Cooking is not only a passion for Shannon, but it has led her to find love.
The real estate administrator is proof that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach after she seduced the love of her life with a gourmet lunch.
“It’s true, I seduced my fiancé with food!” laughs Shannon, who met Shane five years ago at a real estate course. “We clicked and stayed friends for a while, and after he got back from travelling overseas, he was single and he came over my house to do some repairs for me.
“I told him I’d make him a nice lunch, and he just figured that I’d give him sandwiches, but I made quite an elaborate lamb dish with Middle Eastern spices. He loved it and we got together that day.”
Shane proposed to his budding cook in September last year during a picnic, with the couple temporarily putting their wedding plans on hold while Shannon tries to become Australia’s next MasterChef.
Born on the Gold Coast and growing up in Noosa with her mum, sister, Brooke, 22, and brother Jesse, 16, Shannon led a less than privileged life in housing commission.
Her family weren’t foodies, but Shannon showed interest in cooking from an early age.
“I had to cook, really, out of the necessity to eat good, fresh produce,” says Shannon, who lived with her dad after finishing school. “As much as mum isn’t the gourmet cook, there were a lot of happy memories about food when I was growing up like her roast chicken. She made a cracking roast chook.
“Dad used to do really good stir fries too. My step-mum is Italian and her mum taught me how to make gnocchi.”
When she was 16-years-old, Shannon started working in an organics shop and café.
“The manager encouraged me to immerse myself into food and encouraged me to watch the chefs cook,” she says, adding that Nigella Lawson and Maggie Beer are her favourite cooks. “I actually applied for a bakers apprenticeship around 16 but didn’t get the job. They were worried I couldn’t lift all the heavy sacks of flour. I was interested in food before then, but it kind of knocked me back.”
The pastry and dessert fan has since got her food mojo back, even spending months, and more than 60 eggs, mastering the art of making macarons! She is keen to one day blend her florist studies with the dream of opening a small patisserie café in Gold Coast
“Ever since I’ve been with Shane that I’ve just taught I really want to be around food and I don’t want to be a receptionist or waste my life,” she says.