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Food

Exclusive Interviews & Lunch at Frank Camorra's Home with Electrolux

Lunch at Frank Camorra's home? The invite was compelling. An insight into cooking with top chefs and the use of the Electrolux steam oven was an exciting event. A convivial lunch in the home was irresistible. The World Loves Melbourne was transported in a limo to Frank Camorra's (MoVida, MoVida Next Door, MoVida Acqui, Pacos Tacos and a Spanish bodega) house for an unforgettable afternoon with chefs and influencers. I was also able to interview both Frank Camorra and Massimo Mele (top Italian born chef from Tasmania, ex Donovan's, Electrolux, and chef around the world). Please note: all images not designated with tag @theworldlovesmelbourne are from talented photographer Kristoffer Paulsen.

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Standout chefs standing in front of the steam oven, Massimo Mele and Frank Camorra. 

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Media influencers along with top chefs Frank Camorra and Massimo Mele in Frank Camorra's home for an unforgettable afternoon.

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A fabulous wine selection highlighting Spanish varietals set up in Frank's home. It was awesome to be served by Frank Camorra and his family, as well as Massimo Mele. 

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An extraordinary table arrangement by Haussman PR.

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Stunning style displayed in Frank Camorra's home with loads of natural light. Did you know Frank Camorra used by be an architect back in the day?

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The gnocchi was prepared and rolled by hand by chef Massimo Mele then placed in the Electrolux steam oven followed by pan fry. Essentially the gnocchi was cooked twice! This ensure amazing softness in the middle - from the steam oven - then crispy on the outside from the pan fry.

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Frank Camorra in the meantime was preparing his Carrots in Andalusian spices dish. So vibrant!

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With glass of wine in hand it was time to interview these iconic chefs. Firstly Frank Camorra

Q. Frank, what is your cooking philosophy? How do the Electrolux cooking appliances enhance this - including the steam oven?

My cooking philosophy can be summed up in five key points:

  • Be led by the season and let the produce create the menu
  • Find a source of (regional) inspiration
  • Create but remain true to the source of both the produce and the inspiration
  • Explore and be curious with new techniques
  • Reject pointless complication and embrace the beauty of simplicity

I think all home cooks should have these thoughts in the back of their minds when cooking. It’s vital to be curious and utilise new techniques in the kitchen. For example, using the Electrolux steam oven to steam a fish you would normally fry. I can’t recommend experimenting with steam enough! Steaming locks in the produce’s flavour and is a healthier alternative to a gas or electric oven

Q. The dishes we experienced at the event were amazing. Can home cooks expect to be able to reproduce these?

Both Massimo and myself tried to create dishes that were accessible to the home cook. Massimo’s gnocchi dish was delicious and simple enough to recreate in your own kitchen. Similarly, my dish of steamed snapper with clams and chorizo was a classic Spanish rustic dish made quick and easy by steaming the fish.

The little tapa with the cigar, with quince and goats curd was a little more complicated but still easy enough to do at home. I used a technique of semi hydrating fruit puree on low temperature. In this case, I used the quince to create my version of fruit rolls that could also be adjusted to make a healthy and interesting snack for kids.

Q. Who and what are your main influences in life and in the kitchen?

I think growing up in a food-obsessed, Spanish family was the main influence for my ongoing love of food and eventual choice in career. We would cure olives, make chorizo, and forage for clams, mussels and even snails, all out of necessity, as they weren’t available to buy when we first arrived in Australia.

As for industry influences, professional chefs like Greg Malouf and Guy Grossi were important inspirations to me. They both use cuisines from their upbringing and refine the dishes for their restaurants

Q. How did you find hosting influencers in your home for this Electrolux event?

I was nervous to begin with! It’s not often that I have 15 strangers in my house, as you could probably imagine. Once the lunch got started though, it was really enjoyable. It felt like having friends over for a Sunday lunch

Q. What other places do you enjoy in Melbourne and wider Australia for dining?

I’m the type of person that goes to the same restaurants for years. Simple, well-made food with a good wine list and a feeling of being at home does it for me. My recommendations would be places like Gerald’s bar in Carlton, The Hotel Lincoln and Harley and Rose

Q. What is "Australian cuisine"?

I don’t think Australian cuisine is easily defined. Everyone has their own perspective on what it is. To me, it’s the diversity of cuisines and dishes that we have, and the way chefs in Australia draw from them. 

Q. What are a couple of culinary trends right now?

I think the main trend I’m seeing is a distinct focus in restaurants. No longer is it as common for a venue to try and be something for everyone. Rather, restaurants are choosing to focus on perfecting one thing.

Q. How does the Australian culinary scene compare to the rest of the world such as Spain and Italy?

Australia is one of the few countries in the world where you can eat good food of other culture’s cuisines. When I travel for extended periods of time I miss the diversity of foods - you don’t understand how lucky we are in Australia until you try to find great Chinese food in Spain!

