Our Gourmet Chefs

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The Food Dude proudly presents… Our Gourmet Chefs – Our Culinary Icons,

Taking centre stage right here in our own St Kilda area! This new regular segment profiles St Kilda’s premier Chefs who are contributing to our area’s emerging vibrant food culture!

Chef Profile No. 3 – Captain Baxter’s Danielle Rensonnet and Shaun Clancy

This is the third in a series in which St Kilda Bites features outstanding local Chefs bringing innovative and adventurous cuisine to restaurants in the greater St Kilda area. On this occasion I profile not one but two exceptional talented people that share the Executive Chef mantle at Captain Baxter’s Restaurant, St Kilda Sea Baths. They jointly deserve recognition in our first Gourmet Kitchen expose.

Danielle and Shaun, in addition to sharing a very effective team partnership in the kitchen at the exciting new Captain Baxter, continue their partnership at home in their personal life too! Some would say that this closeness and familiarity could be a recipe for friction, but in this case the absolute opposite occurs; it’s a perfectly harmonious culinary synergy!

Having had two and a half years of rehearsal, travelling and cooking  together throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, they not only bring a predictable understanding of each other’s attributes to the fore but a remarkable cooperation that translates to contented patrons in the dining area.

They also bring considerable experience from their recent trip, and before that in some of Melbourne’s finest restaurants. Working in  Tavernas in the Greek Islands, Spain and all around the Mediterranean, Shaun sometimes on private yachts and Danielle preferring to cook for individual families, has given them both some rich and rewarding cooking adventures that they have brought with them and now reflect  in part at Captain Baxter’s. One such dish that has recently been added to the new menu is the Shaved Cuttlefish; with Sobrasada (a pate style sausage they discovered in their time at Maiorca), charred leaks and parsley – extraordinary! And I know first-hand because I had more than a taste, I am pleased to brag.

Besides the Mediterranean influence that is strong throughout, there is a distinct Thai touch there too in the new menu recently introduced, influenced from Shaun’s time under Master Chef Damien Jones of renowned Vin Cellars in Prahran.

Joint owner of both Republica and Captain Baxter’s, and Executive Chef, Matthew Dawson channels his considerable experience, along with that of Danielle and Shaun, in producing a challenging and  ever evolving menu every month at Captain Baxter.

Danielle and Shaun are part of the new breed of ground breaking and forward looking chefs that are overall contributing to a novel and exciting new food culture, now emerging in the St Kilda area.

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