The food produced by Young George executive chef and co-owner Melissa Palinkas has been lavished with praise by food reviewers who describe her food with words like ‘inventive, fun, smart, original and drop-dead gorgeous’.
While she enjoys producing an innovative menu, Melissa runs a sustainable kitchen, making the best use of every part of vegetables and meats and minimising waste and plastic use.
Her ‘nose to tail’ or ‘root to shoot’ approach to cooking means that nothing is wasted. The trimmings of vegetables and meats are used in stock, and leftover vegetables are fermented or used for preserves.
She tries to reduce the carbon footprint of the kitchen by reducing the use of disposable plastics in her restaurant. Sauces are stored in recycled glass jars, and she sends the restaurant’s own crates to suppliers to be filled with produce.
Melissa’s first kitchen job was at the Brass Monkey, in Northbridge in the very early 90s. She has worked overseas in London and Dublin before taking the head chef at The Cabin in Mt Hawthorn for 4 years, before setting up Young George, which she describes as a neighbourhood bar with a serious focus on food. www.younggeorge.com.au
In 2019 Young George was awarded its first chef hat by the Good Food Guide Australia and 2 weeks later Melissa was awarded, title of Chef of the year by the WA Good Food Guide.
Melissa has featured in publications, such as Gourmet Traveller & Delicious magazine.
At the End of 2020, Melissa launched her new restaurant Ethos Deli & Dining room with partner Susan Whelan, a no-waste, sustainable New York Deli & dining room, with a European twist, a nod to Melissa’s heritage.
Ethos is 90% plastic-free, only uses biodegradable packaging, straws made from wheat, some packaging, is a plant-based cryovac bag her terrines are sold in.
Ethos recycles & repurposes all of its glass bottles. No waste sodas are poured at the table to retain the bottle for re use. Ethos has a strong zero waste policy, and supports farmers and producers to use up perfectly good stock, that would otherwise see landfill as it’s deemed not perfect.