Marisa & Nataly, mother & daughter power duo, have always had a passion for food, both starting very early in there life. With Marisa, it was part of her cultural upbringing and waking up at five in the morning along with her parents, brothers and sister to make bread and pizza in their wood fire oven, or to make Napolitano sauce, was nothing out of the ordinary. Her parents, Margherita and Ettore, did imprint into their belief system that the freshest foods came from their home grown vegetable garden.
Whatever was in season was planted and grown: including all kinds of herbs and lettuces, spinach, broccoli, cucumbers, zucchini and their flowers. Tomatoes were planted to make the tomato puree used in “sugo” an Italian tomato sauce and inevitably there were always a few orange and lemon trees dotted about the small parcel of land. This is where Marisa learnt about the most important thing in cooking: The quality and goodness of food comes from the freshness of its ingredients!
Throughout her years of cooking in restaurants, Marisa has worked her way from a great cook to an excellent head chef, who has passion and loves what she does as her profession. In an industry which has been male dominated, Marisa had become Gibraltar’s first woman head chef (An English colony on the south coast of Spain).
On her return to Australia she worked as a chef at ‘The Panorama’ Restaurant in Mount Ousley and after a few years of experience there, an opportunity presented itself at The Lagoon Seafood Restaurant in Wollongong where she became head chef and was in charge of many chefs, sous chefs and cooks. The experience gained there would provide her with the resources to be able to venture out and open her own. Passing her values and experience on to her prodigy Nataly, whom inherited her mother passion for cooking with the same values imbedded in Marisa, were embraced by Nataly. From 14, Nataly started helping out Marisa while she was working at the Caleta in Gibraltar.
When the family moved back to Australia, Nataly followed Marisa to the Lagoon and at 16 she was running her own section in the kitchen. After this, Nataly has just excelled going on to help run the family business to venturing out on her own with her own business. From there, Nataly travelled overseas to Europe to help widen her understanding of food. Here she learned pizzas in a small traditional pizzeria in Italy, a town called Sora (Marisa’s home town). From there she experienced and took ideas from Spain to Portugal from Greece to Switzerland ending up in London where she got a job In Jamie’s Italian Threadneedle Street. She excelled straight away and Head Chef Matt Burges put her in charge of the pasta section with in weeks. From there she was asked to help out on her days off in Jamie’s Famous Fifteen where the head chef Jon Rotheram tried to steel her from Jamie’s Restaurant. With Nataly taking on London’s culinary world and her hunger to learn she also did work experience (also on her days off) in the most famous London restaurant were Jamie got his first break at the River Café. Within 6months, Nataly had made an impression and had top chefs over London talking about her, but home was in her heart so with that she decided it was time to go home and take all she had learned with her.