St Ali welcomes chef Andy Hearnden to the family

Head Chef Andy Hearnden has taken up residency at St Ali’s South Melbourne café.

Prior to taking his position at St Ali, Andy worked at a number of Melbourne restaurant institutions, including Entrecôte in Melbourne’s CBD and Gill’s Diner. He also completed a six-year stint in England working across London’s trendiest areas such as Shoreditch and Notting Hill. The New Zealand native however, has now firmly planted his roots in Melbourne with the St Ali Family.

With the rapid pace St Ali operates on a daily basis, Andy says the transition from restaurant to café environment has been a welcome change.

“The fast-paced café environment is quite a change. I’ve never worked anywhere as busy as St Ali before. The sheer volume of covers we are preparing at a high standard goes without saying at St Ali, and has been a challenge.” he said.

Andy’s first task was creating new menu items to stimulate the palette of St Ali regulars. Reflecting his time spent abroad while using quality local produce, the menu keeps within the St Ali ethos that is uniquely Victorian.

Highlights from Andy’s newly designed autumn menu includes a succulent the Smoking Pig with Palligo Estate smoked kaiserfleisch bacon steak, roasted cauliflower puree, fried duck egg, balsamic jus, borage flowers.

Other items influenced from Andy’s time in London include the Black Egg, with black pudding Scotch egg with fennel puree, pollen, compressed apple and crispy pigs ear salad, the Clean Eating salad, and make-your-own Beat Mode Bloody Mary. This dish consists of Ketel one vodka, house made tomato juice, horseradish, basted sauce, St Ali royal with cheese slider, dill pickle, pickle onion, devils on horseback, and celery.

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