About Us

Established in 1996, Italy 1 has maintained a firm focus on serving high quality Italian food that takes advantage of the freshest and tastiest produce available.

Darren Venn completed his chef apprenticeship at Italy 1 in the CBD in the late 1990s. Then in 2006, he took on the role of head chef at the Camberwell venue. He, together with his business partner Steve Wu, purchased Italy 1 in late 2011.

The pair undertook some renovations to give the restaurant a new lease of life and reopened on 25 January 2012. “We freshened up the restaurant and changed the décor to create a warm and intimate environment. But despite these cosmetic changes, we have still maintained the same values,” says Darren.

The Italy 1 menu is produce driven and Darren’s passion for Italian cuisine is one that has endured. “I fell in love with Italian food when I began cooking at Italy 1 all those years ago.” We are big believers in using local produce and high quality Italian ingredients. Inspiration comes from what is seasonally available – that is quintessentially what Italian food is all about. I regularly visit the markets and that’s how I create the menu,” says Darren, who remains very much hands on, continuing to run the kitchen as head chef.

Menu changes occur seasonally, but several staple dishes always remain, like the very popular linguine marinara.  Italy 1 also has an extensive Italian wine list which showcases some of the best Italian varieties.