Q&A With Chef Shane Bailey
We sat down with Noosa Boathouse Executive Chef, Shane Bailey, to find out more about his career, favourite foods and love for Australian beef.
Why did you become a chef?
My mum was a great cook and I had an uncle who was a Chef; I was brought up with family gatherings which was all about the food. At high school, cooking was one of my best subjects but most importantly, I loved it and still do.
I was an apprentice in Warrnambool, before moving to Melbourne and then I was at St Kilda’s Donovan’s for nine years. I worked a season at Beach Café in Cornwall UK before I moved to Noosa to work as the head Chef of Berardos on the Beach, Berardos and Noosa International Food and Wine for eight years. More recently, I was at Capricorn
Food and Wine for seven years and also headed up the last two expos at Beef Australia.
What do you love?
A range of things – working with great produce; how no two days are the same; the adrenalin before service; the kitchen comradery; and, always learning and making people happy.
My food philosophy is all about getting the freshest and best quality seasonal ingredients and cooking them with respect.
Favourite local producers?
This is a tough one as I deal with nearly 40 local suppliers. For beef, I can’t go past Blair Angus at Signature Beef and Nolan’s Meats; for seafood my mate and chef, Snapper, catches and we purchase through Noosa Fish Providores; Tammy and Jason at Fraser Isle Spanner Crabs; Kim and Jason at Cooloola Berries; Peter from Noosa Reds and Trevor at Cedar St Cheeserie. There’s too many to mention all of them! I also buy local eggs, macadamia, pecans,
finger limes, and citrus.
Why is local produce important?
For me it’s so important as I am representing a region and supporting local businesses, you also get to build up great relationships.
Most rewarding moment?
I have three top moments starting with hosting the “Best Dinner in the World” with six of the world’s best chefs as part of Noosa Food & Wine. I also set up a restaurant with international and Michelin-starred chefs at Beef Australia Rockhampton where ten chefs performed ten services in five days for 1400 guests. Finally, helping to keep Noosa Food & Wine alive for the 2016 event after the cancellation of the previous event.
Who is your inspiration?
I have a wide range of books and shows l like to watch. I usually make it up depending on the ingredients but I will check David Thompson for Thai authenticity, Thomas Keller when learning how to sous vide and, in the early days of my career, it was always Stephanie Alexander.
What do you cook at home?
Always beef and I love to use tasty cuts such as Bavette, Flank, petit Tender. I will also do a slow braise such as Osso Bucco or Beef Cheeks and I do have an offset smoker that will do ribs or brisket.
Who would you love to cook for?
Robert DeNiro, Sean Connery, Nigella, Padma Lakshmi, Sean Connery (again).
Latest menu highlights?
Noosa Boathouse has new menu items just in time for warmer weather including a Vietnamese-style beef salad. The salad has a bit of heat, sweetness and saltiness from the fish sauce, caramel and sour from the chilli lime dressing,
local peanuts give it a great crunch
Favourite kitchen tool?
My water circulator cooks my beef at the precise temperature, perfect every time, I also have a small one at home.
That’s easy, Australian Beef is the best in the world! So many cuts to use all with different flavour profiles. I love getting a different cut and creating a new dish. I love the butchery, the cooking and especially the eating part.