This thrill hard to top
PIZZA CHEF TO COOK WITH ‘GREEDY ITALIAN’ CONTALDO
A BUCKET list item to cook with not one “greedy Italian” but two has been the dream for pizza chef David Infirri for as long as he can remember.
Infirri flew yesterday to France before jetting to London to cook with renowned chef Gennaro Contaldo at Jamie’s Italian in Shepherd’s Bush on August 31.
Contaldo, one-half of the show Two Greedy Italians, shares screen time with “Italian Godfather” Antonio Carluccio and is a mentor to “naked chef” Jamie Oliver.
Infirri, the owner of Passione Gourmet Deli Cafe in Kingsley, said he was living the dream and could not wait to meet his idol and take part in his “masterclass”.
“Gennaro had a restaurant in London called Passione, which is the same name as our shop – it’s Italian for passion,” he said.
“He’s been a big inspiration to me and you talk about passion, you don’t get more passionate than him – he drools when he cooks.”
The 36-year-old said after opening his business years ago, he contacted Contaldo’s office to let them know he was a huge fan of his, naming the deli in his idol’s honour.
“We’ve been in touch back and forth since we opened and at one stage he even responded. He said Australia was a little far for him but he wished me all the best and told me if I was ever in London to come and see him,” he said.
“A few months ago I got an email from his office inviting me to his masterclass and as it turns out I was going to be in France anyway so I thought I’d go over.
“They told me that he was expecting this little Aussie Italian who was coming all the way from Perth to cook with him, so I’m pretty chuffed with that.”
Having already cooked for partnerin-crime Carluccio, Infirri said while he was looking forward to impressing Contaldo with his special pasta dish, it was all about thanking his idol for inspiring him with his food journey.
“I’ll be cooking my signature pasta,” he said. “It’s a star-shaped pasta ravioli and it stands up on the plate – the filling and sauce will depend on the produce we are given on the day.”
Infirri said he was taking the trip because he wanted to cook with Contaldo and just wanted to give him a hug and thank him for inspiring him.
When he returns from his once-in-alifetime experience, he would be taking his deli on the road and would set his sights on cooking with Jamie Oliver.
“My goal is to cook with the three. I would not have believed I would have cooked with two of the three – so Jamie is next,” Infirri said.
Kingsley deli Passione’s passionate owner David Infirri is fulfilling a lifelong dream to meet and cook with famed Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo.