An­dreas Pa­padakis, Tipo 00 & Os­te­ria Ilaria

Our chef of the year shuns the lime­light and dou­bles down on Ital­ian. By Larissa Dubecki

Time Out (Melbourne) - - FOOD AWARDS 2017 - Tipo 00, 361 Lit­tle Bourke St, Mel­bourne 3000. 03 9942 3946. tipo00.com.au. Os­te­ria Ilaria, 367 Lit­tle Bourke St, Mel­bourne 3000. 03 9642 2287. www.os­te­ri­ailaria.com.

SOME CHEFS GET all the press. Oth­ers let their food do the talk­ing. An­dreas Pa­padakis clearly be­longs in the sec­ond cat­e­gory, be­cause un­less you’re a restau­rant trainspot­ter you’re prob­a­bly ask­ing, An­dreas who? But just men­tion Tipo 00 and see the av­er­age Mel­bur­nian get as ex­cited as a tween at a Tay­lor Swift con­cert. The pasta bar that en­slaved the city to a life­time of carb con­sump­tion brought its sun­shine to Lit­tle Bourke Street in 2014. This year, Pa­padakis and busi­ness part­ners Luke Skid­more and Al­berto Fava de­liv­ered the fol­low-up, go­ing molto Italiano by tak­ing over the place next door and in­tro­duc­ing us to an os­te­ria that sticks to the un­fussy brief while let­ting him take some of his more cheffy skills out for a run. You don’t work at the top of the food chain in the pres­sure cooker of Vue de Monde for four years with­out some mad skills, but Pa­padakis makes it look easy, while in all like­li­hood pad­dling madly un­der­wa­ter. He’s the ex­em­plar of calm when Ilaria’s open kitchen is be­ing slammed. His food, grounded in fab­u­lous pro­duce and the sound­est of tech­niques, also has that de­cep­tively sim­ple Mediter­ranean ap­proach that makes many a poor fool think good Ital­ian is easy. Self-pro­mo­tion? Well, he’s more in­ter­ested in pasta than so­cial me­dia, and by all re­ports hasn’t yet landed a fancy car brand am­bas­sador­ship. It’s noth­ing short of a trav­esty: Pa­padakis de­serves his Greek name up in lights for his ser­vices to Ital­ian food.

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