered to the Group enormous creativity, energy and passion– his leadership and composure since the announcement of the sale has been nothing short of amazing. Whilst we wish that we could work together for longer, I and my leadership team all feel grateful that we have had the opportunity to get to know Ollie and to have had such a natural and accomplished head chef at the helm of one of our venues.”

Hansford says that he has enjoyed his time with the Van Haandel Group, but feels that now is the time to explore new opportunities.

“It has been an absolute pleasure working under the very knowledgeable guidance of the Van Haandel Group – I have learnt so much about the industry, business and leadership. I feel truly blessed that they invested so much into me.”

Hansford will finish up with the Group on the 20th of March in line with the handover of the Alfred Place premises to the Urban Purveyor Group, who will be transforming the venue into a New York-style steakhouse called The Cut


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