My Italian heritage and my mama’s cooking
are still my main inspiration.
There are two things you need to know about Luca Ciano – and they both revolve around family.
For Luca, the Italian born chef residing in Sydney’s Bondi, his journey from Milan to Australia has such strong ties his homeland that both books he has lovingly written pay such beautiful homage to his family and his roots, and you’ll likely be moved to tears.
Perhaps in the past you could be excused for kind of knowing Luca’s face but not being sure where you’d seen it. However, with his TV show ‘Luca’s Key Ingredient’ debuting early 2021 – and getting such strong engagement that it’s currently getting a repeat showing on Channel Ten – his face has become more recognisable than ever.
In fact, Luca is arguably one of the hardest working people in the culinary world, and while he has his finger in many pies, he’s still the face who fronts renowned market stalls around Sydney and Australia, demonstrating his eponymous range of bespoke pasta sauces and handmade pastas, cooking on stage at festivals, and genuinely loving his connection with longtime followers and those new to his particular brand of genuine enthusiasm.
Let’s take it right back. Luca Ciano was born into a family with an unending passion for food. In fact, his most recent book ‘Luca’s Culinary Journey’ (his first book is ‘Luca’s Seasonal Journey’) documents his formative years as a bambino where Nonna Dina was the matriarch of first generation cooks in his life – though Luca loves to quash that myth that all Italian nonnas and mammas can cook well!
“I have plenty of friends back home who have mammas who can’t cook to save their lives! I’m very lucky to have landed the perfect traditional Italian ‘food family’ when comes to gastronomy, enjoying food and enjoying life,” says Luca in his book, which features a nostalgic photo of Luca on his family holiday, fishing at Riva Bianca, Lierna, Lake Como.
The photo shows how ingrained the ethos of finding the freshest possible ingredient is for Luca, so much so that, in this instance, they’d fish for their dinner.
That modern approach to foraging for food remains today and applies to all Luca does – from handpicking the tomatoes and the herbs that go into his Chef Luca Ciano range of pastas sauces, to cooking a family meal for his wife Georgia and daughter Stella, to the lynchpin to his TV show, which is all about showcasing a key ingredient each week, then turning it on its head to demonstrate how versatile it is, and presenting it in a way that you may not have expected (coffee pappardelle with warm burrata and semi dried black olives, anyone?).
Says Luca: “I like to wow customers, friends and family with fun and unusual food combinations where possible. However, the rules are always the same: fresh, simple and seasonal, and the ‘unusual combo’ flavours must work, always! I don’t do it just for the fun of it, I find the process exciting and challenging.”
“I feel I have so much more to do and discover in addition to my various existing career achievement s. From working at some of the best places around the world, to launching my own food range, to publishing two cookbooks, and now seeing a TV series come to life, with season two in the works… I still feel that the world is my oyster!”
Luca currently consults for restaurants, hotels, and Italian brands in Australia and around the world, and continues writing recipes for magazines; the name ‘Luca Ciano’ (pronounced “Ch-i-ano”) will become as familiar as his face, and if the to-do list he is busy ticking off is anything to go by, there will be plenty more you’ll see of Luca in the months and years ahead.
Authentic Italian Taste Locally Made