Hosts

Meet your food tour hosts! Our tour hosts include Chef Dominique Rizzo. They also include passionate regional guides as well as some favourite Australians. Our hosts all have one thing in common, an absolute love of food, and a passion for culture and travel. Our amazing packages are personally hosted food tours showcasing parts of Europe and more locally, Norfolk Island.

Learn about our hosts, and why these people form a team to create the best culinary tours.

About Dominique Rizzo

As a chef, restaurateur, author and TV presenter, Dominique Rizzo’s aim is to inspire people to cook with fresh, seasonal, local produce. Dominique aims to improve health and build confidence in the kitchen. At the same time, she inspires creative cooking to bring vitality onto people’s plates. She loves sharing her passion for all things world food, with like-minded foodies and travellers.

Dominique’s life and work centres around her philosophy:

“Through the sharing of food we share life and one is never lonely or hungry”.

Apart from designing and hosting these amazing food tours of Europe and beyond, Dominique is a chef, food writer and presenter. She currently owns and runs “Putia Pure Food Kitchen” a restaurant and cooking school, in Brisbane’s Banyo.

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Dominique’s Experience

Dominique has over 20 years’ experience as a chef in Australia. Especially relevant, is her career as former head chef and partner of West End’s Mondo Organics. She now owns Putia Pure Food Kitchen, Banyo.

During her career, Dominique has developed a beautiful collection of delicious recipes showcasing her love of world cuisine. Although her traditional Italian roots are her real inspiration and highlight her Sicilian/Italian heritage.

Dominique has published a dedicated Italian cook book ‘My Taste of Sicily’ showcasing a delightful range of her family recipes.

Dominique also loves to incorporate the best of all cuisines in her food. Her recipes celebrate the amazing melting pot that is our multicultural Australian kitchen.

She shares her abundant knowledge of food with Australians on a regular basis. This is both in her recipe development, as well as her radio and television work across Australia. Dominique has over a decade of experience working in Australian television, radio and media. This includes regular guest spots on Channel 10 and Channel 9. Most noteworthy was her long standing role on Channel 10’s hit cooking show ‘Ready, Steady, Cook.’

Dominique has also hosted a couple of cooking shows namely ‘Yes Chef’ and “It’s a Lifestyle TV” She has also hosted “Fresh on Sunday” a local produce focused show on Brisbane’s 4BC.

Dominique created “Pure Food, Wine and Cooking Tours” to Europe and beyond as an absolute treat for the senses. They include both Personally Escorted Tours, as well as a series of Private or Group “Locally Guided” tours. All tours offer the same immersion into the cooking, eating and cultural experience. Tours include Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, tours to Puglia, Greece and Germany as well as Norfolk Island.

Meet and travel with Chef Dominique on all of our tours. All you need to do, is choose your tour style, and your destination.

About Chrys Zantis

Want to travel to the exotic and delectable Greece? Who better to travel with than Brisbane visual artist and travel and food enthusiast Chrys Zantis!

Experience the aromas and flavours of fresh seasonal dishes truly made with love. The music, the dancing and the magnificence that is Greek Art and history awaits you…

Your food tour host to Greece, Chrys Zantis is of Greek heritage. She hails from the island Kythera. During our “Greek Odyssey Food and Art Tour,” Chrys will accompany us as a valued tour guide. Chrys has a lifetime of lived Greek culture. She shares with us her Greek knowledge, history and experiences unique to these regions.

On a personal level, Chrys’ infectious enthusiasm for life simply embraces you. Just like her welcoming hugs. You immediately feel enlivened by her powerful and compelling spirit. Chrys is a passionate, effervescent and gregarious woman with a wicked sense of humour. She believes with all her big Aussie/Greek heart and with every fibre of her being, in the universal joy received by the sharing of food, art and culture.

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On our tour through Greece, food tour host Chrys will share with you her love and knowledge of making artistic travel journals. Relaxed and informal tutorials will awaken your senses and inspire your creativity. With her artful style and innate creativity, she will show you a special way to document your journey through Greece with found items along the way. We supply everything you need to create this wonderful and unique memory.

Chrys’ Experience

Chrys is a renowned visual artist, based in Brisbane. Her work mixes the feminine traditions of knitting with elements of contemporary art. Chrys’s installations have been, and are currently on exhibit throughout Brisbane. She is supported by individual artists, galleries, art institutions, local communities and out of the box art initiatives.

