He’s en­joy­ing a taste of suc­cess I just want to use the best ingredients for our dishes and so we have food sourced in Aus­tralia but some of the best pasta and pro­sciutto comes from Italy

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS - By Lach­lan Durling

THEY say change is as good as a hol­i­day, and it’s cer­tainly feel­ing that way for An­thony DeCicco.

As of two months ago the 24-year-old be­came head chef and gen­eral man­ager at An­to­nio’s res­tau­rant in Echuca.

The res­tau­rant has re­cently changed hands and af­ter be­ing closed for a month has re­opened with a few changes. Well, make that a lot. “So far (the changeover) has been good — the menu is com­pletely new, from scratch. Pretty much the only thing the same is the An­to­nio’s name,” An­thony said.

Work­ing around town at the likes of Ceres, Junc­tion Moama and Su­nago, An­thony said he rel­ished the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate his own menu from what he’d learnt over the years.

His ca­reer started out of the 2011 Murray River Culi­nary Chal­lenge where he placed run­ner-up in the com­pe­ti­tion and landed a job.

‘ ’

“I loved the com­pe­ti­tion, I could do it again and again,” An­thony said.

“I got my ap­pren­tice­ship at Ceres out of it. Scott Pitt, one of the judges came to me af­ter­wards and of­fered it to me.

“But I’m still a bit sour about run­ner-up to this day,” he laughed.

He said his fo­cus when de­sign­ing the menu was to stick with the clas­sics but add some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.

“It’s a bit of old-school Ital­ian but with mod­ern twists. I did my ap­pren­tice­ship at Ceres and worked there for three and-a-half years, so I had quite a lot of mod­ern Ital­ian influence,” he said.

“Work­ing at Junc­tion Moa- ma un­der Michael Giar­russo and Dave Palmer there was a real fo­cus on lo­cal ingredients.

“I just want to use the best ingredients for our dishes and so we have food sourced in Aus­tralia but some of the best pasta and pro­sciutto comes from Italy.

He’s also in charge of a small army of staff with three ap­pren­tices, a sous chef in Mim Mu­sico and a pizza chef.

While it may be daunt­ing for many, An­thony takes it in his stride.

“It’s not a new ex­pe­ri­ence for me, I helped out run­ning the kitchen at Su­nago so I’m used to hav­ing a lot of peo­ple around,” he said.

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