The Passionate Chef: Michael Acevedo

Australia is often personified as a beer drinking, meat loving nation, and rightly so!

The scent of an Australian summer is the smell of sizzling sausages, burgers and steaks. But there is a huge difference from an okay BBQ to a finger-licking-good BBQ.

This week we chew the fat with Michael Acevedo, Executive Chef at All-Hands Brewing House, to discover the mastery behind his most popular burgers: Wagyu Beef and Southern Fried Chicken.

Raised on NSW’s South Coast with chickens running through his backyard, Acevedo made regular trips with Dad to the local abattoir for the freshest cuts of meat. Whereas some of his siblings chose to wash dishes after dinner, Acevedo preferred to be involved in preparing it; and so began his passion for cooking and meat in particular.

“You need to put love into everything you prepare, you can really taste the difference,” says Acevedo. And this philosophy is evident in everything on the All Hands Brewing House menu. Since his arrival at this popular beer-focused venue, Acevedo has considered how to bring the unlikely influence of hops to the menu.

“We value all ingredients found in the beer making process and – just as a butcher does with its pig or lamb – we try to use all parts; whether eating or drinking.”

In fact beer appears in the most unlikely of places – their spelt shortbread caramel slice.

“Flavour is most important, as is consistency and quality. Not just what is ‘Instagrammable,” the passionate chef adds.

When asked what makes a great burger, the answer is quality. From your choice of meat (“always the best from Cape Grim in Tasmania”), the selection of fresh vegetables and burger buns to details such as the choice of sauce.

“Everything needs to be perfectly balanced,” says Acevedo. Maybe this is why burger lovers flock to this waterfront microbrewery.

Acevedo feels “he would be disrespecting the hard work and dedication of his suppliers if he didn’t make the most of his goods.”

So next time your friends ask how you get your BBQ meat so tasty, tell them it’s all the love and passion you put into the process. Maybe also tell them to head down to All Hands Brewing House at King Street Wharf to see it for themselves.