about

ANGELO LEONFORTE

Angelo grew up in your typical Australian-Italian family. Life was all about community, good home-made food, recipes from generations ago, and the daily espresso. Every moment was a heart felt celebration of life & the people in it.

 

You could say that Angelo's hospitality skills were instilled from birth, being raised by parents who took to the kitchen to pronounce their love for family & friends. Whether it was learning the secrets to true Italian tomato passata and the way to perfect home-made Italian salami from his father, or the comfort of his mother’s chicken soup, or her siesta-inducing lasagne. The kitchen of his childhood home definitely still tells a story today in his restaurant.

 

Angelo has carried this same family integrity into his work. From the customers to the workers, each person gets to feel a part of the family.

 

Angelo began his trade by working on Hayman Island in 1988. Upon completing his apprenticeship he moved to Italy, where he spent his time working in various parts of both south and north Italy, living in Taormina, Bolzano, & Parma. Angelo reflects on his fondest memories while living abroad being the evenings spent with his friends’ families. “Any dinner cooked by an Italian mother was the best meal. It was always the most authentic, simple & true to the region.”

Angelo's long-time friend Mirtha was integral in the opening of Olive & Angelo, bringing her graceful steps to the restaurant in the opening weeks.

He returned to Australia in 1996, landing in far north QLD’s capital, Cairns. Bringing back with him everything he’d absorbed from working in Italy, he continued to fine-tune his skills as an authentic Italian chef - always with the end goal of owning his own restaurant one day.

 

This time came in 1998 in Mackay, QLD. With a growing family of his own, he jumped in with two feet and he began to manage & chef his own self-titled restaurant, successfully establishing Angelo’s as a local institute, catering to the people of Mackay for 20 years.

 

From 1998 to 2018 Angelo got to know the community of Mackay, and they him. Angelo’s became like a second home for the family, his 3 children spending after school learning the ropes of the restaurant, getting slipped small tips from adoring patrons, and growing in to the young adults / hospitality superstars they are today! Mackay became the setting for amazing things to unfold for Angelo in his own growth & development, not only as a business owner, but as a father and a man. He committed to his love of people and his love for creating true Italian cuisine - and together this only meant big things on the horizon…

Cut to Brisbane! Angelo always had a burning desire to move to Brisbane and open another restaurant, a venue that would showcase the amazing Italian cuisine that he has been developing his whole life, and a platform to share it with more people. In September of 2019 he opened Olive & Angelo in Edward St of Brisbane’s CBD.

 

Above everything, Angelo makes his business about people. For him it’s the purpose of doing what he does, his passion for cooking was born from his family, his every day moments are spent with his employees and customers. Thus it the driving impulse of Olive & Angelo, a place for people to come together to enjoy good food and company. A place to share in the moments that make up life.

Angelo and his eldest daughter Marria, a supervisor a Olive & Angelo.

©2023 by Olive & Angelo