Discover our Team

How it all started…

Luciana Sampogna, the founder,  graduated from the Simili Sisters’ school in Bologna, and then opened her first cooking school in Auckland, New Zealand in 1998. The media were quick to spot her talent as were the winners of the America’s Cup, Alinghi. Luciana trained the chefs on the multi-million dollar support boats. It was with great enthusiasm that Luciana then opened her cooking school, Cucina Italiana in Sydney in 2002.  Luciana’s classes were extensively covered by the international press and in 2010, Murdoch Books publish her first cookbook.

Luciana now holds private and personal classes in Venice and in the Colline of the Prosecco, and still comes often to Sydney to teach at her beloved school.

Giuliana Barbarioli, originally with a background in engineering Giuliana fell in love with Italian cuisine and rescued her Italian heritage when she met Luciana Sampogna. She has learnt from Luciana everything about the art of Italian cuisine and has become a masterful chef in her own right. Giuliana decided to follow the path of her mentor, Luciana, and continue her wonderful legacy. Giuliana’s passion is not only to deliver exceptional dishes but also to give every client a taste of Italian passion and to create joyful experiences together that will never be forgotten.  Giuliana has embraced Cucina Italiana and her classes have proven to be a huge success.

Francesco Spartaro is a unique Siciliano chef with over 20 years experience. Also with an engineering master, he has dedicated many years in Sydney delivering the best of Italian food. He worked in fine dining restaurants and pizzerias across Sydney, many of which have been featured in the Good Food Guide.
A qualified Pizza chef associated with AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) and an award-winning passionate Pizza chef, Francesco has been collaborating with Luciana Sampogna at Cucina Italiana in Sydney, not only following Luciana’s footsteps, but he shares his knowledge with so much enthusiasm that soon after you start the class you may think you have been transported to Italy. Francesco teaches all our menus and loves our Sicilian menus, and all southern Italian flavours, something that brings back to him wonderful memories.