Chef profile: Richard Ousby, former Executive Chef of the Stokehouse Group

Richard has always had a love and passion for food, here's his story.

From working as an apprentice in a family-owned Italian restaurant in Brisbane, to working with Peter Gilmore at Quay, and becoming an Executive Chef at Stokehouse, Richard has had a very colourful career.

He sits down with Lifestyle to chat everything from his biggest inspirations, to his go-to kitchen appliance. 

Why did you want to become a chef?

I have always been drawn to cooking and had a passion for food. My mum and grandmother are both excellent cooks. And for as long as I can remember, I always gave the same answer when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grow up – a chef!

Who is your biggest industry inspiration?

Everyone I’ve worked with over my career has impacted the chef I am today in one way or another. For example, Michel Roux gave me a deep grounding in classical cuisine, while Peter Gilmore taught me how to incorporate different cultural flavours into my menu. My latest inspiration has come from Frank Van Haandel, who has provided me with business skills, a course in leadership and a cooking self-discovery adventure all rolled into one.



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What’s your go-to kitchen appliance?

The Electrolux Black ceramic gas cooktop is my go-to appliance. I always grew up with gas and I loved it and this particular gas cooktop is sleek in its dark design, so it really blends in with my kitchen!

Favourite ingredient to cook with and why?

Dairy. I love cheese and I couldn’t live without butter or a dash of milk in my coffee.

What is your career highlight so far?

My highlights would have to be meeting the amazing people I have come across in my working life and the friendships we have forged.

What staple meal do you cook regularly at home?

Every person in my family has their own special meal they love me to cook up. My son loves spaghetti bolognese, my wife loves potatoes, and my staple meal is a delicious crab spaghetti (and a cold beer!).

Can you tell us about the worst cooking blunder you’ve ever had?

I have had plenty of those! One that comes to mind is when I was passing a sous chef a really hot pot of garnish. He grabbed the handle without a cloth, and I swear, I could hear his hand sizzle. He let out a thunderous scream. That was definitely not my finest moment – and let’s just say he wasn’t my biggest fan after that.

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