Most Australians first discovered Laura Cassai’s passion for food in her role as runner-up in the 2014 series of MasterChef, but in reality Laura proudly boasts a rich Italian heritage that destined her to enjoy a culinary love affair from the moment she was born.
The former Health Science student has now turned her dreams of becoming a chef into a reality, as she has worked at one of Australia’s best restaurants, Restaurant Orana, and now finds herself in a new role as the Pastry Chef at Hentley Farm in the Barossa Valley.
It is no wonder that cooking is in Laura’s blood – with one of her earliest memories helping to mix pasta dough. “I developed a passion for food under the watchful and patient eyes of my nonna Maria and nonna Rosa, and it was their influence that helped to spark my desire to make a career out of working with quality food,” Laura says.
Adding to her knowledge of Italian traditions and pasta culture, she lived with her family in Tuscany for two years, when she was aged six to eight.
Laura released her first cookbook, ‘My Italian Kitchen’ in 2015 and is planning to release her second cookbook in the near future. She is now a regular at various food events and on cooking shows, Everyday Gourmet and Good Chef Bad Chef, doing cooking demonstrations that show people the versatility of pasta and how to use quality ingredients to put a modern twist on home-style cooking.
“As a San Remo ambassador I want to show people how to easily combine fresh and seasonal ingredients with quality pasta, to create meals that are perfect for busy couples, working parents, large family gatherings, or a dinner party to remember.”