Trader House – Andrew McConnell
Cultivating two decades of Melbourne culinary culture
Andrew McConnell’s Trader House establishments have become integral to Melbourne’s contemporary dining scene, most notably in 2008 with the iconic Cumulus Inc – a renowned moment in the transformation of the city's culinary culture.
After over twenty years leading restaurants, McConnell now oversees a collection of eight ventures under the Trader House umbrella – including Cumulus Inc and Cumulus Up, Meatsmith, Marion, Cutler & Co, Supernormal, Gimlet, Morning Market, and Handmade.
It starts with the plate
Over the many years we’ve been working together, McConnell’s briefs have been rich and varied – reflective of the many spaces he’s created. No matter what the brief is though, one thing always remains the same – our creative process begins with understanding the food on the plate.
Effectively our north star, everything we create is designed to complement the spirit of that dish – whether it’s a perfectly round lobster roll, a warm flatbread designed for sharing or the best steak you’ve ever tasted. From there, we build out a complete experience – developing naming, signage, material palettes, art direction, printed materials, and the integration of the finer touch points such as entry experience, artwork, table settings and bathrooms – always ensuring we embody the quality that underlines all of McConnell’s cooking.
A family of individual
All the ventures under the Trader House umbrella are individual brands, each with their own distinct character. While the brands are unique, we’ve ensured they all share the same underlying commitment to exceptional food and service that’s integral to Trader House.
That’s why, whether you’re enjoying the old-world grandeur of Gimlet, sharing a glass of wine on a Sunday afternoon at Marion, or shopping for the best ethically raised protein at Meatsmith – even if you can’t see the connection to Trader House, you can feel it (and taste it) in the commitment to quality that flows throughout every aspect.
Creating Melbourne’s food culture
Over the last twenty years, McConnell has used his uncanny understanding of how Melbourne likes to dine to define the city’s food culture. As a result, Trader House is now one of the most lauded hospitality groups in Australia.
In 2022, Trader House’s latest restaurant Gimlet was the only Australian restaurant to be recognised by the World’s Best Restaurants with a global ranking 0f 84. While in the 2023 The Age Good Food Guide, Trader House secured a total of seven chef hats across its many restaurants.
It’s a testament to Trader House and McConnell’s vision to create experiences that feel intrinsic to Melbourne’s renowned food culture.