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.
Hailing from New Zealand, Brook started out his career as a chef at the Auckland Institute of Technology. True to New Zealand’s food philosophy, Brook was instilled with the importance of fresh, seasonal produce. Brook’s subsequent training as a chef included posts at famed Auckland seafood restaurant Hammerheads and Wellington’s acclaimed Icon restaurant at Te Papa Museum. After leaving New Zealand in 2002, Brook’s extensive travels saw him take up chef positions at a number of internationally acclaimed restaurants including clocking up over four years at Peter Gordon’s Providores in London. Time spent at Christine Manfield’s dynamic East West in London and Michelin-starred Public Restaurant in New York helped Brook hone his talents for producing eclectic, global cuisine.
Now at The Commoner, Brook aims to excite guests with food that is both comforting and quirky. Drawing inspiration from his travels around the world and experience in some of the world’s best kitchens, Brook shakes up classic British dishes with a contemporary edge. The Commoners regularly evolving ‘small plates’ allow Brook to introduce ingredients and flavours that extend the culinary vocabulary. Curious combinations such as baked smoked eel cutlets, sliced hard boiled egg halves wrapped in polenta and apple chutney, and crostini with fresh with anchovy and red peppers are quirky dishes delivered with a delicate hand and tempered with a traditional British charm. Brook’s generous charcuterie boards, another European favourite, are quickly becoming one of his signatures.
Brook’s fondness for organic game and poultry sees the main menu abundant with hearty meat dishes, many of which are cooked in The Commoner’s bespoke woodfire oven. Pork, sage and cider sausages with champ and sticky onions is traditional fare, taken to the next level with fat, juicy house-made sausages on a buttery bed of mash. Brooks desserts are equally surprising, such as the deeply satisfying Brown ale pudding with Salted Caramel, which showcases Brook’s style at best.
The Commoner is located at 122 Johnston Street Melbourne VIC 3065. Phone 03 9415 6876. www.thecommoner.com.au/