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Leonardo de Marchi Bueno

Leonardo de Marchi Bueno


São Paulo, Brazil.


I’ve started my career back in my hometown. São Paulo is a massive city and I’ve always had the opportunity to try many different restaurants with my family.

My first job was an internship in a restaurant called Maní (1 Michelin star) during my culinary studies and that gave me the opportunity of working with many great Chefs and take the most knowledge from them and when I’ve discovered my passion in pastry.

After that, I spent a year and a half as a Gelato Chef, being able to create my own recipes and replicate flavour profiles from classics, which is something I really enjoy in pastry.

Coming to Australia about 5 years ago, I’ve had to have many different jobs as a baker, working in pubs but I really had a good opportunity when working at Tayim (The Rocks, Sydney NSW) for Chef Ran Kimelfeld (ex-Nour), who also taught me great things while I was also finishing my studies at TAFE NSW.

My great mentor though, was someone who I met after, who introduced me to Japanese cuisine. Chef Lucas David made me realise and rediscover the passion for cooking that I found back in São Paulo, when I was working at Maní.

We worked on Nikkei cuisine (Japanese-Peruvian) in a way that was very close to us, being South Americans and I noticed my growth was exponential.

From there we both went to work at Inka and working for Vit was an eye opener for organisation and learning how to handle a busy service with a team of 10+ Chefs, which was a very new experience to me.

At Inka I was mainly in charge of the grill and the pastry section, becoming Sous Chef after a while.

When I first started at Brunello, I came to be the Pastry Chef, developing recipes and new desserts with the previous Head Chef, however being Brazilian and knowing my way around any grill made me go up the ranks in a very short amount of time.

Now being a Head Chef, made me realise that everyone has their little flair differently and it’s up to me to let them shine. I like to share my passion with others that also have it and for this to happen, it is important for me that everyone gets to be a little creative!

Have you always wanted to be a Chef? 

Not exactly, watching the woman of my life cooking has always made me fascinated about it, there’s something about the fire, the chemical reactions in cooking that caught my eye since I was little and that could also be the reason why I’ve tried to pursue a graduation in Chemical Engineering before going to study cookery.

That didn’t last more than two years though and cooking at the time was a hobby that I had and wanted to always show off the pastries I used to make at home for my friends and family. So I decided to follow that and here I am!

How would you define your style?
I think that throughout my career, it is the first moment I’m having to develop a style of cooking, but I love revisiting classics and doing them differently. Doing it well is a good way of developing your creativity since there are so many interpretations of them.

What is your feature flavour these days?
Acid. Most of my dishes have an acidic component and that for me is important to bring brightness, no matter how rich or sweet a dish might appear.

Obsessive-compulsive about?

Cooking itself, I’m at work most days because I love what I do and I want to be better every day. I know there’s much more to learn and I’m always looking forward to it!

Your greatest culinary influence: 

Helena Rizzo. Just in a short amount of time she gave me the opportunity to learn from amazing Chefs in her kitchen and without knowing, opened many doors for me during my career.

What do you love about this business? 

What I love about Brunello is that the work environment is just so light, I go to work every day to enjoy my cooking and have fun. It has a great kitchen and gives me all the freedom I need to develop my skills even further along with my team. 

An ingredient you can’t live without?

Garlic. A simple spoon of confit garlic in any recipe makes it shine even brighter every single time.

Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?

Housemade duck fat puff pastry, Ortiz anchovies, confit lemon and compressed celery. 

Signature dish:

36-hour lamb shoulder, fig glaze, Autumn beans, Persian feta and pistachio.

Tell us something no one knows about you?

My Chefs know it, but I’m a massive sweet tooth. I’m always snacking on desserts and my Pastry Chef usually pretends she doesn’t know when some of her prep just ‘vanishes’. Good thing that she always has some extra mise en place!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

In five years’ time, I probably will be somewhere doing something that I still don’t have a clue about it, but I’m sure I’ll be cooking and developing new skills, because I don’t see myself doing anything else for at least a decade.



Canberra’s premium wine bar and restaurant, Brunello on City Walk, brings a European-style bistro to the heart of the CBD. Offering the freshest local and seasonal produce straight to your table, along with more than 400 wines from around the globe, catch up with friends over a drink in stylish surrounds of shelves stacked with bottles, sleek tiles and marble-topped tables. For cheese lovers, there is a walk-in room where you can sample local and imported products to purchase; before settling in with grilled octopus, with Pomodoro bruciato and herbs. For the main, think slow-braised lamb shoulder with fig glaze, Persian feta and beans, or suckling pig confit in duck fat, with apple sauce and sides like oregano shoestring fries and char-grilled heirloom carrots.

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