About Steven PalletSteven started his cooking career by default. He needed a job whilst studying at Melbourne University and was hired at Shakahari in Lygon Street Carlton as a dish-washer. He realised that at Shakahari there was something magic happening in the kitchen: he gave up his studies and cooked there for two years.
Steven worked at Stephanie’s for five and half years. During this time he completed his apprenticeship at William Angliss.
He later became head-chef and was running the kitchen.
He says of Stephanie’s: There was energy and an other-worldliness there. I would be rostered to start work at 10.00 in the morning but I would get there at 8.00. We wanted to be there. I was spoiled at Stephanie’s. The group she got together was amazing. We were like-minded souls and we were sucked into this wonderful place where we fostered new developments and foods. It was really hard work but you had a sense of purpose. And there was a constant reward of participating in a process of creating stunning food.
When Steven became a father he decided he needed to change his working hours to suit his new role. He was offered a job at William Angliss and quickly decided that he loved teaching. The idea of “passing on the baton” both surprised him and appealed to him. He feels this may have something to do with being a father!
Steven reminds his students that they have chosen a demanding profession but one that has its rewards for those who have a vision. He believes that the opportunities are there for chefs but that to succeed you need, “strong foundations and then build on them. All cooking techniques are really just basic techniques. Studies are just as much to do with hearts and minds and especially passion”
Summary of the InterviewInterviewer: Jill Adams
Interviewee: Steven Pallett
Date of recording: 5/11/2010
Recording Format: MP3
||Early Career Highlights
||Shakahari, Carlton; Café Paradiso; Stephanie’s; apprenticeship; Brunswick Street; Fitzroy; Cato Street, Hawthorn; Stephanie Alexander; salad; herbs; onions; carrots; roquette; Le Herbier; mache; mignonette lettuce; hydroponic; Donovan’s Restaurant; Jeff Linsday, Pearl; Yanni Kyritsis, MG Garage & Opera House;
||Insights on the Hospitality Industry
||Training apprentices; young chefs; Jamie Oliver; Masterchef; reward; waiting staff; pastry; Krug Champagne; head chef;
||Teaching at WAI
||Mike Miller; curriculum; Great Chef’s program; third year apprentice; celebrity chefs; George Calombaris; Sushi; Japanese cuisine; Japanese Eating Houses; Melbourne; “flip the burgers”
||Reflections on the current state of industry & influence of Masterchef
||Neil Perry; Sydney; Claude’s; Two Faces; Leo Scholfield; apprenticeship; omelette; cook meat; grill fish; molecular gastronomy; TAFE; competency based training; Hollandaise;