MoVida chef and owner Frank Camorra was born in Barcelona and spent his first five years in his parents’ hometown of Córdoba in Andalusia, before his parents migrated to Australia.
In 2000, Frank returned to work in Spain and was inspired by both the modern and traditional aspects of Spanish cuisine as well as the dynamic tapas culture which he thought would translate well to Melbourne’s vibrant CBD.
Returning to Australia, Frank was determined to share his inspiration. In fact, MoVida is named after the art and film movement that flourished in Madrid during Spain’s reawakening. This innovative era – full of exuberant energy and freedom of Spanish character is another source that MoVida draws on.
In 2007 MoVida was awarded ‘Dish of the Year’ at the Age Good Food Guide Awards for the ‘Cecina’.
The 2009 Age Good Food Guide awards were also a success for MoVida with the restaurant receiving:
- Two Chef’s Hats for the restaurant, and
- Chef of the Year for Frank Camorra.
In 2007 Frank published a cook book titled MoVida which was co-written with Richard Cornish and published by Murdoch Books. The book was awarded Best Cookery Book by a Chef at the recent Australian Food Media Awards.
June 2008 saw the opening of MoVida Next Door, more southern Spanish in feel with a focus on sherry and seafood, it’s less of a restaurant and more of a casual bar with all the spirit that made MoVida successful, only turned up a notch. MoVida Next Door was awarded the Don Levy Fitzpatrick Award at the 2009 Good Food Guide Awards.
2009 has been a busy year with Frank publishing MoVida Rustica, his second cook book and opening a third restaurant MoVida Aqui at 500 Bourke St Melbourne. MoVida Aqui is much larger than the original restaurant and also boasts a terrace area. MoVida Terraza is located on site offering breakfast and lunch on the Terrace.
With the four venues Camorra will continue to present and explore his passion for Spanish food and lust for life to Melbourne.
Wendy Hargreaves chatted with Frank in the Chef Masterclasses kitchen.