This November Stefano Manfredi and Julie Manfredi-Hughes will celebrate 30 years of service to the Australian food industry. For three decades Manfredi has been instrumental in defining Sydney dining, introducing regional Italian cuisine and wines in Australia, pioneering innovative restaurant design, breeding a new generation of leading chefs and creating awareness around sustainable produce.
To celebrate this milestone Manfredi will be showcasing highlight dishes of their 30 year legacy at Osteria Balla, The Star and at Manfredi at Bells, throughout the month of November. The month long celebration will commence with a 30th birthday tribute dinner at Balla on Thursday 31 October with a degustation menu of signature dishes from the past three decades. Stefano’s mother Franca, well known to Sydneysiders for her dishes at Restaurant Manfredi and Bel Mondo, has been asked to come out of retirement and join the Balla team in the kitchen for this special occasion. Bells at Killcare will also host an exclusive package to celebrate the milestone, including lunch and a signed copy of Stefano’s soon to be released new book.
Manfredi was one of the first to break the mould of clichéd Italian dining in Sydney, introducing Australians to new preparations and produce from the diverse regions of Italy while making Italian dining in Sydney more of a polished experience. They were the first Italian restaurateurs to offer a degustation menu in Sydney, design an open kitchen and pour extra virgin olive oil at the table to replace butter. They introduced a number of iconic dishes, that now make regular appearances throughout Australian restaurants and households, including proper risotto, many handmade pastas, burnt butter and sage gnocchi, roast suckling lamb with rosemary potatoes, pumpkin tortelli and panna cotta.
“When we opened the doors of our first restaurant in 1983 guests had limited experience of Italian cuisine. We made it our mission to educate Sydney on the incredible food and wine that Italy has to offer” Says Stefano Manfredi. “The fact we are still able to share our passion for authentic Italian food is truly an honour and something we are very proud of.”
Many of the country’s leading chefs have passed through Manfredi kitchens, including Kylie Kwong, Matt Moran, Sean Moran and Jonathan Barthelmess. Barthelmess says; “Steve is a great teacher. He has given a lot to other chefs. His background as a teacher makes him more of a coach in the kitchen; he isn’t a chef that yells at you which really sets him apart.”
Known fondly in Australia as the ‘godfather’ of modern Italian cuisine, Stefano Manfredi is also a successful author (his 5th book is due out in November), food writer and columnist. He’s an enthusiastic ambassador of sustainability, creating one of Australia’s first substantial kitchen gardens at Bells at Killcare. He’s also proved to be an inspired coffee blender and taste maker with the launch of his own coffee brand Espresso di Manfredi in 2000, a partnership with master roaster Wayne Archer from DE Coffee & Tea.
Julie Manfredi-Hughes, the other half of the dynamic duo, is one of Australia’s most celebrated restaurateurs and is managing director of Manfredi Enterprises. Julie has influenced and defined Australian food culture through projects that stay true to a heritage of tradition, design, effortlessness and innovation. Her strong sense of style has seen the creation of restaurants synonymous with design, collaborating with industry veterans including Vince Frost of Frost Design and architect Luigi Rosselli, who have conceptualised the Manfredi values
“With all of our restaurants we had the willingness to take risks.” Says Julie Manfredi-Hughes. “We always tried to do new things and strive to set new benchmarks for ourselves and for dining in Australia.
The Manfredis opened their first iconic Sydney restaurant The Restaurant Manfredi in Ultimo in 1983. The restaurant was a fresh statement of modern simplicity, offering evolving seasonal produce through elegant dishes. The Restaurant was also pioneering the new wave Italian wines and saw many Italian protagonists dining there including winemakers Angelo Gaja and Piero Antinori as well as Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini.
After 13 years The Restaurant Manfredi closed its doors and Bel Mondo was opened, ushering in a new era of Australian dining in the heart of Sydney’s Rocks district setting a new benchmark for grand restaurants. With Stefano’s commitment to the best produce, Franca’s traditional technique and Julie’s eye for concept and design, a formidable force was at the helm in both the kitchen and the dining room.
From its inception Manfredi restaurants have been at the pinnacle of Sydney’s food culture with both the cuisine and the design of their restaurants placing them among the handful of innovators in the burgeoning Australian culinary scene. At present, Manfredi Enterprises is best known for the quintessentially Italian Osteria Balla at The Star, Manfredi at Bells and their boutique blend of coffee, Espresso di Manfredi. Stefano will also release his fifth cookbook titled Stefano Manfredi’s Italian Food, in November this year.
1987 The Restaurant Manfredi; first chef’s hat – 3rd edition SMH Good Food Guide
1995 The Restaurant Manfredi; 3 chef’s hats and best Italian Restaurant- SMH Good Food Guide 1997 Bel Mondo; Best New Restaurant –SMH Good Food Guide
1997-2002 Bel Mondo; 2 chef’s hats – SMH Good Food Guide 1998 Bel Mondo; l’Insegna del Ristorante Italiano – Italian Government 1998-99 Bel Mondo; Best Restaurant Sydney City – American Express Awards 1998-99 Bel Mondo; Best Restaurant NSW – American Express Awards 1999 Julie Manfredi Hughes; Inspiring Women Hall of Fame –Australian Business Women’s Network 2002 Stefano Manfredi; Inaugural trophy Italian International Culinary Institute for Foreigners
2007-2013 Manfredi at Bells ; one chef’s hat -SMH good food guide
2011 Stefano Manfredi; John K Walker Hall of Fame – The Restaurant and Catering Association Australia
2012 Manfredi at Bells; Good Living Sustainability Award- SMH Good Food Guide
2012 Balla; Condé Nast Traveller World’s Best New Restaurants ‘Hot List‘
2012 Balla; Ospitalità Italiana – ICCA, FIPE, ISNART
2011- 2013 Balla; One chef’s hat- SMH Good Food Guide
RESTAURANT CONTACT DETAILS
Osteria Balla Manfredi
80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009
02 9777 9000
Lunch Tue-Sat 12pm-2.30pm
Dinner Mon-Sat 5.30pm-10.30pm
Partnership: Echo Entertainment and Manfredi Enterprises
Manfredi at Bells
Bells at Killcare Boutique Hotel, Restaurant & Spa
107 The Scenic Road, Killcare Heights NSW Australia 2257
02 4360 2411
Partnership: Bells at Killcare (Brian and Karina Barry); Coast &Country (John Singleton), Manfredi Enterprises
Douwe Egberts Coffee Systems – Australia
18 Forrester Road, Kingsgrove, NSW 2208
1800 833 767
Partnership: DE Coffee & tea Australia and Manfredi Enterprises
Manfredi Enterprises Pty Ltd
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P: 02 9280 2133