After completing his apprenticeship at Melbourne’s iconic Florentinos Restaurant, Joseph Vargetto worked in northern Italy’s famed, three Michelin star restaurant Gaultiero Marchesi.

Returning to Melbourne he took on the position of second chef at Langton’s Restaurant and Wine Bar under the esteemed Phillipe Mouchel. From here he headed The Venetian before joining the team at Number 8 Restaurant and Wine Bar at Crown. Today he can be found running the kitchen at Mezzo (formerly Oyster) Little Bourke, his latest venture with fellow owners Frank Wilden and Luke Stringer.

Joe’s first food memory is of making sausages with his godfather at his farm in Gippsland: “it was from pig to barbecue.” Days off are best spent enjoying good food and wine with his wife and son, preferably in the Melbourne sunshine. A favourite restaurant is Ristorante San Domenico in Italy’s Imola, where a friendship with the owner, who is always forward looking and doing greater things, inspires him. Another source of inspiration is chef Alain Chapel (although he has passed away, the greatness of his food lives on). Joe’s words of advice for us cooks at home: “Do things that you feel comfortable with and enjoy making. Ask questions when you can and read as much as possible.”