Ryan StevensonExecutive Pastry Chef

Before coming to the MCG, I was overseas for a very long time. I left Australia sometime in 1999 and gave myself 10 years to become a world champion. 9 years later, in 2009, I won the ‘Best praline in the world’ at the World Chocolate Masters.

21 years later, my wife and I decided to move our family back to Australia. It is a great place to raise kids and is very much a European city, so we feel very at home here.

What made you choose a career in pastry?
I chose a career in pastry to make people happy. Pastry and dessert are something people really look forward to, and this brings joy, and I really enjoy bringing joy to people.

If Melbourne was a chocolate in a box, what would it be?
Melbourne would definitely be a coffee caramel. It is the coffee lover capital of the world, and what goes better with coffee than caramel?

What excites you about chocolate?
It comes back to making people happy. I was the director of the largest chocolate academy in the world, and just behind where I worked was the largest chocolate factory in the world. I got to have some great experiences with chocolate, and everyone around the world loves chocolate, so it really brings people together. There’s so much you can do with chocolate, from sculpting to making it shiny, and manipulating the material is something that is very exciting.

What is the greatest thing about working at the MCG?
First of all, it’s the MCG, it’s a citadel, a shrine to the world. There is always a lot of action, and people really enjoy coming here. While it is a sporting ground yes, we also want it to be known that there is really good food here too.

What Innovations will you bring to the MCG dessert menu?
I really want to move away from the traditional desserts, and desserts people know, and really teach the team here new techniques. In the future I’d like to be mousse free, no tart shells or glazes, and really teach the basics well, and show there is more to desserts just standard dishes.