Nagesh Seethiah is the chef and owner of North Melbourne’s Manzé, one of Melbourne's most talked-about recent openings, and quite possibly Australia's most high-profile Mauritian restaurant.

Hi, my name is Nagesh Seethiah

Right now I’m working at Manzé as chef.

Before I started here, I worked at Capitano, Bar Rochford and front of house at Anchovy.

All up, I’ve been cooking on and off for about six years, three of them in Victoria.

And I’m passionate about storytelling through culture. Not just food, but art, music, books, et cetera.

Which means I like cooking things like the food we do at Manzé, which is grounded in tradition and family recipes but executed through our own experiences and contemporary influences.

At 30 Under 30 I’ll be cooking a lentil soup with grilled fish.

The person I’m most looking forward to working with for 30 Under 30 is Rosheen Kaul. She’s such a multifaceted person, managing both a kitchen, the staff and all sorts of extra-curricular activities, like writing.

My favourite thing to eat in Victoria right now is breakfast at Udom House. It’s delicious, nourishing and a truly great start to the day.

Finally, the big change I’d like to see in our food and drink scene in the next 30 years is fostering a generation of hospitality workers who have time for broader interests like reading, writing and the arts. The 60 hour-plus work life that most of us are accustomed to is unsustainable and dulls our capacity for engaging with culture beyond the industry.

Ultimately I hope that the general public will then acknowledge hospitality workers as well-versed professionals in our field, not just unskilled labourers (“I could make that at home”, “It’s just carrying plates”) and that a restaurant and the industry by extension is a sum of its parts and not just the face of a charismatic (often male) head chef or owner.

Catch Nagesh Seethiah at the 30 Under 30 Gala dinner on Thursday 28 July and at the 30 Under 30 lunch at Embla on Sunday 7 AugustFollow his further adventures at @manze_melbourne