Childhood friends bringing the beef

August 19, 2022 BY

Partners: The Woodhouse chef Paul Pitcher has brought on Tony Panetta to co-own The Woodhouse. Photo: LEON SCHOOTS

POPULAR steakhouse, The Woodhouse, has a new co-owner, as two childhood friends reunite to keep the fire burning.

Chef Paul Pitcher opened the restaurant a decade ago and originally put the establishment up for sale, hoping a tree-changing chef would take it over.

While managing the business through the lockdowns and staffing issues of the last two years, Pitcher got in contact with his old friend Tony Panetta.

“Although we’ve known each other since we were 12, and have supported each other since then, in 2019 we went to a trade show for four days, then spent the rest of the month dining at the best restaurants and bars in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York,” Panetta said.

“This really planted the seed to create something great together, and to combine our talents.”

Panetta spent decades in Bendigo before becoming executive chef at ICC Sydney and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and most recently heading the Continental in Sorrento.

Pitcher said while The Woodhouse “has evolved a lot over the last ten years”, he is excited about working alongside Panetta.

The restaurant will be open seven days, including a Sunday lunch and Monday evening service.

As well as a new co-owner, The Woodhouse has a new menu, featuring produce from Black Onyx Angus and Victor Churchill, as well as McIvor Farm Foods and Roaring Forties Lamb.