Il mio amore, Amalfi

by Saturday, December 1, 2018

Interview with Matt McConnell & Jo Gamvros: “Amalfi [the main town on the Amalfi Coast, in southern Italy, is our favourite destination]. We love its natural beauty, incredible views from the top of the mountain and its delightful, rustic town. Reaching the top – or the bottom – of Amalfi via the winding stairs is challenging however, whether you’re walking up or down, the view is rewarding. Heading down you have the market lanes filled with chilli-sellers proclaiming their natural Viagra ability; lemons; and freshly-caught market fish and cockles on display in original fish shops, decorated in nautical tiles adorned by a proud nonna [grandmother] setting the scene.”

Matt McConnell & Jo Gamvros.

Top tip for touring Amalfi

“Get a small car, like a 500 cento bambino, drive through to small towns dotted along the coast line, and make quick decisions to turn into the many hidden restaurants. Equally great to enjoy are the many beaches.”

Photo by silvia trigo on Unsplash

Something they always pack when they travel

“A small set of knives – you never know when you will need one. If you travel like us, markets are treated like sanctuaries and in them are delicious morsels that sometimes just need a knife to be opened up.”

Photo by Philipp Klausner on Unsplash

Bucket-list destination 

“Morocco is a place we have visited very briefly. We had a taste of Marrakech and fell in love. We want to discover more, and are feel drawn to visit Agadir and Casablanca. The brief encounter we had in Marrakech was one of pure excitement. We loved the incredible African and Moorish flavours; the vibrant colour; intriguing sounds (like morning prayers); and the hidden souks which opened up other worlds, set with oasis of gardens, architecture and romantic allure. Pure bliss.”

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

A near disaster

“Leaving Las Vegas! Call it blind love, as we had just got married on a helicopter (no less!), but on our departure for NYC, already set, we jumped in the cab and halfway down the freeway the cab driver says, “Have you got your passports?”. Oh no! We had to go back! Back to the Bellagio we went, rescued our passports and made it back to the airport in time for our flight. Still not sure how that happened exactly!”

About Matt McConnell, author “Eat At The Bar”

“Matt is the executive chef and co-owner of Bar Lourinhã. He has been at the centre of Melbourne’s thriving bar and dining culture for the past decade, and is one of Melbourne’s most loved and respected chefs. After an extended journey through Europe, where he spent time with family exploring the simple beauty found in shared farm feasts and country cooking, Matt returned home to Melbourne in 2006 to open the popular Bar Lourinhã, along with his business partner and wife, Jo Gamvros. Matt’s energy and inspiration is centred around enjoying flavours in a fun and casual setting that reflects the Iberian and Mediterranean passion and spirit for eating and drinking. In October 2017, Bar Lourinhã was awarded one chef’s hat in the Good Food Guide’s first national edition.”

About Jo Gamvros, author “Eat At The Bar”

“Jo is co-owner of Bar Lourinhã, where she runs the front of house team. She has worked in Melbourne as a front-of-house professional for over 20 years. Jo studied a Bachelor of Photography with Honours at RMIT and has exhibited solo and joint shows throughout her career. She has worked as a freelance photographer for Fairfax Media and other national publications. Jo’s passion for shooting markets and food cultures around the world is reflected in the dining culture at Bar Lourinhã, bringing those influences and experiences right to our doorstep. As a passionate antique collector, Jo also curates the walls of madness found at the bar.”

“Eat at the Bar” is available in all good bookstores.

Main image: Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash