After many years working with one of Perth’s renowned master restaurateurs, two of the city’s brightest stars are going out on their own, as Julie-anne Sprague reports.
EVEN a long and prosperous association with one of Perth’s most talented hospitality operators couldn’t contain the passion and drive Vincenzo Soresi and Una Hosgood have for creating their own restaurant.
Mr Soresi and Ms Hosgood have worked with industry icon Umberto Tinelli for years and have, until now, been at the helm of Il Principe Gran Caffe’s kitchen.
But the dream to open their own place has prompted the pair to say farewell to the team at Il Principe and search for the perfect site to do their own thing.
Well, that search is over. Mr Soresi and Ms Hosgood have bought Alain Kuhl’s Onslow Bistrot in Shenton Park, with renovations getting under way next week to transform it into a modern Italian restaurant, to be called Galileo.
“At the moment it’s a bit of a mismatch. We want to make it modern Italian but not ‘little Italy’. We want it to be stylish and warm,” Ms Hosgood said.
Aware that upmarket Star Anise is just a stone’s throw away, Mr Soresi and Ms Hosgood are keen to carve their own niche.
“It’s not going to be fine dining, we’re not going to have a waiter pulling the chair out for you, but the food will be the food we love doing,” Mr Soresi said.
“It will be quality food that is over and above trendy cafe food.
“We want to do this because we love cooking. But we are not going to charge $30 a head.”
A new look, which will include removing the existing tapestries, will help the pair create an informal environment with a focus on good food (thanks to the planned open kitchen).
Cleaning up the garden that runs alongside the restaurant for use as an alfresco space is another priority.
“We will do up the garden. At the moment it looks like it belongs to the antique shop next door but it’s actually ours,” Ms Hosgood said.
“We might do a wine bar in there. We will open first and see how everything goes and maybe in six months we will apply to liquor licensing to use that space for people who want to come in for a glass of wine. We’ll also have bar snacks.
“It will be opened up and used as an alfresco space and could in future become a wine bar.”
Take-away food is also something the pair is keen to develop.
“We want to promote takeaway for people who don’t want to cook but don’t want something like fish and chips,” Mr Soresi said.
The two chefs expect renovations to take about three weeks, after which time the restaurant will be open for trade.
And expect nothing less than top-notch Italian tucker.
Just about everything will be bought in as fresh as possible and most of it will be made from scratch, from cakes and custard to stocks.
“We try to do everything from scratch. We want to do our own bread, biscuits, custard and sauces,” Mr Soresi said.
“We always get fish with the skin on.
“That way you know that it is fresh, that it hasn’t been frozen, and that it has been filleted the same day.
“It’s time consuming because you have to order things every day, but that’s what we do.
“And we want to do what we do best.”
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