King & Godfree kicks off 150th celebrations with Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Julia Busuttil Nishimura is hosting a virtual pasta-making class as part of King & Godfree's 150th anniversary celebrations.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura is hosting a virtual pasta-making class as part of King & Godfree's 150th anniversary celebrations. Photo: Sarah Pannell

Carlton's premier Italian grocer, King & Godfree, celebrates 150 years of operation this year with a calendar of virtual and in-person events that will extend into early next year.

The fun starts on September 23 with an online pasta-making class with cook and author Julia Busuttil Nishimura. Participants receive a box of ingredients to create a four-course meal featuring handmade pici with sausage ragu and the Ostro author's tiramisu.

The anniversary festivities will culminate with the release of a book titled The Grocer in early 2022, a mix of recipes and history of the business and its role in creating Lygon Street's Little Italy precinct.

King & Godfree first opened as a grocery store in 1871 and has been a vital part of Carlton's Italian food scene ever since.
King & Godfree first opened as a grocery store in 1871 and has been a vital part of Carlton's Italian food scene ever since.  Photo: Supplied

King & Godfree first opened as a grocery store in 1871 under the ownership of the Richards brothers. Edward King and George Godfree then purchased it in 1884 and steered the grocer through two world wars, the Great Depression and a huge influx of Jewish migration to Carlton, when they re-styled the grocer to include a kosher section.

In 1955, Carlo Valmorbida became owner and oversaw King & Godfree's evolution into the leading Italian food destination it is today. Current owners Jamie Valmorbida and Luca Sbardella completed a vast renovation in 2018 that added rooftop bar Johnny's Green Room, wine bar Agostino, and an all-day cafe adjoining the grocer and deli.

This month's virtual pasta class is one of several planned events over the next six months that focus squarely on the building blocks of Italian cuisine. A workshop on making and bottling passata is also in store, taking place in the kitchen garden with King & Godfree's chef Matteo Toffano, as is a cheese and honey pairing masterclass with urban beekeeper Nic Dowse of Honey Fingers.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura pasta class, 7.30pm, 23 Sept, $165 for two people. Order ingredients via Providoor by 4pm, 22 Sept for delivery across Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula, Bellarine Peninsula, Gippsland, Ballarat, Bendigo and Greater Geelong.

Check King & Godfree's website for news of future events.