Paul is head chef and owner of The Woodhouse, which has been serving up its signature woodfired pizzas and char grilled redgum steaks since it opened in February this year. The Woodhouse is a dream come true for Paul, who has been behind the stoves for 24 years. He started his apprenticeship at Clogs, worked in Melbourne for a while, and has been cooking in Bendigo for the past 12 years, most recently at the National Hotel.
Paul says his family looked for the perfect location for their new restaurant for over 18 months before this historic Williamson Street address presented. Six months on, you almost need to book a week in advance for a table on a Saturday night. Paul says the success has come through a lot of hard work.
You’ve got to put your heart and soul into it, otherwise it won’t work for you,” he says.
“I just love seeing all the people in here enjoying themselves and enjoying what we’ve produced for them. At the end of the day, that’s why we do it.”
My favourite photo
“This is a photo of me with my wife, Danielle, and our kids, Ethan and Harry, taken at Disney Land last year. We had a wonderful experience and the boys are still talking about it. Our whole family went, there were 14 of us, with my sisters and husbands and kids, it was great.”
That was the last big family holiday before The Woodhouse was opened. Paul says with much work to do to establish the business, it’s going to be a little while yet before the next big break.
I’ll never live without...
“I have to say my family. Anybody in hospitality would know, you go through good and bad times, and with the amount of hours I work, I couldn’t do it without the support of my wife and my family. Other than work, my family is my life. I don’t need much, and I don’t ask for much for myself.
My favourite dish is...
“I love Danielle’s roast, with creamed cauliflower and all the little bits and pieces, that’s what I enjoy the most, to be honest. As a chef I get to have good things all the time. A roast is pretty simple, but it’s what I enjoy.”
It’s not cool, but I love...
“The Tigers. I’m a tragic Tiger fan. I’ve been a member for 14 years and I’ve just joined my boys up.
“There’s not been many wins over those years, and because I’m a chef, I never get to see the games, so when there’s a win I get online and buy the DVDs.
“Even though I can’t get to the games I still buy a membership every year because I believe if you’re a fan you should support your team.”
- Read Pieces of Me in the Addy every Saturday.