New York | Events

SHO Shaun Hergatt

Chef Shaun Hergatt's impeccably executed menu of modern Asian-accented French cuisine at SHO has garnered him a "Best New Chef" accolade from New York magazine, and "Best New Restaurant" accolades from both Esquire and New York magazines. As the young Chef de Cuisine of The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Sydney, he quickly earned international accolades. He subsequently worked at Atelier at the Ritz-Carton, Central Park and at The Setai in Miami before returning to New York to open SHO Shaun Hergatt, his first solo project.




How do you characterize your cuisine?

Modern French with Australian accents.

What region or ethnicity most influences your cooking?

France. I also pull from Asia and Australia with ingredients from America.

What is your signature dish?

Salt-pressed Tasmanian ocean trout with kalamansi dressing.

What kind of food were you exposed to as a child?

In Australia, I was exposed to a lot of natural ingredients. I grew up in a rural area for a time and was exposed to lots of farm products, bananas, watermelons, beef, and duck. It was farm-to-table fare before it became fashionable.

Have you ever lived or trained overseas? Where?

I am living and working overseas now! Australia is my home.

Is there an exotic spice or ingredient that you particularly enjoy using?

There is a very exotic spice I love using: the rye berry, which grows in Australia. It has a menthol flavor and is a unique piece of fruit.

Does the design and style of your restaurant evoke a particular place? If so, where?

It has a modern French look and a Zen Japanese environment. It's designed to transport diners into another world, one different from what New Yorkers are accustomed to. SHO has larger tables with space between them, so patrons don't feel crammed in, and there is no loud music.

When you cook for yourself, what do you make?

I eat lots of fish, grains, and vegetables. Fresh ingredients, not manipulated. I also eat a lot of raw food, no fast food, and very little red meat. I eat six times a day, small portions. Today I had a banana with oatmeal; next, a little ocean trout seared with ginger vinaigrette and veggies. Afternoon quinoa is garnished with vegetables; then in the evening, salad. For my dinner, another piece of fish or crustacean.

Tell us about some trips you've taken for inspiration.

I have been to Paris four times to check out the cuisine and traveled through Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, all through the Americas, Argentina, and Uruguay. I'm just back from Noma (voted the no. 1 restaurant in world by San Pellegrino) in Copenhagen, Denmark, and I also visited Sweden. In August, Malaysia. And I also go to London to check out the scene.

What are your thoughts on global cuisine?

Global cuisine will always exist. Look at Japanese restaurants: they fly everything in. That's the way life is. Without it, we would regress. We have to move forward and grow, not just for cuisine but for the world.