Chefs and nonnas announced

You’ve heard of popular Italian restaurants, Vini and Berta… so we’re very proud to announce owner and head chef Andrew Cibej and Nonna Valerie Cibej will be hosting our upcoming pop-up restaurant at Sandhurst’s Festival of Nonna. They’ll be presenting a five-course dinner with Italian wines, made up from their very own family recipes. It’s limited to seven dinners only so keep an eye out for our ticket release.

There’ll also be workshops and cooking classes from favourite chefs:


Massimo Mele was born in Australia but spent his first 8 years in Naples, playing in a crowded kitchen while his Nonna and aunts cooked up a storm. Mele is a self confessed mummy’s boy, and understands the great importance of Nonna’s influence in producing the finest Italian street food. Catch Mele and his mother Maria at Festival of Nonna, leading the workshop on Thursday 17th November and learn how to make lemon-scented veal meatballs and home-made ferretti pasta with prawns.


Luca Ciano was born and raised in Milan and started cooking with his Nonna and mother when he was just eight-years old. It was their influence and inspiration that led him to a career in the kitchen, resulting in him running a two-star Michelin restaurant in Milan. With Luca’s family living in Italy, Sandhurst’s very own Nonna, Geraldine Lubrano, will be joining him to run Nonna’s Gnocchi Workshop, as well as a tiramisu demo. Catch the action Saturday 19th October at 1pm.


You’ll probably recognise Sara Oteri’s face from her time on Masterchef, which was a transformational moment for her, taking cooking Italian food from a hobby to a life-force. She grew up in Perth and would stay with her Nonna, Carmela La Penga quite regularly, spending most of their time in the kitchen, cooking up new creations. With Nonna La Penga being deaf from birth they communicated through their love of cooking, and continue doing so to this day. Meet them at the workshops at 1pm on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th November and for Nonna’s Sicillian Lunch. Groups of four will be making one of the following: squid ink pasta, eggplant crostini, blood orange and raddichio salad, and cannoli.