Lucy Whitlow is a chef’s chef. Whitlow is Conferre Group’s (Osteria Ilaria, Tipo 00, Figlia, Grana) executive pastry chef and cheesemaker. She’s collaborated with and supplied the likes of Masses Bagels, Clover chef Charley Snadden-Wilson and Ellie Bouhadana of Ellie’s Table. Whitlow and the team at Grana have started hosting Sunday chef takeover lunches and have plans to hold more in the future.

The Melbourne-based New Zealander is also known for making infused tomme cheeses (cheeses produced from skimmed milk) under the name Whitlows Wheels. Her tomme creations – which you can see in the cheese room at Grana – have included blackened shallot leather, nutmeg and cocoa, and even an orange one made by washing curds with fresh orange juice and cooking them with semi-dried orange skins before aging.

Soon, Whitlow will host cheesemaking classes at Grana.

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We took five minutes with the chef to find out where (and what) she’s eating in Melbourne these days.

What’s your go-to for a quick takeaway
Tiba’s in Brunswick – love it.

How about lunch on the go?
If I’m in Collingwood, it’s an egg sandwich from Falco.

And for a drink and snacks?
Kirk’s Wine Bar for its pigs head doughnut.

Where’s your favourite dessert?
Ooofffttt that’s hard! I’ve never enjoyed super sweet desserts; I would want to eat dessert at Clover or Amaru.

Where do you go for a special occasion?
Embla. Its wine selection and atmosphere always hits the spot.

Best comfort food?
Leftover roast chicken pie the next day hits home!

Where do you go for a big meal?
Builders Arms Hotel, for the prawns, mussels and a good, large, tasty feed.

Where do you recommend for a first date?
I’d go to The Moon for a first date because there’s a lovely intimate environment that’s casual. But also to be able to say, “I’ll take you to the moon and back”.

What’s your go-to hangover food?
Carbs and salt! Some MSG goes down a treat.

Bucket list restaurant?
I went recently, but Le Doyenné in France is on my bucket list to make it back to.