Our First Guest Chef is Patrizia Simone from Simones in Bright, NE Victoria. Simone’s was recently awarded 2 hats in the 2006 Age Good Food Guide and with her husband George doing a great job front of house and her son Anthony as sous chef it is truely a family business. Eating at Simones is just like going to their home for dinner.
Patrizia has suggested a Twice Baked Chestnut Souffle dish that uses Chestnut Flour.
Patrizia was born in Perugia in Umbria, Italy, into a family of regional cooks.
Her mother was a private chef for a well-known Perugian family and shopped for ingredients at local farms and markets, made the daily pasta and sauces. This shaped Patrizia’s approach to food and cooking – she learnt the importance of flavours and textures and using regional food and sourcing local ingredients. Patrizia completed an apprenticeship in Italy and honed her skills working in commercial kitchens in England, France and Melbourne.
Patrizia came to Australia as a 21 year old and met George, an Italian who arrived here aged six. In 1985 they moved to Bright in North East Victoria, an area surrounded by farm-filled valleys which had become home for Italian families in the migration boom of the 1950’s. For 18 years Patrizia and her husband George ran the restaurant from their motel in Bright but in December 2003 they moved the restaurant to a new home: an elegant 19th century house. “I’d always envisaged a place that had a bit of heritage to it. It’s a beautiful old home. I hope I give the feeling that the people are coming into my home to dine” Patrizia says. The new Simone’s is decorated with visions of Umbria, including paintings from a friend, and the atmosphere is completed by “things that are meaningful to us”.
Here’s what the 2006 Age Good Food Guide has to say about Simone’s
“Simone’s is the provincial Italian restaurant of your dreams: a homely yet stylish place of warm hospitality, with mamma and son in the kitchen, papa out front. And that’s before you get to the food from Patrizia Simone, one of Victoria’s best and least pretentious cooks, whose menu eschews city trends in favour of true regionality. In autumn, expect chestnuts and mushrooms; in summer, berries and zucchini flowers. Ingredients are brought together in intriguing ways, with magnificent results: salty-sweet duck prosciutto is served with pickled cherries and marinated baby pears; herb-coated king prawns come with green chilli bruschetta; porchetta boasts perfect crackling and a crunchy side salad of apple, celery and walnuts, Desserts, notably gelati and chilled zabaglione mouse, maintain the standard through to the finish.” Back to Blog