Daniele writes the social pages for the Sunday Times Magazine. When he’s not hitting the party circuit, he’s often in the kitchen whipping up delicious, authentic Italian food for his friends and family. As such, he is the BEST person to advise you on places to dine in Perth. Introducing Daniele Foti-Cuzzola x 

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m 23 and born and raised in Perth. I write the social pages for STM (The Sunday Times Magazine). My work entails mingling with socialites, models and celebs at premieres, launch events and fashion shows. When I have time for a social life of my own, I enjoy cooking for my family and friends. I’m of Italian background and travel regularly to Italy so a lot of the food I cook is Italian. Nothing relaxes me more than making fresh pasta, so I’ve decided to launch my own food and recipe blog Dine With Daniele, where I share traditional Italian recipes, tutorials and stories about growing up in an Italo-Australian family.

Daniele Foti-Cuzzola

What are your top cafes for breakfast in Perth?

I didn’t used to be a huge breakfast person but seeing as I’m out most nights covering events for work, breakfast has become the best way for me to catch up with friends. In Italy breakfast isn’t a big deal, so you usually just have a coffee and something sweet, so I look for places that do really good pastries or dishes that will cater for my sweet tooth – basically anything with Nutella. For Italian pastries, I can’t look past Dolcetto in North Perth, their sweets bring me back to Italy and they have a full breakfast menu, which is handy if my friends want something with a little more oomph. I’m also a fan of Lucioli’s in Claremont.

For a more traditional breakfast, I love Holly Raye’s in Bassendean. I love the interior, the food is on point and the staff are friendly (which is really important to me). If I’m able to resist the sweets on display, than I tend to go for their AM salad or the acai smoothie bowl. Pixel in Leederville also does a really good smoothie bowl.

If I’m looking for something a little heartier (in particular after a night out) I can’t go wrong with Sayers’ Sister in North Perth. There are so many good choices that I get overwhelmed and sometimes just create my own breakfast with their extensive list of sides. Other favourites of mine include Sapore Espresso Bar, Grantham Street Café and Piccolo’s Corner.

Daniele Foti-Cuzzola Daniele Foti-Cuzzola

Best spots to grab dinner in Perth?

Hands down Perugino’s in West Perth. As soon as I walk through the doors I feel like I’ve been transported to Italy. The décor, the staff and the food are amazing. I usually go for their degustation and I love how chef and owner Giuseppe Pagliaricci comes out and explains all the dishes. You can see he is extremely passionate about what he does and knows his craft. It’s also where Beyoncé chooses to eat when she comes to Perth – so need I say more?

For something more casual I love Dough Pizza. There pizza is insanely good and I can’t get enough of there Roman chips. I normally go out for Italian (Surprise!). Other places I’d recommend are Papargallo’s in Leederville, Kappy’s in Guildford and La Sosta in Fremantle. Basically I’m good with anywhere that I can get fresh pasta or pizza and an Aperol spritz!

I’m also obsessed with Brika. They do really good Greek food and I love the décor. I also like Nobu and I’m counting down to when I have the time to go back to Long Chim. It’s definitely a place I’d recommend to friends visiting Perth. And there is always room for dessert, which is usually gelato. Gusto, Whisk and Chico Gelato are favourites of mine. I love how gelato has come back into fashion. As a gelato aficionado it’s such a time to be alive.

When you’re at home, what’s your go to snack?

Cheese is everything to me.  I might make a Caprese salad (tomatoes, basil and mozzarella), or just snack on some Parmigiano-Reggiano. I’m also a sucker for anything pickled – olives, eggplant, artichokes, chillies. Otherwise there’s usually some fresh homemade biscuits, which are good to have with a coffee.

Best meal you’ve ever had?

This is a hard one. I feel like every time I eat something it’s a different experience. Part of the enjoyment is who you’re sharing the meal with. Hands down are the dishes I’ve grown up with like my parents or nonna’s homemade cooking. There’s not really much that can top that. But I am obsessed with Perugino’s Paffutelli Al Salmone (half moon shaped pasta filled with a mixture of prawns, scallops, and dhufish, served in a smoked salmon and cream sauce). Other standouts were my cousins wedding at Antica Filanda in Sicily – which was just insane! All 8 + courses were on point and I recently came back from New York and had some amazing shrimp tacos from La Esquina in Soho, and a ridiculously good degustation at Ristorante Rafele. They do a really good pannacotta too! I’m also obsessed with Chico Gelato’s banana and parsley gelato, it’s up there with some of the best gelato I’ve had in Sicily.

Best advice you’ve ever received? 

There’s a few. One I live by is to “fake it till you make it”. That’s definitely helped me. It’s basically giving everything a go even if you don’t really know what you’re doing, and to kill people with kindness. If someone’s throwing shade there’s no need to stoop down to their level. If you’re going to work your way to the top, do it the right way. That way you can enjoy the pinnacle of your success knowing you don’t owe it to anybody but yourself, and that you didn’t hurt anyone getting there.

Follow Daniele on Instagram at @dinewithdaniele and check out his website

Daniele Foti-Cuzzola Daniele Foti-Cuzzola