After many months of painstakingly planned and executed design and construction, Electrolux ambassador and acclaimed professional chef, Massimo Mele, opened doors to his enviable home situated in picturesque Hobart, Tasmania. Echoing his vision of sustainability and mindful cooking, his large-scale kitchen renovation and produce garden was certainly worth the wait.
Effortlessly marrying his Italian heritage and the culinary craft to showcase methods we can implement to live more sustainably, Mele is passionate about Tasmanian produce and fostering relationships between growers, farmers and producers around the state.
We captured an exclusive cooking experience with Massimo and his family in Tasmania. From teaching guests how to cook tomato passata, he also hosted a kitchen demonstration showcasing local producers and suppliers’ meats and cheese.
An Italian tradition: bottling passata
Massimo and his mother, Mamma Maria led us through the process of passata bottling process, in the authentic Italian way. In this, roasted tomatoes were milled, with seeds and skins going through three times to extract as much pulp as possible and thicken the sauce. The sauce is then poured into glass bottles which contain one basil leaf.
Once the bottles are sealed and wrapped in a tea towel for protection, Massimo and his mother demonstrate the next step. Placing a large pot full of water, they wait for it to boil and throw in a potato, informing that “when the potato’s cooked, the sauce is ready.”
Preserving tomatoes when they are in season is not the only thing that is cooked with a sustainable mind in Massimo’s kitchen. Dried cherry tomatoes, fermented chilli sauces, a fermented pumpkin and chilli sauce, tuna packed in oil, pickled green tomatoes are just some of the delicious additions to Mele’s kitchen. Here, there are no shortages of preserved, fermented, and dried fruit and vegetables that are made on a rotating calendar throughout the year’s seasons.
Mele’s ultimate kitchen design
As a family centred on cooking and coming together in the kitchen, Mele consciously fitted it with appliances that reflect these values.
His must haves? The Electrolux 529L Dark Stainless Steel Bottom Mount Fridge EBE5307BB, 90cm Multifunction Pyrolytic Oven EVEP916DSD, 90cm Induction Cooktop EHI955BD, and 60cm Induction Cooktop EHI645BD. “I love these appliances not only because of how incredibly effective they are but also for their sleek designs. It complements my kitchen perfectly” Mele shares.
Choosing two induction cooktops (and fridges!) was intentional. Mele shares that, “having the second cooktop is perfect for my family who also love to cook, so when everyone comes for Christmas day my Nonna and my mother-in-law can have their own section.” While having two fridges placed next to each other (Electrolux 529L Dark Stainless Steel Bottom Mount EBE5307BC) creates one large fridge, which is “fantastic for keeping large quantities of food fresh.”
Amidst the leafy outlook lays the garden where Massimo proudly grows produce that “just tastes delicious…ultimately, I’m creating a space where I can educate my kids and myself about food as well as keep work and home closer together,” Mele says.
Visit Massimo Mele’s Kitchen
In a bid to educate people on a more sustainable way of cooking and living, Mele’s home will be open to the public for bespoke produce-focused cooking experiences from mid-2022. His property features a studio with a full kitchen, and an expansive urban vegetable garden including chickens, where the cooking experiences will take place, strongly focusing on the creativity, education, family and traditions around growing your own food.