John Lanzafame
John Lanzafame

John Lanzafame

Born: Sydney, NSW


Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
I have always cooked, right from an early age with mum; she was the reason for my love of cooking and good food – great food is our families’ passion. I started cooking professionally at the age of 15, inspired to get right into it because her creativity knew no bounds and I wanted to follow in her footsteps.  Over the years we never ate the same meal twice which meant our plates were always full of a wide variety of Italian dishes. 

At Lanzafame Trattoria we do stick to recipes, and of course my cookbooks are structured, though it all is really a generous collection of mum’s simple homestyle embellished for absolutely delicious results.


How would you define your style?
My style is rustic Italian; true to my roots. Recording recipes is really important to me because they can be lost so what I often do is take one of mum’s traditional dishes and add a slightly modern twist.


What is your feature flavour these days?
I’m more of a winter chef than a summer chef.  Pasta and pizza are some of our favourites and they’re definitely crowd pleasers; less is more and I place emphasis on earthy flavours always sourcing ingredients with no additives or preservatives. 

At Lanzafames we only and always use the best produce.  If we were to define a feature flavour I would say we spoil our diners with choice products including truffles, cheeses, specialized beef, game, poultry and all the things you would expect of a fine dining restaurant but in Trattoria fashion, casual and welcoming.  


Obsessive compulsive about?
Flavour and just simple; no fuss service.  I love playing with unattainable produce.


Your greatest culinary inspirations?
Thomas Keller. Peter Gilmour. Pete Evans and being part of the culinary Olympics.


What do you love about this business?
The smiles on peoples faces after eating and people wanting to know more about REAL Italian food and how flavoursome it can be.


An ingredient you can’t live without?

Pork and a good array of salts, onion and garlic.


Most “eyebrow raising” menu item? 

White truffles and Kobe beef with salmon belly.


Signature Dish: Gnocchi!