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Ben Shewry
Head Chef, Attica
  • Attica is currently ranked #32 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list (2017)
  • Ranked #1 on the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide: The Top 100 (2015)
  • Ben is a fundraiser and ambassador for Melbourne’s Helping Hoops basketball programme, which mentors disadvantaged kids through sport
Cooking up connection 
Ecosystem: Art & Design
For chef Ben Shewry, the public face of contemporary Australian cuisine, food isn’t merely a staple of life, but rather an expression of it, too. Founder of Melbourne’s multi-award-winning eatery Attica, a perennial regular on several of the most prestigious top-restaurants-in-the-world lists, Ben strives to create meaning as much as he creates food, devising uplifting dishes that aspire to be evocative and thought-provoking. Born and raised on North Island, New Zealand, he draws inspiration from the mountains, rivers, ocean and native bush of his childhood as well as his current Australian surroundings: imaginative references to Aussie culture and history are infused throughout his menus. Indeed, Ben’s connection with the land has led him to become a leading advocate for responsible and sustainable eating and cooking, and he regularly speaks on the subject at such well-known culinary forums as the Omnivore festival in Deauville, France, and Danish chef René Redzepi’s MAD food symposium in Copenhagen.
“What I really, really want to do at the restaurant… is to bridge this immense divide between what immigrants have brought to this country and what was already here.”
“Living with nature, being part of nature, set the foundation for everything I would do in the future.”
Ben in the New Zealand Herald
“I determined to employ people who are positive regardless of skills. I can train technique but you can’t teach kindness.”
Ben in The Guardian
“When I was younger I wanted to win a lot of awards. As I grew older, I realised my friends don’t care if my restaurant is in the world’s top 50. They only care if I am a decent human being.”
Ben in The Guardian