Hands on fire

It's all about sharing

Food is deeply embedded in the history and culture of Italian people.

Nutrition is the ultimate way to get people together, make them comfortable and get them experiencing food how it is intended – shared with others.

An undeniable trend, it is wonderful to see the rise in shared eating across the Australian food scene. The increased shift to smaller shared plates and shared menus is not only changing the dining habits of most Australians, but creating a completely new breed of diners that are adventurous both in their eating and desire for an entire “foodie” experience. Shared dishes are incredibly accommodating, offering the opportunity to try new cuisines in small portions and amongst friends.

Whilst there will always be a place for the traditional three-course dining format, there is no denying that mixed traditions of many customs are infiltrating current dining trends, resulting in shared eating steadily growing in popularity.

It’s not uncommon in my restaurants to see large groups indulging in countless shared dishes. Other styles of cuisine have also lent themselves to this type of dining – many Asian restaurants are known for this style of eating and the Lazy Susan’s existence is a testament to this!

Today, it’s a trend we see being adapted across some of Australia’s most prestigious establishments. It has become commonplace for formal dining and family-style eating to blend. Shared meals, typically the domain of the family kitchen table, are becoming popular even at sophisticated restaurants.

Family members, friends and acquaintances passing food down the length of a table and sharing multiple dishes—something that was once only a domestic scene, is now at the forefront of the Australian hospitality industry.

For me the shared dining experience is a pleasurable and incredibly social take on the traditional etiquette of eating. Feasting on local produce, getting people together and if you’re lucky enough, overindulging to your heart’s content; is it really a wonder as to why Australia is embracing the movement so willingly?

Johnny Di Francesco
Known as “Mr Pizza”, Melbourne based Johnny Di Francesco is the head of Gradi Group and was named the best in the world at The 2014 World Pizza Championships in Napoli. Johnny’s passion for Italian cusine draws from traditional Neapolitan techniques, with his family originating from Naples. With a host of award wins and many successful restaurants under his belt, Johnny has established himself as a force to be reckoned with internationally. On invitation, Johnny represented his home country in several key pizza events. Judging and competing. Johnny has visited Paris, Las Vegas and Parma to share his expert knowledge and put his unique stamp on the international pizza domain. Culminating in his World Pizza Championship win, Johnny has gained national and international media attention, media coverage and recognition.
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