As The FCC’s new head chef, Bill Shaw brings a lot of experience to the job. The Liverpool, England, native first got his start learning how to be chef about 35 years ago while still in his teens.
“I am now 50 years old and I have been a chef since I was 15,” says Shaw, who started working at the FCC Phnom Penh late last year.
As a kid Shaw loved helping out in his family’s kitchen, and he points to those early experiences as propelling his adult passion for food
“When I was a kid I was lucky to have a grandmother and a mother who loved to cook, so I think it was just helping them when I was a kid,” Shaw says. “And when I left school I was looking for a trade, so I went to catering school and just liked what I was doing, so that’s how it all started.”
Shaw’s first job as a chef was at the Gleneagles Hotel, a five-star luxury hotel near Auchterarder, Scotland, where he worked for eight years.
Shaw soon developed an appetite for change. He packed his bags and went to Saudi Arabia, where worked spent time as a chef at a Holiday Inn.
Shaw eventually returned to the UK, working in the kitchen of the QE2 ocean liner and at the Horsted Place, a 16-room hotel in London.
But it wasn’t long before Shaw once again got the itch to travel. This time he headed for Australia. He worked in kitchens in the Regent and Park Lane hotels in Sydney before settling down to a job that saw him managing a large bakery for about two years.
In Australia, Shaw’s career path took a turn when he landed a job in the research-and-development side of the food industry. He worked for Sara Lee and later Michel’s Pattisserie, the latter of which has 400 bakery-style outlets in Australia.
Other research and development jobs followed before Shaw decided to move back to the UK, where he took a job looking after catering events for a large bank.
But it wasn’t long before he felt the urge to get back in the kitchen.
“I missed the kitchen so that’s why I went back to becoming a chef,” he says. Shaw returned to Australia and worked as a sous chef in Western Australia before moving to Queensland, where he was a group executive chef at a hotel for three years.
He then came to Cambodia to take a position as executive chef for FCC Hotels and the Café Fresco outlets. And Shaw has been keeping himself busy in his new position.
“I have just put a new menu in at all Café Frescos and a new line of cakes and pastries. Right now I am working on the new menu for the FCC — which will be coming soon.”