Melbourne born chef, Andrew McConnell, is one of a kind and is bringing new flavour to Melbourne. His inspiration coming from European cooking techniques, his food is often “simple with deliciously juxtaposed elements.” As well as the many accolades under his belt, Andrew has also been honoured as Chef of the Year, twice.
With this particular accomplishment and his ongoing recognition for his unique ability to create unimaginable recipes, he still stands as one of Australia’s most established chefs in the industry.
His ‘fun and flexible’ menus assure guests an exciting experience at his Melbourne restaurants including Marion, Cutler & Co., Cumulus Inc., and supernormal canteen.
McConnell also opened a ‘fancy butchery’, Meatsmith Fitzroy, with Troy Wheeler, in 2015; the reinvented butchery has been described as “more of a meat emporium than standard snag shop” due to its high ceilings and marble finishing’s and with the option to purchase fresh produce and wine to match with your protein.
Chefs in Australia are always attempting to create niche menus for their guests who are hungry for something more.
With fresh, organic vegetables being a hot trend in the culinary industry, it can be difficult for chefs to display themselves as ‘bold and unique’ as well as ‘simple and natural’ at the same time when fighting for the same hero ingredients.
McConnell has consistently maintained, or gone beyond, his extraordinary menus; amplifying taste buds by mixing and matching wild herbs. “Good produce handled thoughtfully, cooked carefully and presented well can evoke pleasurable emotions, not dissimilar to a piece of art,” McConnell tells The Financial Review.
Catering unique and distinct food is vital in the industry if chefs and restaurant owners want their diners to share the good word. In Melbourne’s bohemian suburb of Fitzroy sits Marion, one of McConnell’s most celebrated restaurants. Marion boasts a menu that offers the classics to more alternative dishes to bring an element of surprise to the table.
From small dishes like oysters served with mignonette and lemon to veal tartare, macadamia and preserved cherry, there’s proof that classic and alternative have placed themselves on a fine line; balancing harmoniously. The large dishes are also something to be thankful for on date night or celebrating a special evening with loved ones; the whole roasted flounder complimented with burnt butter, capers and lemon is a standout dish that brings an uncontrollable feeling of wanting more.
The dishes at Marion give diners a sense of curiosity, obsession, and familiarity; we adore the food presented to us and want to know more about the history and the meaning behind the dish, and at the same time we have this feeling of amazing nostalgia, like our mind has imagined these pretend memories of our grandmother creating this food for us when we were children.
The overall vibe is warm and sentimental infused with edgy and modern creativity in an industrial setting; the perfect anachronism to keep a restaurant in good shape and a top player in today’s competitive culinary game.
Expose yourself to Andrew McConnell’s entire range of restaurants and bars in Melbourne here and treat yourself to the flavour you’ve been craving for.
By Claudia Siron