Stephane Meyer grew up in France and moved to Australia 16 years ago to be with his partner. The French chef is one of the founders of Etto Pasta, a business built on producing handmade pastas daily, healthy sauces and lots of quality ingredients, and it’s because of the business’s commitment to quality that we have asked him to be our Mount Zero Hero this month.
“I know I’m a French man making pasta,” Stephane laughs, “but France shares a lot in common with Italy and food, especially in the south of France where the countries share a border.”
Stephane knew of Mount Zero before he and his business partners established Etto Pasta ten years ago.
“I discovered Mount Zero at the Collingwood Farmers Market many years ago so when we started setting up the business, Mount Zero olives and olive oils were the obvious choices for us,” he says, “and it’s gone from there, we love the salt, too.”
Stephane says that he loves the fact that Mount Zero is local but our emphasis on sustainability is a big drawcard for him, “Mount Zero is always working at doing better for the environment, I really like that and [MZ] is always trying new things, new products, always moving.”
The chef and businessman has shared two pasta recipes with us this month because “they’re both full of flavour and easy to cook at home,” he says.
He uses our award-winning Lemon Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the smoked salmon pasta dish, “the lemon oil is so good!” he says, “and this dish has been on our menu since we opened, it takes only a handful of ingredients but it’s delicious and very popular!”
But is there Mount Zero in the chef’s pantry at home? “I play with other cuisines at home,” he says, adding that he’s been working with our recently released Yuzu Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil. “I love the yuzu oil on a kingfish carpaccio, it’s so easy and very fresh.”
Ten years on and Etto Pasta has shops in the CBD, Elsternwick, Malvern, South Melbourne and Brunswick; a testament to consistency and quality that Stephane insists upon and why Etto’s and Mount Zero’s connection remains so strong.
The Fast Five
1. If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing?
"I have developed an interest in science over the years, so maybe doing some sort of scientific research."
2. Last place you dined out?
"Angaan in West Footscray, an excellent Indian restaurant in my suburb."
3. Favourite Melbourne restaurant?
4. What’s your favourite season of the year for produce?
"I can’t pass Summer for the tomatoes, fresh basil, courgettes, stone fruits... but Spring brings white asparagus, my favourite vegetable, which is very different from the green one."
5. Do you have any special projects planned for 2022?
"A long overdue trip back to France to see my family and indulge in cheese and wine!"