ANNA & ALESSANDRO PAVONI
Ormeggio at The Spit, Sydney
Anna Pavoni still remembers the moment. She was at
Luna Blu in Sydney, interviewing for a job as a waiter. She noticed Alessandro Pavoni looking at her from the kitchen and was instantly struck: “Oh my God, I think he’s going to be trouble for me,” she thought, “in a good way.” The chef, who is from Brescia, in Italy’s north, did not let language differences get in their way. “When we met, I didn’t speak English and she didn’t speak Italian. I used to get one of my waiter friends to translate love letters and pass them to her to get her to go out with me.” It paid off. The pair ended up married with two kids and four restaurants – something of a miracle after Pavoni’s bouts with cancer, plus two heart attacks. Anna handles the back-of-house operations while Pavoni is all about the food – even if he isn’t allowed to proofread menus (“in English or Italian!” he says). So who is the boss of the business? “Is that a trick question?” asks Alessandro. “No comment,” says Anna.