Julie Adams (a fashion photographer) and Emma Scott (a writer and designer) have a shared love of Italy. And so together they bring to you beautiful, heartfelt, inspiring and often unexpected stories from people all around the world, and their 'affair with Italy'.
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To celebrate the launch of Silvia Colloca's cookbook, Silvia's Cucina, we have one signed copy to give away. For your chance to win post up on our Facebook page your own favourite Italian recipe and let us know why it's so special to you. Winner will be announced on 14.10.2013.
|Jan 2012||Annie||Melbourne, Aus|
|Feb 2012||Mel||Sydney, Aus|
|Mar 2012||Abigail||London, UK|
|Apr 2012||Michael||Dhaka, Bangladesh|
|May 2012||Suzi||Melbourne, Aus|
|June 2012||Christel||Tweed Heads, Aus|
|July 2012||Linda||Chicago, USA|
|Aug 2012||Amanda||Melbourne, Aus|
|Sept 2012||Paddy||Melbourne, Aus|
|Oct 2012||Mary||Ipswich, Aus|
|Nov 2012||Shelley||Preston, UK|
Travel TipsClick to see more.
Pop Up Dining
Join An Affair with Italy and some of the best chefs from around the world for a unique dining experience – superb food and wine, all set in one-off secret locations.
Latest dinner: On Friday evening February 22nd, An Affair with Italy guests arrived at the secret location - diamond and luxury jewellery house, Cerrone - to be greeted by Nick and Carmela Cerrone and their wonderful staff. Guests were invited to explore the stunning showroom and choose a piece of jewellery to wear for the evening. The excitement was contagious; the evening began with a brilliant energy.
To find out more about the dinner, the incredible meal served by Stefano Manfredi and to see photos of the night go to Manfredi Pop Up Dining Experience.
Designer of the MonthCarla Zampatti Click to read about
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About Mia Freedman
- Lived in Florence with three girlfriends for a year after leaving school.
- Began my career doing work experience at Cleo age 19.
- Became editor of Cosmopolitan at 24 and got pregnant three months later.
- Championed the cause of positive body image at Cosmo during the 7 years I was there.
- In 2007 left magazines when I had my second child and launched Mamamia.com.au - a website that covers 'everything women are talking about today'.
- Launched parenting site ivillage.com.au in 2012 to cover what mums are talking about today.
- Together, the sites reach 1.7m women each month and are industry leaders in engaging women online.
- I'm a regular guest on Today and The Project.
- Am married to Jason Lavigne who is also my partner in business and Mamamia's CEO.
- We have three kids aged 16,7 and 5.
- Our dog comes to work with us most days.
About Mia Mia Freedman - journalist, author, blogger, media consultant and founder of Australia's leading women's website Mamamia.com.au
'For me it's about not setting that bar too high and being very honest with myself with what I am capable of. When you have to put up this pretence that you've got your shit together, that's really hard. With the juggle, the balls aren't made of glass, they bounce all the time. I've always got 20 balls bouncing around on the floor!'
Mia Freedman is a huge inspiration to me. She is a smart, stylish, hard-working career woman, highly connected to communicating with the modern woman through her incredibly successful online magazine Mamamia, and yet still manages to find time to include a family with three children. Me, a self-confessed workaholic, who currently co-runs An Affair with Italy, plus the director of a Sydney-based design agency, recently married, has the prospect of children around the corner. I absolutely want the little pitter-patter of tiny feet running through my home but at the same time, the thought of giving up or even compromising my career is devastating for me. I want it all. But can I actually have it all? Most mothers I talk to say ‘no’. I’m told that when you have kids your career will take a U turn. And that’s just life. So, more than anything in the world, I want to know how Mia does it. How does she balance career and family?Read More
Mia's Italian tips:
1. IF YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND WERE TO TAKE OFF FOR A CHILD FREE HOLIDAY IN ITALY, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
We did this about 10 years ago. We went to Positano and the Almalfi Coast. We spent a few nights in Capri but I much preferred Positano. It has more soul. (For rentals on the Amalfi coast try www.villeinitalia.com)
2. IF YOU WERE TO RENT AN APARTMENT IN FLORENCE FOR A FEW MONTHS AND LIVE THE FLORENTINE LIFE, WHICH PART OF FLORENCE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Well I've lived on both sides of the Arno and also in the suburbs. My 'hood' was near the Uffizi so I'd probably be most comfortable there just because I know where the supermarket is! (www.onestepcloser.net is a great family business that can arrange apartment rentals)
3. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND THE PERFECT DAY IN FLORENCE?
