As a hostess at Ostro, Anna Di Candia is enjoying learning the restaurant trade… with an eye to running one herself in future.
Are you from Auckland? No I’m from Italy. From the south. I came here a year and half ago, and plan to stay here another year at least.
How do you get to Britomart? I walk from Parnell. It takes about 15 minutes. Or I Uber.
What do you do here? I’m working as a host. I hope to grow a bit more as well into the company because I want to improve myself, get better.
So what would your ideal job be? I don’t know. I’d like to learn how to manage a venue, because one day I would like to have my own restaurant with my brother. He is a restaurant manager in Sydney. He wants to come over and maybe do something here in New Zealand. It would be a few years away, of course!
Where would you do that? Maybe in Auckland, or maybe in the South Island.
Would you do Italian food? Yes. And there’s a lot of Italian food that we can’t find here.
Really? Tell us more… It’s called panzerotti. It’s like a calzone, but it’s deep fried. It’s really yummy. There’s a lot of Italian desserts that you can’t get here too and we’d do those.
How did you get into working at Ostro? I’ve been working in hospitality since I was 14. In Italy and then I moved to Australia for two years and then I came here.
What’s the most popular thing on the menu? The omelette is something that has been on the menu since Ostro opened. I really like the octopus and potato bravas. They’re very good. The snapper is very good too and parmesan beignets as a side. As a dessert, I would say the creme brûlée. I had one yesterday. It’s really yummy.
What’s your idea of fun? Going to the beach, hiking. When you get to Bethells Beach if you go on the right, there is a hike [Te Henga Walkway] It’s a little hill you can go up. And there are horses there.
Where’s your favourite place to eat around here? Ortolana.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be? Pizza. Or pasta. I love carbs. Anything carbs makes me feel happy. I eat a lot of carbs. If I have a meal without carbs, in the next hour I’m starving. Pasta or pizza, I can last four or five hours!
Photograph and interview by Florence Noble