maître d’ - Cumulus Inc., Melbourne
Written by Georgina Strain, urbanwalkabout.com
Olympic host 1956
It’s not difficult to bring celestial into the everyday when you combine the talents of Andrew McConnell, Jayden Ong, and Pascale Gomes-McNabb of Cumulus Inc.
Their restaurant venture Cumulus Inc. is lauded for all the right reasons: inventive food, impeccable service, and a light-filled interior that tempers elegance with just the right industrial edge. It’s safe to say that Cumulus Inc. owes its success as much to interior architect and restaurateur Pascale Gomes-McNabb’s rigorous design approach as to her business partner Andrew McConnell’s ability to spin culinary magic. “Opening a first restaurant is always a lifestyle change and Cumulus was the fourth restaurant and the most comprehensive. It was a departure from anything we’d done before,” she offers. That was back in 2008. The pair have since opened Cutler & Co., the dining room and bar housed in a refurbished Fitzroy metalworks factory that Gomes-McNabb cites as one of her personal favourite projects. Balancing sleek, industrial elements with an ambient, worn-in glamour, Cutler & Co. is both trademark Gomes-McNabb and distinctly Melbourne.
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Cumulus Inc.’s revolving menu epitomises the high-end-meets-casual sensibility at the heart of Melbourne dining.
Andrew McConnell is co-owner and head chef of Cumulus Inc., Three, One, Two, and Cutler & Co. Born and bred in Melbourne, McConnell has worked his way through some of its many kitchens, from Maria and Walter’s; Capers; and, more recently, Circa; Cumulus Inc.; and Three, One, Two. Apart from absorbing culinary traditions from the kitchens he has worked for, McConnell has worked abroad focusing his interests on the traditions that inform global cuisine. Much of his food style is based on local products with an innovative twist, whether in technique or by the influence of other cultures. Pascale Gomes-McNabb is the creative force, creating places that combine elegance, warmth, and precise execution and epitomise the art of Melbourne dining.