Jo Barrett finds it difficult to talk about herself. Luckily there’s a string of others who’ll wax lyrical about her. 

Barrett has a singular philosophy, passion and long list of achievements in the hospitality industry. This ‘game-changing’ chef and ‘culinary superstar’ not only has the skills and experience to warrant this reputation but also recognition as The Age Good Food Guide’s 2024 Chef of the Year and World’s 50Next – Pioneer.  

Look for her in the award-winning documentary featuring Joost Bakker’s FutureFoodSystem “Greenhouse by Joost”. The film chronicles a year of living and working in a tiny urban zero-waste farm situated smack bang in Melbourne’s Federation Square.  

Perhaps you were lucky enough to dine at the hatted Oakridge Winery restaurant where Barrett wore multiple hats as executive chef: pâtissier, charcutier, cheesemaker, grower, etc. When she’s not harvesting and creating fabulous dishes, she’s sharing her know-how in a Have a Go series or representing Australia at the World Championship of Pastry.

Her book Sustain has just hit bookstores too.  

Barrett’s finest endeavours are now best enjoyed at her restaurant Little Picket, a humble lawn bowls club restaurant on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. It highlights the Surf Coast and its incredible producers with an ever-changing seasonal menu. Locals and visitors couldn’t be happier.