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This Is Northern New South Wales

Shannon Smerdon – Chef

We all love food. It’s through our taste-buds we find joy, new experiences and travel to far off exotic places… without the airfare.

Wizards of food are called Chefs. The Rock Stars of the culinary world. Their stage is the kitchen, welding knives like performing a guitar solo. Their songs dance in your mouth as you eat the menu. The crowd makes their judgments from afar, and often the cheers and accolaides are barely heard. Shannon Smerdon is the Events Chef at aclaimed local restaurant, Harvest in NewrybarHe is a humble Chef that let’s his food do the talking…

When was the moment you realised that being a chef/cook was the life path for you?
I guess I have always loved cooking and was drawn to it because it was exciting to me. The idea of getting paid to play with fire and knives was appealing and also the creativity and independance it represented.

Was food always a part of your upbringing?
I didn’t have a very broad or ethnic culinary upbringing. My family didn’t eat out a lot so I started experimenting with different stuff when I was quite young. I guess i was bored. My father would work late so i would cook dinner for us, started with simple things and then soon i was making my own curries and more interesting food i had read about.

How did you find yourself being the Events Chef at Harvest, after working in Sydney?
I moved back to Byron Bay where I grew up, after working at a restaurant in Sydney called longrain, so my son could experience the same beautiful environment of which I was lucky enough to grow up in. Working at Harvest now is great for me because I am able to do things that I love about the food industry, cooking with food that has been treated with love and care by people who are passionate about what they do. I am learning and teaching at the same time.

What inspires you today and keeps you honouring the cooking lifestyle?
The way food trends are going is exciting because people are taking more interest in how the food gets on their plate. Where was it grown and raised? How is the food treated? Is it sustainable and organic? For me that is very important and I am endeavouring myself to learn more and do more to be a part of the whole process of food, not just cooking it.

What’s next for Shannon Smerdon?
My next direction is to establish a catering business where we can incorporate all produce we are growing, by using only local and ethical producers, to create a unique food experience for people. Be it a pop up restaurant in the middle of a farm between rows of corn, or overlooking the beach and eating freshest seafood. A real food experience.

Stay tuned to Harvest’s Facebook Page for upcoming events that include Shannon’s culinary wizardry –