Chef Brook Petrie brings a keen interest in paddock to plate cooking and a flair for quirky modern British cuisine to his role as head chef The Commoner restaurant.
We chat to him about the restaurant, his inspiration and discover some of his amazing recipes!
Where did you grow up? Auckland, New Zealand
When did you realise you wanted to be a chef? When I started kitchen handing at 17 but I always loved to cook with my Mum.
What does it take to be a successful chef?Well, first of all I think you really need to love cooking as the hours are long and hard! You also need to have a decent grasp on chemistry as most of it is scientific.
Which chefs have had the biggest influence on you and your career? Peter Gordon taught me about tastes & Christine Manfield taught me about striving for a constant level of perfection.
What is unique about The Commoner? It’s so inconspicuous and ever changing, first time diners have no idea what to expect, regulars are constantly surprised. We like to keep people guessing!
What is your signature dish? I try not to have one as we change the menu so much but if I had to pick it’s probably our house cured charcuterie.
Tell us about these “movie inspired menus"?!
Well we’ve taken some cult classics and blended in a culinary feel. I’m excited about all of them but most looking forward to ‘Whisky Business’.
Who or what inspires you in the kitchen? Food and the people who taught me how to use it. I’ll quite often have three different chefs in my ear helping me create something.
Describe your ‘ultimate’ meal. My ultimate meal has already happened I think, at ‘The French Laundry’ in Napa. I very much doubt anything can top that!
What is one question people are always asking you? Well it’s not technically a question but people often say ‘Oh you’re a chef, it must be so stressful’, I wonder if people say that to stock brokers?!
What ingredient are you obsessed with right now? Fennel pollen. I recently made a rabbit, fennel pollen & port salami.
What are your top tips for home cooks? Break away from what recipe books are telling you, the best home cooks I know take the concept of a recipe and adapt it to what they feel like eating.
Describe your perfect day off. A sleep in, a good coffee, a bbq and beers at a mates house, dinner at the Station Hotel.
Here are a few of Brook's recipes from the Commober menu you can try at home -
Find out more about the movie-inspired menus HERE
Find out more about The Commoner at www.thecommoner.com.au