Name: Ben McShane
My food philosophy is… focused around deliciousness and balance of food. For me, the way a dish tastes is far more important than the ontology or the aesthetic of a dish. When creating new dishes I try to avoid arbitrarily putting things on a plate; everything that goes onto a plate should have a purpose and add something to the way a dish tastes. My cooking style is influenced by modern French technique, and Japanese flavours and ingredients.
I’d love to do an international stage at… Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare in New York. I like the way they combine European technique and Japanese flavour. Completing a stage there could help me learn to better incorporate Japanese flavours and simplicity into how I cook.
An Australian restaurant that inspires me is… I believe the team at LuMi in Sydney are one of the best at balancing food that is delicious but also creative and unique. They do a very good job at combing the cuisine of two very diverse countries (Japan and Italy), as well as retaining their cultural integrity.
An industry leader I look up to is… Andrew McConnell. I worked with him at Moon Under Water for a year as part of the opening team. The way he thinks about food and business is something that has stayed with me. The way he cooks is rational, logical and everything makes sense. He’s also extremely good at balancing cooking high-end food with running a profitable business.
In the next 5 years, I’d like to… be close to a position where I can run a restaurant. In order to achieve that, I want to travel, experiencing the food of other cultures. At the moment, I’m most interested in food from Japan and China so I’d like to explore those countries. I also want to work with some great chefs that either do what I want to be able to do, or have skills that I can learn from.
The 2017 electrolux australian young chef program… is a way to challenge myself and gauge where I am in my career against other young chefs in the country. It’s also great to network with other industry professionals and, regardless of the outcome, this opportunity will be beneficial to my career.