Brendan Speed's passion for food has taken him around the world, but now his attention is focused on the Woolshed - a venue which mostly hosts weddings and offers a traditional menu.By Ashleigh Williamson
Brendan Speed remembers following his parents to a Christmas party at a Chinese restaurant in Shepparton aged 12.
Mr Speed decided then he wanted a career in food.
‘‘We had a full Chinese banquet and I remember watching that food go around,’’ he said.
‘‘The colours, the flavours and textures — that’s what really ignited my passion (for food).’’
Mr Speed, his brother William and their niece Katy started operating The Woolshed in Kialla on October 10.
The trio provides the function centre at Emerald Bank with extensive food industry experience.
Mr Speed attended Lemnos Primary School before moving to Merimbula for secondary school.
He returned to Shepparton from working at a five-star hotel in Tanzania and has also worked in Istanbul and London.
William did his chef training in Shepparton in the 1970s before opening a restaurant in Gippsland.
He then started a mobile catering company and was a restaurant consultant in Melbourne and eastern Victoria during the 1990s.
Katy went to school in Echuca and was a chef saucier for Hyatt Hotels and leading golf clubs around Australia before starting a mobile catering company in Merrigum.
Mr Speed trained Katy for three years at the Hyatt in Canberra.
Katy is the chef, William is the general manager and Mr Speed runs the floor at the Woolshed, which mostly hosts weddings and offers a traditional menu.
‘‘We do have a lot of options for a bit more modern and international flavour,’’ Mr Speed said.
‘‘If a guest comes to us wanting a particular menu or style (of food), we can deliver that.
‘‘We’re just focusing on looking after the customers we’ve had in the past that we still do business with.’’
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