In celebration of World Pasta Day on Thursday 25 October, the only sfoglina at Rosetta Ristorante in Sydney talks about her craft. 

From spaghetti to orecchiette and rigatoni to agnolotti, Joyce Po makes 10 different types of pasta at Rosetta Ristorante in Sydney. “It’s harder than it sounds,” she says. “The size, texture and consistency have to be absolutely perfect. It’s time-consuming, but I love it and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.”

A sfoglina is the Italian name traditionally given to a woman who has mastered the art of making pasta. Joyce, the only sfoglina at Rosetta, has a unique and individual style of pasta making. “I have my own, non-conventional tricks to ensure quality as well as quantity. In order to make orecchiette, for example, I roll out all the dough and then use my thumb to sculpt each individual shell.”

Despite family pressure to follow a career in nursing, the 31-year old Filipina yearned to utilise her flare and passion for cooking. In 2011, she left her job at a local hospital to study a diploma of Cuisines and Modern Cooking at the Global Academy in Manila. There, her creativity in the kitchen thrived and her knowledge of food and flavours grew. On graduating from the academy, Joyce landed a position at the renowned Nobu Restaurant in Manila, where her knife skills and attention to detail flourished.

Joyce had dreamed of living in Australia for many years, and after two years spent working her way up through Nobu’s kitchens, she moved to the country at the beginning of 2016. Her first job in Sydney was as a kitchen hand at Munich Brauhaus in The Rocks. From there she transferred to Saké Jr as Demi Chef De Partie, before Richard Purdue, Head Chef at Rosetta, poached her for his own team in April 2017.

Joyce demonstrated an exceptional eye for detail and a superior talent in pasta making. Shortly after joining the team at Rosetta, she was offered the restaurant’s singular position of sfoglina. Working in different positions within Rockpool Dining Group has been an experience that Joyce believes has shaped her culinary career. “There’s so much room to grow within Rockpool Dining Group, and I’m so happy I’ve been given the opportunity to do so. I’ve progressed through the kitchens and found a position I truly love here at Rosetta.”

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