Today’s interviewee is a true ‘who’d have thought-er’! Italian-born-Sydney-based Daniele Barresi not only carves food for a living, he turns it into works of art.
The insides of a humble pumpkin becomes an intricately sculpted work. An avocado – no longer useful only to ‘smash’ on toast – is carved and cut into a delicate work of art. Broccoli, watermelon, zucchinis, pears. Even soap. From fisherman to chef, Daniele – at only 26-years-old – has literally carved a niche for himself and has formed a huge following for his in-demand works. Come and find out what happens when he ‘leaves his mind flying’ …
Tell us about yourself – who are you, what’s is your background?
Hello, I am Daniele Barresi. I am 26 years old, originating from Italy. I am a carving designer. At the age of 14, I started working as a fisherman for my family’s company. But this was not my passion and that was why I started studying at cooking school.
When and why did you begin exploring with carving?
I started to do it at 19 years old after I saw a carved pumpkin at a wedding party. From that day I started to improve myself in carving art, while I was studying at cooking school.
Where are you from in Italy and what brought you to Sydney?
I am from the south of Italy, Calabria, and I moved to Sydney, because I have always loved a city lifestyle and wanted more opportunities.
What challenges, if any, have you faced along the way?
Many of them. The most important were the world championships ones: Basil 2014 – Gold Medal and Luxembourg 2015 – Gold Medal.
Does your job make you hungry?
Yes, sometimes. I never waste food.
What’s your favourite fruit or vegetable to carve?
Watermelon. Because it reminds me of the Italian flag.
What’s the most difficult carving you’ve ever done?
Actually, all of them are at the same level of difficulty for me.
Can you share a bit about the creative process i.e
What are some of your important tools of trade?
Just a knife I bought in Thailand.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I just start and leave my mind flying. I don’ t know how to explain it. I just start to carve and I enjoy it.
Describe your ideal working environment
White chopping board, white lights, white table, white background, white gloves, and a touch of music – this is my world.
It’s not very cool but I really like …
To carve a clove of garlic!
Have you ever had a ‘who’d have thought’ moment? Explain.