Asked about the inspiration for the recipes she's put together, Rita Macali pauses, unwilling - or even unable - to give just one answer to the question. Macali, the chef who drew a legion of fans at Melbourne's Ladro, now chef and co-owner (with partner Giovanni Patane) of Supermaxi, believes many things come together to inspire her.
"Good people inspire me," she says. "People like my mum and my dad and my grandmother who always made sure we ate good food at home, but also people I've worked with like Guy Grossi and Tansy Good. I'm also influenced by memory, of places I've travelled and the flavours I've tasted. I tend to daydream about the places I've been and the dishes I've eaten and then I try and replicate those dreams. They're like flavour memories."
Supermaxi, 305 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North, Vic, (03) (03) 9482 2828.