She is Florentine, so much so that she studied at Buontalenti, he is from Puglia. Both work in the restaurant and hotel sector and 11 years ago they met in Portofino: since then they have been a couple in their personal life. A three-year experience in Australia from 2012 to 2015 made him turn on the light bulb: so for some years they have returned to the land of kangaroos. Today they live in Perth, Western Australia.
In that place they try to make a couple in all respects even in work, bringing the brand of Florence to the other hemisphere. They did not do it by opening a new restaurant, but by organizing Italian dinners in homes. They are Cristina Dettori and Francesco Sellitri, founders of “Florence Fine Food”.
Today they both have steady jobs, he as a chef and she as a hotel receptionist. But they were drawn from an idea for that question a question of Australians, to eat Italian: a real trend.
But instead of serving the food in a restaurant, the two Italians bring their food into the homes of Australians. “It is a very requested service, especially in certain areas, – explains Cristina – it happens to go to really beautiful houses”. This part of Australia is isolated and very rich: here are 95% of the nation’s mines.
The cuisine and the services they offer are of a very high standard. For a basic dinner you pay around 150 euros, but it can also go up if customers find particular dishes or products. “Drinks excluded: – explains Francesco – wines are usually bought by customers, in Australia there are very strict regulations on the sale and administration of alcohol”.
They prepare everything: from the reservation, to the choice of dishes (from two to three choices upwards), to the table setting, to finish the food and service. Customers don’t eat pizza or lasagna, but dishes with special ingredients. And so on the menu you can find dishes like a fillet tartare with pecorino, burrata ravioli, cod, or pork with pears cooked in Chianti wine.
“Here they are crazy about our cuisine, they are important issues when eating Italian. And they love Florence, when we tell them where we come from, they are amazed”, emphasizes Cristina. So they went further, and they also organized cooking schools for Australians.
Of course, nostalgia for Italy is always a risk: “From March 2020 the borders of Australia are closed, we leave only for special reasons. So much so that some of our friends who have lost their loved ones have not been able to return home”, they explain . “Yet in the area where we live we were in lockdown only a month at the beginning and twice for less than a week at the beginning of this year: they closed because there was a case of Covid. Only one. We do not know. really what it means to wear a mask for a long time, we never had to do it. Instead in areas of Australia like Sidney the situation is more difficult “.
For work, however, there is no nostalgia. There has been no lack of Italian experiences in the past, but they have been more tiring than rewarding. “And then here you earn three times as much as in Italy and life costs less than in the center of Italian cities”, explains Francesco. “We see our future for now in Australia”, they say without delay. But with a wish: “We hope to be able to return to the routine of being able to come to Italy on holiday once a year”.