Welcome to my world!
My name is Carmela D'Amore, I am a specialist of the heart, I bring back to life the heartbeat and soul in cooking, my clients are gently brought back to life after they have done a class with me.
A professional chef for over 40 years, I specialise in the Sicilian cooking technique of Cucina Povera (literal translation is poor kitchen, but there is nothing poor about the food I create!) Passed down through generations of wonderful cooks in my family, I have mastered the ancient techniques and added my own modern and dietary-sensitive flair.
Newly appointed as the President of Lady Chefs to the Federation of Italian Chefs Australia, gives me the chance to bring dedication, expertise and a passion for Italian food and my culture to the community.
The F.I.C are great influencers of Italian cuisine in Australia, creating a cultural fusion of quality and artistry across the nation.
"Being appointed President of Lady Chefs within the Federation is a great honour for me. It recognises women in in the scope of a competitive industry, where they are encouraged to develop their unique skills and artistry by communicating their passion through Italian cuisine."
Australian born to Sicilian immigrants, I moved to the Mornington Peninsula in 1974 and here I have stayed. I love the richness of the produce, the serenity of the beach early in the morning and the flow of the tourist trade.
My work leading the team at Sorrento Trattoria (my family restaurant) consumes most of my time, although the active involvement of my son Joe now allows me the space to pursue my true purpose - connecting people with the heart of the table.
My own personal struggles and health issues propelled me to deeply consider how I was cooking and what I was eating. My body had regularly displayed signs that something was amiss and finally my spirit asked the question: what's going on? Discovering I had SIBO has changed my course and has inspired me that my health is the first priority, with a healthy body, mind and soul anything is possible.
The death of my parents was also a turning point in my journey. I realised that with the passing of a generation, I had unresolved issues to tackle; I became keenly aware of the transience of time, the judgments I had made and that had been made about me. I realised I needed to change my thinking. I also recognised that there were valuable secrets and knowledge going to the grave and I wanted to arrest that flow.
With the passing of my mother it left me to do a much needed self inventory and to examine the questions of her passing -` what is my own purpose in life? That moment was the inspiration I needed to transform my self and it manifested in the writing of my first book Carmela's Cucina Povera: a journey of self-discovery and healing through Sicilian cooking. It was a cathartic process, marking a tremendous shift in my thinking and subsequently my life's work. At the present moment I am writing my second book that will be published next year.
Mother of four and beloved wife of Marco, who I have been married to for over 35 years, I raised my family on two fundamental foundations: `good soulful food' and `love'. It is these foundations that have paved the way for the creation of Carmela's Cucina Classes, my own Sicilian Cooking School.
I am an artist with a passion for education. I believe that being educated we become consciously aware and are able to expand and use those tools in life to create a great life. Self development is also a crucial pedestal in our life, when we expand as humans, we then become stronger influencers, and are able to give more of ourselves and to our community.
Sicilian food is about family, heritage, community and the richness for the love of life's moments. My heritage is a true gift given to me from my ancestors. Why Sicilian food? It is built from the diversity of different cultures, it has centuries of life behind it, most of all it is built from the foundations of family with a rich heritage, the land is rich from the volcanic islands and the sun is always generating new rays for the soil. Becoming a representative in Sicilian food and culture and introducing clients to the magical Island of Sicily, is an honour, Sicily is called the `pearl of this century,' from mouths of the poets and artists. Join me in one of my tours to experience Sicily with me, the people, the food, the culture, but most of all to regenerate the experience of life back into your heart.
Join me in my cucina.....