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Students learn from best at Ben Shewry Masterclass

Mistakes are never a sign of failure they are a means to learn. All the best goals are meant to be hard to achieve – that’s what makes the eventual success all the more worthwhile.

Holmesglen hospitality and Le Cordon Bleu students received important insights into what it takes to turn a passion into a successful career, when hosting renowned chef Ben Shewry.

Ben was in attendance to lead a masterclass session at the Moorabbin campus demonstration kitchen.

“It was not that long ago that I was one of these kids, at a similar stage in my career and life, and I remember too well what it was like. If the students have a good attitude and are always passionate and keen, I’m always happy to help out,” Ben said.

Executive chef at multi-award winning restaurant Attica (awarded best restaurant in Australasia, San Pellegrino Worlds 50 Best Restaurants, 2014), Ben’s personable and inspiring approach was apparent as he shared industry tips and prepared three respective meals.

“For me, it’s a privilege to share some of those little bits of wisdom and mistakes I’ve made over the years, and impart a little bit of passion and knowledge onto students,” he said.

While this knowledge of cooking and the food itself is the foundation, Ben was also keen to pass on key life skills. While students watched the preparation of the meals, The Age Good Food Guide Chef of the Year encouraged attendees when sharing his own personal experiences.

“Mistakes should not necessarily be viewed as a bad thing. Society is pretty quick to say you stuffed up, but you learn more from your mistakes than you ever will from your successes.”

The masterclass continued the ongoing evenings, hosted by Holmesglen, which are available free of charge to students to help with their training. The 2016 calendar also includes Evan Moore from Dinner by Heston, Deniz Karaca (world chocolate champion) and Ian Curly.  

Ben shared anecdotes including recently cooking for New York rapper Action Bronson and showed some of his novel ways of presenting meals, including using a power tool to buff a pumpkin.

“People always [ask] me, why do I work so hard? Why are you so full on and committed? I know it’s a cliché, but you’re only as good as your last meal. You have to keep working hard at it every single day,” Ben observed.

The masterclass saw Ben, together with fellow Attica chef Charles; work with everything from kangaroo meat to rolling thin sheets of apple for a dessert. The respected chef noted that students could achieve similar standards with the same hard work and motivation.

“If you’re a chef, it’s more of a life choice than just a career choice. I think it’s really important for people when they look at me and my successes, to know that it is something attainable,” Ben said.