Donato & Giuseppe Laurito come from a long line of Italian chefs. Their grandfather was a cook in the navy during the war so their love for food transpires for generations. Their history pretty much started the day they were born, their mother invoked their culture and love of food and cooking ever since they were little. In their kitchen everything was always made from scratch full of flavour and fresh ingredients, the majority of which came from their own backyard. They knew from an early age they wanted to be chefs and build on their love for Italian food and cooking.
Donato started his apprenticeship at a leading hotel in Brisbane winning awards for best apprentice along the way with Giuseppe in tow landing many kitchen jobs learning the ropes at an early age. Once Donato qualified as a chef he had the ambition to open his own restaurant which he fulfilled at the ripe age of 21 with Giuseppe as his business partner. So the family began their story at a little place near Garden City called Cafe Colosseum where Giuseppe continued his apprenticeship there. This is where they introduced their style of traditional homemade cooking which included pasta and desserts made from scratch. The recipes for everything they cooked were family secrets handed down to them by their mother to which they added a D+G twist and produced them on a larger scale. In a short period of time they became well known in the local community and started to develop a large following which after several years helped them to expand in the form of ‘The Roman Empire’ restaurant. It was at The Roman Empire that they gained a lot of traction, receiving multiple awards and nominations for best restaurant on the south side of Brisbane. This restaurant was a family affair from the get go, Mamma Santina supervised the restaurant and helped the boys make all the pasta and desserts, while Papa Gaetano grew herbs and vegies which were used in some of the dishes.