Better Together: Guy Grossi
Introducing Guy Grossi! Guy is a renowned Australian chef, restauranteur, media personality and long-time friend of CAPI Owner, Pitzy Folk. Guy's personality is as enchanting as the Italian food he makes... scroll on and get to know him a little better.
Would you mind giving a short introduction of yourself for the folks across Australia?
Of course, I'm Guy, owner and chef of Grossi Restaurants including Florentino, Grill, Cellar Bar, Ombra & Arlechin. I was born in Australia to Italian migrant parents who came over in the '60s. I started cooking alongside my dad, who was also a chef, at 15 years of age and never really stopped. I've been extremely fortunate to work in this great industry for 40 years now and I've built relationships with some great fellow Aussies who I will be friends with for life.
What does it mean to be Australian to you?
I think for me it really means multiculturalism. Being born to migrant parents certainly had its challenges when I was younger but now I look at the rich Australian culture full of beautiful people who create things or brands and lot's of them are born to parents from somewhere else or even born somewhere else themselves. Being Australian is about acceptance and inclusion and celebration of the diverse range of culture. We are so lucky in Australia, our food, our art, our architecture, it's diverse and beautiful.
Tell us about your restaurant and food? How is it made, how do you source the materials? What makes you guys a bit different?
We like to keep things simple in most of our venues, it's really about producing tasty simple food with great ingredients. We make sure our produce is as local as possible so we can help to support some of the great producers around us where we can. We try to keep it authentically Italian utilising traditional recipes or cooking methods. We also keep everything as handcrafted as possible, all of our pasta are rolled, cut, filled and shaped by hand. We roll all of our own lasagne sheets, we cut every gnocchi by hand and roll every pumpkin tortellini into shape by hand. It's labour intensive yes, but it's something that we think is worth doing because the result you get is a beautiful artisan product that feels as though you've made it around the kitchen bench at home.
What is your goal in what you do or what is the message you hope to get out?
Our goal is really about memories and experience. The food and beverage is really just a way to deliver that, a vehicle to use to help our guests connect, share and create memories. The food and drinks have to be good yes, the service has to be good, yes, but it's more about the little things that make guests experience one they won't forget. Maybe it's remembering their last visit and greeting them by name, or knowing it's their birthday without them having told you. We like to focus on genuine Italian hospitality that makes our guests feel welcomed and relaxed so they can enjoy their time with their loved ones.
Who are some local heroes or brands that inspire you?
We have such a rich array of products and brands in Melbourne alone that it's so hard to pick favourites. Some that spring to mind is Bruce and his family from Milking Yard Farm. They ethically and sustainably raise beautiful Sommerlad chickens and their practices and passion for farming are some of the best I've seen. We have great supporters in our industry Clamms Seafood, Great Ocean Ducks, Mount Zero, Robyn & Leon Design and Mark Chew our amazing go-to photographer.
Of course, we can't fail to mention Pitzy and CAPI, Pitzy's work in our industry over the years has contributed to the fabric of what is hospitality in Melbourne today. He continues to innovate and strengthen CAPI as a brand and I am always inspired by his calm.
What are some of your favourite bars and restaurants in your city?
I love France-Soir, it's classic, tasty, straight forward and never changes. You just know you are going to get good food and good service.
I like to change around where I go, sometimes by the water at Elwood bathers, sometimes by the park at the Botanical. I'm a fan of lots of places and have great friends in the industry so to be able to visit any of the restaurants in Melbourne is a privilege.
If you had to pick the signature Melbourne late night had a few cocktails meal, what would it be?
Definitely Midnight Spaghetti. It's tasty, simple, just what you need after a few cocktails.
What’s your go-to CAPI Cocktail?
I love a nice gin with the Dry Tonic, it's classic but it's the tonic that makes it, not too sweet. The perfect balance.
Why do you love working with CAPI?
There are so many reasons - the people would be first on the list, however. The people are friendly, driven and passionate about what they do. It's a joy to deal with them from purchasing to marketing and events, not to mention a beautiful lunch in the office, I get spoilt when I go there.
In terms of working with the product, I love it because I know its Australian, it's been made proudly and sustainably and I know it is a quality and consistent product.
Feeling hungry now? Enjoy Guy's cooking from home with his home delivery service Grossi A Casa.