Risotto Royalty: the Costardi brothers' rich inheritance

Despite older brother Christian’s confession that his mother never wanted him to be a chef (she wanted him to study), a chef’s life was seemingly written in the stars for the Costardi brothers.

Growing up in Italy’s famous risotto rice-growing region Piemonte, culinary talent flowed through the two boys’ DNA.

In 1967, their grandfather built the mighty Hotel Cinzia, which he helmed until his death. During this time, his exemplary reputation for making the region’s traditional dish, risotto, spread far and wide across Italy.

The boys were inspired from an early age to follow in their grandfather’s lofty footsteps.

With nine years between the pair, Christian was the first to begin hospitality school at the tender age of fourteen. He was a determined young man with Michelin stars for his family’s restaurant shining brightly in his eyes.

As soon as he could, Manuel followed suit and displayed a flair for the sweeter side of the kitchen, honing impressive pastry chef skills at the Four Seasons in Milan under Sergio Mei.

In 2005, the brothers decided to turn their “risottoria” dream into a reality and bring the family Hotel into a whole new era.

They shared a vision to create edible art that paid the utmost homage to their region’s local produce. Their hard work was rewarded in 2009 with their first Michelin star.

Christian explains, “We are two brothers but we are one person because we are totally different halves that come together.”

With a spectacular knowledge and flair for the dish made famous by their heritage, their menu at Hotel Cinzia features over 20 different variations of risotto.

It’s also clear that while the brothers have garnered a worldwide reputation for changing the face of Italian cuisine, there’s little chance of them forgetting where they came from. The ‘’Dolce Forno” (toy oven) given to Christian at age three sits nostalgically in the hotel foyer, and photos of their grandfather and his legacy adorn the walls.

Don’t miss the chance learn how to make the ultimate risotto at home at their Masterclass on Saturday March 5 in Deakin Edge, Federation Square. Their dinner at Melbourne’s famed Tipo 00 pasta bar on Sunday March 6 is now sold out.