Anneliese Brancatisano has always been enthralled by sweets, whether around a festive table topped with her grandmother's cakes, at the kitchen bench with her head in a Women’s Weekly cake book, or with her hand at the bottom of a bag of devilishly hot jam doughnuts at the footy.

For now you’ll find her at Hector’s Deli, piping some of her favourite childhood memories directly into the sandwich shop’s delicious sweets.

Hi, my name is Anneliese Brancatisano.

Right now I’m working at Hector’s Deli, as head pastry chef. 

Before I started here, I worked at Theodore’s in Brunswick, creating pastries for take-home boxes and bake sales. During that period, I was also baking celebration cakes out of my little oven in Brunswick and doing pop-ups. After that, I resided for a year at Hope St Radio cooking savoury dishes with fellow 30 Under 30 alumn Ellie Bouhadana and the rest of the awesome team.

All up, I’ve been cooking for two years, both of them in Victoria.

And I’m passionate about flavour, nostalgia and simplicity. I love creating a sweet that someone is impressed by, but mainly that can take them back in time to a blissful moment. Maybe their overly sweet school canteen chocolate cake, the excited feeling you get when you have a scaldingly hot McDonald’s apple pie, the custardy bite of a vanilla slice that leaves icing sugar and pastry flakes everywhere. I have a very big soft spot for places like Beatrix Bakes – Nat and the team do brilliant nostalgic sweets: a Melbourne goldmine.

Which means I like cooking things like sticky date pudding with butterscotch, a fruity cream sponge or a simple German apple cake. I especially love making a filled eclair, or cannoli. It reminds me of special birthdays and makes life feel that little bit fancier. Growing up it was always something we’d have to buy, so it feels like a luxury knowing how to bake them myself now.

At 30 Under 30 I’ll be baking whisky caramel and smoked sea salt cream eclairs.

The person I’m most looking forward to working with for 30 Under 30 is Giorgia from Monforte. The pastries are always next level and easily my most recommended to people when they come to Melbourne. The classic leatherwood honey and sea salt croissant is a no brainer.

My favourite thing to eat in Victoria right now is the celeriac-filled tortellini in brodo at Bar Romantica. I may be slightly biased, as Jack is my very good friend and old housemate. His food, from a morning omelette for the housemates, to the food he and the team are dishing up, is simple, beautiful and that little bit fancy. Everything he is cooking right now gets me excited to switch out a night on the couch for the red-hot seats at Romantica.

Finally, the big change I’d like to see in our food and drink scene in the next 30 years is a better balance between work and life. Hospitality is the most exciting, infatuating industry. But I think it becomes bittersweet at times, it’s hard to actually knock off and look after yourself. I’ve only been doing properly for a short time, but I can imagine the impact it’s had on industry veterans.

Catch Anneliese Brancatisano at the 30 Under 30 Gala dinner on Thursday 28 July and at the 30 Under 30 dinner at Stokehouse on Wednesday 17 August; follow her further adventures Anneliese at @_peacheslacreme__