Gelato King Donato Toce Stirs Up the “MasterChef Australia” Kitchen

masterchef australia donato toce
Daily Telegraph

Get ready for yet another delicious episode of “MasterChef Australia: Secrets & Surprises“. Last week, we were treated to the presence of Chris Hemsworth‘s personal nutritionist, Sergio Perera, and Melbourne‘s hospitality royalty, Shannon Bennett. But this week, we have an exciting newcomer taking the reins as a guest judge. Say hello to the gelato king himself, Donato Toce!

The bottom three cooks from the Mystery Box challenge will face a Pressure Test set by first-time guest judge Donato Toce, the Head Chef at Messina. Toce will put our hopeful home cooks to the test as he challenges them to replicate his version of the nostalgic Viennetta ice cream cake, the Messina Messinetta.

Let’s take a closer look at this culinary maestro and his journey in the world of food.

Who Is Donato Toce?

Donato Toce is the culinary genius behind Messina, one of Australia’s most-loved gelato brands. You’ll know if you ever stumble across a Messina with the tell-tale line out the front. With his impressive background in Melbourne’s food scene, Toce made his mark as the head chef at the renowned A Tavola in Darlinghurst before fate led him to the doorstep of Messina. As luck would have it, Messina’s first store was just across the road from A Tavola, and it wasn’t long before Toce became best buddies with Nick Palumbo, Messina’s founder.

Their friendship ignited a creative collaboration that would shape Messina’s extraordinary gelato offerings. Toce’s imagination and flair introduced unique and sometimes wild flavours to the Messina menu. Who could forget the Pavlova flavour that he first introduced? Even today, it remains one of Messina’s most-loved and sought-after treats.

Does Donato Toce Own Messina?

Donato Toce is one of the four co-owners of Messina. The brand was originally founded by Nick Palumbo in 2002, and his brother Danny Palumbo joined as Head of Operations in 2006.

Toce, known for his creative prowess, became Messina’s Chief Creative Chef when he joined the company in 2008. The fourth owner, Declan Lee, a former physiotherapist turned DJ, brings his expertise in branding, marketing, and music curation to Messina, creating a unique and immersive experience for customers.

Can You Buy the Messina Messinetta?

Can You Buy the Messina Messinetta?
Image: Messina

While the Messina Messinetta may be a highly sought-after treat, unfortunately, it is currently sold out. However, fans can sign up to be notified of any re-releases, ensuring they don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in this limited edition masterpiece.

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