Just walking. I'm embarassed to say that I lived almost next door to the Uffizi and I never went inside! I was only 19 and my friends and I were so busy trying to be locals and snubbing everything touristy, we really missed out on seeing so much of the city! I'd probably spend the day visiting the Uffizi, seeing David and just visiting all my old haunts.
4. IF YOU HAD A FEW DAYS IN THE TUSCAN COUNTRYSIDE, WHERE WOULD YOU MAKE YOUR BASE?
Last time we were there we rented a place near Greve with my parents and had such a lovely time - I'd never stayed in the Tuscan countryside before. And my husband and I also spent a great week with the kids in a house in Orvieto which we got to know pretty well.
5. ARE THERE ANY ITALIAN PRODUCTS THAT YOU WOULD LOVE TO SQUEEZE IN YOUR SUITCASE?
Oh my god I wish I could squeeze in Bombolone! Those incredible warm pastries with jam or custard inside. When I lived in Florence, my boyfriend and I would always go home via a bakery and have them freshly baked at 4am.
About Alessandro Pavoni
- Born and Raised in Gardone Val Trompia, near Brescia, Lombardy, Italy. My parents and my brother are still there of course. We try to see each other every year or so, either here or there.
- I started studying cooking when I was 14.
- When I came to Australia on holidays (aged 28) I didn't speak a word of English, and when I met Anna (now my wife) she didn't speak Italian! We fell in love anyway and I moved here permanently in 2003, and I received my citizenship a couple of years ago. We were married in both Australia and Italy.
- I love all sorts of sports, and have usually been into extreme sports, rock-climbing, ice climbing, snowboarding, surfing... but now I'm learning golf!
- I'm an ambassador for Heart Research Australia. Their work has saved my life twice.
'I always ride bikes... I love the feeling of freedom. The problem is that if you give me a bike that does 250km/hr I will do 250. I decided I needed to save myself and get a Harley, with a Harley you don't need to go fast; you already look cool.'
Alessandro Pavoni, executive chef and owner of Ormeggio restaurant at The Spit, Mosman on Sydney’s lower North Shore, is an enormous guy with the personality to match. With a shaven head and foreboding stance, dressed entirely in black motorbike gear, he looks more like a bouncer you might find in one of Kings Cross’s infamous nightclubs than one of Australia’s most revered chefs. But I soon discover, as I sit down to chat with Alessandro, that beyond the tough exterior the man is a pussycat (well mostly!).Read More
Alessandro's Italian tips:
1. IF YOU WERE HEADING BACK TO ITALY, WITH THE SOLE TASK OF RELAXING, WHERE WOULD YOU HEAD TO?
Pezzoro. Pezzoro is where my mamma grew up and we still have our house there in this tiny little mountain village. If everyone is home, there are 60 people who live in the village. It is 1000m above sea level - you rest, you hike, you drink coffee or grappa with the locals, you play bocce, you listen to the silence. Summer or winter, it's fantastic. It's where I feel I'm home in Italy.
2. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IN ITALY?
In Alba in Italy I have had the most incredible dining experiences at a Michelin-starred restaurant called Piazza Duomo. The menu ranges over more than 40 dishes of absolutely incredible cuisine. The chef, Enrico Crippa, is a genius and I’d highly recommend the restaurant to everyone next time they’re in the north of Italy.
For something more rustic, I go to a couple of places regularly when I'm home:
• La Tana (Moderno, Lake Garda) - for the freshwater fish and cuisine of Lake Garda.
• Dosso Alto (Passo Maniva, the mountain pass which joins Val Trompia, Val Sabia and Val Camonica, my 3 valleys) - for classic Lombardian mountain cuisine. Be hungry.
• Al Frate (Brescia) - for a classic Brescian trattoria.
