No prospects of work in Sicily did not seem to satisfy the couple of biologists Oriana and Francesco, so the two emigrated abroad, in Australia. After a year, however, they chose to go back to Sicily and implement their “plan B” in Marina di Ragusa

They lived in Wollongong for a year. This small Australian town not too far from Sydney welcomed them and, as it always happens, the two brains “on the run” quickly got everything they were struggling to earn in Italy: decent working and research conditions and concrete opportunities. This time, however, the usual refrain of those who leave their land and their home with a contemptuous and embittered spirit, promising themselves not to go back, has been turned upside down unexpectedly.

THE “PLAN B”. Oriana’s colleagues were looking for someone to take care of a catering to forage the participants of an important conference. Even in the countries farthest from Italy there is an association of ideas between Italians and good food, so the most obvious and natural choice that came to the organizers’ mind was to ask her for help. Oriana had no idea how to organize it, but she decided to venture into a world that did not belong to her yet. « It was my first catering, I had no experience about that, nor a kitchen equipped to do such an undertaking. I only had four pans and I would have to set up a reception for eighty people. Therefore, I warned Francesco, I left the house and went shopping. I did not have a car, so I went by bus and took a trolley with me, going around the city with a suitcase full of food. I had no other alternatives and, after seeing some Australians shopping in their pajamas, I was sure that I would not have captured too much people’s attention with my trolley» told us the young Sicilian with a smile. And this is how the “plan B” of Oriana and Francesco was developed.

THE RETURN. After a year the couple’s visa expired, their research project ended and the two researchers returned to Ragusa with the intention of travelling to Australia soon again. But Oriana and Francesco never returned to Wollongong, because an insistent and fascinating idea had come up to their minds in that small foreign place. The “plan B” was soon approved and earnt the title of “plan A” or “planArà” (by the village where they were born). In the Australian culinary art, strictly fusion-linked and intercultural, the couple opposed an exquisitely Sicilian project, aimed at enhancing Italian flavors and traditions. Oriana and Francesco had to face some difficulties, from a suffocating bureaucracy to the lack of support for new activities such as theirs, but they answered by holding a drill and some brushes, in order to create shelves and chairs where there was no space for tables. Today their activity is a valid warning to all those who see in the act of flight to some near or far lands the only solution to the problems they had in their country. Staying home or going back is not necessarily a synonym of surrendering. The two young entrepreneurs fondly remember the warmth of Australia and its people, together with the feeling of having found, even in another hemisphere, a corner of Sicily and a bet to grasp.


Translated into English by Eva Luna Mascolino