Chrys’ experience as an artist-in-residence at a local State school, fuelled her passion for community art. She believes this medium is the perfect way to understand one’s own culture and the culture of others.

Through Chrys’ many trips back to her home land she is able to capture and invite you into everything that is the best of Greek heritage. This Greek tour will encompass all the wonder, colour and lusciousness of a flavoursome adventure, as an infinite memory to last forever.

You can meet Chrys on our amazing Greek tours.

About Giovanni Luca Dalia

Viva Italia, with our wonderful Sicilian food tour host and guide, Giovanni Luca Dalia or “Gianluca” as he likes to be called.

Because Gianluca is a native Sicilian, he understands the “Sicilian way.” He knows the people and customs. He is informative and interesting. As well, he provides a light hearted approach to presenting the Sicilian culture.

Gianluca is full of quirky facts and historical information. His story telling immerses you right into the heart of Sicily, making him a wonderful guide. Gianluca thrives on sharing his passion for food, wine, beer and Sicily with anyone who will listen. He loves an interesting conversation with anyone interested in discovering this historically enriched country.

Gianluca’s Experience

Gianluca speaks English, French, Spanish, German and some Dutch. He is always very happy to learn about other countries by talking to the people he meets during his activities.

Gianluca has studied history and European politics in Palermo and Amsterdam. He also worked for ten years in the respective European Union (EU) information offices.

During his time in the EU, he was responsible for study visits. He was also involved in international projects and exchange programmes for local administrators. As a result, he has had a life time of travel and experience across Europe. He brings a wonderful energy and assists us in all our tours of Italy and Bavaria.

Gianluca has also worked as a guide for the EU office in Sicily where he acquired an even deeper knowledge of his country. At the heart of his passion, is Sicilian history, architecture, food, rural life and traditions. This makes him a formidable food tour host.

Are you itching to meet and learn from Gianluca?

About Matt Kirkegaard

If your tastes lean more towards beer than wine, we have dedicated world beer tours during the year. Who better to see you sipping beer to your hearts’ content? Our own beer enthusiast, Matt Kirkegaard. Matt is a freelance beer writer and has developed a reputation as one of the few independent beers educators in Australia.

Food tour host Matt is passionate about beer and his enthusiasm is infectious. He has the beautiful ability to inspire anyone into tasting beer. He is also passionate about beer being more than just a man’s drink. Matt is full of insightful and interesting facts, information and traditions. This is not only about beer itself, but the history behind it and some of the amazing countries that you will visit on tour with him.

Matt’s Experience

Matt has also written widely about beer and beer culture for books, newspapers and magazines. He is a past editor of Beer & Brewer magazine. He also developed and edits the influential national beer website Australian ‘Brews News.’

Matt was recently chosen to edit a comprehensive guide to Australian beer. This is ‘The Beer Lover’s Guide to Australia.’ As well, he was a book contributor to ‘The Critics’ Choice: Australia’s Best Beers.’

Matt has also worked with Cascade Brewery. He recently helped develop their new iPhone application, ‘The Brewer’s Nose.’

Matt is a regular contributor to Tiger Airways’ magazine ‘Tiger Tales.’ He also writes for Virgin Blue’s ‘Voyeur magazine’ as well as ‘Lexus Magazine.’

In addition, Matt hosts a fortnightly beer show on 4BC radio and is also a regular beer columnist on ‘The Punch.’

Matt is regularly sought out as a speaker, educator and media commentator about beer. He was selected as a judge at the inaugural RNA Royal Queensland Beer Show awards. Here he presented the post-awards beer Masterclass. He was also part of the select panel chosen to work with Fosters and Riedel. He judged the perfect glass to accompany Foster’s flagship beer, Crown Ambassador Reserve.

Most recently, he conducted Beer and Cheese matching masterclasses. This was part of the Brisbane Cheese Awards.
As your food tour host, Matt’s beer tastings are light hearted but with a focus on educating and elevating beer.
Matt feels that despite its status as a national drink, beer needs to sack its current agent and publicist. That’s if it’s going to achieve the respect that it deserves – as the equal of wine (though without the stuffiness). Wine can also keep the cravats.

Feeling thirsty already?

Matt hosts a fabulous Bavarian Guided Beer Tour as part of our Private or Group Tours packages.