We had a special lunch meeting last Wednesday with lots of guests, and our Speaker was the Gourmet Godfather – Giovanni (John) Maiorana. Giovanni spoke about the development of food culture in Australia over the last seven or more decades, with particular reference to the Italian influence. Giovanni arrived here as a young migrant from Sicily in 1952 and for many years was a mathematics teacher who ran a sideline Hospitality Consultancy business as a result of his close contact with the many restaurant owners around Northbridge. He founded Gourmet Godfather Hospitality Consulting 27 years ago and has been teaching Italian cooking ever since. He is also an Italian food historian, and served as chairman of the judging panel for the WA Restaurant & Catering Industry Awards between 1994 and 2012. Giovanni ascribed a different title to each of the decades he talked about, and it was very interesting to trace how our food culture has evolved from a rather basic war-time situation to a very sophisticated and diverse scenario that we see today. Many overseas countries have influenced our evolution, including China, Japan, Vietnam and to a large extent, Italy. We cannot report on the meeting without referring to the lunch! It was a Taste of Italy meal provided by the Hospitality and Cookery professionals from the Australian Professional Skills Institute, ably assisted by students who are currently studying to become professional chefs. Of course it had a strong Italian theme, and we all enjoyed delights such as antipasto platters, chicken rotolo, basil panna cotta & strawberries, honeycomb and pink peppercorn! A very big thank you to the Social Committee, and especially Jan Puddey, for organising it all!