3. WHAT PART OF ITALY REALLY INSPIRES YOU AND YOUR COOKING?
For me the answer has to be Lombardy as this is my region. Each region in Italy has its own cuisine, and you can go sometimes only 20km and the food and recipes will completely change! I'm currently writing a cookbook on Lombardian cuisine and it has been so interesting. Lombardy is so inspiring for me due to its varied climates and geography. You have got the heavy and robust, meat-focused cuisine of the mountains, the almost Mediterranean lightness and seafood of the lakes and the interesting and varied dishes of the plains; all offering something completely different.
My best dishes: Spiedo Bresciano with Storo polenta, cotechino, gallina ripiena...
4. CAN YOU SUGGEST A FABULOUS COOKING SCHOOL OR COOKING TOUR TO DO?
Yes! I host Gourmet Tours to Italy with Accoutrement, in Sydney, Mosman. They are always really fun. I've done one with Stefano Manfredi in Franciacorta/Brescia, and two with Giovanni Pilu in Sardinia and Lake Como. They're really focused on 'behind-the-scenes' type foodie experiences.
The Sydney Seafood School is a wonderful cooking school here in Sydney. They are so organised and professional, and do different types of classes.
5. IF SOMEONE WANTED TO RENT SOMEWHERE AND EXPERIENCE THE 'ITALIAN WAY OF LIFE' WHERE WOULD YOU SUGGEST?
Anywhere in the country that is full of Italians... not full of people chasing the Tuscan dream!
6. FOR THOSE READERS OUT THERE WHO DREAM OF RIDING A MOTORBIKE THROUGH ITALY, CAN YOU SUGGEST THE PERFECT ROUTE?
The lakes regions for sure (Garda, Como, Iseo). The scenery is incredible; the roads vary from tiny little village roads to autostradas to tunnels and galleries through the mountains. And there is always somewhere breathtaking to stop for gelato!
About Silvia Colloca
- I was born and raised in Milan, Italy.
- I am a self-proclaimed food lover.
- Although I have no official cooking training, having been exposed to Mamma and Nonna’s cooking since I was born has to count for something!
- My big brother Giammarco is a chef and has taught me countless tricks of the trade.
- I met my huband Richard while filming Van Helsing in America in 2004 (a film about Dracula).
- I came to Australia for love, following my husband. I love it so much here that I have now become an Australian citizen!
- Both our children are bilingual. And cheeky!
- In spite of my classical singing background, I am a loyal Metallica fan...
- My book, Silvia's Cucina was recently published by Lantern – Penguin Books Australia.
- You can sign up to my blog for delicious authentic Italian recipes on my website, Silvia's Cucina.
'The most exciting thing about travelling is making so many great new friends. Although sometimes they say I am a bit scary. Being Italian naturally I am feisty but it's not just me, it's who we are. We are fiery people, we speak our mind. I thought I had learnt to self edit but obviously not. But that's good, they don't try to cross me because they are frightened (she laughs).'
Julie and I are greeted by a dark-haired Mediterranean beauty, quite out of place in the suburban Northern beaches of Australia. Her home is idyllic; incredible views, pretty garden full of native shrubs and flowers, scattered evidence of a family (a toy car in the living room and a beautifully naive child’s painting on the fridge). So peaceful. Yet so different to Silvia’s personality and professional world.
Silvia is prolific and busy. She is an actress and opera singer. She does films, recitals, opera, musical theatre, concerts and plays. She is an incredible cook, she has her own blog (dedicated to authentic Italian home cooking) and has just launched her first cook book called Silvia’s Cucina. She is passionate, vibrant and feisty (like all good Italians, although I am yet to see this side of her). She is a mum to two gorgeous little boys and is married to one of Australia’s most respected actors, Richard Roxburgh. She is one of those people that you would love to hate (she is so damn good at everything), however, it’s impossible – so warm and ridiculously funny!Read More
Silvia's Italian tips:
1. IF YOU ARE PLANNING A FAMILY SUMMER VACATION IN ITALY IS THERE SOMEWHERE YOU LOVE TO GO?
Richard and I got married in the Tuscan countryside, in a small rural, small castle - Castello di Modanella, nestled amongst olive and lemon groves and vineyards. We have been going back regularly ever since. I can't think of a more romantic, yet family friendly place to stay.
