Toni Brancatisano, who grew up in Melbourne Australia as one of four children and the younger of twins, graduated as a Registered Nurse from The Royal Melbourne School of Nursing in 1993.
In 1995, Toni travelled to London on a working holiday, intending to nanny 2 year old triplet girls for 6 months. The 6 months became 3 years, but the inevitable expiration of her VISA meant that Toni had to reluctantly leave London. Not ready to return to Melbourne, Toni accepted a summer job nannying for an English family at their summer home in Tuscany, Italy. While waiting to start her new nanny role, she spent a wonderful three months travelling to La Jolla in San Diego where she worked as a prep chef in a friend’s Italian restaurant.
Once in Tuscany, Toni eventually married. Toni has two children, Annabella born in 2000 and Joseph born in 2004. Her love of cooking, and especially baking and cake decorating, meant that a hobby of making creative cakes for her children’s birthdays slowly become a little business as people started ordering cakes for birthdays, weddings and special events.
In 2009, Toni participated in the first cooking reality show on Italian TV (Before Masterchef came to Italy): ‘La Scuola - Cucina di Classe’ and it aired on Italy’s food channel, Gambero Rosso Channel on SKY. After 12 weeks of filming, Toni was declared the winner, beating 15 contestants in trials of cooking savoury & sweet dishes. The prize for winning the reality was to host a show on Gambero Rosso Channel.
Toni decided to undertake a cake decorating show involving her daughter Annabella, and so in 2010 the first series of ‘Le Torte di Toni’ went to air with Toni teaching her daughter a different cake to make and decorate in each episode. Together, mother and daughter made 3 series of ‘Le Torte di Toni’. Then came 2 series of ‘Le Torte di Toni - Masterclass’, a show hosted by Toni, with a new guest decorator each episode. TV work during this year included a cooking show, hosted by Toni together with her twin sister, Lisa.
Toni was also the Master of Ceremonies for a special dinner celebrating the close relationship and history between Australia and Italy. The evening was a collaboration between the Australian Embassy and Gambero Rosso. ‘i cugini dell’altro emisfero’ was broadcast on TV on 27 October 2014.
In 2011 Toni was invited to Australia for the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival where, for 3 weeks, she gave cooking demos (mainly pasta making), various radio interviews and also flew to Sydney to cook on The TODAY Show!
In 2012, Toni’s first book, ‘La Torta Perfetta di Toni’ was published by Gribaudo Feltrinelli Publishing.
Toni moved to Rome in 2013. She has continued to be Master of Ceremonies for various events hosted by Tourism Australia in collaboration with Alitalia Etihad Airlines. She single-handedly catered for the AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY for their ANZAC Day morning tea on April 25th this year. Recently Toni has joined the team at Eating Europe as a guide & translator for their ‘Cooking with Nonna’ classes that are held in Rome.
Apart from decorating cakes or catering for special events, Toni spends her time travelling throughout Italy teaching cake decorating, attending trade fairs as a ‘special guest’, and also organising classes in Italy for International cake decorating teachers.