BMX Bandit  

August 04, 2014
BMX Bandit

If ever there was a unofficial group of luminary chefs in Melbourne, Shane Delia would be part of the mix. An award-winning chef and owner of Maha restaurant, Shane is one of the hottest commodities on the Australian foodie scene.  His Maltese heritage has influenced him throughout his culinary career, which has most recently seen him star in his own television series, 'Shane Delia's Spice Journey' (SBS1 lovers - tune in on Thursdays at 7.30pm).

I grew up in…
Melbourne's Western suburbs. I hadn't even ventured onto the other side of the city until I was old enough to go and start chasing girls.. ha!

I am reading…
My Twitter and Facebook feed!

People tell me I am…
Crazy!

The first bike I got was….
A Mongoose BMX. It was an old frame I bought from a mate and built it with all the spare money I had, which wasn't much back when I was 13. I painted the frame myself; white tuffs and all the good gear.

My favourite cooking story to tell around the dinner table is…
When the nutbag chef I was working for at the time knocked me out cold with the oven door! Times were very different back then in the kitchen...

More great reads here!

A typical working day for me involves…
There is no such thing as a 'typical' day in my world. I don't think I have had two days that are the same for a very long time, and that is one of the many reasons why I love my life! Every day is a challenge that brings something new and it keeps my head and heart pumping. But if there was a 'semi-standard' day, it would be something like this: 

6am: Woken up by my two year old son
8am: Breakfast with my 5 year old daughter
9am: walk my daughter to school
9:15am - 9:50am: Driving to work and returning the tonne of missed calls since 9 am!!!
10 to 12pm: Liaising with chefs, my PA, menus for the week, fitting in a bite to eat and attending to everything else that is fighting for my attention
12 to 3pm:  I love to be in the kitchen for lunch service but lately that isn't always the way it works out. There are a million meetings I need to have and new projects I am working on
3:30 - 4:30pm: My time. I go to the gym and get my butt whipped by my PT.
4:30 - 5pm: Drive back to work and answer as many emails as I can and return phone calls
5pm: Debriefed on what happened while I was away and spend time with my GM working on maha while we try and get some food into our bellies
5:45pm: Restaurant briefing at maha with our kitchen and Front Of House team. We talk about the dinner service we are about to get, who is coming in, who is doing what and what things we can improve on so that we offer our customers a better experience
6 - 11pm: Dinner service
11 -11:30pm My time. Depending on the weather and what car or bike I took into work that day, I either have a cruise, drive home or jump on my bike and take the scenic route!
11:30 to 2am Meant to be down time on the couch so I can just chill out, but ends up being answering social media questions on Twitter I have missed during the day and preparing myself mentally for the next day
2am: Sleep ZzzzZ

When I get spare time, I…
Ha!! Are you serious, you just saw my day! That's a six day-a-week commitment. If I do get a day off, it is with my family. I have kids and I want to participate in their upbringing. I can't leave it all to my wife, she does enough with me out all day and night

Over time, my cooking related injury list now includes…
High blood pressure, loss of hair, belly fat, arthritis in my hands, compressed lower disks in my back, insanity, insomnia, burns on my arms, stitches in my hands…….. I could go on all day! But most of my injuries are from my other love….. motor bikes!

If I could be anywhere right now, it would be… Because…
Home to see my family because work is so busy and I cherish all the time with them that I can can get.

If I could have anyone in my kitchen, it would be…. Because….
A team of passionate dedicated people who just want to cook. Unless you are willing to give all you have to this career, then I really don't want you in my kitchen. All of my chefs are professionals that give just as much as I do, if not more. They are my inspiration and motivation. We have such a great bond in the kitchen and the times I get to just be in there cooking are the best days of my week!

Shane Delia