Armando has worked in restaurants for most of his life. At the age of 14 he began working in his family’s restaurant in Naples, and was encouraged by his father to work for other restaurateurs.
He came to Australia in 1972 and joined his father, Mario, at Arriverderci in East Sydney. Seven years later, he and his father opened Pulcinella restaurant in Kings Cross where he established his reputation amongst Sydney diners for both his food and his ability to create a vibrant dining atmosphere.
In 1986 Armando published his first cookbook, “Modern Italian Cooking”; followed in 1994 by La Cucina Italian: the four seasons of Italian Cooking.
In 1987 Armando opened Buon Ricordo, which has gone on to become a landmark of the Sydney dining scene. Armando’s strong principles of service and excellence permeate everything he does.
Armando champions the return to classical Italian cuisine. His menu includes cucina povera – the food of the poor – unpretentious dishes that shirk flamboyance for emphasis on flavour and taste.
“Thirty or forty years ago, there was no serious Italian food here, then a few people – one of them was Beppi Polese of Beppi’s, the other was my father, Mario – started to do some authentic food. They started to offer antipasto, lasagne, cannelloni. I followed my father and we worked together…but the new generation wanted to do sophisticated dishes and lost the continuity, the way cooking should evolve. One section of Italian food has been missing, and it’s this good, healthy, unpretentious food. We need to get back to it.
It worries me when I see Italian chefs serving designer dishes. I don’t want good looks, I want taste, taste, taste not design.”
In 1993 Armando was instrumental in establishing the ‘Five Chefs Dinner’ for the Starlight Foundation, a non-profit organisation that grants wishes to seriously ill children. Each year this charity event raises funds to assist the Starlight Foundation in its valuable work. As well, Buon Ricordo is one of the sponsers of Sculpture By The Sea, Sydney’s premier outdoor art exhibition.
Armando’s professional achievements have been acknowledged by the Italian Government who in 1997 awarded him the ‘ Insegna del Ristorante Italiano ‘ for his contribution to Italian food outside of Italy; and the Australian Restaurant and Catering Association, who inducted him into ‘The Hall Of Fame’ in 1999.
As one of a group of Sydney Italian restaurateurs proud of their heritage and committed to safeguarding Italian culinary culture, Armando is involved in the establishment of a Council of Italian Restaurants in Australia (CIRA). Still in its initial phase , it promises to be a vital contribution to the teaching and promotion of our industry.
On weekends, Armando can be found at his Hunter Valley farm, Valley Field Escape, cooking in a more relaxed atmosphere and tending to his olive trees.
Ristorante Buon Ricordo
|Address:||108 Boundary St,
|Tel:||(02) 9360 6729|
|Fax:||(02) 9380 8955|