5 Minutes With Ben Shewry

October 13, 2010

5 Minutes With Ben Shewry

1. Congratulations on Attica being included in the world’s best restaurants! What does such an achievement mean to you personally and professionally?

It was really huge for us, hard to put into words. We are a small independent restaurant with very humble beginnings. So many amazing things have come from it. The morning I learnt the news and when I saw my staff for the first time it was impossible to hold back the tears.

They have worked so hard and without them there is no award, nothing.

2. You love to forage for wild ingredients. What are some of the amazing ingredients keen foragers can discover around Australia?

There are the obvious choices which are relatively safe and easy to harvest such as grey salt bush or summer purslane. Australia is home to over two thousand edible wild plants. But just because it is edible doesn’t mean it tastes good! I’ve poisoned myself many times throughout my life tasting plants I probably shouldn’t have, but it’s all in the name of learning. On that note I’d recommend you find an expert to show you or buy a good book on foraging. It’s a wild place out there.

3. What are you looking forward to cooking this spring and summer?
Every spring is the most exciting time, I wish it would never end. Nature provides us with so many wonderful things. It’s like being a small child in a candy shop, you’ve thrown off the shackles of winter and now you are free from cabbages and onions! We are cooked pork tail with red melon and wild herbs. It is an incredibly inspiring time.

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