At just 32 years of age, Shane Delia is one of Melbourne’s most innovative chefs.
Opening his much awarded first restaurant Maha in February 2008, Shane has excited diners with his fresh Mediterranean approach to Middle Eastern cuisine.
Shane prides himself on his original culinary style that stems from the eclectic influences that have surrounded him both personally and professionally.
Growing up in a large Maltese family, food was more than just a meal; it was a chance for the whole family to gather around and enjoy a meal and each other’s company. This shared dining experience is something that Shane has mastered in his venues.
Early on, and with the influence of relatives who worked with food, Shane realised that he wanted to translate his love for food and hospitality into something tangible.
He undertook his apprenticeship at le Restaurant at the Hotel Sofitel and excelled in his career progression.
By the age of 21 Shane was appointed sous chef of Eleonore’s at Chateau Yering in the Yarra Valley. In February 2003 Shane was promoted to Executive Chef at Eleonore’s becoming Australia’s youngest executive chef of a 5 star property in Australia. (Eleonore’s is recognised as one of Country Victoria’s finest Hotels and a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux chain).
Through travel and family experiences Shane became aware of the many similarities between his own Maltese upbringing and culture, with those of his inherited Middle Eastern neighbours across the Mediterranean.
He began to investigate the origins of Maltese cuisines history and experimented with fusing Middle Eastern and Maltese food, with the outcome being the ideology behind Maha.
His love for food and family is at the centre of what makes Maha extraordinary. Blending his classical training and his passion for honest, fresh and innovative Middle Eastern cuisine, Shane’s “maha cooking” is captivating.
Since opening, Maha’s reputation as a culinary delight has excelled, both with diners and food critics, with the restaurant awarded One Chef’s Hat consecutively since 2009 by The Age Good Food Guide.
Maha was also named ‘Specialty Cuisine Restaurant’ at the Australian Restaurant and Catering Awards in 2009.
Shane’s rise in the culinary world continues with the opening of his second restaurant in Melbourne, St Katherine’s with business partner George Calombaris.
St Katherine’s embraces a contemporary sharing style menu, with a melding of Modern Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cultures and food. Defined by its custom made Turkish coal- fuelled grill and a wood fired oven, St Katherine’s is the place where the long time friends are bringing together their family histories, cultures and cuisines.
In addition to his restaurants, Shane’s new TV program Shane Delia’s Spice Journey will air on SBS in 2013. In this brand new series, Shane journeys on a gastronomic pilgrimage that will trace the development of Middle Eastern cuisine, seeking out its authentic origins and flavours.
Shane’s unique culinary techniques and creativity with food, along with his cheeky nature and quick wit make for great viewing.
Shane’s first cookbook Maha Middle Eastern Home Cooking was released on 31 October, 2011.
Shane also uses his profile to help raise awareness of two causes that are close to his heart.
As the proud father of his daughter Jayda, and son Jude, family is a focus for Shane, which has lead him to take on the role of Ambassador for OzChild.
In addition to this, Shane has recently become an Ambassador for the Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation.
This affiliation is reflected in the menu at Maha, affiliated with Registered Halal suppliers, and offering a full Vegetarian menu.
Awards & Achievements
Shane awarded Australian Young Achiever of the Year 2012 from Restaurant and Catering Australia Ambassador – Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation
Ambassador – OzChild since 2009
Maha awarded One Chefs Hat by The Age Good Food Guide, 2013
Maha awarded Three Wine Glasses in Australia’s Wine List, 2012
Maha awarded One Chefs Hat by The Age Good Food Guide, 2012
Maha awarded Three Wine Glasses in Australia’s Wine List, 2011
Maha awarded One Chefs Hats by The Age Good Food Guide, 2011
Maha awarded One Chefs Hats by The Age Good Food Guide, 2010
Maha awarded One Chefs Hats by The Age Good Food Guide, 2009
Maha named ‘Specialty Cuisine Restaurant’ at the Australian Restaurant and Catering Awards, 2009 Maha named ‘Specialty Cuisine Restaurant’ at the Victorian Restaurant and Catering Awards, 2009 Maha named ‘Best New Restaurant’ at the Victorian Restaurant and Catering Awards, 2008