Il Fornaio: The fresh touch

How does a local eatery keep things fresh? We take a moment with Il Fornaio head chef Simon Turner

A stalwart in Melbourne’s café scene, Il Fornaio in St Kilda has seen plenty of change since opening in 1996, including its own shift to become a more wholesome food destination. Just over a year in the top job, head chef Simon Turner has imbued the long-standing eatery with a considered, community-minded approach to food, and the results are outstanding.

We caught up with Simon to hear how he’s found the last 12 months.

Melbourne is awash with new eateries and food hotspots. What keeps people coming back to Il Fornaio? 

Always keeping it fresh – beyond fads. We give them no option but to have good food. We also focus on offering the guest more choice while maintaining a high level of quality.

Tell us about the influences you have brought in your first year at Il Fornaio?

  • A true belief in the farm to table concept. 
  • A principal of community sponsorship. 
  • An understanding of global impact. 
  • A fresh approach to breakfast – my background has always been in fine dining. 
  • A good training platform for apprentices and the future.  

Il Fornaio is a cafe for people looking for…  

An understanding of the choice to eat healthy or the desire for a little bit of decadence.It’s a unique cafe experience – for example, we offer house-made bread, house-made jams (strawberry and chia, pineapple and goji) and bacon bred to suit our recipes.It’s a tongue-in-cheek, lighthearted approach to the future of serious food directions.

Do you treat food differently at home than at work?  

No, I generally treat food with the same respect wherever I am.

What can we expect to see on the cafe menu this autumn? 

Matcha, breakfast digestive kick-starts, juice pairing with breakfast, less grains and more vegetables, and an overall simplicity. 

 

Recommended reading - Around the world

Community

Why the Mediterranean diet is so good for you

Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos explains why eating Mediterranean-style can make you healthier.

Read more
Travel

9 dishes from around the world

Looking for some international culinary inspiration? Try these 9 dishes from around the world.

Read more
Travel

A lesson in Japanese cuisine

Be magazine learns the secrets to balanced Japanese cooking.

Read more
Travel

Healthy eating around the world

What we can learn from other cultures when it comes to food.

Read more
Travel

4 enticing food-growing regions

Discover pockets of the world where sumptuous local flavours are the trademark.

Read more
In Brief

The Saltiest Chicken Nugget in the World

Alarming results from recent study on salt content in fast food.

Read more
Community

Tastes of the Amazon

Sambazon is an acai company who has a fair trade partnership to protect the Amazon rainforest.

Read more
Travel

3 historic restaurants across Europe

These classic establishments in historic European cities have barely changed in centuries

Read more
Community

Speedy Asian cooking with Marion Grasby

Devoted food traveller Marion Grasby dishes up some advice on creating delicious meals - fast.

Read more
Lifestyle

Marion Grasby on cultural and culinary diversity

Marion Grasby tells us what’s on the menu for her wedding.

Read more
Community

Sevtap Yuce: Cooking from the heart

Simple, fresh food made with love is at the heart of Sevtap Yuce’s newest cookbook, Turkish Fire

Read more
Community

12 food documentaries

These documentaries will show the food you eat in a whole new light.

Read more
Travel

5 cooking classes around the globe

Let your travels infuse your cooking and take home the flavours of a trip.

Read more
Recipes

How to cook with native Australian bush flavours

Interested to try your hand at cooking with native Australian flavours? Here's how.

Read more
Lifestyle

Pickling and preserving – the Nordic way

When it comes to smoking, curing and pickling, the Scandinavians have it right. We show you how

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.