Recipes, memories and anecdotes from the iconic Melbourne restaurant, Grossi Florentino
The Florentino’ is one of Melbourne’s most famous and enduring restaurants. Generations of Australians have met, conversed, done deals and partied within its impressive surroundings.
This history of the Florentino is intertwined with Melbourne’s history, and with the history of Italian migration to Australia and its influence on local culture and eating habits. Beginning in 1900 as a wine cafe at the wrong end of town, it developed into a fine dining establishment that became the place to be seen. One of the first cafes in Melbourne to offer espresso coffee and homemade pasta, what became Grossi Florentino is now considered the city’s best Italian restaurant. Its clientele has included prime ministers and politicians, corporate leaders, artists, writers, musicians, journalists and socialites, many of whom share their memories and anecdotes in these pages.
Guy Grossi is a celebrated chef and restaurateur. He is the owner of Grossi Restaurants including Grossi Florentino, Mirka Continental Bistro, Merchant Osteria Veneta, Ombra Salumi Bar and Grossi Trattoria in Bangkok.
As one of Australia's leading authorities on Italian food, Guy has been a judge on My Kitchen Rules and co-host of Italian Food Safari, and has appeared on MasterChef Australia. He also shares his knowledge through his bestselling books, which include Recipes From My Mother's Kitchen, My Italian Heart and Grossi Florentino: Secrets and Recipes.
Guy is a dedicated philanthropist who is particularly interested in assisting young people in need and mentoring others. His restaurants consistently attract praise but what gives him the most joy is the satisfaction of feeding a hungry diner.
Jan McGuinness has worked as a senior journalist, editor and columnist for newspapers and magazines in Australia and overseas, including the Age, the National Times and the Bulletin. She has written extensively about food, set up newspaper food and lifestyle sections and contributed to and compiled sections of the Age Good Food Guide. At ABC TV she has worked as a current affairs reporter and producer and as Commissioning Editor, Arts and Entertainment.