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Food

Impress with: Giovanni Pilu

Sardinian-born chef Giovanni Pilu speaks proudly of 17 years of restauranting in Sydney. He has had great success, starting with Cala Luna at The Spit and now at one of the most beautiful venues in Australia, Pilu at Freshwater, on Sydney’s northern beaches. But more than that, he has personally educated Australians about the unique cuisine of Sardinia, and how it fits into the deliciously varied world of Italian food.

“When I first came here Sardinian food was very unknown to Sydneysiders,” says Giovanni. “So when I started my first restaurant and cooked Sardinian food it was quite challenging. People had never seen it before, so to get them to trust what we did wasn’t easy. But they really enjoyed it. Now, people are demanding it, so it has turned a bit.”

While there are major differences in food across the regions of Italy, the cuisine of Sardinia is perhaps the most distinct.

“It is very different from say Lombardy, Lazio or Tuscany, where things can be similar because they are all attached to one another,” says Giovanni. “Being an island that was invaded by so many different cultures throughout history has resulted in a crazy diversity of food and culture and created a cuisine that is very unique.”

At the heart of Sardinian food is seafood, game and pecorino (cheese). “If people say pecorino, they know it is from Sardinia. It is a big part of our menu at Pilu, to the point that our cheese plate is only made up of pecorino.”

Watch our interview with Giovanni Pilu below:

Check out the recipe for Giovanni's beautifully simple Pecorino broth with pumpkin & chestnuts as well as his delicious recipe for Malloreddus with chickpeas, vongole, chilli and parsley.

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Food
Impress: Poh Ling Yeow
Words by Mark Hughes on 14 Jun 2017
It is so easy to fall in love with Poh Ling Yeow. She's wildly attractive, intelligent, funny and vivacious. She has a dazzling charisma, but at the same time is approachable. And she’s oh so talented. A professional artist before starring on the first season of Masterchef, she is now a true celebrity of the Australian food scene and host of her own show, Poh & Co., on SBS. “It’s really lovely to be back on a second season of Poh & Co. and working with friends and family, because ultimately that’s where I get all my inspiration from,” Poh tells me when we sit down for a chat on the set of our Impress photoshoot. “It’s a very truthful depiction of how I draw my ideas, the kind of everyday influences that I have and the people that I come in contact with. “The thing that I love about the show most is that it touches on very common, suburban aspirations, you know, wanting to have a vege patch or build your own pizza oven. It’s got currency in terms of people being able to relate to it very easily.” Working on TV and being able to chat with people from all walks of life has also benefitted Poh in the fact that she has been able to feel more secure about her own food identity. “I used to be very purist about the way I cooked, but now I’m relaxing and understanding what my identity is, which is a Malaysian-born Chinese Australian. So I feel like my food should absolutely reflect that. “Now I feel I have this license to be a little bit more free and playful with my food and it absolutely reflects what food is all about. It’s all about multiculture, about mixing ingredients and techniques.” The other exciting development in Poh’s life is opening her first restaurant, Jamface, in Adelaide’s Central Markets. “It’s actually just a little café – a very casual place. I’m cooking light breakfasts and lunches. The main focus is actually my pastry. I’m well known for my Asian food, but the thing that I absolutely love is French pastry. You should come down and check it out.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Poh:  
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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