Q. Can you comment on the quality of produce in this country? Does it lend itself to European style cooking?

Generally, Australian produce is outstanding. However, I do miss cooking with the ingredients of Spain that are intrinsic to Spanish cuisine.

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Cigarillo-quince cigar with goats curd prepared by Frank Camorra was a zesty chewy triumph.

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Jessica Baird from Electrolux Australia told us about the kitchen fitout by Electrolux in Frank Camorra's home.

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Electrolux Steam Oven was the centre of the action at this event.

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The chefs also used the electrolux cooktop for thier dishes. Frank has an excellent kitchen set up.

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A captive audience of influencers. It was then time to interview talented chef Massimo Mele.

Q. Massimo, what is your cooking philosophy? How do the Electrolux cooking appliances enhance this - including the steam oven?

My cooking philosophy changes with the different stages of my life. Right now, I’m a busy husband, father and a travelling chef, so to me, cooking is about maximising flavour, convenience and nutrients.

This convenience-based cooking is made easy in my kitchen using some Electrolux appliances, especially the Electrolux steam oven. Cooking with steam is a big help when you’re short of time as it’s a precise, consistent and clean way of cooking.

Q. The dishes we experienced at the event were amazing. Can home cooks expect to be able to reproduce these?

Of course! We have designed these dishes specifically to show people how easy they are to prepare at home with the right appliances. I love watching someone attempt (and succeed!) at preparing these dishes themselves.

Q. Who and what are your main influences in life and in the kitchen?

Number one on the list is and always will be, my mother. I would describe my mother’s cooking to be passionate, patient, gentle, subtle and beautiful.

Q. What other places do you enjoy in Tasmania, and the rest of Australia, for dining?

I absolutely love eating at the Agrarian Kitchen in the north of Hobart. The restaurant is driven by beautiful produce and passionate staff. Another favourite spot is at Africola in Adelaide. When you’re in Melbourne, you also absolutely cannot go past Coda and MoVida.

Q. What are a couple of culinary trends right now?

Haha I love a good trend! I would say there is a current movement of consumers wanting to know where their food is coming from. People are becoming much more socially aware – and so they should be! I think that if consumers are more educated on where and how their food is produced, they will play a big part in creating a more sustainable industry for our farmers. We need to look after our farmers today, so they can continue to deliver quality tomorrow.

Q. How does the Australian culinary scene compare to the rest of the world such as Spain and Italy?

Poor Australia is always getting compared to its much older and well-established overseas buddies. I personally think we rate well – our chefs are creative, well-educated and have access to some of the world’s best produce. More and more chefs are visiting from overseas and getting blown away – and so they should! We’re cooking great food!

Q. Can you comment on the quality of produce in this country? Does it lend itself to European style cooking?

I think there are fantastic Australian producers growing and farming delicious products. There are pockets of the country that will absolutely blow you away with produce, you just need to find them!

The difference in Europe is that people really do farm to the seasons, and what you buy at the market is what’s fresh, so the flavour really does say it all.I think though Australia is getting there, it is great to see so many people supporting their local markets. We just need more people doing it.

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Flour and egg and potato along with Italian cheese - with extra cheese added to the final dish as well.

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Place the egg in the middle of the flour, water, potato, and cheese mixture.

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Working that dough.

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Gnocchi action with plenty of snaps from influencers.

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Massimo about to hand roll the gnocchi!

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Frank's carrot inspired salad was ultra photogenic - something that looked like it belonged in the NGV.

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Gnocchi on the Electrolux cooktop was pan fried after having been steamed.

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Loving the caramelisation on the gnocchi.

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Look at the gnocchi straight from being steamed then pan fried. Golden bliss and soft pillow texture.

Gnocchi with slow cooked wagyu and pork was a rustic stunning dish perfect for winter (or any season!).

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Frank Camorra inspiring us with Spanish cooking and culinary tips.

Steamed mussels with sweet and sour eggplant was a stunning dish. Steaming mussels in the Electrolux steam oven is a brilliant idea.

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Steamed snapper is the best.

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A stunning masterclass with plenty of cooking tips.

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Convivial dining at its best.

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We sat down at Frank's own kitchen table for an epic meal.

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Rustic overdrive.

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Where else would you want to be on a Friday afternoon?

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Large bowls of the Gnocchi with slow cooked wagyu and pork were placed on our table. Frank added some extra Italian cheese assisting Massimo.

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Frank Camorra was a super engaging host in his home. A convivial high class lunch with the feel of friends around the table.

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To sit with the iconic chefs while we ate was yet another highlight of this top notch event.

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 Dessert was also extraordinary. Flan - Spanish creme caramel was a memorable dish and quintessentially Spanish.

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Unforgettable. A highlight of the year. To have a personal masterclass with world class chefs in Frank Camorra's home is amazing. Now I want an Electrolux steam oven. Thanks to Hausmann PR, Electrolux Australia and Frank Camorra and his family, as well as Massimo Mele. Sensational!