Chef, Marcello Farioli owns and runs Maccheroni, a cosy Italian restaurant in Woollahra.
He's won an 2019 Informal Italian Restaurant of the year award for his dining experience at Maccheroni, so Marcello knows all about creating a relaxed atmosphere while serving some incredibly tasty Italian food.
We caught up with the chef to find out what makes him tick...
Why did you want to become a chef?
I’ve always been drawn to the kitchen since a young age. When I was little (and as is tradition in Italy, particularly in Reggio Emilia where I grew up), every Sunday the whole family would congregate in the kitchen and get stuck in creating pasta parcels (cappelletti) under the supervision of our Nonna.
I began working as a waiter whilst at university, where my curiosity and love for the hospitality industry grew, and later led me to enrol at the prestigious Alma Scuola di Cucina Italiana in Colorno, Parma (Italy) where I was schooled in the art of modern Italian cuisine!
Who is your biggest industry inspiration?
Italian Chef Giovanni D’Amato. I worked with him for 2-years in Italy when he had the 2-Michelin Star Restaurant, Il Rigoletto. As my mentor, he took me under his wing and helped to elevate my professional skills as a chef! Giovanni knows exactly how to combine ingredients to create something new. Flavour and the balance of flavours is in his DNA, which he has been using in the kitchen for the past 23 years. He has the gift of an artist and his dishes are like little works of art: interesting to look at and captivating to eat.
What’s your go-to kitchen appliance?
A sous vide cooker. It was one of the first pieces of high-end kitchen equipment I brought before launching I Maccheroni. It can be tricky to master at first but does produce results you can’t achieve through any other cooking technique – flavoursome foods that are moist, juicy and tender!
Favourite ingredient to cook with and why?
Pasta, pasta and pasta! It’s the love of my life!
What is your career highlight so far?
Opening I Maccheroni in 2016, which was also recently awarded the 2019 Informal Italian Restaurant of the year accolade at the NSW Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence. It’s always a joyous feeling to be recognised for your hard work!
What staple meal do you cook regularly at home?
Ricotta gnocchi with tomato and basil for me and the kids every Monday – the simple things in life are often the best!
Can you tell us about the worst cooking blunder you’ve ever had?
A few years back whilst working for a restaurant in the CBD I took the emergency stairwell to carry 10 litres of hot chicken stock up to the next level cool-room as a shortcut to finish earlier. I slipped and the stock went everywhere! Having to mop up stock from 4-levels of stairs late into the night was a nightmare, but a lesson well learnt.