Laurent Cambon – Executive Chef of Machiavelli
Working with Machiavelli since 1994 – Yes… 1994
“Freshness, taste, presentation and value are crucial for his food.Teamwork and good utensils are essential also in the kitchen.”
Machiavelli Ristorante Italiano Executive Chef, Laurent Cambon, was born in Limerick, Ireland to French parents. From an early age, Laurent showed a great interest in cooking and could often be found watching his Mother and Grandmother in the kitchen.
Growing up, Laurent had extensive exposure to a variety of cuisines due to extensive travel around Europe, and his mother told him, “If you want to travel, become a chef”. Fuelled by this, as well as his love of food, he knew his path was clear.
Laurent began his first apprenticeship at Villa Strauss in Vichy (Napoleon’s Summer House).
Then he moved to Paris, worked with Alain Passard, joined L’Arpege Paris, a two-star Michelin restaurant. Following this, he joined the team at Au Trou Gascon with Alain Dutournier, a one star Michelin restaurant, before looking to expand his career in the international hotel scene with Le Meridien Group in Paris in their Michelin starred restaurant.
Once arriving in Sydney, Laurent continued expanding his culinary credentials with the teams at La Grillade then the Intercontinental, Park Lane (now Sheraton on the Park) with Dietmar Sawer.
This gave him the local experience he needed to join Machiavelli Ristorante Italiano in 1994.
(Picture: Some of Machiavelli’s famous dishes and seasonal specials)
HUNGRY DINER’s favourite dish above is the seasonal blue mountain figs, wrapped with San Daniele Prosciutto served with gorgonzola & sage sauce.
Apart from by a few years where he worked in the Blue Mountains at Silk’s Brasserie Leura and The Rooster Restaurant at Jamison Guest House, Laurent has worked with the team of six at Machiavelli Ristorante Italiano for over 20 years. He leads a team who are as passionate as he is about creating new and exciting dishes while remaining authentic to the Italian cuisine and the extensive heritage of the restaurant.
In the last year, since Machiavelli was taken over by Nicolae Bicher, Laurent has introduced a series of daily specials which have proved hugely popular with their loyal clientele including the likes of Barry O’farrell, Mike Munroe, Alan Jones, Peter Fitzsimon and Lindsay Fox to name a few. He has also introduced dessert specials and regularly works with the team to create weekly cocktail specials.
Chef Laurent with General Manager Rosanna Riccio and Owner Nicolae Bicher.
Laurent notes that the most ‘eyebrow-raising’ item on the Machiavelli Ristorante Italiano menu is the Gamberoni Avvolti – Queensland prawns wrapped in crispy potato with avocado tartare and acacia honey dressing!
Laurent’s love of the hospitality industry is clear to all who meet him. He loves that you never stop learning and are forever evolving and pushing the boundaries by combining ingredients to get flavours that constantly enrich our palate.
“It is an industry that allows you to grow, both professionally and personally, if you allow yourself to embrace its direction in your life.”
On a personal level, Laurent has two kids and splits his time between the Blue Mountains and Elizabeth Bay. He says his favourite restaurant outside Machiavelli, and his own kitchen, is Quay.
Domenico Stefanelli Sous-chef of Machiavelli
Working with Machiavelli since 2014
Chef (hospitality) Diploma di Cuoco (Italy)
Chef Laurent has an amazing team in the kitchen, including the very talented Domenico Stefanelli from Calabria in Italy who holds a qualification of Chef (hospitality) Diploma di Cuoco (Italy). Chef Dom joined the Machiavelli team in 2014 and is a huge part of the amazing food that hits our tables every night.
An army is only as strong as it’s troops, Dom is an asset to the kitchen and the vision.
Note: Ladies he is always up for a photo, don’t be afraid to ask 😉
Janice Coleman – Pastry chef
Working with Machiavelli since 2017
A diploma in professional cookery and use to be a professional ballroom dancer
A word below from the boss of the sugar and sweets:
From Dublin Ireland, Janice held a wooden spoon and whisk from an early age, baking with her Grandmother and mother. Baking was in the family.
At college, Janice gravitated to the pastry department to learn everything from cakes, ice creams, sorbets, fresh bread and high tea. She had a wonderful mentor during that time that had stayed with her through her whole career.
Janice has cooked for a lot of famous football players (Soccer) like Real Madrid and Manchester United. Her time in Sydney has had her work at other Italian restaurants in Leichhardt and Moore Park.
Janice loves the history at Machiavelli and how some of the key team members are still here years later as it speaks volumes for the culture of the team.
Besides Machiavelli, her favourite restaurant is Tetsuya’s
We love your deserts, Janice!
Here are just some of Janice’s deserts below, the food photography was courtesy of the amazing Stevani from who I dined with on this day. Here is her very popular food blog, check it out–> FoodBlogs
Christopher Mano – Maître d’hôtel
Working with Machiavelli for 18 years and born in Melbourne
Chris has worked in the hospitality industry for 35 years in many prestigious venues and concepts.
He has also owned restaurants with his brothers.
Chris loves Machiavelli because of the consistency of the food and service. Spoken like a true host.
To Chris it’s all about the small details, that is all that matters.
Simone Cicala – Machiavelli’s Amazing Sommelier
Working with Machiavelli since 2010
Diploma of Sommelier obtained from AIS (Associazione Italiana Sommelier).
(Pictured: Simone in the kitchen and also partying on the harbour)
A word below from the sommelier we love:
Apart from its food, history, and the particularity of its diners, the selection of our wine also sets us apart as our aim is boutique oriented. It’s easy to have a large wine list because not much planning or research goes into it.
Our boutique wine list is carefully selected from the best regions of Italy. This careful selection extends both to our local produce and our neighbouring New Zealand cousins.
The wine we choose must marry with our food menu and daily specials.
We review our selections of wines frequently by researching vintage, new releases, characteristics so we stay true to our Boutique objective.
There are 1500 varieties of grapes which are unexplored by the Australian market and my job is to identify the best suited to our food and seasons.
However, knowledge alone cannot meet this standard it must be inspired by love and passion.
Also have travelled extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, Italy and France in order to develop and expand my knowledge of the wine industry.
A message from Hungry Diner:
Machiavelli, thank you for having us in your beautiful venue, for all the many amazing mouths full of food, the wine, the hospitality, staying true to your vision and the memories. You treat everyone like family and you are leading the way when it comes to serving beautiful produce consistently.
Machiavelli Ristorante Italiano, Sydney
Address: 123 Clarence St, Sydney
Phone: (02) 9299 3748