EDDIE and Mary Frisina operate their successful Mamma Roma restaurant at Picnic Bay on Magnetic Island. Eddie, as well as being a top bass player, would win an Oscar for his pizzas – if that was allowed.
He was one of the top 10 pizza makers in Italy before moving to Australia just after the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
He’d always played the guitar and his band, Highstakes formed in Adelaide, played support act to some of the country’s best performers including Mental as Anything, Jimmy Little, Angry Anderson and The Angels.
He played in some of these bands for short stints including The Angels after the death of that band’s charismatic front man, Doc Neeson in 2014.
But, it is cooking that consumes Eddie’s life today, not music.
Eddie has taught pizza making in Italy where there are pizza academies that elevate pizza chefs to cultlike status not just in Italy, but on the world culinary stage.
Needless to say, don’t ask Eddie to put pineapple on your pizza. He will just laugh like you are a crazy person who doesn’t know his pineapple from his prosciutto and proceed to make you the genuine Italian article, sans the tropical condiment.
Eddie has a lot of secrets when it comes to making pizzas. One of them is only using the tiniest amount of yeast. He prefers to use sourdough and will prepare his dough with as little one gram of yeast to 12 kilograms of dough. It takes them 48 hours to prepare the dough so that it is fluffy, just right.
“This is very good for the stomach. Very easy to digest,” he says.
Before moving to Maggie in 2016, Eddie and his wife Mary worked in Noosa. Mary managed the Noosa Surf Lifesaving Club eatery while Eddie cooked up a storm in local restaurants.
He has handed over the pizza cooking at Mamma Roma to someone who he describes as a master pizza chef. This person’s name and I kid you not is Christian Spaghetti. When he told me his name I thought he was having a lend, but no, his last name really is Spaghetti.
Getting back to pineapple on pizza, Eddie says his mamma would be shocked if he carried out such culinary sacrilege.
Island-goers might remember Alberto who had the pizzeria at the Arcadia pub a few years ago. Alberto, whose pizzas would sing a symphony on the tastebuds, had a sign on his servery wall, warning in not so many words that anyone who ordered pineapple on their
pizza would be taken around the back and shot.
Ask anyone who ordered pineapple on their pizza
from Alberto and they will tell you in tremulous tones that it was a defining moment in their life and that they have never quite recovered from the double-barrel blast delivered by the pineapple-hating Italian.
Like Alberto, Eddie is a pizza purist. He does not regard pine
apple on pizza an offence worthy of capital punishment, but he knows if he ever did it and his mamma found out, it would be curtains. No more home-cooked gnocchi for Eddie on Friday nights from his mamma.
Needless, to say, Mr Spaghetti, that would be Mr Christian Spaghetti, can, if push comes to shove, knock up a mean spaghetti carbonara.
WHAT is with Australia Post?
There was a time when nothing ever went missing with our once revered postal agency.
Now, when you post something it either goes by snail mail or it simply just disappears into the ether.
You hear of these postal misadventures from people time and time again.
We recently posted a care package to our daughter and her partner and their children who were in hotel quarantine on the Gold Coast. Days went by and it hadn’t arrived. We checked the parcel tracking system and discovered it was in a container in regional Victoria. What the flamin’ hell was it doing there?
After spending 90 minutes with the phone on speaker on the kitchen bench, someone at Australia Post eventually answered that question, not.
What followed was one of those weird accept-no-blame conversations from the bloke on the other end.
Days later and just before they got out of quarantine, the parcel arrived after a sightseeing trip around the country.
Ex-australia Post CEO Christine Holgate, who was sacked and now works for its rival Global Express, must be sharpening the axe, wondering when to best deliver the coup de grace to our once proud and almost infallible postal system.