Chef Orazio D'Elia buys out restaurateur Maurice Terzini to bring Da Orazio back to Bondi

The diavoletta pizza at the original Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta in Bondi.
The diavoletta pizza at the original Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta in Bondi.  Photo: Jennifer Soo

Orazio D'Elia, the chef-restaurateur Maurice Terzini respected so much he named a restaurant after him, has snapped up the Bondi site where Da Orazio made waves with its pizza and porchetta.

Terzini changed the name of the Hall Street eatery from Da Orazio to CicciaBella when D'Elia left to open Matteo in Double Bay in 2018. Last month D'Elia sold his stake in Matteo and its city sibling to his business partners, paving the way for him to cut a deal with his old boss to grab the Bondi site.

Terzini says he off-loaded the Bondi site to concentrate on the expansion of CicciaBella in other markets. CicciaBella is booming in Parramatta, a Hurstville branch is on the way and they are scouring sites at Byron Bay.

Da Orazio Pizza and Porchetta soon after opening in Bondi in 2014.
Da Orazio Pizza and Porchetta soon after opening in Bondi in 2014. Photo: Fiona Morris

Terzini also has several other new restaurants and projects on the boil, including one with his son in Melbourne.

The veteran restaurateur loves the synergy of selling to its founding chef, but stresses the CicciaBella name isn't part of the deal. Which is fine by D'Elia, who plans to reinstate the original Da Orazio moniker.

"I'm going back to my roots," D'Elia told Good Food. "The people from the eastern suburbs have become family to me… I want to get back to where I was, big portions and cooking from the heart."

Chef Orazio D'Elia will resume control of the Bondi pizza oven in February.
Chef Orazio D'Elia will resume control of the Bondi pizza oven in February. Photo: Daniel Munoz

Da Orazio will open in late February following a redesign from loopcreative that will capture the "light, bright" feel of its beachside location.

D'Elia felt the stars aligned on his Matteo sale and return to Bondi. "I really want to be my own boss," he says.

CicciaBella Bondi will close at the end of the month.