Known around town for her delectable desserts, pastries and all-things-sweet (and savoury), our inimitable co-executive chef Jo Barrett was recently interviewed by SBS and recognised as one of Australia’s top pastry chefs.

After starting her career as a chef disliking pastry, and knowing all too well that to run a kitchen she needed to know p√Ętisserie inside-and-out, Jo endeavoured to learn all she could.

“I decided if I wanted to run a kitchen, I needed to know everything. So I worked in a bakery and studied p√Ętisserie,” Jo said, “Now, I love pastry and how it has an answer for everything – but within all the technique, it’s extremely creative.”

Leading the Oakridge kitchen with partner Matt Stone, the duo share strong philosophies in ethical food concepts, incorporating only local produce and adopting a no-waste policy in all their dishes. Barrett’s most recent dessert dish utilises the entirety of a potato – flesh, skin and all – to create a ‘kinda-sweet’ but mostly delicious dessert.

“My desserts are very produce-driven, textural and not very sweet,” Jo explains of her desserts, “All the [potato] skin was going in the compost. Now, I cook them with cream, set with gelatine and whip into a really thick potato cream and serve it with blackberries and marmalade ice cream.”

The article was published on International Women’s Day, to celebrate incredible women leading the way in the kitchen, and to prove that women can succeed in a very male-dominated industry.

Read the full article here.

To try Jo’s desserts yourself, call (03) 9738 9900 to make a reservation in the Oakridge Restaurant.


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+61 3 9738 9900
864 Maroondah Highway
Victoria 3770 Australia