The Van Haandel Group, the hospitality group behind the Stokehouse restaurants has announced a number of changes to its kitchen team nationally.

Richard Ousby has been promoted from head chef at Stokehouse Q to the new group position of executive chef – Stokehouse Restaurants; and Oliver Gould, who was appointed head chef at Stokehouse St Kilda at just 26 years of age and has held the position of executive chef at Stokehouse City for the past year, has tendered his resignation after almost 8 years with the Group to explore new opportunities.

Owner of the group, Frank van Haandel said that Gould had been a great asset to Stokehouse and wished him well on his future endeavours. 

“Ollie is a quiet achiever, more than just an award winning Chef, he has always had a very loyal team which shows that he is a tremendous leader. His loyalty to Stokehouse since the fire shows just how honourable he is. Ollie will always remain a great friend of Stokehouse and the van Haandel family. Ollie is a true professional and we hope that our paths will cross again,” said van Haandel.

“One third of my life has been spent working for one of the greatest hospitality groups in Australia. I wish only the best to Frank and his passionate team on the rebuild of Stokehouse St Kilda, it will be an International success,” said Gould.

Richard Ousby’s new role will see him continuing to oversee the Stokehouse Q kitchen with the support of his team there, along with taking the reins at the flagship St Kilda restaurant.

“I have always enjoyed working for Frank and Sharon van Haandel and to be part of their new flagship restaurant is an absolutely amazing opportunity for me,” said Ousby.

“My approach to food is simple; I love using local and high quality produce to create fresh flavours that are not overworked, just really casual and approachable dishes, and I very much look forward to creating a menu at St Kilda that old and new clientele will really love.”

In the short term, Ousby will spend time in both Brisbane and Melbourne, working with the team at Stokehouse City and as a key member of the Stokehouse St Kilda rebuild team.

Works are about to commence on Stokehouse St Kilda with an opening date of 2016 confirmed.

“We look forward to revealing more to our very loyal customers in the coming weeks – stay tuned!’ said van Haandel.

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