Absolute superstar and total culinary force to be reckoned with Shannon Martinez (the mastermind behind Melbourne’s famed Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli) is a woman on a mission. That mission, is challenging the norm – tackling people’s perception of plant based dining.
The most intriguing part of Shannon being a trailblazing vegan chef? She herself…is a meat eater. Paradoxical path? Yes. Unique? Certainly. Yet the fact that she is a meat eater is also a huge part of why she is able to create such brilliant tastes, textures and flavours that actually replicate those found in meats, cheeses and key elements of popular dishes. This in conjunction with a lifetime of cooking experience, an instinctive ability to push the boundaries and extremely high standards, shows why Shannon has not only gained a strong following of cult customers but the industry is more than paying attention.
Shannon is coming back to Sydney soon for her Good Food Month event at Mary’s Underground. Daily Addict was lucky enough to chat to her about her top picks for places to eat and drink around town.
Paramount Coffee Project Surry Hills. “I stayed in the hotel there and the space has a great atmosphere, the coffee smells so good as soon as you walk downstairs and (even though I don’t really eat breakfast) the brekki looked amazing!”
“Newtown space 212 Blu. Love it. It’s a relatively small wine and coffee café on Australia street with white tiled walls and cool staff. They do great coffee with a relaxed vibe.”
“Gumshara. It’s EPIC ramen in happy eating village in Haymarket. Mori Higashida quit his job at 48 to start cooking. He wanted to learn how to master the art of broth so he spent 18 months working 7 days a week (for sometimes 18 hour days!) – insane – at Muteppou in Kyoto. He then came back and opened Gumshara. Such a great spot in a little corner of a food court.”
“The new Continental in the CBD (same in Newtown) is rad for a snack and a cheeky drink. They have the best charcuterie boards and I love their tinned fish. Washed down with a sidecar cocktail is the perfect afternoon venue to kick off those early eve vibes.”
Alberto’s Lounge in Surry Hills. “The space is perfect, it makes me feel like I am back in Melbourne! It’s dark and intimate, amazing old – school Italian food (and l always want plates of it all whenever I am there, it’s so good) all washed down with a lot of chianti.”
“I would then kick on to Mary’s after for late night Jameson’s and (even later) night burgers and chips with friends. Just the best. I can’t wait to cook with them for Good Food Month at Mary’s Underground! Will be high end quality food, but a relaxed and wild vibe.”
Shannon Martinez joins the team at Mary’s Underground for two sittings at this year’s Good Food Month events (the first sold out rapidly, so get in quick!).