What is it like to be born in a family of Chefs from generations? What are the inspirations and aspirations? Let’s take a brief look at the journey of one such well wisher of PHCA who started right from the bottom and made his way through becoming a Chef and now a restaurateur!
Meet Australian Chef David Brunelli who specializes in Italian Cuisines and owns an Italian based restaurant – Gennaro’s Italian Restaurant which is located inside the Grand Hotel, Wyong, NSW, Australia.
We managed to sit for an interview with Chef David for knowing him better, his journey, his experiences, his inspirations and what was it really like to become a chef in a family where the cooking spirit has thrived in the members for generation. During this interview, we also got an opportunity to understand his background, his love for food and why he made the choice of pursuing a career in the ever growing hospitality industry.
So from what we know now, David’s family has been engaged in the restaurant business for generations , his father who is from Naples, Italy, owned an Italian restaurant called Genarro’s Italian Restaurant. So the restaurant is named after his father. His mother on the other hand is Irish and a brilliant cook! Looks like cooking skills are inherited in the family’s genes!
We all are well aware that Italian food is loved globally, be it crusty pizza, or cheesy flavored pasta packed in a bowl. It is hard to find an individual who wouldn’t adore this Cuisine. And so was for Gennaro’s, though it was a small family business, the food they served was loved and enjoyed by the customers. Chef David recalls the time when he rushed to the restaurant after his high school got over in order to help his father in the restaurant’s kitchen because that’s how busy it actually got! Meanwhile, he learned about Italian cuisine and eventually with time he fell in love with it! As his love for the business started growing, he started getting more involved in the kitchen and their food menu so much so that he was also involved in production. Soon he began to receive positive tips and reviews from the customers and then came the moment of realization, that was when he could listen to his guts telling him that this was what he was meant to do! He was now aware of his passion for cooking and this instinct guided him to take the lead and make the decision to drop his further studies in science, and dedicate himself in learning and understanding the hospitality sector.
Being a student from Science Faculty, David has the benefit of the knowledge that comes from the fundaments of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Due to this, David incorporates his knowledge of science with his cooking skills and considers his academic background to be a great asset. He likes and enjoys the fact that he actually understands what goes into making a great food not only using ingredients but using science! He also considers himself to be quite inclined to art and innovation. He believes he is a creative person and so he channels his creativity to presenting food in a way that describes and validates the food beyond words! And that’s what Culinary Art is all about!
He quotes “I am not a scientist or an artist, nor a psychiatrist but rather I am a cook with mad ideas. And I love it that way.” He adds that it helps him to observe the theory behind atoms and molecules, so that one can understand how things are happening and why they are happening. It has helped him to develop his cooking skills over time. Further he states “I mix up my ideas, put some spices and flavors and finish it off with my artistic instinct that is depicted as an art in a plate or bowl, which then I serve it to my customers”.
Everyone goes through a stage in their career where they struggle, work hard and put in their best interests and effort to achieve their goals. And it was not different for David, he had always dreamt to own a renowned restaurant. Although he has successfully achieved his goals and is now living his dreams, he recalls those days and hours of hard work that has made it possible for him! Before becoming the owner of Gennaro’s, he worked for various notable hotels and restaurant such as Westin Hotels and Resort, Dooralong Valley Resort, Villa Arcu De’ Chelu, Chefs on the run and a few others that we lost count of! After gaining some experience through these places, he started his own catering company called SopraVento. That was when he started taking over kitchen management and administrating kitchen in South West Italian Australian Association (SWIAA) which is formed to provide social welfare, cultural and cross-cultural services to the Italian residents in the South West region of Sydney. Along with these associations, he adds he has been involved as a kitchen consultant for kitchen designing and renovations.
Chef David looks back in time, through his journey and shares with us that he is proud of what he has achieved so far and he still aims to provide better and quality food services to his customers in the near future.