How does one brighten up the drab wall of a restaurant? For some restaurants, turning to local artists is a nice way of bringing a sense of community to the space. But we can’t expect Attica – that Ripponlea stalwart that frequently tops best restaurant in Australia lists – to do things by the book.
So when head chef Ben Shewry decided to adorn the back wall of Attica's kitchen garden with some art, he not only decided to pluck the artist from his own kitchen, but to make the installation an ever-changing project that pays tribute to chefs who have inspired Attica’s team.
“I'd been wanting to do some kind of art on that wall for ages, and the idea came to me that we should paint portraits of chefs or cooks we admire or respect,” says Shewry.
The first chef featured is David Thompson of Nahm in Bangkok. “My senior chef de partie Lorcan Kan painted the first one and he will also paint the second one in April. After that I'm hoping to come across some artists who are happy to paint for food! We will do three portraits per year.”
Shewry is keeping tight lipped about the identities of the chefs who might be featured in future portraits. “That will be a complete surprise,” he says. “[We’re] keeping that cat in the bag.” Suffice to say, we’ll keep our eyes peeled.