Stefano Manfredi Stefano Manfredi has influenced the way we eat since first opening The Restaurant Manfredi in 1983 (Three Chefs Hats from 1993). Since then, Manfredi has owned and operated several restaurants in Sydney, most notably the award winning Restaurant Manfredi (1983-1996) and Bel Mondo (1996-2002). In 2007, Stefano took the helm at Manfredi at Bells (One Chefs Hat – 2008 to present; Good Living Sustainability Award; Best Regional Wine List - 2012 SMH Good Food Guide Awards). Here he has overseen the planting of 500 square meters of gardens, supplying the restaurant with approximately 15% of its produce. Throughout his career, Stefano has also written frequently on food and cooking, published four books the most recent ‘Stefano Manfredi’s Italian food ‘ released November 2013, presented master classes, made local and international television appearances, hosted cooking tours in Italy and remained a passionate advocate for local, sustainable and seasonal produce.
Gabriele Taddeucci - Head Chef
Gabriele Taddeucci is Balla’s Head Chef. After a stint working at Sydney’s Hotel Westin in 2004/2005, Taddeucci moved in 2008 to work alongside chef Massimo Bianchi to open Uccello at Merivale’s Ivy. Most recently, he was Head Chef at Merivale’s The Beresford. Taddeucci started his career as a pizza hand in his home city of Lucca back in 1994. His work as a chef has taken him from Italy to France, Switzerland, the US, UK and Australia.
Luca Carichini - Restaurant Manager
Balla’s Restaurant Manager, Luca Carichini, most recently worked closely with Stefano as Restaurant Supervisor at Manfredi at Bells. Carichini has had a long history in hospitality in both Italy and the UK. When he travelled to Australia in 2007, he did so to become the Restaurant Manager of North Bondi Italian. Carichini made his move to Australia permanent and has worked with Stefano Manfredi since that time.
Piero Fonseca - Sommelier
Piero advanced to Sommelier at Balla after 16 months in Australia under the watchful eye of Stefano, a fitting progression for Fonseca who grew up on a winery outside of Florence.
Fonseca developed his knowledge of viticulture before the age of 18 as he assisted his father each summer during harvest on their family vineyard, Petreto. He joined his father in the cellar making several different varieties and his love grew over the next seven years as he presented the wine at Italian wine shows including Vinitaly. Petreto was awarded at international wine shows in the USA and Spain, including third amongst all participants at Spanish Vinoble in 2010.
Wine wasn’t always Fonseca’s intended career direction, who graduated from the University of Florence in 2012 with a Bachelor degree in Criminal Law. A profession he now recognises will not be pursuit, the study has taught him personal discipline and many transferrable life skills. During the six years of study, Fonseca continued his hobby, broadening his knowledge of wine by attending master classes, peer winery tastings and also spent the summer of 2006 working in the wine industry in London.
Since arriving in Australia, his passion for wine and the hospitality industry has thrived under Stefano and the Balla family. Inspired and honoured to be working with such experience, Fonseca will continue to deliver a unique all-Italian wine list at Balla, with an eagerness to import some of his father’s wine to treat Balla guests.