Special Group creates Festival of Nonna to celebrate family for Sandhurst Fine Foods

Sydney’s Italian chefs have banded together for a festival celebrating Italian heritage, food and the influence that grandmothers (‘nonna’ in Italian) have on their grandchildren.

The ‘Festival of Nonna’, developed by Special Group for Sandhurst Fine Foods, is a celebration of all things Italian and will involve a restaurant pop-up at Redfern’s 107 Projects as well as Italian cooking workshops.

Festival of Nonna

Source: Instagram

Cade Heyde, managing partner at Special Group, said the experience was designed to convey Sandhurts Fine Foods as a family-oriented brand that is passionate about food.

“We hope that this initiative will help to establish Sandhurst Fine Foods as a business that is about more than just bottles of pesto and olives – this is a business that is immensely passionate about food, love and family,” Heyde said.

The Festival of Nonna restaurant offers a five-course meal created by celebrity chef Andrew Cibej from Sydney restaurants Vini, Berta and 121BC, alongside his Nonna Valerie Cibej.

Festival of Nonna

Chef Andrew Cibej and his Nonna Valerie Cibej. Source: Instagram

The workshops will be led by Luca Ciano, a chef at two Michelin starred restaurants, Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadio in Milan, and also feature chefs Massiamo Mele from La Scala in Jersey, and Sara Oteri from series 7 of Masterchef Australia, alongside their nonne.

The group will share Italian techniques used in cooking foods such as gnocchi, that have been passed from generation to generation.

Mimmo Lubrano, CEO of Sandhurst Fine Foods, said the event was an opportunity to recognise people who inspire the company.

“We’re a company built on family and tradition so we understand how both of these things shape who we are and how we enjoy food,” Lubrano said.

“The Festival of Nonna gives us all a chance to appreciate the people who first inspired many of us, and get closer to the tastes that make Sandhurst products so popular.”

The pop-up will run over the next two weeks.


  • Creative concept: Special Group
  • Event production: Alfred
  • PR & influencers engagement: Poem

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