This month, Supernormal welcomed a new Head Chef to the kitchen, Perry Schagen, bringing with him years of culinary experience. Formerly Executive Chef at the Graham in Port Melbourne, Schagen has a long-standing friendship with Andrew McConnell, having worked together at Circa the Prince. Perry has introduced some delicious new additions to the winter menu, which we can’t wait to try! We took a few minutes to chat with Perry about his background, inspiration and favourite winter foods.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and your journey to becoming the new head chef at Supernormal?
Originally from Perth, I moved to Melbourne in 2000 and since have worked at Circa, Taxi Dining Room and a stint at The Graham before taking a few months off to wait for the right job to come along.
Throughout the years has your inspiration and influences changed with your approach to food?
Yes, 15 years ago fine dining consisted of overworked food and luxury ingredients. Now I prefer to work with simple, super fresh, seasonal, local produce as much as possible letting the product shine.
What has been the inspiration behind this new winter menu?
Generally whatever vegetables are in season is what gives us our inspiration, and anything slow cooked and warm.
What can we expect when dining from the new winter menu at Supernormal?
Currently we are using mustard greens, lots of radish and eggplant. We’re slow cooking beef cheek with pepper glaze and sesame eggplant puree at the moment and it is delicious. We have a new favourite on the dessert menu with our pear & ginger pudding – made using crystalized ginger and wintery spices.
Are there any dishes from the winter menu that are complete standouts and you think will be a favourite?
The Cauliflower baked with miso and Furikake is pretty popular at the moment, as well as the Pear and Ginger Pudding.
Last but not least, what’s your favourite winter guilty pleasure (food wise)?
I really enjoy ice-cream in winter. I’ve been getting into the Gelativo Coffee gelato at the moment
Supernormal accepts bookings for lunch Monday to Sunday from 11am for groups of any size and bookings for dinner Monday to Sunday from 6pm for groups of 6 or more. This month Supernormal are also running a pop-up matcha tea bar for two weeks only. Read more about it here.
Where: Supernormal, 180 Flinders Lane