Taranaki born, NZ trained chef Ben Shewry has again had his restaurant Attica named in The Top 100 establishments in the world.

New Plymouth born, New Zealand trained chef Ben Shewry has again had his restaurant Attica named in the world’s top 100 establishments, for the second year in a row. Melbourne located Attica jumped 20 places to number 53 on the list announced last week in London.

Attica is one of only three making the Top 100 from Australia (in front of Sydney’s famous Tetsuya), with none from New Zealand. The fact that Shewry is plying his trade in Australia, rather than New Zealand raises questions about the status of New Zealand’s culinary professionalism, and the restaurant-going community in this country.

Making the Top 100 adds to what has been a stellar beginning to 2011 for Shewry, starting with his invitation to join the world’s elite chefs at Madrid Fushion in January, and his winning of the Age Good Foode Guide Chef of the Year Award for 2011.

Shewry learned much of his skill from Mark Limacher at the fabulous Roxburgh Bistro in Wellington, for a while the finest food destination in the capital. He also credits his teachers at culinary school with giving him a sound grounding in the basics.

His time with master whiteman of Thai cuisine, David Thompson, is well illustrated by his deft touch with spices and his exotic sense of balance in the kitchen.

His placing in the Top 100 arguably makes him the highest ranked New Zealand chef in the world, although Australia continues to get the kudos from his achievements.

~Keith Stewart

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