2. BEING A LOVER OF GREAT FOOD – IS THERE A RESTAURANT/TRATTORIA IN ITALY THAT YOU ALWAYS WANT TO VISIT ON A TRIP HOME?
Trattoria Nelle Vigne, in Diano D'Alba, is possibly the most idyllic trattoria on a vineyard I can think of. The food is regional, seasonal and sublime. No menu, they give you what they have. And what they have is, without fail, what you want.
3. IF SILVIA'S CUCINA WAS TO BE A TV PROGRAMME AND YOU HAD TO BASE YOURSELF IN ONE AREA IN ITALY – WHERE WOULD IT BE?
Although I was born and raised in Milan, half my family comes from a small mountainous village in the heart of Abruzzo, Torricella Peligna. The cuisine is simple, honest, rustic and infused into the place is the legacy of strong and feisty Abruzzese women (including those of my family). It is amongst those hills that I would set my dream TV show.
4. IF A LOVER OF ITALIAN FOOD AND WINE WANTED TO RENT SOMEWHERE IN ITALY TO EXPERIENCE THE 'ITALIAN WAY OF LIFE' IS THERE A PARTICULAR VILLAGE/TOWN THAT WOULD BE IDEAL?
Emilia Romagna, half way between Milan and Rome, is one of the greatest regions of Italy. The quality of life, the schools, the food, the wine and the people are a reflection of such a flattering reputation. Richard and I have considered moving the family to Reggio Emilia for a while.... We may well do it, sooner or later...
5. FOR LOVERS OF THEATRE AND THE ARTS CAN YOU SUGGEST AN EXPERIENCE IN ITALY THAT SHOULDN'T BE MISSED?
Italy is bursting with gorgeous old theatres and amphitheatres. I will never forget immersing myself in Verdi's Nabucco in the magical surroundings of Arena di Verona on a balmy summer night... Italy does it so well, I must say!
6. WHEN YOU ARE BACK IN ITALY YOU LOVE TO COOK WITH YOUR MUM. WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO MAKE?
Both Mum and Dad love it when I go back home and bake bread, like the world is about to end! My easy olive oil and beer flat bread (Pizza scima alla birra), is possibly their favourite, to be eaten as is or accompanied by salame, coppa or mortadella.
'An exhibition by Monique Lovering'
Monique Lovering, an artist and art director, was born in England but grew up in Australia. She now lives between four different places - Australia, New Zealand, England and Sicily.
Lovering: "England is my birthplace, and the fabric of my earliest memories. The other three ‘homes’ influence my reading of nature, history and culture."
To read more go to We Love.
'as featured in Vogue'
A recent Italian Summer adventure inspired Photographer Julie Adams to produce a series of large scale floral prints - each named after one of her beloved Italian friends.
This print named Laura is the first in the 'A Floral Series'. Each print is 43 x 43 inches in size, with a limited edition of 10.
"Many of my favourite moments have been basked in Italian backlight with my beautiful friend Laura - this moment was from a week spent in Sutri." Julie Adams
To purchase click here.
About Victoria Hampshire
- I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia.
- Having come from a family of Designers/Creatives, i've always had an interest in all aspects of design from a very young age.
- I studied to be an Interior Designer whilst working at Lello's boutique, 'Mood'.
- My first role as a designer was at 'Merivale', a company that I had dreamt to work for.
- Lello and I designed and opened a restaurant in Potts Point, 'Ego Ristorante Enoteca' our first VHD project.
- After 'Gabriel' was born, we flew to Italy for an Italian Summer and our wedding which was a week long celebration. This turned into an unplanned three and a half years living and working on the Amalfi Coast.
- I now share my time between Italy and Australia with my two sons, Gabriel and Taylor and husband Lello, with whom I run our Interior Design and Architecture Studio - Victoria Hampshire Design.
About Raffaele Lombard
- I was born in Gragnano, Italy, the home of Pasta.
- At 23, I came to Australia and began my story in the world of International Fashion.
- I spent my years managing Marcs, then worked at Robby Ingham and Hermes before deciding to open my own boutique 'Mood', in Paddington.
- After relocating to Italy in 2009, I started sourcing/negotiating with important clients for VHD and began working intensely on many projects over three years.
- I specialise in lighting design for VHD (because of my past as a photographer and being involved in the world of fashion).
