Ellie Bouhadana is the head chef at Collingwood sensation Hope St Radio, and the brains and hands behind Melbourne’s most coveted focaccia.

She loves a vermouth on ice while cooking a pasta vongole for friends, and her career highlights include cooking a pop-up dinner for MFWF with comedian Eric Wareheim.

Hi, my name is Ellie Bouhadana.

Right now I’m the head chef at Hope St Radio.

Before I started here, I worked at a couple of restaurants, including Ilona Staller in Balaclava. When Melbourne went into lockdown I began a series called Doorstep Deliveries (my fresh pasta and focaccia packages); when Melbourne opened up again I created my own pop-up dinners inspired by the Italian trattoria – the street was lined with outdoor seating and I was finally able to cook for people in person again.

All up, I’ve been cooking for my whole life, learning from my grandmother, mum and aunties, but I’ve been cooking professionally for about three years.

And I’m passionate about cooking for other people – whether in my own home or for dinner service at Hope St Radio. I love getting the chance to talk to people about their food backgrounds. I love eating beautiful food and drinking good wine with people I love and admire.

Which means I like cooking things like Moroccan fish, seafood and crisp vegetables over the fire, crudo dressed with fatty, acidic ’nduja marinades, lots of pasta.

At 30 Under 30 I’ll be cooking big fluffy pieces of fresh focaccia and whipped cacio e pepe butter.

The person I’m most looking forward to working with for 30 Under 30 is Rosheen Kaul. She is a BOSS. I admire her love and knowledge of food and how she stays true to herself.

My favourite thing to eat in Victoria right now is grilled prawns with garlic oil and toasted bread from Claypots in St Kilda.

Finally, the big change I’d like to see in our food and drink scene in the next 30 years is I’d like to see more vulnerability and inclusivity in the kitchen. There is room for so many people in the food world and I think the industry needs to be more open and accepting of people’s flaws and emotions, and highlight diversity.

Catch Ellie Bouhadana 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 at @ellies.table