Regan Porteous (Toko, Riley St Garage, Tequila Mockingbird, Stanton & Co Surly’s) is set to open his first venture as a restaurateur with the opening of Italian eatery, Osteria Coogee, on 15 May.
His new venture will be led by general manager Carolina Angelucci (Toko, Riley St Garage) and head chef Stefano Gagliardi, who has worked in kitchens throughout Europe and in Australia.
“The concept is inspired by the many trips my partner [general manager] Carolina and I have taken over the years to Italy to visit her family,” says Porteous. “Family gatherings are frequent and are often centered around food and the extended networks of family. We want to bring that eating culture to Coogee through Osteria. Italians are incredibly passionate about food, I trust Stefano and Carolina deliver an experience that is true to their Italian roots.”
Angelucci, who grew up in Australia but spent much of her early life in Italy, and Gagliardi met as children in Francavilla al Mare, a coastal town in the Abruzzo region of Italy.
“Stefano and I have the same goal: we want to extend our Italian sense of family and connection to all who dine with us,” says Angelucci. “This starts with how a customer is welcomed to Osteria and continues through to that last mouthful of dessert.”
Gagliardi, who inherited his passion for food from his grandfather Rocco, has created a menu that celebrates the best of Italian cuisine, brought to life with Australian produce.
“Our mission is to bring a piece of Italy to the heart of Coogee, using quality Australian produce and adding complexity through textures, technique and taste that transports the diners back to Italy,” he said. “I want to show Coogee what real Italian food is”.
The menu, which is designed to be shared, plays off Italian classics with a modern Australian approach, featuring dishes such as a whipped bottarga crostini; the kingfish crudo with lemon, parsley and black garlic; and the butterflied spatchcock with caponata.
“And of course, our Tiramisu which is an old family recipe,” says Gagliardi.