Victoria & Raffaele Victoria Hampshire & Raffaele (Lello) Lombard - husband and wife interior design team
'When Lello turns to me and says 'Victoria keep it simple', that's when I lose my cool. I want to realise my vision, I want to give people the best; beyond what they expect. The problem is my ideas are not always simple to realise. And it's poor Lello who has to bring them to life.'
Victoria Hampshire was just 16 years old, a bright-eyed beauty from Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, when by chance she met the man that she now calls not only her husband and father to her two beautiful boys but also her business partner in interior design company – Victoria Hampshire Design.
Lello: “I was the manager at clothing store Marcs in Double Bay, Sydney (back when fashion retail stores were incredibly busy), and so I met all these Eastern Suburbs people who came through the door. One day Victoria walked in, we got talking and to our surprise we had a few friends in common.”
Victoria: “We realised that we were going to the same party that night. I said ‘I’m going to an 18th’ and he said ‘so am I’. (I didn’t believe him at first). He asked if we could go together and we have been together ever since.”
I ask Lello ‘what were your first impressions of Victoria?’
Lello: “Well you know how it is, I was new to the Eastern Suburbs and I was chatting up all the girls as they walked in the door.” (So Italian). “When Marcs opened their doors in Double Bay it was a big thing at the time. The store was so busy.”
I ask Victoria the same question...
Victoria: “I was smitten from the moment I saw him. When Lello gave me a hug for the first time I remember thinking this man is just so lovely. I hoped for more.”Read More
Victoria's Italian tips:
1. CAN YOU NAME 5 THINGS EVERY VISITOR TO CAMPANIA MUST DO?
A) Visit all the Roman ruins: Pompei, Stabiae, Ercolano and Oplonti.
B) Visit the whole Amalfi coast (from Vico Equense all around Nerano and back to Vietri sul Mare).
C) Watch a Napoli Champions League football match.
D) Visit the islands of Capri and also Ischia for its incredible natural thermal baths (be sure to allow 1 day at Negombo)
E) Go to Paestum and while visiting the ruins there stop at one of the many D.O.P. Buffulo Mozzarella Caseificio, order at least 1/2 a kilo and enjoy!!!
2. WHAT IS YOUR ALL TIME FAVOURITE HOTEL ON THE AMALFI / SORRENTO COAST?
I have to say it is 'Relais Blu'. Not just because I designed it, or because the new pool I designed is considered one of the best infinity pools on the Amalfi coast but its location is so unique. There is no other hotel that has a sunset facing Capri and over looking the entire gulf of Naples.
3. FOR A TRAVELLER WHO PREFERS STAYING IN A FAMILY RUN HOTEL OR PENSIONE – CAN YOU SUGGEST ANY BEAUTIFUL RUSTIC PLACES TO STAY?
As a family run Bed & Breakfast, The 'Cubo Apartments' in Vico Equense that we designed (in 2009, our first Italian Project, begun two days after our wedding) offers everything a traveller with a family may need. The Cubo Apartments won an Award in 2011 as the best new small hotel in Italy.
For something a bit more "rustic" or pensione style we sometimes stay at 'Hotel Pupetto' in Positano. Very relaxed atmosphere and well priced for the area, especially as it is located on the beach.
4. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT?
For Michelin Star fine-dining there is no question about it:
'Relais Blu'. Be sure to arrive for 7:30 sunset aperitivo followed by an amazing dinner in front of Capri. It does not get better than this.
Also, Lello's good friend is Gennaro Esposito (2 Michelin Stars) who is considered to be one of the best Italian chefs. His restaurant is a MUST: 'La Torre del Saraceno' in Seiano, Vico Equense.
For casual dinners, hands down we take all our friends to 'Ristorante Mustafa', Marina di Seiano, Vico Equense. The best rustic vibe and food you will ever have with a real Italian summer feeling.
Lunch (by Boat): All the restaurants in Nerano (Il Cantuccio, Lo scoglio, I Sassi, Canzone del Mare) or visit Capri - La Fontelina ai Faraglioni. It is a close call. Nerano wins for food and atmosfere. Capri wins for location.
