Hugh Allen had a desire to be a chef from a young age, cutting his teeth as an apprentice chef with the Rockpool Group at 16.

At 20 he was awarded the Gault Millau Young Chef of the Year Award, which took him across the globe and gave him the opportunity to stage at several three-star restaurants in Paris.

He spent three years at Vue de Monde before joining Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen. Hugh worked with Redzepi for three years and was part of the team for Noma pop-ups in Sydney in 2016 and Mexico in 2017. Hugh returned to Melbourne in late 2018 as the Vue Group’s executive sous chef, and in early 2019, he was promoted to executive chef of Vue de Monde.

Hi, my name is Hugh Allen.

Right now I’m working at Vue de Monde as executive chef. Before that I was I worked at Rockpool Melbourne, Vue de Monde, Noma, and I staged at a bunch of places in France.

All up, I’ve been cooking for 11 years, seven in Victoria.

And I’m passionate about creativity and creating aspirational experiences for our guests, but also making sure Vue has a great culture and is a great place to work.

Which means I like cooking things like… in the restaurant I’m focused on creating a tasting menu that celebrates Australia: its growers, farmers, foragers and artisans – from a rare native ingredient to an awesome cheese made in Mornington.

At 30 Under 30 I’ll be cooking wattleseed gumnuts.

The person I’m most looking forward to working with for 30 Under 30 is Rosheen Kaul. I don’t know her personally, but have loved watching her from afar. She’s really hit the ground running the last few years; I think she’s pretty sick!

My favourite thing to eat in Victoria right now is Victorian truffles. Some of the best truffles in the world come from Victoria.

Finally, the big change I’d like to see in our food and drink scene in the next 30 years is… I think the industry overall is moving in the right direction. I hope we continue to have one of the world’s best and most diverse food scenes, and I hope we continue to have a range of dining experiences from super high-end dining to awesome street food.

Catch Hugh Allen 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 his further adventures at @hughsallen