Perth Curated: Jed Gerrard, Wildflower, Post And Petition
As executive chef of Perth's best restaurants, Gerrard champions local and native cuisine. Here is how he spends his free time in the city.
He has travelled the globe to cook in some of the world’s culinary capitals, but Jed Gerrard’s biggest gastronomic inspiration is his home – Western Australia.
Born in the small West Australian country town of Balingup, Gerrard spend his early years living a farming life, before relocating to New Zealand with his family at age seven. With an apprenticeship and cheffing experience in Canada, Sydney, and a two-Michelin star restaurant in Normandy, under his belt, 32-year-old Gerrard has now come full circle.
“I love Perth. It’s so easy to get around, and obviously the beaches are amazing. I like to spend time outdoors at the beach, surfing, or even diving off Rottnest when I have the time.
“When I came to Perth two and a half years ago, I went out to explore every restaurant, bar and cafe imaginable. For the last few years, I have been working hard in the kitchen.
“I think the food scene in Perth is still very up and coming, but in saying that, it is also very unique as we are so isolated from the rest of the world. I think we have a very unique flavour here in Perth, which is quite special.”
As a driving force behind the recognition and use of native West Australian flavours in the Perth dining scene, Gerrard is celebrated for seamlessly incorporating them into his refined menu. He is passionate about showcasing the best of what the state has to offer.
Wildflower’s unapologetically Western Australian menu follows the six Noongar seasons, carefully navigated after consults with local Noongar elders. For Gerrard, this means rewriting his menu six times a year to reflect nature and seasonal foraged goods.
“My cooking is definitely inspired by the Noongars who are the traditional owners of the land. I look to their ways of survival, and their harvesting and gathering of the natural ingredients in the south west, for ideas.”
A proud ambassador for all things West Australian, Gerrard opens up to let us in on some of his favourite spots to eat, drink and enjoy Perth.
The best cocktails
“I don’t go out a lot these days because I am so busy at work, but somewhere like The Standard is really good. I really like whisky based cocktails, so I quite like the cocktails they make at the Dominion League. The bar under The Trustee – Bobèche – is really nice too”
The best places for cheap eats
“There is a Pho place out near my house that I like. I can’t remember the name of it, but it is a little place out Wangara way. There is a Vietnamese hub out there with a heap of good cheap eats.
“I also used to go to a little Malaysian place called Tak Chee House in Northbridge. They do good Hainan chicken rice there.”
The best comfort foods
“The Hot Star place is amazing! Taiwanese Hot Star Chicken. They do oversized bits of chicken… almost like a massive fried chicken schnitzel that you can just chomp on. Propeller in North Fremantle does good Turkish style pizzas and stuff like that too.”
The best places to celebrate a special occasion
“For me personally, it would be somewhere like Long Chim which is downstairs from us. Even St Michael – the old Jackson’s – if I want to do a casual sort of tasting menu. Bread in Common is a great relaxed place to celebrate, too.”
The best coffee
‘There is a place called Standby Espresso in Mt Lawley, out the back of Fresh Provisions. That is my local go-to. I will go get a coffee, and an éclair or something, from Chu Bakery in Highgate sometimes too. Also, Telegram in our building is amazing. They do a fantastic job. Luke is coffee obsessed!”
The best free experiences
‘They are all outdoor experiences; definitely on the top of the list is Kings Park – it is awesome. It is an oasis in the city, and I also love the ties that it has to the Noongar and Indigenous community. There is heaps of native flora and fauna up there. It is really cool.
” Also, the walks up in the Perth hills. I can’t remember the exact names of my favourite trails but I quite like going up there and walking. You overlook the city so it is pretty cool.
“By the Swan River in Maylands there are wetlands, which are also fun to explore.”
Published 04 September, 2017