Chef owner, Rodolfo Malinverni has worked the kitchens of many a prestigious, luxury restaurant. From London to Bermuda, and across to Costa Rica. Before heading way down south to do more of the same in Australia. But his passion for his art has never waned.
”The freedom that creativity gives me when I’m creating a dish is an amazing feeling”, Rodolfo says in the spirit of a true Italian master chef.
Today, Rodolfo owns his own business, which brings the “fine dining experience” directly into his customer’s homes. If anyone can create that “special atmosphere”, then Rodolfo can. His career to date must surely make him one of Australia’s home-dining chef connoisseurs.
I wanted to be the one cooking lunch for my siblings
Rodolfo was born and raised in Oltrepò Pavese, a small village just outside Milan. It was in the traditional Italian kitchen, and what was happening on the chopping board, that first sparked the young Rodolfo’s curiosity.
“I watched and learned how to cook from my loving Mum and beloved Nanna. I had just turned 8 years old, but already I was eager to rush home from school. I wanted to be the one cooking lunch for my siblings because my parents were busy working”.
His brother absolutely loved to eat the food Rodolfo prepared, and was the “driving force” in persuading the now budding teenage chef to take his cooking seriously as a career.
I worked in a number of renowned establishments
“I was 19 when I moved to England to start my journey in the world of professional cooking”, says Rodolfo. “Over the next five years I worked in a number of renowned establishments, including for the world famous chef Jamie Oliver at ‘Union Jacks’.
I also landed a position at the Michelin star restaurant ‘Galvin at Windows’, learning French and Asian cuisine”. The restaurant, launched by chef patron Chris Galvin in 2006, is located on the top floor of the London Hilton, Park Lane.
From there, Rodolfo moved on to work at several prestigious private clubs in London. Notably, at the favourite eating-out venues of the establishment well-heeled and celeb, alike. Including, the iconic ‘Annabel’s’ club in Mayfair, first opened in 1963.
“I next moved to a 5 star luxury resort in Bermuda for a year” says Rodolfo, followed by two years at another “5 star luxury resort” in Costa Rica. After which, Rodolfo decided it was time to move again. This time to Australia. “A place I always wanted to visit”.
Recreate the fine-dining restaurant experience in people’s homes
Once again, Rodolfo naturally found himself working at the high end. “I got a position as sous chef at the well known casual, fine-dining restaurant at the ‘Social Eating House & Bar’, on Broadbeach Gold Coast, Queensland. I also visited ‘Quay’ by Chef Peter Gilmore in Sydney, one of the most famous kitchen in the country”. For well over a decade, the 3-hatted Quay has been included in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
It was now 2020, and the outbreak of the global epidemic, bringing lockdown and then restrictions. It seemed eating-out would be on hold for a while. With a wealth of knowledge and experience at his culinary fingertips, Rodolfo decided he would recreate the fine-dining restaurant experience in people’s homes. He started his own company, ‘Horae Dining’.
“The name ‘Horae’ comes from Greek mythology”, explains Rodolfo, “Horae – or ‘Hours’ – were the goddesses of the seasons, honoured by the farmers”. It perfectly captures Rodolfos’ own philosophy and concepts in sourcing and cooking fresh ingredients.
I create and offer degustation menus
“After travelling around the globe and trying many different cuisines, I love to put into my dishes what I’ve learned, combining different flavours, techniques and cultures. I create and offer degustation menus, using local produce and following the seasons”. ‘Degustation’ is the French word for ‘tasting’, and generally involves sampling small portions from all of a chef’s signature dishes in one sitting.
As with so many chefs today Rodolfo emphasises his commitment to eating sustainably.
“Respect for our land, local farmers, sustainability and seasonal produce are particularly important to me. It’s what I believe should be important to everyone. I work closely with my local suppliers who provide the best service and products at the time. Extremely important to me is also the ‘no waste’ aspect. With modern techniques and creativity it’s possible to reduce the waste to almost none for any product”.
Love being surrounded by nature after a hard day at work
Rodolfo also agrees that, “being a chef is not an easy job”, but believes that the way to deal with the pressures and stress of life on the pass is “working out and exercising”.
“It definitely helps to remain stable and healthy, mentally and physically”, says Rodolfo, “I personally do boxing and love running at the beach or in parks. I also love being surrounded by nature after a hard day at work. It helps to calm myself down, relax and get inspiration to create new dishes”.
Try as many products that mother nature offers
Looking back on his career so far, Rodolfo says he “truly loves the many opportunities that cooking has offered me. Such as travelling around the world, learning about cultures and people through cooking food. It’s incredibly satisfying to see people enjoying their meals and the privilege to be able to create a specific atmosphere for them in their home with my special menus”.
Rodolfo says it’s extremely important for younger chefs just starting out to also take advantage of all the opportunities they can. “Try as many products that mother nature offers, different types of cuisines to train the palate and understand what balance is in a dish”.
Rodolfo adds one more important piece of worldly advice, “Travelling the world is definitely a must – as it was for me – and never stop studying and researching”.