Rodney Shah has been cooking up a storm all over Melbourne for the past 16 years and has now made himself at home at The Boatbuilders Yard. He has run the gamut from gastro pubs to restaurants, cafes and hotels, most recently working at the Parkview hotel on St Kilda Road and Syracuse.
When creating The Boatbuilders Yard menu Rodney was inspired by the wonderful outdoor setting. He wanted to have food that is great to eat outdoors as well as being light, fresh and full of seasonal products. Sourcing ingredients from small producers who provide organic and biodynamic products has also been a focus.
Rodney says, ‘There are so many people flying under the radar with their brilliant produce. For example, Jam Lady Jams whose jam we use for our toast on the breakfast menu, or some of the small goods we have on our charcuterie plate, which are made by small family producers, some who have been making traditional style salamis for several generations.’
An insight into a chef’s mind is their key three ingredients they can’t live without. Rodney’s list is insightful and it is amazing to think of roasting that much garlic! ‘First, I would have to include Mount William Olive Grove extra virgin olive oil, it is what I love to finish pastas and salads with and will often snack on it with some fresh bread and cheese. Second is parsley; again to finish a dish, a handful of parsley just helps to bring a pasta to life. Third, is roast garlic. Roast garlic is far more subtle than raw garlic and has a more nuanced flavor. We usually roast our garlic at The Boatbuilders Yard in 5kg batches as we like to use it in as many dishes as possible.’
For a newcomer to The Boatbuilders Yard, Rodney recommends you grab a seat in the sun and order an organic and biodynamic snag, get yourself a stubby of Brooklyn lager and kick back for few hours. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.