Giuseppe and Riccardo bring Italian food craftsmanship to Australia

Italy, rich with culture and home to countless culinary traditions, is the inspiration for several businesses that have recently flourished here in Australia.

Elaine Bocchini
May 28, 2019
Food & wine

Riccardo Siligato and his wife Josanne Rizzo started their business in 2009 because, as Josanne says, ‘Coming from Italy, we felt the need to bring a little bit of Italy close to us and we started the production of traditional Italian food in Epping in the warehouse of a close friend.’  

From that start back in 2009, they have grown to become one of the best producers of arancini in Australia, and have extended their production to finger-food, calzoni, pizza bases and lasagne. Along with their new business partner Massimo Minutoli, they have also developed an offshoot division, Food Art Distribution, which imports and distributes Italian fine food and ingredients from Melbourne throughout Australia.

Josanne Rizzo, Riccardo Siligato and Massimo Minutoli

Like-minded people, loving the same simple things, deeply respecting their roots and sharing similar experiences often somehow find one another. This is the case for Riccardo Siligato and Giuseppe Minoia. They met here in Australia a few years ago at a business meeting organised by a mutual friend. Back then, they weren’t ready to work together, but on a personal level, the two hit it off immediately.  

Giuseppe Minoia had moved to Australia with his family leaving Italy behind and bringing a little bit of Conversano with them. They brought cheese.  

‘In fact, we moved our lives around this cheese, first setting up in Cairns to be close to the dairy herds and buffalo, later moving to Sydney to bring the fresh cheese closer to the tables where it was being served,’ Giuseppe explains. “We embraced Australia and Australia embraced us”.

Giuseppe Minoia

When they met, Giuseppe and Riccardo had things in common that they weren’t aware of, but fate intervened and they are now working together, both producing fine Italian food in Australia, both running family businesses, both offering the chance to experience Italy from every little corner of Australia.

In fact, thanks to Riccardo’s business Food Art Distribution, Vannella Cheese is now available in Victoria, ready to enjoyed and used in recipes by chefs, cooks, mums and foodies from every heritage and culture.  

Elaine Bocchini

Elaine is a Marketing Consultant with over 20 years of experience in effective business development and Events organisation in Italy, Europe and Australia. She runs her own business in Melbourne – Vital Marketing is her last successful endeavour – and nurtures a series of passions like sport, cooking and writing. She raced at international level in triathlon and cycling and represented Italy in swimming for over five years back in the 70’s and 80’s. Her life is an ongoing challenge, never give up it’s not just a credo, it’s the only way she can live her life. She is mother of two athletes: Robert, professional soccer player and Angelica, professional swimmer. Writing came into her life as a job first – she was copy writer in Italy – and then as a hobby when she moved to Australia in 2010. She writes both in Italian and English.