Melbourne born, but to this day still inspired by his southern Italian heritage, Danny Natoli lives and breathes great produce, flavours and food. With experience working on Tuscan olive farms, to cooking gigs on boats in the Mediterranean and long conversations spent with artisans around the world, alongside what Melbourne itself has to offer, has inspired the food he’s excited to create today.
Danny first met Adrian at Donovan’s Restaurant, went on to occupy the top job at culinary hub Neptune Food & Wine in Prahran, and most recently their partnership saw them reconnect at critically acclaimed Rina’s where they caretake the legacy of former owner Chef Rina d’Alessandro, using what’s in season wherever possible, in keeping with the Italian way of cooking, albeit with a modern touch.
Whilst our partnership may not make any sense on paper, we have a synergy that is rare to find. Having worked together for so long now, we can let our ideas flow organically and trust in the training and techniques each other bring. We can’t wait to bring the joy of trying new yet somehow familiar things, to the people of Melbourne and hotel guests from around the world, in a way only we know-how.
With parents in the industry, Adrian grew up in restaurants from a young age however ended up in the IT industry. Realising it wasn’t fuelling his passion, he left the stability of corporate life to study cookery and pursue a career in food at the accredited Donovan’s Restaurant, under Robert Castellani where he first met the other half of this enduring duo, Danny Natoli.
Melbourne born and proud, Adrian continued to build his resume as Executive Chef of Saigon Sally and Tokyo Tina in Windsor, culminating in continuing the Armadale legacy at Rina's where they were once again reunited creating a modern take on Italian.
‘I’m inspired by the simple pleasure of cooking; the team of people get to work with and the ability to express myself creatively. Our next culinary adventure with La Madonna Restaurant and Bar is very exciting. It will give us a fantastic venue to create something even better in the city we both adore. And to do it with Danny makes it magic'.