Creativity is the pulse that drives Antonello to success

Antonello was born in a typical small Italian village with only 10 000 locals in Serramanna in the Province of Cagliari in South Sardinia. Until today villagers still live in a very close community and celebrate tradition by hunting, fishing and harvesting the food that they eat and ensuring that long standing food traditions are revered. As with so many Italian families, children start working young and Antonello found himself working during school holidays in the family bakery. Antonello has always had a can-do attitude and creative spirit. He completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture; freelanced as a web and graphic designer, launched the very first website promoting Sardinia and worked as a chef in England. Then as his life went on he met the love of his life, a South African girl who enticed him to come back to Cape Town with her.

Part-time catering and cooking classes moved aside when he opened Nonna Lina in 2003.  South Africans love Italian cuisine because it is comforting and homely. His passion for slow food and quality ensures that onlythefinestandfreshestingredientsgoesintotheauthenticwood-firedpizzasand calzones.Antonellobelievesthatbyemphasizingonflavorhereflectsthephilosophyof hisfamilybrand.

Loyal customers return regularly for favorites such as the Nonna Lina Pizza packed with Prosciutto crudo or the variety of Gorgonzola, Messicana or Vegetarian options amongst others. The pizza is baked to perfection on thin crusts ensuring a slight browning of the pastry and the perfect holder for all those toppings.  Ladies love to come here to have their Mediterranean and Italian Styled Salads whilst the kids can fill up on oven baked lasagna or pizzas.

When I ask Antonello what is it that keeps him driven his answer is, “Its simple. You must love your job! He certainly does and this reflects in the cooking which drives demand and expansion of Nonna Lina to various stores and the employment of 46 local staff.  That is a far cry from the 1 man show that was once the start of Nonna Lina. Antonello you surely make your grandmother proud, the woman you loved so that you named your business after her.

Nonna Lina now serving Kids and adult portions of Vegan & Meat Lasagne made with pane carasau, cooked in their pizza oven

Origin of Pane Carasau is Sardinia, Italy, made from an ancient recipe conceived for the shepherds who stayed far from home whilst attending to the livestock. It’s thin crisp baked flat bread, that can last for years, if kept dry, and quicker to cook than pasta sheets and a much lighter dish.  Perfect for our street food market environment, as one can enjoy a fast-tasty meal made the traditional Italian way, prior 1000 BC.