We offer beautiful views overlooking the amazing Hinchinbrook Island in this iconic spot on the esplanade. The Beachcombers Restaurant has been an established venue offering fresh produce to its customers for years. Both shannon and Ben exceed over 20 years experience between them in the hospitality industry. "We are excited to bring our own special skill sets to community of Cardwell, with experience in modern Australian cuisine we bring a lot to the plate for an honest price" says Chef Ben. They are ready to show off their cocktail list and produce a level of service unrivaled by any other business in the area. With a knowledge of all things hospitality why would you want to miss out.
Industry Know How
A Young man fresh out of school who worked closely with his father, the Head chef of a very busy & successful waterfront Restaurant in South Australia’s Victor Harbor called the Anchorage Hotel. Ben would be introduced into the industry as a kitchen porter, where no special preference was given to him working under father Nicolas Walker “I was not allowed to drag my feet on these very new, very long days as the expectations were higher for me to set a standard, i became very consistent & very quick at my tasks” he explains. Ben than took a promotion to apprentice chef where he would leave the sink and start what would be a commitment to the industry preference up to the present day. On his time at the start of his career walker would spend afternoon hours cleaning, scrubbing range hoods by hot soapy water & hand to be taught the “old school style” by sous chef who would set in stone his future endeavours the importance of maintaining a hygienic clean kitchen. Fresh boxes of local squid from Cape Jarvis were now the apprentices responsibility and as the young man grew more confident in his task his preparation list would grow also. A busy introduction of the working environment of weekends, public holidays & birthdays.
Next Ben would fly out at 16 years old to regional Western Australia where he would learn to manage his time unsupervised in the very remote indigenous region of Derby. Western Australia also offered the opportunity to grow under Chef Michael who managed the very busy modern country pub in Kunnanara. At that time a hands on approach to teaching basic essentials would be taught to be used throughout ben's career. Michael would teach the importance of mixing complementing spices and flavours and help walker create his very first dish which they specialed more than a few times on michaels menus. Ben was now a proud young man with a passion burning inside him.
Travelling all the way to the east coast of Australia Ben worked under what he describes as “one of the greats” Glen Bennett’s who would take Ben under his wing and mentor him, where Walker inevitably took control of the busy waterfronts night shift at the cafe supervising a team of 5. Holding the line of quality Q.L.D Beef on the chargrill, Hervey Bay scallops, fresh shucked oysters & seasonal salads. Ben would be successful in producing a standard amongst his team that would see the restaurant running at its capability nightly.
The next change came 4 years ago with the move to Melbourne's south east. Ben seeked out work alongside celebrity chef Barry Iddles between three of his four very busy restaurants in Victoria. He would very quickly work his way up the ranks & run 2 of the electric seasonal kitchens with the ever growing high modern standard Barry & Ben would love to boast. Working the very busy Elk @ Falls Creek branded restaurant amongst the alpine regions where he maintained a high standard consecutively for 3 years running.
Which brings us to now, Ben has taken over the lease at the Beachcombers Restaurant with his partner Shannon. Their aim, to implement a "Fresh is Best" style. Supporting local and trying hard to challenge the competition in the area to match & produce their very best standards. Variety on the menu is made to marry in with the style of the restaurant & area as he reflects the local and FNQ produce. His passion for food & support of his close team will be what stands his food & service out in the area.
A Great Pour
Growing up in Adelaide's Gateway to the barossa valley gave Shannon a taste for the finer wines. Small festive wine tours to wineries such as the best reds of 2019's Bird in Hand, Pikes wines of the Clair Valley & the well renowned Jacobs Creek. Shannon had noticed a real passion arose for fine tasting wines of the region. This knowledge of local wines has grown as she has live & traveled upon some of victoria best selling vine yards. Tasting from crops among the Bellarine Peninsula with their lovely crisp Baie white wines to the locally produced beer at the Mornington Peninsula Brewery.
Given the opportunity to work in the hospitality industry Shannon has shown her dedication to the art of the industry. A start in a smart busy wine and fine food restaurant helped Shannon express her knowledge of the wines she had grown around.
"I feel I have had a good introduction to the work force working in some of the highest rated and reviewed restaurants around the Victoria region" .
she is not only trained in aspects of wine but thrives and holds a vast knowledge with all things bar & front of house. She is a force to reckoned with when it comes to maintaining a high speed standard amongst the quality in beverage flow.
When it comes to service, being responsible for mixing drinks at the prime minister private events in Toorak is something not many can boast about.
Being a self teacher Shannon knew she could excel in the art of pouring drinks so she put her skills to the test learning as much as she could from her counterparts. Cocktails were the interest visiting many bars and learning from many mixologists along her travels which brought her to this point of her career.
But the skill of pairing flavours in cocktails is only this tip of the ice cube. Shannon managed up to 13 staff, 3 security & 3 separate bars at the venue Sporting Globe, with up to 19 beers on tap. Her RSA saw her manage the establishment effectively and pouring the sporting globes famous 2Lt beer towers consistently with her time there.
Managing the flow of food from some wealthy private functions this robust woman knows how to throw a party! From serving at million dollar events to hosting at the more confidential Bat mitzvahs shannon is known to be a lot of fun. The standard in which the food she would present to people has been world leading and by observing some of Australia's best on silver platters shannon is ever engaged in the quality of food being served at the restaurant.
We are so lucky to have such a passion involved in the turnover of our products here at Beachcombers Restaurant, taking something so simple and applying some care, creating something so special.
This positive, bubbly personality is driven about her alcohol but by no means an alcoholic, so when your around our way next pick her brains about her vast knowledge of all things groggy.