The end of May heralded a new era at Living Choice Fullarton with long-time restaurant owner, Damien Hein of Damien on Fisher handing over the `apron’ to experienced chef and restaurant owner, Alfonso Castello, known as Nino, and his delightful wife, Anna.
The surname “Castello” originated in “the City of the Seven Castles” – Naples, and appropriately, the new restaurant/café will be known as “Castello’s Cucina”, with a fresh look, family-friendly environment and a full menu of classic and modern Italian recipes, along with breakfast, pizzas, imported Italian products, produce and gifts.
Nino has extensive experience in creating iconic food destinations, having established restaurants and cafes in Sydney, Shanghai and Adelaide. His most recent venture was the popular Alfonso’s Continental on the corner of Hutt and Halifax St, known as the place to be for breakfast and famous for its traditional food and its extensive gluten-free menu.
Nino was born, raised and began his culinary career in Cava Dei Tirreni – the gateway to the Amalfi Coast. He trained and worked in bakeries, pasticcerias, pizzerias and restaurants throughout Italy.
“I brought all the authentic recipes and flavours from the gorgeous Southern coastline to my new home in Australia. I’ll be producing and delivering my Italian cuisine, along with my love and passion for great food and service, to both Living Choice residents and the outside community. My vision is to create a lively, vibrant atmosphere for family and friends to gather and enjoy a vast menu,” he said.
Nino is married to Anna and they have three children. “Family is everything to me, and now I consider the Living Choice community as part of my family,” he added.
As a former top model, Anna is a familiar face to many, having been featured in many editorial and advertising campaigns for various companies. She was born in Australia to immigrant parents from Poland and Malta, and at age 12, she entered the world of fashion as a catwalk, photographic and house model for a variety of Australian designers. She constantly travelled in her teenage years, twenties and early thirties.
Anna shares Nino’s passion for food and enjoys the hospitality culture and interacting with people from different walks of life. She has worked in cafés and restaurants and was the Function Co-ordinator at Renaissance Tower in the 90s.
While working at Rundle Street Café, she met Nino who had just arrived from Italy. They married in 2002 and started a family and their family business, Alfonso’s. “Our three children all took their first steps behind a coffee bar or gelati fridge and have all grown up in hospitality. It’s a real family affair.”