5. FOR THE SHOPPERS – CAN YOU SUGGEST ANY WONDERFUL SHOPS/MARKETS THEY MUST VISIT?
There are of course excellent shops in this whole area, fashion is always strong and heavily followed by Neapolitans, but what we appreciate the most are the pieces that are true to this area- the 'artisinal' pieces and the craftsmen who make them. Must visit:
A) Ceramics in Vietri sul Mare is where you need to go for the best custom made tiles and ceramic ware. There is often a stunning arabic infusion in the pieces and the shop 'Solimene' is where I sometimes create pieces for my projects. I have now designed my own range of ceramics and sell these via my website.
B) Hand made Sandals - I have adored them for years. My sandal maker is now based in the Capri Palace Hotel in Anacapri. You can't beat them for quality, comfort and style. They are such an essential Italian summer piece. Customised sandals soon to be sold on my website.
C) Gelato, Cakes and Cheeses from 'Gabriele' – in Vico Equense. Italians from far and wide visit this place nightly, often queuing until 2 am in the summer. They are considered the 6th best Gelateria in Italy and are awarded for their original flavours.
6. IF A TOURIST HAD ONE DAY IN NAPLES WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST THEY DO?
A sfogliatella in Via Toledo, an espresso at Caffe`Gambrinus in via Chiaia, shopping in via Calabritto (Chiaia), aperitivo in the "Baretti" in the lanes of Riviera di Chiaia, a Pizza Margherita at Sorbillo ai Tribunali, or maybe two! Enjoy!!
If you are anything like me - packing is a struggle. How do I look chic but be comfortabe, how do I only take three pairs of shoes ... will it be cold... will it be warm... what are the essentials?
When we shot gorgeous Italian fashion stylist Laura Fantacci - wearing a mix of her wardrobe teamed with her favourite J.Crew holiday pieces - she showed us how she takes a stripey tee from day to night, how to make a 'flat' fabulous, how versatile the perfect grey tee can be and how to look effortlessly sophisticated on the beach!
Laura's selection of key J.Crew pieces is perfect holiday packing inspiration - and better still, you can get a daily dose of Laura's fashion expertise by subscribing to her much loved style blog 'Wearing it Today', and right now Laura is offering her subscribers 20% off J.Crew... what more incentive do you need! Enjoy!
To read more go to We Love.
This shoot was for iconic American fashion brand J.Crew - to view the feature please visit http://jcrew.tumblr.com/
Sitting at the table at Da Adolfo in Positano, I had one of those moments... does life get any better?
I have been to Positano several times and I am always captivated by its breathtaking beauty, but this trip was the first time I experienced a lazy afternoon lunching at Da Adolfo - pure Summer holiday magic.
To read more go to We Love.
About Vince Colosimo
- I was born in Melbourne to one of four children of Italian-born parents from Calbria.
- At the age of 12 I was plucked out of a school yard and told to audition for the film Moving Out.
- After I left school, I auditioned for the VCA (Victorian College of the Arts).
- I have worked in theatre, television and film since the early 1980s - some of the productions include The Great Gatsby, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Underbelly, The Secret Life of Us, Lantana, Chopper and A Country Practice.
- I was in the hugely successful theatre and film production of The Wog Boy.
- Some of my theatre work includes Othello, Twelth Night, A Streetcar Named Desire and Romeo and Juliet.
- I am now part-owner of a cafe in Northcote, called Espresso Alley.
- I have a beautiful daughter named Lucia who I adore.
'It wasn't until I realised that when you get up on stage and you're in the moment and you're just doing it, that I was no different to anyone else. In fact I realised I was good. It didn't matter how well read you were, if you couldn't make people feel something then who gives a shit.'
Vince grew up in North Carlton, in his beloved Melbourne. He went to school in the city and spent his childhood hanging out with his mates; playing footy, kidding around, chasing girls. The infamous Italian hub of Lygon Street was the next street up from his home. He and his mates were street smart.
But at the age of 12, Vince’s life changed.
Vince: “I was plucked out of a school yard and told to audition for something. My mates all thought I was going to be an extra in the TV show Cop Shop. Anyway I got called back a couple of weeks later, here I was this tough little kid from Carlton, and all I cared about was football and girls.”
Vince was chosen to be the lead in a film called Moving Out directed by Jan Sardi (1982). It wasn’t until he was 14 years old that they actually made the film. It took awhile to raise the funds.
