Chefs Andrew McConnell (left) and Ben Shewry (right) at Australia's Top Restaurants Awards
|Cooking style||Australian, Contemporary|
Shewry is a Melbourne, Australia-based chef who grew up on the North Island of New Zealand in the North Taranaki town of Waitara. His food is influenced by his childhood upbringing in the natural surroundings of North Taranaki. Shewry was one of six chefs featured in the inaugural season of the Netflix original documentary Chef's Table. In the documentary his life, struggles, and inspiration for cooking are detailed. His cooking philosophy is deeply rooted in using indigenous ingredients readily available, in both the Australian and New Zealand contexts. Shewry has expressed enthusiasm about his own inspiration by the indigenous Maori hangi (or earth oven feast ceremony), and other indigenous ingredients such as kumara (a version of a potato) and native mutton bird.
The use of ingredients native to Australia in a top restaurant was a new idea that was not widely accepted initially, making it difficult for his restaurant to garner a following. Eventually, his unorthodox style of cooking was recognized by locals and critics, and today Attica has received several prestigious awards and attracts top chefs from around the world. Shewry also features in the Netflix series Restaurant Australia.
- "Awards". Attica Restaurant. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- Holroyd, Jane. "Attica's Ben Shewry lures top chefs to Melbourne for his WAW food festival". GoodFood.com.au. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
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