5 Minutes with

Exec Chef Carmelo Cipri

April 18, 2018

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When it comes to food it can’t hurt to have … A LITTLE BIT OF ITALY EVERYDAY!!

There’s nothing like the warm welcome of a big Italian family.

Brothers Carmelo, Anthony and Joe Cipri know exactly how to give that warm welcome. The brother welcomed us with Cipri Italian, which offers truly authentic Italian dining in a stylish and contemporary setting. But the Brother’s have created not one but two dining experiences… Barbetta.

For the Cipri Brothers, food is more than just their passion. It’s their obsession.

I sat down with Executive Chef Carmelo Cipri to talk all things Cipri Italian and Barbetta.

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What made you and your brothers open Cipri Italian Restaurant 10years ago?

 We and our extended family have been in the Sydney food and restaurant scene for over 35 years. We grew up in it. We thought it was finally time to put our name – Cipri – to something we could be proud of.

  

The Cipri Brothers are growing the empire and sharing their passion for food with now Barbetta. What made you want to open Barbetta?

 With food at the heart of what we do, we wanted to expand our offering from a restaurant to the whole food experience including ready-made meals, cooking classes, a little retail & casual Italian café with an in-house patisserie.

We wanted to create a lively new neighbourhood meeting place – breathing life into Paddington and opening up a link to the existing restaurant. Fresh. Casual. Authentic. Italian.

 

What is the difference between Cipri Italian and Barbetta?

 Cipri Italian is like the ‘older brother’ –  old school and rooted in tradition

Barbetta is like the ‘younger brother’ –  youthful, cheekier and more light-hearted

As an Executive chef, what inspires you when coming up with new dishes?

I enjoy tweaking old classics, following the seasons & trying new ingredients that suppliers introduce us to.

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At home, in the kitchen, what is your comfort meal to make?

Cooking at home always revolves around my 3 & 6-year-old boys, so dinner can be quite simple at times.  I love a slow braised meat or a trip to the fish market will get me excited.

 

Being in the Hospitality industry, it’s hard work! What do you think are the 3 key things to success in a restaurant?

Always keep in mind the bottom line (costs)

Create a team that enjoys working together

Always try your best and cook like everyone is important

  

Brothers and Italians, trust me I know Italians, being a stepdaughter into an Italian family. Is it a challenge at times working with family? How do you overcome differences in the workplace?

Working with family can be rewarding because you know that they will always watch your back.

My brothers, Joe and Anthony manage front of house and leave the kitchen to me.

Being Italian and very passionate about what we do – we’ve learnt to respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses – we make it a rule not to take our ‘disagreements’ into the next day.

 

I feel like the answer is going to be Italy, but where is your favorite place to travel, be inspired and taste local food?

Italy of course! I never get tired of exploring the regional cuisines from North to South.

But every holiday – no matter the destination – starts & ends with the food.

 

Favorite dish from Barbetta and Cipri Italian?

 Barbetta:  I really enjoy our take on the breakfast burger – Il Contadino with truffled mortadella, cavolo nero, taleggio, fried egg in a burger bun.

Cipri Italian:  The beef carpaccio is the stand out for me – with quail eggs, celery, testun al Barolo cheese and walnut pesto.

 

Coffee or Tea? How do you have it? 

2 Espresso’s  ( no sugar) ½ hour apart in the morning & that’s it.  Lemon & Ginger tea at night (after work) sometimes a nightcap of cognac or single malt scotch.

A must dining experience, head over and book a table for this weekend.

Barbetta

Cipri Italian

KB xx

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