Italian Food Safari is a celebration of the incredible breadth and hard work of the Italians who came and settled in Australia over a generation ago and have kept their food traditions intact. Mercifully, they’ve shared their food and culture with the rest of us – and we’ve been delighted to embrace everything from classic dishes to the most rustic home-style food.
Presented by food explorer Maeve O’Meara and legendary Melbourne chef Guy Grossi Italian Food Safari spends time with Australia’s top Italian chefs and producers…. in fact the whole 13-part series is a culinary Who’s Who of Italian Australia.
Shot across Australia and covering the four seasons, Italian Food Safari introduces you to the concrete backyards full of abundant tomato and basil plants, the cosy home kitchens where masterpieces are whipped up, the elegant restaurants filled with delicious cooking aromas, the specialist providores and extensive delis, bakeries, cheese-makers and pasticcerias.
The series celebrates traditions handed down through the centuries, some of which are practised more fervently in Australia than back home in Italy where tomato sauces, sausage making, olive curing, cheese-making and other time-honoured recipes can still vary from region to region, even village to village. Some of the world’s most celebrated Italian culinary masterpieces feature alongside beautiful rustic family favourites.
Chefs and restaurateurs who share their wisdom and recipes include Armando Percuocco (Buon Riccordo), Lucio Galletto (Lucio’s), Stefano Manfredi (Bells at Killcare), Robert Castellani (Donovans), Stefano Di Pieri (Stefanos, Mildura) Maurizio Esposito (Esposito at Toofey’s); rising stars Nino Zoccali (Pendolino) and Eugenio Maiale (A Tavola), Giovanni Pilu (Pilu) Pietro Porcu (Da Noi), Vanessa Martin (Il Piave), Alessandro Pavoni (Ormeggio), Patrizia Simone (Simone’s Restaurant, Bright), Rosa Matto (Rosa Matto’s Cooking School), Adelaide, Rosa Mitchell (Journal Canteen). In addition, Guy Grossi shares some of his family’s most revered recipes for traditional favourites from the North to the South of Italy.
Producers including Perth’s larger than life butcher Vince Garreffa, winemaker and olive oil blender Joe Grilli, legendary Melbourne baker Daniel Chirico, fishermen from much of the Australian coastline – from the crayfishermen on the Abrolhos Islands off the far Western Australian coast to rock fisherman off Sydney, vongole fishermen in South Australia to the last sardine fisherman off Fremantle.
Along the way, Italian Food Safari celebrates all the extraordinary wealth of Italian culture – the pioneering families building their wood-fired ovens, growing much of their produce in the early days and keeping food at the centre of family life, a tradition we all treasure.