“I am Italian. And I am a cook. But I live in Australia and whenever I can, I seek out and use only the finest and freshest Australian ingredients.” Fresh from Italy, 1993.
Stefano Manfredi is one of Sydney’s most celebrated chefs. He has influenced the way we eat in Sydney since he first opened The Restaurant in 1983 (renamed The Restaurant Manfredi in 1993) which won the coveted Sydney Morning Herald three hat award in 1994, and remains the only Italian restaurant to have attained the coveted 3-hat rating. bel mondo opened in 1996 and was immediately showered with awards including the Insegna del Ristorante from the Italian Government. In 1998 and 1999, bel mondo was awarded American Express Best Sydney City Restaurant, also winning Best NSW Restaurant in 1999.
Stefano Manfredi is known fondly in Australia as the ‘godfather’ of modern Italian cuisine. He has made his mark as chef, restaurateur, an inspired coffee blender, successful cookbook and food writer and an ambassador of sustainability.
In 2000, Manfredi began a collaboration with renowned coffee roaster Wayne Archer from D.E Master Blenders 1753, one of the world’s leading coffee producers. Manfredi had identified a niche in the local coffee market for a premium cafe blend. Together Manfredi and Archer created Espresso di Manfredi, a brand built on Stefano’s personal passion for coffee, his masterful palette and his search for the perfect coffee blend. In 2013 the original Espresso di Manfredi blend, Classico has been complemented by two new blends Chiara and Audacia.
Manfredi has won numerous accolades in both Australia and overseas, most notably he was presented the Italian International Culinary Institute for Foreigners inaugural trophy in 2002 by then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The trophy acknowledged his inclusion as one of Italy’s internationally celebrated chefs in the first English translation of cooking tome, ‘The Silver Spoon’ and was awarded for, his success with both the critics and the public alike.
In 2007, inspired by its coastal and rural setting, Stefano took the helm at Bells at Killcare and its restaurant Manfredi at Bells. Here he has overseen the planting of extensive kitchen gardens to inspire a more pastoral rendition of his cuisine which saw the restaurant honoured with the Good Living Sustainability Award at the 2012 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards.
In addition to his commitment at Bells, in 2011 Manfredi opened signature restaurant Osteria Balla Manfredi at The Star, heralding a much-anticipated return to the Sydney dining scene and offering modern Milanese cuisine in an Italian trattoria style setting. Just seven months after opening, CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER nominated in its Best New Restaurants of 2012: Hot Tables list.
Steve is often invited to cook, teach and speak on food in Sydney, interstate and overseas, including The International Olive Oil Council in New Zealand, Mediterranean Gastronomy Conference in Stresa, Italy and has previously cooked in Jakarta, Hong Kong, Singapore and Rome. In January 2002, Steve represented The Taste of Australia in New York with Neil Perry and Kylie Kwong. Later that year Steve was winner of the inaugural International ICIF award presented in Italy. In 2005 Steve joined forces with Tim Connell and launched Manta at Woolloomooloo Wharf, and in 2006 he put his definitive touch to Tim’s other restaurant in Cockle Bay, Coast. He then went on to have a very successful collaboration with Bells Restaurant, Killcare and the private chef at Pretty Beach House.
Steve also enjoys success as a food writer with his best-selling book Fresh from Italy, Italian cooking for the Australian kitchen (© 1993) now in its third edition, and a second book bel mondo beautiful world. Other writing projects include the Post Graduate Contemporary Cuisine course at NSW Tafe, contributions to Gourmet Traveler, The UK based Convivium and as food columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum section.
Steve’s latest books are New Pizza with Murdoch Books; Stefano Manfredis Italian Food with Allen & Unwin; Seasonal Italian Favourites and The Seasonal Cook with Fairfax Books.
In the corporate arena, Steve is a regular guest speaker on topics ranging from his life and times, Italian food, history of modern Australian cuisine, to kitchen life. Steve also presents olive oil, coffee and wine tastings, and holds active and fun hands on cooking classes ranging from one person to a group of 40, with a menu to your liking.