Welcome to my world!

My name is Carmela D'Amore, `I am a specialist of the heart, everything about me is heart driven, and inspired.. Sicilian food is rich in culture, family and life. It is the core of my being.

My desire is to navigate you into the core of your own heart where life, love and culture lives.'

A professional chef for over 45 years, I teach 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.

The F.I.C are great influencers of Italian cuisine throughout the globe, creating a cultural fusion of quality and artistry across the nation.

"Being part of the Lady Chefs within the Italian Delegation of Australia 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 who now is executive chef, 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?

The death of my parents was also a turning point in my journey. I realised that with the passing of a generation, there was a question that lingered inside of me, one from my soul, what is my legacy? What will I leave behind? I became keenly aware of the transience of time, 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 have writen my second book The Heart of the Table, unlocking the treasures to family and community through Sicilian food.

It is written for this digital era, for those who have lost their connection with family and friends, the table has been replaced with digital devices, and we wonder what is going on with our communication lines? It will inspire you to gather your family and friends to what truly matters in life.

Mother of four and beloved wife of Marco, who I have been married to for over 36 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 educating and sharing the knowledge about the collaboration between food and family, the connection that the two share is a powerful tool across our table. I believe that when we are enlightened we become consciously aware and are able to expand that knowledge 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, you can taste it! It has its own character, its' alive, 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. I am an Ambassador to Sicilian food and cultural storyteller, welcoming my 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.....


Find out more about Carmela’s Cucina Classes