Overall, the culinary scene in Melbourne is currently very innovative and in some cases somewhat ahead of the possibilities in Europe. Guests are more open-minded, but above all the strong international influences, especially from Asia, give creative chefs many more options and scope for creativity.
This is fortunate for modern chefs in Australia: diners appreciate good products and elaborate presentations and are more willing to honor this financially, Simo reports. On the other hand, the working hours are much harder than in Europe and the competition is high.
The local produce is exciting: kangaroo, wallaby and fancy seafood can be found on many menus – and also regularly in Simo’s dishes. In addition, there are a variety of great herbs, vegetables and fruits that are available virtually all year round.
In particular, he misses reindeer, Finnish dairy products and the typical flavors from the great Nordic forests the most Down Under.
Simo always approaches new dishes with an idea for aromatics first. Then come the colors that could play a role, the products, the question of how the guest handles the plate, then the smell and finally, of course, the question of implementation.
Simo reveals that the most important thing is attitude. The dedication to work and the constant focus on what you are currently working on. It starts with the little things: Does the apron fit properly, are the knives sharp? Only when the details fit can an outstanding result be achieved.
He takes his photos exclusively with an iPhone 6, paying special attention to the light. Whenever possible, he uses daylight in combination with a neutral background, preferably a white one.
Instagram has also become a constant source of inspiration for Simo and his window out into the culinary world.