Ben Shewry, chef-patron of Melbourne’s Attica restaurant and one of Australia’s best-known culinary exports, is coming to Perth to speak at Western Australia’s first Food and Drink Symposium (FADS).
No stranger to food and drink events – Shewry has been involved with most international culinary events of note including MAD, Madrid Fusion, Cook It Raw! and the Gelinaz Shuffle – Shewry is a firm believer in the ability of these think-tanks to inspire change, not just in the industry, but in himself, too.
“Organising our own festival in WAW was a huge challenge both logistically and financially, but I personally set out to use it as a platform to help others and to give them a lift,” says Shewry of the experience of staging the free “anti-festival” WAW Gathering in 2014. “But it really helped me more than I would ever have realised and led to [wife] Natalia and I purchasing the restaurant and taking control of our own independent future.”
While marron, pearl meat and snow crabs are among the West Australian ingredients that have been served to Attica guests over the years (Shewry: “These are three of the finest ingredients in the world and it is a great privilege to serve them”), WA FADS will be Shewry’s first major food event appearance in Western Australia.
In addition to giving guests an insight into running an intimate and deeply personal restaurant such as Attica, Shewry will also talk about mental health difficulties, something the Kiwi-born chef has dealt with personally.
WA FADS is on Sunday May 28 at the Jim Webster Pavilion at the Claremont Showgrounds. Tickets are available for $100 online.