Menus a no-no in Maurizio’s new place
THEY say a change is as good as a holiday and after 30 years in hospitality, chef Maurizio Di Ciano is living by that motto.
In a bid to remain fresh and recharge his batteries, Di Ciano is closing down Perth’s Maurizio Restaurant in September after 17 years and opening No Menu in Highgate.
The Italian-born chef, who has worked around the world including London and Switzerland, said he was keen to move from fine dining to bespoke style.
Maurizio started out in 2001 at the back of the current Fitzgerald Street building with no sign and just serving lunch, before demand saw an expansion to dinners on weekends.
The business then moved to the front of the building in 2004 after some renovations.
Di Ciano said he had seen many changes throughout the years and he was prepared to adapt.
“From when I first arrived in Australia to today we’ve seen some changes; we’ve seen ups and downs with the economy and changes in people’s palette,” he said.
“We don’t want to be a boring restaurant, which we have probably been in the past, where for three or four months we have had the same menu.”
He said the shift from fine dining to bespoke style came from customer demand, which wanted a casual experience.
“We mainly did fine dining before, but I have found now that there’s a slow down on fine dining,” he said.
“Highgate is a busier suburb with more foot traffic and you can go more than once a week because it is affordable.”
The menu will change daily, dictated by what fresh produce is available on the day.
Di Ciano said some pressures would be alleviated for himself and staff, but others may be introduced.
“We are going to play with different dishes; each day one of the dishes would be the protagonist to offer as the dish of the day, but nevertheless we will have other choices,” he said.
“It will add pressure on day by day research and changing and moving the stock, but also it will reduce pressure because with a set menu you can have up to 40 dishes, and some of them don’t move and you have to make them move.
“With bespoke, we are looking at 20 dishes, maybe even 15.”
He said the change was as much about keeping up with demands as it was striking a healthy work life balance for himself.
Chef Maurizio Di Ciano celebrates his new restaurant.