Sydney’s diverse food culture is one of the leading strengths in Australia’s hospitality scene. Backed by diverse life experiences and cultural ancestry, some of the best artisans, chefs, bakers and business owners come together to share their food knowledge and culture with fellow food lovers.
The Carriageworks Farmers Market is proud to have Vannella Cheese as one of our stallholders. A family owned and operated business, Vannella Cheese brings traditional practices of cheese making from their origins in Italy’s southern Puglia to their cheese factory in Marrickville. We spoke to Anthony Silvio, Creative Director who told us all about the cheese making process and Vannella’s proud heritage.
Who is Vannella Cheese and whom may we expect to meet at Carriageworks Farmers Market?
I am Anthony Silvio, Creative Director of Vannella Cheese. I split my time between the factory cheese making, and I’m at the market every weekend.
There are also two very important people behind the story of Vannella Cheese, father and son duo Vito Minoia (Founder & Head Cheesemaker) and Giuseppe Minoia (General Manager, Cheesemaker, son of Vito Minoia). Both Giuseppe and Vito work tirelessly throughout the week at the cheese factory.
Can you share with us the story of how Vannella Cheese came to fruition?
Run by master cheesemaker Vito Minoia with over 50 years of experience. Right from day one, and still to this day, Vito is the first person to get to the factory in the very early hours of the morning to start pasteurising, culturing, and cutting the curds.
We only buy Australian, single origin dairy to make our cheese. The cow’s milk is from Leppington NSW and the buffalo milk is from Shaw River in VIC.
The Vannella Cheese family were the first to bring traditional burrata to the shorelines of Australia, paying homage to their origins in southern Italy’s Puglia where this cheese was born. We are now one of the very few who authentically make burrata the same way it was originally made for over 500 years. Vannella Cheese always stretch, fill, and tie with a knot BY HAND. When you taste our burrata you are truly tasting a handcrafted product that’s been made with skill, care, and a great deal of affection.
There is a lot of Italian cultural nuance that comes into the practice of the business, can you share with us some insight on the craft that takes place in the kitchen?
Apart from being THE place to get incredible hand-tied burrata, our stall for many years now has been making sourdough panzerotti fresh to order every Saturday! Customers really love them and we have lots of regulars!
Sourdough panzerotti is a traditional street food from the town of Bari, the capital of southern Italy’s Puglia region, where the Vannella family are from.
Our dough is fermented with sourdough and made using a locally sourced single origin flour called ‘Livingstone’ from our friends at Provenance Flour & Malt. The dough is rolled out to a thin circle, we place tomato sauce and fresh buffalo mozzarella inside, fold it in a half moon shape and seal the edges before frying. The dough comes out beautifully browned and the filling is a hot, steamy, TASTY, oozy eating experience.
The panzerotti is often made by Donato, one of the cheese makers in the factory and closely related to Vito & Giuseppe.
What is something visitors might not know about Vannella Cheese?
We recently opened our brand-new kitchen space, The Culture Room, located above our Marrickville cheese factory! Chefs and alike can hire The Culture Room for menu creation and team building exercises. We also hire to the public, as the space is perfectly versatile to suit hands-on workshops, cooking demonstrations, and recipe content shoots.
I (Creative Director, Anthony Silvio) run exclusive Cheese Tasting experiences in The Culture Room with our wholesale clients and distributors. Giving our customers direct access to where the cheese is produced and who it’s produced by is incredibly important to us, as well as offering personalised education about the products they are using on their menus.
I am also very excited to be launching a dedicated high school excursion program soon for Food Technology and Hospitality studying students, so teachers – stay tuned!
What’s your favourite thing about trading at Carriageworks Farmers Market?
Chatting with local foodies who, like us, care so much about the food they buy, make, and eat. Every question we get asked just shows how much they care.
We love the look of excitement when a new customer stumbles across a cheese that they’ve been searching for a long time! This often happens with our oaxaca cheese, which we make the traditional way as it’s done in Mexico, it’s extremely hard to come by “the real deal” in Australia.
Hanging out with our industry pals to lean on each others shoulders when times are tough, and celebrate each other when we succeed. Particularly the fresh produce farmers. A deep sense of respect is felt for them by all.
If you had to put Vannella Cheese into 6 words, what would they be?
Skill & Experience
Visit Vannella Cheese every week at Carriageworks Farmers Market. Open from 8am – 1pm, every Saturday.