Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Airlie’s First Patisserie Opens Its Doors

The decadent food offering in Airlie Beach has reached a whole new level with the recent opening of Gelatiamo Dolce Patisserie and Gelato store on the Esplanade in the centre of town.

Passers-by will have noticed the vibrant fridge display boasting an array of colourful cakes which beckons in those looking for a sweet treat for morning tea or perhaps a sumptuous dessert to finish off a perfect evening.

A vision of Joe and Deanna Panuccio for many years, the concept began with traditional Gelato made with ingredients sourced directly from Italy.

This soon turned into the new addition of a Patisserie, which was made possible with the creative magic of head pastry chef Andrea Manna.

Meanwhile Joe’s sister, Vanessa, is the backbone behind all of the stunning gelato flavours and products in the store.

Having arrived in Australia one year ago, Andrea is astounded by the opportunities presented to him in a country he has now decided to make his own.

A fortuitous Facebook post saw Andrea and Joe connect over a shared passion for creating exciting desserts and cakes.

“Joe asked me if I wanted to open a pastry shop in Airlie Beach, so I booked a flight!” recalls Andrea.

That was six months ago now, and the pair have not looked back.

Initially introducing a small display fridge and extended dessert menu at his nearby restaurant, Paradiso, Joe quickly saw the demand and was thrilled to refit and re-brand his gelato shop to create Gelatiamo Dolce Patisserie and Gelato late last year.

Originally from northern Italy, Andrea grew up in his parent's restaurant, a business his family owned for over 50 years.

After working at the restaurant for five years he knew that “pastry was my life” and moved to Padua where he studied the craft at Hangar 78.

“I learnt all the skills from so many chefs from all over the world,” said Andrea.

“And now I am bringing them here to Airlie Beach.”

So far, Andrea has introduced the popular Cannoli which is made with puff pastry and house-made own custard, the signature Hazelnut and Chocolate Dome, the Lemon Meringue Pie made with tangy lemon curd, a New York Style Cheesecake with fresh strawberries and, most recently the stylish Mille Feuille.

Every pastry, sauce, cream, ganache and decoration is made from scratch and with love in the dedicated pastry kitchen.

Each individual cake in the display fridge is a treat for the senses - they are exciting masterpieces to behold, fashioned with intricate craftsmanship, and backed up by taste - giving every customer a sensational experience, they will always remember.

Gelatiamo Dolce Patisserie and Gelato are also introducing a selection of pre-order birthday cakes based on a traditional French recipe which involves layers, mousse, and texture.

“They are very fresh and very summery, more like a mousse cake instead of a sponge,” explained Andrea.

“There are lots of layers with different flavours like vanilla and raspberry or pistachio and passionfruit – different textures like a crunch or a mousse – they are so good and my favourite to make.”

Gelatiamo Dolce also have plans to launch a wedding cake selection soon, as well as the exciting news of branching out and opening a new store in Townsville.

Whether you are looking for a refined morning tea, a sweet treat takeaway or a classy dessert bar, Gelatiamo Dolce Patisserie and Gelato is Airlie’s brand-new offering that is setting a new benchmark in the industry.

Caption: Andrea Manna, Head Pastry Chef at Gelatiamo Dolce Patisserie and Gelato in Airlie Beach. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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