Born in Sardinia, an island off the coast of Italy, Federico Tidu grew up working in his Father’s butchery where he learnt to master the art of curating meats under his fathers precise teachings. In 2002, following achieving his Diploma in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Services, Federico’s passion for fine dining blossomed. Over the next few years, Federico travelled the world working in various Michelin-starred restaurants and hotels. The likes of which include Tivoli Restaurant and Hotel Tyrol in Italy, Pilu at Freshwater in Sydney and Cable Beach Resort in Western Australia enhanced Federico’s culinary skills into a world renowned and recognised artist of the kitchen. Arguably the highlight of Federico’s career was the opportunity to work in the Bvlgari Restaurant with Luca Fantin, 17th Best Restaurant in Asia, in Tokyo in 2015.
In 2016, Federico decided to return to Australia where he saw endless opportunities to grow as a chef. After a stint in rural Griffith, NSW where Federico was a founding partner and Head Chef at Limone Dining where he mastered cooking with fresh, local meats and ingredients. Federico missed the smoke and buzz of the City. In 2018, Federico relocated to Jonah’s located on Whale Beach where he could showcase his skills and love for cooking seafood, meats and fresh pasta. Jonah’s is a seaside staple of luxury Sydney dining. Well-known by locals, it assimilates rich and opulent dishes paired with uninterrupted views of the Pacific – nestled perfectly on the hills of Sydney’s upper Northern Beaches. Today, Federico is Executive Chef of Jonah’s.
Elite Curated had the opportunity to sit down with Federico to gain a more intimate insight into his career and passion for cooking:
Your favourite lunch meal?
“I would start with a fresh tomato and mozzarella bruschetta, followed by a nice Lasagna and finish with some fruit. Simple but satisfying.”
“Bone-in Ribeye cooked on charcoal, fresh salad with a lemon dressing, a few slices of bread toasted on the grill and a glass of red wine. Can’t go wrong with that!”
Favourite dish to cook?
“Risotto. Can be done with a thousand ingredients, require attention to details to finish it and perfectly balance all the flavours, and taste amazing. One of my last Risotto is with Saffron and Porcini mushrooms, Carnaroli rice, Parmisan and Bone marrow.”
Hardest dish you’ve ever cooked?
“A complicated dish requires skilled techniques that take time to take out the best flavour from every single ingredient on the plate, so at the end it doesn’t become the hardest dish, it will be how big is your love for cooking to put more and more effort and energy in that dish. If I have to pick up the most intriguing/funny one will be the Live Lobster on my current menu. 3 different cooking ways, served with a little vegetables and fruit garnish, cooked everything separately and served with 3 different sauces.”
What do you like about Jonahs?
“Jonah’s is a one of a kind place. The breathtaking view, the atmosphere and the potential of the restaurant match perfectly what experience I would love to give to the customer."
What got you into cooking?
“I think in Italy we are very lucky with our food culture and without knowing we grow quite solid basics and taste. I’ve never thought about making a career out of cooking initially, but when I first worked in a professional kitchen with a Michelin star, what my eyes saw blew my mind in some way. More i was witnessing cooking techniques and the more I wanted to learn, that fire never let me since then.”
Best piece of cooking advice?
“Be hungry about cooking and learning basics, focus on details and when you have someone with great cooking skills in front of you watch them carefully and absorb the best for yourself.”
Why fine dining?
“Fine dining is about what cooking with love is. Choose the best seasonal ingredients and cook them to perfection going through the nutritional side balanced with flavour. Fine dining gives you more than a cooked meal, it’s a full experience of all your senses.”
Favourite Sydney restaurant outside of Jonahs?
“There are quite a few places that deserve a good word, but Sepia was without a doubt my favourite. I say ‘was’ because unfortunately the Restaurant closed indefinitely. I had a great dining experience there.”
Favourite restaurant overseas?
“Restaurant St. Hubertus inside Rosa Alpina Hotel in Trentino Alto Adige, Italy.
I had the opportunity to dine there when i was working in north Italy and the experience of everything was magic, service, dishes and knowledge of the staff was excellent. It's 3 Michelin Star, I had a unique experience there.”
Visit Federico and experience his dining experience at Jonah’s at 69 Bynya Rd, Palm Beach NSW.