Shane Freer – Executive Sous Chef

My apprenticeship started in Melbourne, working in a la carte hatted restaurants – Simply French, & Glo Glo’s, and Fannys’. Once qualified, I I travelled around Australia and the world spending time in London working at the Hyatt Lowndes and the hotel Le Gavroche.

I’ve always enjoyed the big stages and took on roles in large operations such as Crown Casino as Sous Chef, and then as Major Events Head Chef with Peter Rowland at the height of their operations working across Victoria’s best major events – Moto GP, Melbourne Cup Carnival, Kooyong Tennis Classic, F1 Australian Grand Prix, and Avalon International Air show.

Previously I had worked as a culinary teacher for Abbott Hospitality. It was here I found my passion for developing the next generation of chefs. I enjoy training and mentoring individuals with passion to hone their skills and techniques.

It’s been a developing journey for me at the MCG over the past 12 years – starting as a casual chef for Matchday operations, before being promoted to Chef de Cuisine of functions and then to my current role as Executive Sous Chef.

I’m excited to be working with Delaware North, they are one of the world’s leading companies dedicated to food service and hospitality. The fresh thinking and ideas, a collaborative spirit, making each guest experience, moment and memory the best it can be is ‘back on the menu’.

To run one of the largest kitchens in the southern hemisphere, ( the MCG)  you need to surround yourself with motivated, passionate chefs and as a leader to take time to get to know what inspires each of them. You need to build trust and remember the most important ingredient – the success of a high performing team comes down to having FUN.

Biggest culinary inspiration?
Greg Brown, as an apprentice at Fanny’s restaurant he had a massive influence on my early cookery development, his passion about food was intense, nothing short of perfection was acceptable.

Most underrated ingredient?
One of favourite, but rarely used, ingredients is the Tamarillo, available in Autumn. It’s a taste that crosses between passionfruit and a tomato, poach them lightly to remove the skin, slice and serve with ice-cream. On the flip side, I loathe to cook with Beef tongue – I don’t like to eat anything that’s been in someone else’s mouth.

Best food related childhood memory?
As a kid I would go mulberry picking with the extended family of cousins each Christmas around Beachport South Australia, climbing the trees, stuffing as many berries as I could into my mouth, getting covered with the red berry juice.

What I whip up at home?
I love to make lasagne with my kids, its messy to make but lots of fun.

My Go to Melbourne place?
My quick takeaway is from Casalinga restaurant Maroondah Hwy, Croydon. It’s close to my home, and owned and operated by a friend, chef Andrew Abrams.