Is Sicilian the new Italian? We're willing to bet our arancini on it...
Fresh, seasonal and local. It's such a simple ethos, but one that we can often lose sight of as we search for the Next Big Food Fad. But for Sicilian-born chef Lino Sauro, this very simplicity is a way of life, passed down through generations of his family. Hailing from a line of Sicilian farmers who pride themselves on making the most of their home-grown produce, after spending 10 years cooking for Singaporeans at Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare and DOMVS Sheraton Towers, Sauro is bringing a slice of his childhood to Sydney via Olio Kensington Street.
First things first, Olio (Italian for oil) will be in good company. Inhabiting the site of The Old Rum Store in Sydney's coolest eating precinct (Chippendale), the refurbished dining room and rooftop terrazza is the perfect space to feast on rustic Sicilian dishes like calamarita vongole (calamarata pasta with sautéed Pipi Clams and Bottarga, red wine braised octopus and bone marrow risone or burrata served with warm mushrooms and prosciutto di parma.
"This is the style of food my family and I eat in Sicily," explains Sauro. "At home we're surrounded by the ocean and olive trees so obviously olive oil and seafood are very important. Sicily's historic past also means there's influences from North Africa and Mediterranean Europe." With a focus on seasonal seafood and ingredients like wild fennel, raisins, saffron and couscous, we can't wait to disciver what Sauro does with Sydney's finest seafood when Olio opens next week. "It's a beautiful cuisine that I believe will translate really well to Australia given the location and climate here," adds Sauro.
Olio Kensington Street opens Saturday, January 28. It is located on the Second floor of The Old Rum Store, 2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale.