Pietro was born in Padova Italy and Desley in Brisbane. Pietro studied Anthropology and Desley Creative Arts.
They met in Melbourne in January 1970 and married in December the same year. They then moved to Italy and lived there for a while before returning to Brisbane.
In 1975 Desley commenced work at the Schonell Theatre at the University of Queensland, while Pietro started visiting Papua New Guinea regularly in search of primitive art.
In 1981, they bought their property at Rathdowney but their Gabriel Poole house wasn't built until 1999.
In 1991 they created the Schonell Pizza Caffe which became a popular meeting place for academics, students and pizza-lovers from all over Brisbane.
They now enjoy sharing their skills at their cooking classes both at Rathdowney and in people's homes.
They didn't have children but have always had many animals. Their present menagerie includes Ciaro the camel, Juanita and Kurt - two llamas, 22 alpacas , 10 peacocks, two cats, two chooks, 60 birds and lots of native animals. Much of their 100 acre block is a nature refuge where the bush is being preserved for wildlife.
THE CLASSES: (all include morning tea, tuition, recipe sheets and gelato)
PIZZE ALLA PIETRO. In this class you learn how to make the perfect dough, their own tomato base and how to prepare your toppings. You will never put raw vegetables on your pizzas ever again!
GNOCCHI, RISOTTO & GELATO. Learn the secrets behind three of the most famous dishes in the Italian cuisine. Potato gnocchi is an all-time favourite but none are as delicious as what you make yourself. You will learn to make risi-e-bisi, the original risotto and see what makes a good gelato.
REGIONAL VENETO CUISINE. Pietro was born in Padova which is in the north-east of Italy in the region of Veneto. Desley spent 18 months getting the feel of his mother's wonderful regional cooking. These are recipes she picked up during that time.
PASTA VELOCE. Have fun throwing flour around learning how to make your own pasta and see how quickly tasty and nourishing VEGETARIAN sauces can be created. Learn also how to make crostoli (a delicious sweet) with your pasta machine.
FABULOUS FIRST COURSES. Italians love their first courses. These can always be turned into main courses - of course! Minestrone, pasta, rice, polenta, stuffed vegetables ... lots to choose from.