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What's On Documentary

Chef Antonio’s Recipes for Revolution (E)

Next screening Friday 26 Nov from 7pm to 9pm

By Margaret River HEART | (E) hr 97 mins

A delicious, feel good story with heart, soul & a big serve of laughter.

Chef Antonio de Benedetto is on a quest, to change the world with his delicious Italian food.

His apprentices are Mirko Piras, a young man born with Down syndrome, who dreams of becoming a great chef ‘just like Antonio’ and Jessica Berta, an ambitious waitress who’s also set her sights on a career among the pots and pans. Their tiny kitchen is the beating heart of a revolutionary restaurant and hotel like no other. Both are staffed by young men and women living with Down syndrome, who come from across Italy to train and work in hospitality, so they can take their place at the table of life.

Chef Antonio’s Recipes for Revolution, is their closely observed story, told in first person by Antonio, Mirko and Jessica. It’s a journey through their lives and loves, dreams and dramas.

Antonio has a heart as big as his chef’s hat, with a generosity of spirit matched only by the quality of his cuisine. Mirko has a youthful vitality and a hunger to learn all there is to know about the craft of a fine restaurant kitchen. Jessica loves to prepare and serve the restaurant’s desserts. Their heart-felt story unfolds in the medieval town of Asti, in Italy’s northern Piedmont region, famous for its wine and culinary heritage.

Chef Antonio is creating a gastronomic revolution by bridging intellectual disability, the culinary arts and Italian hospitality. New trainees are handed a 40cm kitchen knife and told to, ‘Start chopping! Veloce, veloce! Quick smart!’

In 2015, Antonio co-founded the Albergo Etico (Ethical Hotel), the first of its kind in the world. Guests are welcomed, shown to their room, cooked for and served by young Italian men and women living with Down syndrome. At Chef Antonio’s Tacabanda Restaurant, diners find a warm welcome, good food and staff eager to make their dining memorable.

Mouth-watering Italian dishes, unique to the region, are made, as Mirko struggles to learn his craft. We meet his mum, Franca and girlfriend, Francesca, whom he passionately loves and hopes to marry. But living with Down syndrome, learning a trade, and leading independent lives is complex and does not always go as planned. Chef Antonio’s Recipes for Revolution is a cinematic invitation to experience the behind the scenes story of this unique restaurant and hotel, as its staff embark on a journey to take their vision to the wider world, while forever changing the lives of those who are its heart and soul.

Chef Antonio’s Recipes for Revolution is a cinematic invitation to experience the behind the scenes story of this unique restaurant and hotel, as its staff embark on a journey to take their vision to the wider world, while forever changing the lives of those who are its heart and soul.