23 December 2022

Five minutes with Gonzalo Burgos, Locale Pizzeria

| Evelyn Karatzas
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man with wood-fired pizza oven

Gonzalo Burgos is the manager of Locale Pizzeria in Deakin. Photo: Evelyn Karatzas.

Who is Gonzalo Burgos? I am the manager of Locale Pizzeria in Deakin.

Best recent dining experience: I’d probably say Terra in the city- I just love the idea of cooking with coal and wood, it’s an art to control the fire, and I love BBQ. Another great dining experience I had was at Bar Beirut, which is modern Lebanese cuisine. If you go on the right night, you might get a burlesque show. You can’t beat it.

Favourite cuisine: I love South-East Asian. I lived in Thailand for six months and I learned a lot about sweet, sour and spicy – from the fiery heat of chilli peppers to the tangy zing of lime and the rich sweetness of coconut milk, every dish is a symphony of flavours that will awaken your taste buds.

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Most embarrassing pantry or fridge item: While we all have our guilty pleasures, I must admit that I have a soft spot for the comfort of a classic Kraft Mac and Cheese. It may not be the most gourmet item in my pantry or fridge, but it’s always there for me when I need a quick and easy meal. Plus, it brings back memories of my childhood and simpler times.

What ingredient can I not live without: There’s no denying that chilli is an essential ingredient in my kitchen. Whether it’s fresh, dried, or in the form of chilli flakes or paste, I always make sure to have some on hand. It adds an extra layer of flavour and heat to any dish, and I can’t imagine cooking without it. In fact, I often find myself adding a little extra chilli to give my meals that extra kick that I crave.


Gonzalo says he can’t live without chilli (he puts it on everything to add heat to all his dishes). Photo: Jack Mohr.

Next big thing in the Canberra food scene: I think the next big thing is combining dinner with a show. After going into Bar Beirut for dinner, I was surprised by a burlesque show. It was awesome.

Favourite place for lunch in the ACT: Doubleshot in Deakin is my go-to spot for lunch. Not only do they have a wide selection of healthy and light options, but their food is always fresh and delicious. Whether I’m in the mood for a salad, a sandwich, or a smoothie, there’s always something on the menu that satisfies my cravings. Plus, the atmosphere is always warm.

Omar, owner of Locale

Omar Muscat at Double Shot in Deakin. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

My go-to coffee spot in Canberra: Urban Pantry, for sure. Not only is it fast and easy, but the boys there always manage to make the perfect cup of coffee for me.

Favourite coffee: There’s nothing quite like a strong, bold, long black to start my day off right. It’s the best way to wake up.

Urban Pantry restaurant

Gonzalo said he loves the coffee at Urban Pantry. Photo: Supplied.

A must-try on our menu: Our new antipasti bar is a must-try for anyone looking to share a delicious and diverse meal with friends. We’ve added a wide range of options to the menu, including wood-fired bread, cured meats, kingfish crudo, calamari, and a selection of cheese, including burrata, all designed to be shared and enjoyed together. But that’s not all – don’t forget to try our wood-fired pizzas too! They’re made with the same high-quality ingredients and with lots of attention to detail.

Our most-used ingredients at Locale Pizzeria: Definitely flour and San Marzano tomatoes. They are our most used ingredients for a good reason. We use high-quality flour to make our pizzas, giving them a crispy and flavourful crust that’s the perfect base for our toppings. And the San Marzano tomatoes add a depth of flavour and richness to our sauces that you can’t find with any other variety. Together, these two ingredients help us create pizzas that are truly one of a kind and that our customers love.


The homemade ricotta gnocchi with beef and pork bolognese with truffle pecorino. Photo: Locale Pizzeria, Facebook.

Our most authentic dish: It would have to be our hand-made ricotta gnocchi. Our gnocchi is made by hand using only the freshest and most authentic ingredients, giving them a soft and pillow texture that’s unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. This dish offers an authentic taste of Locale.

Our top pick from our desserts: My top pick from our desserts is the traditional Italian dessert, our house-made cassata. It is made using Omar’s (the owner) mum’s secret recipe. It is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you wanting more.

Chef Gaston Acurio

Gastón Acurio Jaramillo is a Peruvian chef and ambassador of Peruvian cuisine who has written several books, owns several restaurants and hosts a television program. Photo: Gastón Acurio, Facebook.

Biggest culinary influence: Two chefs who have greatly influenced me in my culinary journey are Gastón Acurio and Francis Mallmann. Their passion for preserving and promoting Peruvian cuisine has inspired me to always strive for authenticity and cultural representation in my journey. Mallmann’s bold and innovative techniques have pushed me to think outside the box and experiment with different flavours.

Favourite cookbooks: Mallmann on Fire, by Francis Mallmann, and Peru, the Cookbook by Gastón Acurio.


Omar Muscat owns Locale Pizzeria, Urban Pantry and Double Shot in Deakin. Photo: Locale Pizzeria Deakin, Facebook.

Who I admire in the Canberra food and wine scene: I’d probably say my boss, Omar Muscat, for letting me do what I love while giving me freedom and guidance. I’d also say Damian Brabender and Adam Wilson from Otis. They both do an excellent job recreating classics and giving them a twist. Sungyeol Son from Terra is also worth mentioning as he does crazy delicacies with coal and wood.

What’s the special of the week at Locale Pizzeria: We have just launched a new menu.


Gonzalo said he hopes to go camping in Patagonia while he visits his Dad in Chile next year. Photo: Facebook.

Where am I travelling to next: Hopefully, in the middle of next year, I’ll be going to Chile to see my Dad and spend time with family. Maybe I’ll get to go camping in Patagonia too. We’ll see.

Dream destination? My dream destination is Morocco, a country known for its vibrant culture, rich history and delicious cuisine. From the bustling markets and colourful souks of Marrakech to the breathtaking beauty of the Atlas Mountains and the vast expanse of the Sahara Desert. There is so much to explore and experience in this diverse and enchanting land.

Death row meal: I would like my death row meal to be a classic and satisfying dish of steak frites. A perfectly cooked steak paired with crisp, golden fries. It’s a simple yet timeless combination that never fails to satisfy me.


A T-bone steak from Capitol Bar and Grill, one of Canberra’s most recommend steakhouses in Canberra. Photo: QT.

My least favourite food: I’d have to say liquorice.

My favourite vegetable: My favourite vegetable is the boring potato because it is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. It is also a good source of nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C and fibre.

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COVID-19 response: We were lucky at Locale because we always had a takeaway trade at the shop, and also we had a lot of support from the Deakin community.

My top three recipe tips:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Keep it fresh
  3. Know where your product is from. I know it’s expensive, but try to source organic.

Locale Pizzeria is open for lunch from Thursday to Sunday, 12 noon to 3 pm, and dinner, Tuesday to Sunday, from 5 pm to late. It is located at Deakin Shop 5, Hopetoun Cct, Deakin.

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