Originally hailing from Canada, Domenic Calvi (better known as Mimmo) has built an impressive reputation over the past decade, running three eateries in the Canada Bay area. The Green House Café is his latest venture and is the place to find great pizza during Ferragosto.
Here we chat with Mimmo about his passion for food and how he will be involved in the upcoming festival…
Tell us a bit about how you started out in the hospitality industry?
My mother was a great cook and she showed me at an early age how to cook. I used to run a printing business but I loved cooking so much that I sold it so I could become a chef. I now have 15 years experience in the kitchen. I started my career in Canada and then spent a number of years travelling through Italy working in different restaurants in various provinces. I love people, food, wine and the idea of people getting together at my restaurant and having a unique and memorable experience as they dine under a blanket of fairy lights.
What’s the food philosophy behind Green House Cafe?
Our philosophy is to produce modern and traditional Italian cuisine using fresh ingredients. I personally go to the fruit and fish markets twice a week, which ensures our ingredients are always fresh. I don’t pre-cook my food so, while it does take a little longer to make, I can ensure that it is always fresh.
You’ve previously had other restaurants in the Canada Bay area, what is it that you love about working in the Inner West and the food scene in Five Dock?
I have owned Mimmo’s Place and Nineteen by the Bay and they were very different to each other. Nineteen by the Bay was predominantly a function centre while Mimmo’s was more just your usual restaurant. From these restaurants I developed a loyal local following so when I was asked to open another restaurant in the area I jumped at the opportunity. When I arrived from Canada in 2003 I was instantly taken by the Inner West; I love the Italian culture, the people, the lifestyle and its close proximity to the city, the west and many other locations. I would love to see many more restaurants open in the Five Dock area and have it resemble other Inner City suburbs that have a bustling restaurant scene.
How will you be involved in the local Ferragosto street fair this year?
This will be our second Ferragosto since owning the Green House Café and we want to change it up a bit this year. We have asked Magdalene Mattson to perform on the day and sing some Italian songs as well as contemporary songs live. We will be offering meal packages of either pasta or woodfired pizza and a bottle of water for $10. We are also doing a breakfast pizza from 10am to 12pm with toppings of bacon, eggs and sausages. Mezzapica will be providing the delicious cakes and cannoli on the day too.
2 chicken breasts
2 slices prosciutto
1 bocconcini sliced
spring onions, cherry tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
a good splash of white wine and a dash of cream
1. Sear the chicken in oil and put aside.
2. Place butter, wine, spring onions, cherry tomatoes and a dash of cream in a pan and reduce on low heat.
3. Then place chicken back in the sauce to continue cooking.
4. Place prosciutto and bocconcini on chicken breast and cover with a lid until chicken is cooked and bocconcini has melted. Serve with seasonal vegetables.