Food lover Laura Notarfrancesco spent her childhood in the kitchen with both her mother and father, absorbing their culinary talents as well as their passion for cooking. She learnt quickly that she too, had a true relationship for cooking and the food industry is where her heart would always lie.
After spending numerous months travelling through Italy on her own, she was exposed to Italy’s food heritage, whereby food is recognised not just for its nutritional value, but as a way of life. Over the centuries, food has been used an excuse to gather loved ones – to wine, dine and laugh over countless games of Scorpa.
What most people don’t know is that as you move from one region to the next, the dishes vary quite dramatically. So Laura took it upon herself to learn the differing recipes, the change in preparation methods a and the use of ingredients. She recalls a cooking lesson in her favourite city Florence, with Mario, her father’s first cousin. Mario, although he could not speak a word of English, minus “good-de” (aka “good”) was described as a charismatic man, of which his cooking would reflect this.
Laura recalls his addictive laughter and enjoyment, as he moved his way through a tiny kitchen. He would describe the flavours of the dishes with just one sniff of the plate, whilst zealously throwing his arms around as though it was to give more meaning to it. What Laura loved most, was that Mario and his wife Lucia, would travel through the countryside of Italy just to pick the delicacies of that region. They wanted to ensure the freshness and quality was fit for the mouths of their guests back home in Florence.
It wasn’t until a wintry day spent at the food markets in Central Milan, drinking homemade wine with locals, eating porchetta rolls and taste testing an endless supply of salami whilst discussing everything and anything in broken Italian, that Laura decided it was an absolute necessity that she brought this passion for food and sharing amongst the community back to Melbourne where her heart lies.
5 Lire offers a small window into the passion, the simplicity and mouth-watering tastes of Italian cuisine. 5 Lire celebrates both authenticity and a contemporary flair that is directly influenced by Melbourne’s changing palette.