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UPDATE: The Old Library restaurant nominated for second design award!

The Old Library has been nominated for a Belle – Coco Republic Interior Design Award this year! Last month we shared the details about the restaurant’s interior with you here as well as an interview with Mario Kalpou here.  We’re now excited to announce the restaurant’s design is nominated along with Apollo at Potts Point and Scarlett at The Rocks in its category.

The awards tomorrow will celebrate the excellence in Australian interior design and decoration by individuals, partnerships and design practices at residential, commercial and corporate levels. These prestigious awards are committed to supporting the creativity and innovation of the Australian interior design industry.

The Old Library offers the finest flavours of Southern Italy in a designer setting that’s fresh and modern and remains true to the heritage of its 1908 building.

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Fast Five with Mario Kalpou, The Old Library

Mario Kalpou, owner of The Old Library, Cronulla’s new Italian diner that’s receiving praise and recognition for its standout design, takes part in our Fast Five.

1.   Best meal you’ve had in Sydney?
The zucchini flowers and meat balls at sopra.

2.   Favourite drink with dinner?
Glass of pino nior.

3.   Favourite Sydney bar?
Zeta Bar, Hilton.

4.   Favourite Travel Destination
Greek islands, of course!

5.   I never leave home without …
My wallet — in-case I feel like eating out!

Congratulations to Mario and design practice, Hecker Guthrie, for Commendations in the Hospitality Design category at the 2012 Australian Interior Design Awards!

Missed our interview with Mario Kalpou about The Old Library? You can find it here. 

Mario Kalpou

The Old Library

The Old Library, Cronulla NSW

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Nic and Rocco Sydney Cooking Classes

Sydney fans can now try their hand at Nic and Rocco’s traditional Italian recipes with a modern twist as they bring their cooking classes to NSW! Nic and Rocco will be appearing at Peter’s of Kensington from May 14-19 for exclusive cooking classes that will cover dessert, seafood and pasta.

The dynamic duo dazzled judges and TV audiences earlier this year on season three of My Kitchen Rules. Armed with delicious Gateau Operas, mesmerising Macarons and charms to kill, they whipped up inspired creations night after night, making their way to the final cook off. Despite being pipped at the post in the final stages, the boys have maintained a steady following and have opened their own ‘desserts for order’ business as well as cooking classes for the culinary enthusiast.  Book now for Nic and RoccoWeek at Peter’s of Kensington as places are limited and will sell out fast. Every session will have free giveaways including a Kenwood prize pack plus lots of Nic and Rocco specials!

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Interview: Mario Kalpou, The Old Library

Originally a library in the 70s, The Old Library has been redeveloped into Cronulla’s hottest modern Italian diner. By the Sydney beach, hungry guests can relax in the spacious sit-down eatery, that comes with complementing bar and private dining room, and indulge in delicious Italian flavours. It boasts an impressive menu as well as a character-filled interior that’s been shortlisted in the Hospitality Design award category at the 2012 Australian Interior Design Awards.

Owner, Mario Kalpou says, “The space was designed with relevance to its surroundings. The interior is reflective of a contemporary seaside establishment while still retaining the essence of the original building and its features including its vaulted, timber-lined ceiling.” We chat to Mario about the award-nominated design.

Describe The Old Library before you got your hands on it?
It wasn’t in the best shape. All I had to work with was the bones of the building, but what great bones they were! There was an amazing sense of volume, and its character was screaming at me. I knew I had a winner! The inspiration was to keep it classy yet not intimidating and also very much in touch with its surroundings, the beach.

What was it like working with designers Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie who helped revamp The Old Library?
When it comes to design, the most important aspect of doing a job in partnership is speaking the same language. We successfully bounced ideas off each other. I had to incorporate hospitality and industry practicality with their vision of aesthetics and, it was a juggle, but we nailed it!

What’s you favourite feature of the restaurant’s design?
The bar and the book lounge.

What does it mean to be short-listed in the Hospitality Design award category at the Australian Interior Design Awards?
Not to sound arrogant, but I wasn’t extremely surprised because I knew how much we put into its design, of course, it’s always humbling to see your hard work pay off. It means a hell of a lot and it’s great to know we’re up there with some of the country’s best venues.

What can people expect when visiting the old library?
To me it’s all about the experience. Food and beverage is about bringing people together, creating a great vibe and sharing — that’s what I want people to feel. The food is good, simple, fresh, Italian cuisine. I don’t believe in complicating food, we use fresh produce and always the best! We keep it seasonal — the way it should be.

The Old Library owner, Mario Kalpou, shares his Fast Five with us next week! Stay tuned.

Fig Salad

Chocolate Budino

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