Robert Aparo– Executive Sous chef

I grew up in Mill park in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Coming from a large Italian family, food was always the basis of all our family gatherings, and I have great memories of making our own pasta sauce in the garage with the whole family

When I hit 15-16 years old, I found my cooking classes were the only classes that I enjoyed going too, so from that point forward I did everything I could to push me into a career of cooking.

I Started my career at crown casino and realised early on that I wanted to go and work overseas. I saved as much money as I could and left to work in a multiple Michelin Star restaurants while living in Scotland. This was an amazing experience and I tried to gain as much experience as possible. I eventually made my way back to Melbourne and worked my way through the hospitality scene, from a variety of restaurants, pubs, clubs and hotels with a lot of great hospitality professionals 

A career highlight to date would be cooking for the queen of England. Being told by chef Michel Roux Jr that the sauce I made was delicious is a close second.

I would describe ‘Flavoured by Melbourne’ as whatever you want it to be. That’s the great thing about Melbourne, it blends the cultures and flavours of the world, and you can always find something that will excite and interest you. I’ve lived a lot of places around the world and that’s why I still think Melbourne is the greatest place to be.

The MCG stands out compared to the other event spaces in Melbourne because of the history, the prestige, and the aura of the venue. There are a lot of fantastic places around Melbourne but none as historic or majestic as the “G”

Being a huge footy fan, all my friends and family could not think of a more fitting place for to continue my career.

Favourite lazy dinner at home to make?
Creamy pesto agnolotti

Best take out place in Melbourne?
Fukutontei ramen

Best fine dining place in Melbourne?
Estelle by Scott Pickett 

An ingredient you loathe to cook with and avoid?

An ingredient you love to cook with but don’t often use?
Jerusalem artichoke

Favourite food as a kid?
“Sciachiatta” Sicilian version of a calzoneusually filled with sausage and verdure (when you see people picking weeds from the side of the road that’s what verdura is)

Where do you draw inspiration from as a chef?
Michel Roux Jr
Gordon Ramsey 
Peter Gilmore