The crown jewel of Hotel Fitzroy, the three-level hospitality megalith on Melbourne’s Brunswick Street, Cappo Sociale made waves when it opened in February this year. The Italian restaurant was the first offering to launch within the venue, providing an Italian-focused menu led by renowned chef Maurizio Esposito (formerly Cecconi’s, Il Balcaro, Esposito at Toofeys, Stokehouse and Donovans in Melbourne, and Otto in Sydney).

This week, the venue rounded off its Italian offering with the appointment of head pastry chef Lee Wright to oversee the dessert menu. Wright brings to the table more than 20 years’ experience in Australian and international hospitality.

Wright’s previous appointments include Circa – The Prince, Ezard, Stokehouse, The Aylesbury, Lakehouse Daylesford, Blackbird (Brisbane), The Square (UK), The Vineyard (UK) and The French Laundry (USA).

Under Wright, the dessert menu will reflect an experimental approach to Italian classics. Highly trained in modern French-Australian cooking, Wright is known for his playful sweet-savoury twists, incorporating ingredients such as Jerusalem artichoke, beetroot, carrot, cloves, rhubarb and parsnip into his desserts.

“In this day and age, we need to look after ourselves and use healthier ingredients to supplement rich, sugary sweetness at times”, says Wright. “For example, everyone loves a classic chocolate mud cake with honeycomb but I like to put a spin on it and include malt with banana.”

Joining Wright and Esposito in the kitchen will be sous chef Alberto Vitassovich from Liguria, Italy with six years’ experience in Michelin Star restaurants, as well as pizzaiolo and baker Ivan Rizzo from Venice, experienced in baking and proofing 72-hour maturation pizza dough.

Wright’s appoinment as head pastry chef at Cappo Sociale will commence immediately.