Qiela Antonio, Chef. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.
Who is Qiela Antonio?: I am the head chef at Italian and Sons.
Best recent dining experience: One time when I had lunch at Lolo and Lola (a Filipino restaurant) in Watson, and I tried one of every dish and it was just delicious. I’ve found it’s always got the best food, especially when I’m missing home!
Qiela said Lolo and Lola has the best food and dishes, that reminds her of home. Photo: Daniella Jukic, We Are Found.
Most embarrassing pantry item: Probably the instant 2-minute noodles that I bought two months ago … never touched.
Must-buy ingredient: Anchovies are definitely my go-to! They just elevate whatever pasta you’re making.
Next big thing: I would say Filipino food, I think it’s so underrated here in Canberra, and if you look at some restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne, it’s definitely starting to make its mark.
Gus’ Place is the perfect breakfast spot, located on Bunda Street in the city. Photo: Region Media.
Favourite place for breakfast in the ACT: I really like Gus’ Place on Bunda Street in the city. Their Huevos Sucios (aka dirty eggs) are the best.
My Canberra food secret: I’d say White Chaco in Braddon. I love how simple yet well-executed their menu is, especially their ramen!
Biggest culinary influence: My dad is my biggest culinary influence for sure. He is an excellent cook and I always ask him for tips whenever I’m stuck on a dish!
Favourite cookbook: I love Micahel White’s cookbook, Classico E Moderno. It’s well written and I have tried some of the dishes, it is definitely a must-buy for every Italian food chef.
Qiela said she loves White Chaco’s ramen. Photo: White Chaco.
Who I admire on the Canberra food and wine scene: Definitely the Trimboli Brothers from Italian and Sons: Joe, Dom and Pat. They have been in the industry for so long, and yet they always make sure they offer something exciting, whether it’s the food or wine!
What’s on the menu this week: Gundaroo Figs wrapped in Prosciutto, with Gorgonzola Fonduta.
Death row meal: My dad’s Adobo with white rice. It’s literally heaven in a bowl!
Pasquale Trimboli is one of the three brothers who Qiela admires on the Canberra food scene from Italian and Sons. Photo: Supplied.
COVID-19 response: It probably has been the most challenging event that everyone had and still is facing, but upwards and onwards as I say.
My really simple recipe tip: You’ve got to keep it simple and fresh, and always use the best ingredients to highlight a certain dish.
Italian and Sons is open Tuesday to Saturday, with lunch sittings from 12 pm to 2 pm, and dinner sittings from 5:30 pm to 10 pm. It’s located at 7 Lonsdale St, Braddon.