POACHERS Bistro head chef Shane Stewart cut his teeth on pub dining in Britain.
The born-and-bred Melbourne chef worked in gastropubs, restaurants and hotels throughout London for 11-and-a-half years.
Among his celebrity patrons at Balham Bowls Club were Ed Sheeran while other eateries he worked at were frequented by Marlborough College students at the time, Princess Eugenie and Beatrice.
“They were all nice people who just wanted to go out and enjoy a meal at their local,” he said.
Stewart returned to Australia to work as an executive chef on Heron Island before taking up posts at Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, and El Questro Resort in The Kimberley.
He was drawn to Rutherglen by brother Chris and his wife Laura, who took over the Poachers Paradise Hotel lease in early December.
Poachers Bistro has a new parmigiana menu, offering 12 varieties on Thursday nights.
It also has a diverse children’s menu (think homemade fish fingers and grilled chicken) and playground.
What's your favourite summer dish?
Murray Valley Pork belly with a honey soy glaze, sweet potato puree and bok choy.
What's your favourite season?
I like summer for the light flavours and winter for the more hearty flavours.
What are the staples in your pantry now?
Garlic and onions. Other staples change seasonally.
What is your earliest cooking memory?
Cooking at high school; I found out I enjoyed it. My mum is a good cook and my Ukrainian grandfather would pickle and smoke everything; I’d catch eels with my grandfather and then we'd smoke them. I'd say cooking is in my blood.
Which ingredients do you grow yourself?
We have two heritage orange trees we will use to make marmalade. We plan to grow some vegetables.
Which six people would you invite to dinner?
Former chef mates from London and Melbourne. It's always a good night out.
What is your favourite foodie ritual?
Trying as much local stuff as I can; exploring Rutherglen and Corowa.
What are you bingeing on TV? If anything.
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown
What did you have for dinner last night?
Schnitzel, melted cheese and Sriracha
What are you drinking at the moment?
James & Co Moscato
120 Main Street, Rutherglen
Phone: (02) 6032 9502
Open Tuesday to Sunday
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