Interviewed April 2008
Shane is the Australian two star Michelin chef at Pied a Terre. He was sous chef there when Tom Aikens left but regained the two stars that the restaurant had originally earned by 2003, and has kept them ever since.
Q – How long have you been cooking professionally?
I have been cooking for 22 years.
Q – Where did you train to cook?
I trained in Australia, Sweden (2 weeks in Courcheval) and London (e.g. at the Square).
Q – How would you describe your style of cooking?
I would describe my style as contemporary French.
Q – Is there a secret for a successful restaurant?
There is no secret to a successful restauarant, just sheer hard bloody work and focus.
Q – Do you have a “signature dish” or favourite dish you enjoy cooking?
I enjoy all aspects of the kitchen. However I find making bread to be particularly enjoyable.
Q – Do you have a favourite ingredient?
I don’t have a favourite ingredient.
Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off?
None in particular
What is your most interesting or fun experience from your time in restaurants?
The best experiences are from working with young passionate cooks that put their life on hold to become the best possible chefs they can.
What would be your “last request” dish?
My last dish request would be a massive plate of shellfish and fish as I’m allergic to these it would definitely be my last meal.
Is there another chef that you most admire?
I admire all chefs that strive for the best and that enjoy their job as much as I do.
Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?
My advice to young cooks is to find a good kitchen to get the basics and to not be in too much of a hurry to climb the ladder.
Any final thoughts you’d like to add?
Cooking is a marathon not a sprint.