These are the words of Johnny Di Francesco, who is calling on Victorian grandparents to pass on their traditional recipes which they’ve perfected over the years.
The chef and owner of 400 Gradi has organised the Nom your Non competition, in which all Victorian grandparents can share their signature dishes.
The three finalists will host Johnny in their kitchens to share the secrets and stories behind their dishes with him.
The three best dishes will then become part of a limited-time Piatti Dei Nonni menu, featured exclusively at Gradi at Crown in August.
All three winners will receive $2000 cash and will be invited to dinner at Gradi to celebrate food, family and the Piatti Dei Nonni menu with 20 of their family and friends.
This dinner will be hosted by Johnny and his Nonna Angela.
The competition was inspired by Johnny’s strong bond with his grandmother.
“I have a very special relationship with my nonna and she has influenced my career and passion for cooking,” he said.
“Stuffed calamari is her signature dish and it’s been on my restaurant’s menu for six years now.”
With a Sicilian grandmother on his mother’s side and a Neapolitan paternal grandmother, Johnny has always had a strong passion for the history and traditions of Italian cuisine.
“I can’t wait to meet the nonnas that are going to enter,” he Johnny said.
“They are seriously the life of what’s been created here in Melbourne.
“They brought such tradition to this city and we should validate them.”
Entries close Wednesday, July 3, at 5:00 pm. Visit the website for more information.