I love Italian food. In fact, I love it so much it was the type of cuisine I served at my wedding. This is why I decided to chat to Enrico Tomelleri, the head chef at 10 William St, a cosy wine bar and restaurant in Sydney’s Paddington that serves up some tasty Italian fare. Here we chat about his philosophy to cooking, what ingredients he always has on hand and the one mistake people make when it comes to Italian cooking…
What was your aim when you took over as head chef at 10 William St?
The main aim has been accepting the challenge and having the chance to deliver food that I like to our customers. After a few years at 10 William St I got to know what they want and what they like.
Why do you think 10 William St has been so well received?
10 William St has been so well received because it is a fun little bar that serves good wine and honest food. You can spend a night there every week without getting over it. This simple formula is the reason why we have the chance to work with a lot of regular customers.
What has inspired the menu at 10 William St?
The menu is constantly changing and we get inspired by what is in season and what our suppliers are recommending at the time. Having a solid base of Italian food is a good start. I like to collaborate with the rest of the team trying to find a fun and interesting way to create a dish by twisting some of the classic recipes that we know. That helps to keep us motivated.
What’s the key to great Italian cooking?
It could sound obvious but the key is to follow the seasonality of the ingredients. It is also a good ethic to follow and the right way to respect and to deal with your food and with your customers.
What are some common mistakes people make when it comes to cooking Italian cuisine?
The spelling of “Bolognese” sauce!
What’s your philosophy when it comes to cooking?
I try to use [the least amount of] ingredients as possible trying to exalt the main one. Also, at the moment, I focus on the sustainability of them.
What’s your favourite Italian dish to cook?
I like to cook any kind of risotto.
What’s one Italian dish you love to eat?
I guess a good pizza is probably unbeatable
What’s one dining trend you think has been done to death?
Burger perhaps… but there is always room for a good one.
For those who love cooking Italian food, what are some ingredients you must always have on hand at home?
Garlic, anchovies and a bottle of good olive oil (maybe some fish sauce..)