Vince: “By this time they were worried I was getting too tall for the role. I was like ‘oh my god, my life’s over!’ Anyway, we got it done and I think my voice actually broke during the film. There’s one scene when I am talking up here and then all of sudden my voice drops to down there.”Read More
Vince's Italian tips:
1. IF YOU WERE TO TAKE OFF FOR A ROMANTIC BREAK IN ITALY, WHERE WOULD YOU GO? WHERE IS YOUR DREAM HOTEL?
2. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE IN ITALY?
I love any of the restaurants right on the water in the very south of Italy in Reggio. You will eat like a king at any of the family owned restaurants here. The food is amazing and very reasonably priced. All of my experiences eating there were unforgettable.
3. IF YOU WERE GOING TO LIVE IN ITALY FOR A FEW MONTHS, WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHY?
I would stay in Rome for the couple of months. It’s not only one of the greatest cities in Europe, but it has access to any other capital city in Europe. It’s also the best place to hide from relatives abroad!
4. IF YOU WERE TO BUY A TICKET TO AN ITALIAN FOOTBALL MATCH WOULD BE THE PERFECT ITALIAN FOOTBALL GAME TO EXPERIENCE?
The perfect game to experience would be the rivalry between AC Milan and Inter Milan.
5. IF YOU WERE GOING TO GO ON AN ITALIAN ROAD TRIP - WHAT PART OF ITALY WOULD YOU FOCUS ON?
I would focus on either the Amalfi Coast or around the South of Italy which tends to be less touristy. It’s a beautiful drive – great beaches and mountains, and beautiful food.
6. BEING AN ITALIAN BOY FROM MELBOURNE - WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IN MELBOURNE FOR A GREAT ITALIAN MEAL?
Every day I could go to Ti Amo in Carlton. It’s a casual place that I’ve been going to for more than 30 years. They are always consistent and they are always great. I also love going to Di Stasios in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda. It is always a great dining experience and beautiful meals.
About Sergio Mei
- My dad had a real passion for cooking and he taught me how to cook.
- I moved to Milan in 1967 to become a chef. I was only 14 years old then.
- I began my career as a dishwasher, then as an apprentice, before becoming a chef.
- I worked in Biffi, Savini and Griso – the most important restaurants in Milan at the time.
- I did 13 internships both in Italy and Paris.
- In 1979, I started to travel the world to work and to promote Italian food.
- I've now been at the Four Seasons for 19 years.
'The important thing for me in choosing a chef for my team is that the candidate has to be... nice and well-mannered. If they can cook then that is a bonus, although not compulsory. I can teach someone to cook. I'd rather have someone well-mannered who can't cook a thing, than a good cook but not a pleasant character.'
‘The pursuit of excellence.’ The thought has been on my mind all day. What makes someone strive to be the very best at what they do? Is it ego? Is it some genetically inherited drive to be head of the pack? Or is it simply a cover for an underlying discontent of nature; a deep-seated insecurity? Do we need to be aggressive, supercilious and even treacherous to reach our goals? I actually don’t know. I don’t have the answers, but I can attest to the fact that I haven’t met too many creative geniuses who aren’t ‘difficult’ in some way or another. Until today.Read More
Sergio's Italian tips:
1. IF YOU ARE MEETING FRIENDS AFTER WORK FOR DINNER IN MILAN – WHERE DO YOU GO?
I usually go to the Enoteca Wine bar N' Ombra de Vin, located in the Brera district. This place has a great wines selection and a really enjoyable atmosphere.
2. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE BAR IN MILAN WHERE YOU ALWAYS HAVE YOUR MORNING COFFEE?
Yes, the pastry shop Cova in the Montenapoleone street. I pass by there every morning before going to work to the Four Seasons.
3. IS THERE AN AREA OF MILAN THAT YOU LOVE TAKING A PASSEGGIATA?
I prefer taking a passeggiata along Vittorio Emanuele street, the Castello Sforzesco or the Duomo areas.
4. WHAT IS THE BEST MARKET IN MILAN FOR FRESH SEASONAL INGREDIENTS?
It is definitely Peck.
5. FOR THE PERFECT WEEKEND GETAWAY OUTSIDE OF MILAN – WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
6. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MILANESE DISH THAT YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD TRY? (see recipes above)