The Melbourne food scene's best-loved and most heavily ornamented set of braces are about to be hung up - for good. In fact, the braces - which have been worn proudly, for decades, by legendary restaurateur Arnaldo Terzini, father of high-flying Maurice who operates Sydney's Icebergs Dining Room - may even end up behind glass. Because Arnaldo, a fit and garrulous 80-year-old, has retired - finally.
His name lives on, however, in Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons in the Crown Complex. The Giuseppe of the piece is the late father of Robert Marchetti who, in partnership with Maurice Terzini, opened GAS five years ago.
The partners have now gone their separate ways, with Marchetti taking the helm of GAS and Maurice gaining total ownership of Bondi's celebrity-powered Icebergs. But where does that leave Arnaldo, who has worked with his son since they opened South Yarra's seminal Caffe e Cucina, together, 27 years ago?
''It made no sense for me to go on working here without Maurice,'' Arnaldo says. ''I love my work, I love being with people, and I love everything about my job. But enough is enough. I will miss my work very much. There are not a lot of things that interest me - just my family, and being with people, and talking … I love to talk.''
One major project is finding an appropriate frame for his braces - he has several sets, he confesses, with more than enough badges to adorn all of them. Then he has to sort through his remarkable collection of photographs with celebrities who loved to be photographed with those braces. And beside Arnaldo, of course.