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25.11.2015 admin
Born in Melbourne, Michael Torchia found his passion for simple, delicious food at a very early age.
As a child, he spent weekends working in his father’s butcher shop and also spent time with another family friend who had a food distribution business, he was a regular at the Melbourne markets where farmers would sell their fresh goods on a daily basis.
In 1983 he commenced his apprenticeship as a chef with Dawson’s – a fine dining restaurant and bistro in Heidelberg.
After this, Michael then moved on to work at the iconic Jean Jacques, on Jaca Boulevard, St Kilda for four years.
Over the next few years Michael experienced and explored a range of work in a variety of restaurants, leading to a year working and cooking in Sweden in 1995. After years of practice, he learnt what’s known as ‘The Hand of God’, which is essentially cooking on instinct, this is a common trait among Italian cooks and one which even his mother would adhere to.
Upon return to Australia, Michael worked as an executive chef at Michael’s Riverside Restaurant for four years in Brisbane. After the Olympics Michael then moved back to Sweden and worked for a Sardinian entrepreneur running a number of different restaurants and nightclubs. In 2004, Michael opened his own restaurant, ‘Antica Trattoria’ in Sweden for four years and during his time living in Europe, he also took the opportunity to work and live in iconic food-recognized cities including Rome.
Michael moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2010, where he completed a sailing course and began his waterfront restaurant ‘Arnica’ in Maroochydore.

Arnica Waterfront restaurant has won a range of various awards including a One Hat, Dimmi’s highest rated, and four and a half stars along with a certificate of excellence on Trip Advisor. Michael has been involved in a number of local food festivals including the Ocean Street World Festival and the ‘Culture Shock Food Festival’ where his long table lunch has become legendary. Michael has been in the industry for over thirty years and has won some of the industry’s most coveted accolades as well as having the good fortune to work with three of the world’s best chefs. Melanie grew up here on the coast and having a talent with numbers, naturally embarked on a career in accounting. In 2008 Melanie won the Young Business Woman of the Year award from the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network and the following year she was awarded ‘Caloundra Business Person of the Year’ with the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce. She has a commitment to our local community’s ongoing growth which she contributes to through her involvement with local Networks and Chambers. Raised in a Italian family with a strong passion for food, Michael grew up exposed to traditional cooking methods from the south of Italy. Jean Jacques was the place to eat at the time and was regarded as the best seafood restaurant in Australia. Michael’s love for authentic, delicious food had now been well established and his cooking career was moving forward. As a chef, his cooking is based on traditional recipes, however his careful attention to the way food looks, tastes and feels is what makes Michaels’ cooking authentic and brilliant.

Following on from this he then became an executive chef at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, this role included overseeing the creation of over 10,000 meals a day for the various corporate guests.
He has lived and worked on the Sunshine Coast to this very day and says while he has lived in places all over the world, it’s the inspiring lifestyle we have here that has made the Sunshine Coast home. He has been able to recreate some of the many culturally amazing and authentic dishes he has learnt and loved throughout his many years as a chef. By the age of 25 she became partner of a local accounting firm and has now opened her own firm in Maroochydore – MJJ Accounting and Business Advisors. Her passion for helping business owners understand and take control of their financial position is what drives her every day. The restaurant will open in early December and brings new life to the Italian food scene on the Sunshine Coast.

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