Born and raised in rural North Taranaki on the rugged west coast of the North Island, New Zealand, Ben believes that food can have a deeper meaning than just another item to consume; it can be evocative, emotional and thought provoking, appealing to all of the senses. Of course the key to all this is that it tastes of the purity of its ingredients and is something delicious to eat.
For inspiration, he often draws from his childhood; from the volcano, rivers, ocean, and native bush that make up Taranaki. It is these memories, growing up in an area almost completely wild, that have shaped such dishes as Sea tastes (now Marron), Snow Crab, a simple dish of potato cooked in the earth it was grown and Terroir.
Ben currently lives on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria, close to the sea and an abundance of edible wild plants and vegetables, which he harvests by hand every day for the menu at Attica.
In January 2010 Ben Shewry became the first ever Victorian Chef to present his cuisine at Barcelona’s Madrid Fusion.
In August 2011 Ben also was the only Australian presenter at the inaugural MAD FoodCamp, hosted by Rene Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen.
Banjo Harris Plane
Banjo joined the team at Attica in early 2011, having relocated from Sydney.
He comes from a strong wine background, having worked as a sommelier at est. Quay and the Bentley. He brings with him a passion for unique wines, thoughtful food and the unison of the two.
Growing up in his parent's various restaurants in South Australia brought him closer to the the food he would eventually grow up to love. Always being surrounded by friends and family who saw the preparation and consumption of food and wine as an intrinsic part of culture as opposed to a simple repetitive act was a weighty influence, and he now shares his passion with the people of Melbourne.
In October 2011 Banjo will travel to England in an attempt to become the first Australian-based Master Sommelier.