Where did your passion for food and produce originally stem from?
Through strong family connections, travel and the search for something more. Sustainability has always been a strong focus and part of our lifestyle, and food and produce are pivotal in that.
You’re well-known for creating some pretty mind-blowing flavours from all-local ingredients at Heven-yah. So, what seasonal produce are you loving working with right now?
Right now it’s oranges. This season has been short however we’re just catching the last of the blood oranges and they’re front and centre on the menu at the moment. So much so that we are doing everything we can to preserve these blush red beauties by drying, candying, preserving and brewing orange oil from the skins.
Can you reveal any new flavours you’re working on for the summer?
For our first summer you’ll see all that the local stone fruit has to offer, as well as our take on some true seasonal flavours introduced to us during our travels. Granitas will also play a big part on our menu this summer with our own maison Kefir bases and flavours like Sicilian lemon, ginger, espresso and almond. For us it’s always about looking ahead and perfecting our own unique formulas like our cultured buttermilk and creme fraiche milk-bases, whilst utilising techniques being practiced for centuries.
It’s certainly a tough gig running your own business. What would you say has been the most challenging part since embarking on Heven-yah’s first store? On the contrary, what has been the most rewarding?
It has been a challenge to be true to ourselves and what is best for the product in bringing the traditional Italian ‘pozzetti’ to the Gold Coast. Some of our best experiences are from simple classics using the best local ingredients that maybe don’t stand out because of colour or how they are presented, but by the authentic journey within. For us, one of the reasons we’re out there front and centre is because we wish to control our own destiny, dare greatly and take responsibility in becoming an integral part of our local community through education and great service.
What is the best piece of advice someone has given you?
Embrace imperfections and allow yourself to be vulnerable, for this cultivates courage, compassion and connection and leads to becoming wholehearted so be authentic with your word. Try your best, assume nothing and don’t take yourself seriously.
Where would we find you on a day off?
For us Mondays revolve around family dinner so usually consist of a morning swim or quick trip down south then it’s back to the kitchen.
Only a Gold Coast local would know that …
Monday is basically a Sunday!
What words of wisdom do you live by?
Absorb, find your voice and never sell yourself short. Stay off script, and stay hungry.
Finally (we have to ask), what’s your all-time favourite gelato flavour?
For us you’ll have to ask us on the day but at the moment we’re really loving our sorbettos.
FAVOURITE WEEKEND SPOT TO:
Perk-up … with a sneaky scoop
Relax … At home
Dine … Hellenika, Gemellini, and Lupo … they’re on rotation
Be inspired … in the kitchen, exploring food, cultures, seasons and produce.