Pieter Buijsse: 30 Under 30

Published on 15 June 2022

Photo: Pieter Buijsse (photo: Clint Peloso).

Growing up in the Dutch countryside, Pieter Buijsse started washing dishes in a local two-starred restaurant at the age of just 12.

After working his way up the ranks in multiple three Michelin-starred restaurants throughout Europe, he decided to come to Australia in 2014. He now works at Point Leo Estate as the senior sous chef in the two-hatted Laura Restaurant.

Hi, my name is Pieter Buijsse.   

Right now I’m working at Laura at Pt Leo Estate as a senior sous chef.

Before I started here, I worked at Hof van Cleve in Belgium under chef Peter Goossens as a chef de partie. While I worked there, I did several stages in some of the best restaurants in Europe. My last role in Victoria was with Three Blue Ducks where I had the privilege to help them set up and organise their brand-new restaurant in Melbourne.

All up, I’ve been in hospitality for 16 years, and eight of them in Victoria.

And I’m passionate about utilising all the beautiful produce that the Mornington Peninsula has to offer. Since moving here my eyes have been opened to all the amazing food that is around us. The beautiful olive oil from Cape Schank Estate, the truffles from Red Hill and the beach succulents growing on the foreshore in Mount Martha, just to name a few. 

Which means I enjoy cooking things like mussels. In season, nothing beats the amazing mussels from Harry in Flinders; they'll always have a place in the kitchens of Pt Leo Estate, whether it's smoked mussels for a pasta dish in the bistro or served with our lobster flambé in Laura. At home we have them regularly too. I cook them with some leek, chilli, and fennel from Torello Farm and a dash of Pt Leo Estate chardonnay, and serve them with some crusty garlic bread.

At 30 Under 30 I’ll be cooking braised veal tongue with pickled Jerusalem artichoke, Red Hill hazelnuts and pine from the Point Leo garden.

The person I’m most looking forward to working with for 30 Under 30 is everyone! I look forward to seeing all the familiar faces and meeting some other chefs that are currently putting their mark on the industry. I think MFWF has put together an outstanding line-up and I can’t wait to be cooking alongside all these amazing chefs.

My favourite thing to eat in Victoria right now is a fresh baguette from Florian. I always make a pitstop there when I'm in Melbourne; they always have the best selection of locally sourced ingredients.

Finally, the big change I'd like to see in our food and drink scene in the next 30 years is… I see the current trend of sourcing products locally and more sustainably continuing. If there was ever one positive we can take from life during COVID, it would be that so many more people are supporting local businesses. Buying local ingredients and having that connection with their local fisherpeople, butchers, fruit farmers et cetera. Serving imported strawberries when ours are out of season – that time is well and truly over. I hope over the next 30 years this will continue to grow and expand.

Catch Pieter Buijsse at the 30 Under 30 Gala dinner on Thursday 28 July and at the 30 Under 30 lunch at Embla on 7 August. You can follow Pieter at @pieterbuijsse or drop him a line at info@pieterbuijsse.com.

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