Tony Tan is one of Australia’s most respected culinary teachers and chefs in Chinese, Nonya, Indonesian, Korea, Cambodian Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Singaporean, Malaysian and cross-cultural cooking.
Tony has been guest chef at innumerable international restaurants, was Creative Director – Cultural – of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, and writes regularly for several publications in Australia including Australian Gourmet Traveller, Alquimie and The Age.
With nearly 20 years in operation, Caterina’s Cucina e Bar is a Melbourne icon. The restaurant, led by Caterina Borsato of the Regional Italian Cuisine television series, has dedicated years to turning out sophisticated, traditional Italian lunches with a bow to modernism, and shows no sign of slowing down.
Pat Nourse is the chief restaurant critic and deputy editor of Gourmet Traveller. He heads the voting panel in Australia for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and has written about food for a variety of international publications. Last time he was in Rome he ate a pasta carbonara every day for a week.
A master of his craft, Johnny Di Francesco was recently named the best in the world at The 2014 World Pizza Championships in Parma. His accolades have earned him the nickname ‘Mr. Pizza’ in his home country, and Johnny is known amongst Australian food lovers as one of the best in the business. Johnny’s passion for Italian cuisine draws from traditional techniques, with his family originating from Naples.
Johnny spent much of early 2014 overseas representing his home country in several events. The owner of the iconic 400 Gradi visited Paris, Las Vegas and Parma to share his knowledge and put his stamp on the international pizza domain. Johnny took out the number one spot at The World Pizza Championship this year for best STG (Specialita’ Tradizionale Garantita), pizza, this was a monumental achievement and career highlight. Closely following his win, Johnny opened his second restaurant, Gradi at Crown.
Johnny’s dedication has awarded him the coveted role of Australasian Principal of V.P.N, an international association based in Naples dedicated to protecting and promoting authentic Neapolitan Pizza. Johnny is invited around the world to judge pizza making, when he’s not cooking or judging, he can be found working the pizza ovens at his restaurants, holding masterclasses, or giving demonstrations at festivals around the country.
Francesco Rota is a fiercely passionate cook, born and raised in Modena he values fresh produce and simple cooking. His impressive resumes includes stints at Michelin Star restaurants in Italy as well as time in some of Melbourne’s more notorious eateries (Da No, Circa). Whilst working alongside Luca Flammia as head chefs of The Tea Rooms of Yark, the duo managed to bring not only a hat but best country restaurant to their name. Coming to Australia brought with it an opportunity for Rota to show us what true Italian food is truly about, celebrating the seasons and refining the classics.
Hailing from Modena he grew up in the kitchen before going to cooking school at age 14. Working alongside chef Francesco Rota in Italy as well as in Melbourne, Flammia is the pasta maker of the two. Making deliciously silky doughs and complimenting them with rich ragu’s, seafood bisques and buttery sauces is his speciality. When I asked why he loves pasta he replied, its simple… I know they’re gonna love it.
Daniel Tonin has hospitality in his blood. His family opened ‘Mamma Vittoria’ in Collingwood in 1982 and ‘Pasta Classica’ in 1992. Daniel spent his school holidays as a child helping out in the restaurant, and quite literally grew up making pasta.
Daniel left his BioMedical degree at university and travelled to Italy to search for industrial pasta equipment and whilst in Como, Daniel helped create the design for a new machine to produce Tortelloni that sold thousands of units. Daniel’s flair for creativity is evident, marrying unexpected ingredients to produce taste sensations that have Melbourne’s top chefs raving, and his father describing him as an artisan and genius.
When a young girl and her family move from Sicily to Australia, it is a surprisingly small step in kitchen miles. The tablecloth and stockpot are the same, Shop cardoons and fennel still grow wild by the railway line and the extended family and neighbours gather to make salami in the barn once a year.
News Rosa Mitchell’s food is very special: simple, traditional, lovingly prepared and utterly authentic. Her thoughts on life, both Australian and Sicilian, are scattered among the recipes like biscotti crumb.
Yandoit is where Rosa has her farm which provides much of the produce to her Kitchen and Canteen.
Yandoit and Yandoit Hills (130 kms northwest of Melbourne) were settled by Northern Italians and Swiss Italians in the late 1850s. They constructed significant stone houses and developed the farming practises of their homeland that included dairying, vegetable and fruit growing, butter and cheese making and viticulture and winemaking.
Luca Ciano, born and raised in Milan has had a stellar career as a chef in Milan, London and Sydney. He’s a celebrated pasta maker and started Casa Barilla cooking school. Based on regional Italian gastronomy, showcasing the breadth of Italy’s cuisine, he has shared this concept around Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Luca is a contributor for the Australian BBC Good Food Magazine and consults for restaurants, magazines and Italian brands in Australia and around the world.
Born in Benevento in 1970, Carmine Costantini has devoted his life to food since the age of 13, beginning as a kitchen hand and gradually learning the trade in his town’s pizza shops and restaurants. At 16 he moved to Modena, where he continued to pursue his passion, working for some of the most sought after restaurants in the district.
From 2002 Carmine successfully participated in many cooking contests with the Professional Association of Italian Chefs, including the IKA/World Culinary Olympics 2004 in Erfurt where his team won a bronze medal. In 2005 Carmine came to Australia, and liking what he saw decided to stay in Melbourne. After working as Head Chef at the renowned Caffè e Cucina, followed by roles at Tea Rooms of Yark and Stefano’s in Mildura, in December 2010 Carmine decided to open his own restaurant Osteria la Passione in the heart of Richmond, Victoria.