MoVida chef & 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.
Frank trained under the Grossi family at their original Café Grossi in Toorak. 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’ – a dish of air-dried Wagyu with poached egg and truffle foam, that is still on their menu currently.
In 2007 Frank published a cook book titled MoVida, Spanish Culinary Adventures 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.
The 2009 Age Good Food Guide awards were also a success for MoVida with the restaurant receiving Two Chef’s Hats, and Frank Camorra receiving Chef of the Year. And MoVida has continued their success in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Age Good Food Guide, retaining the Two Chef Hats award.
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 for The Age Good Food Guide 2010.
2009 was 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 outdoor seating. For both the 2011 and 2012 The Age Good Food Guide’s, MoVida Aqui was awarded One Chef’s Hat.
On the terrace adjacent to MoVida Aqui is our little taqueria and bar Paco’s Tacos which was launched late 2011 and specialises in soft shelled tacos and bar snacks and is the perfect spot to perch on a balmy summers evening.
Another dynamic year was 2011 which saw the publication of two new books from Frank; ‘MoVida Cocina – food from 5 kitchens’ and ‘MoVida Barcelona’ – a tapa bar guide to that wonderful city.
Bar Pulpo by MoVida opened up early 2012 in Melbourne Airport’s International Terminal as the ideal airport dining experience.
Towards the end of April 2012 MoVida Bakery opened in South Yarra. A joint venture with our long serving pastry chef Michael James, the Bakery is a small café with retail to the general public as well as wholesale to other businesses.
And finally MoVida headed north of the border and opened up MoVida Sydney in October 2012. At MoVida Sydney we are focusing on capturing the MoVida Spirit that our customers have come to love in Melbourne but in a fantastic venue in Surry Hills.
With all of the venues, Camorra will continue to present and explore his passion for Spanish food and lust for life for Melbourne and Sydney alike.
In the past 10 years no one restaurant group has had a greater impact on the drinking and dining culture of Melbourne than MoVida.
Since its inception in 2002, in a humble tavern on spencer street, to its now iconic location on Hosier Lane, MoVida has promoted a culture of casual sophistication; high quality produce offered with generosity, sophistication, simplicity and world class wines and beers provided in an environment that promotes drinking as a natural extension of the provision of food rather than drinking for drinking’s sake.
“Camorra and co have created three clearly related, yet spunkily individual, venues”
Larissa Dubecki, The Age Epicure
In the past several years the MoVida Group has gone on to break new ground, opening Australia’s first genuine tapas bar, MoVida Next Door (Winner, Don Levy Fitzpatrick Award, 2009) and MoVida Aqui. While each of these new businesses shares the soul of MoVida, they are in their own way unique, offering fresh new architectural direction (MoVida Next Door, winner, small space architecture awards 2010, MoVida Aqui, nominated, Architecture Awards 2010), and ever evolving menus to challenge and delight our customers.
MoVida and MoVida Aqui both feature in Australian Gourmet Traveller’s top 100 restaurants for 2013.
“It’s frenetic and fun…you’ll be back; it’s irresistible.”
The Age Good food Guide 2013 16/20, 2 hats
“It’s an enduring expression of the city’s best….whose Spanish heritage only seems to make it more marvelously Melbourne.”
The Age Good Food Guide 2012, 16/20, 2 hats
MoVida Next Door:
The Age Good Food Guide 2013.
“Eating in MoVida Aqui gives you the real sense of a restaurant excited by its own possibilities.”
Michael Harden, Australian Gourmet Traveller 2010.
“Welcome to Sydney, MoVida. You can stay.”
Terry Durack, Sydney Morning Herald
Frank Camorra – Executive Chef, Director, MoVida Pty Ltd
Frank trained under the Grossi family at their original Café Grossi in Toorak. In 2000 and 01, 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. Frank now enjoys regular media appearances including MasterChef and is an award winning author.
2007 & 2008 MoVida awarded ‘One Chef Hat’ – The Age Good Food Guide
2007 MoVida awarded ‘Dish of the Year’ – The Age Good Food Guide for the ‘Cecina – cured Wagyu w truffle foam’.
2007 ‘MoVida’ cookbook published. Awarded the best book by a chef 2008 in the Food Media Awards, best designed book of 2008 in the APA awards. 50 000 copies sold to date.
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 MoVida awarded ‘Two Chef’s Hats’- The Age Good Food Guide
2009 Frank Camorra awarded ‘Chef of the Year’ – The Age Good Food Guide
2009 publication of ‘MoVida Rustica’. Won the prestigious World Cordon Bleu Award for the Best Hard Cover cook book 2010. 40 000 copies sold to date.
Nov. 2009 MoVida Aqui restaurant opens in the commercial centre of Melbourne at 500 Bourke Street. On the terrace adjacent to Aqui is our little taqueria and bar Paco’s Tacos which was launched late 2011. They specialise in soft shelled tacos and bar snacks and is a perfect spot to perch on a balmy summers evening.
2011, 2012 & 2013 MoVida Aqui awarded ‘One Chef Hat’ – The Age Good Food Guide.
2010 MoVida Next Door awarded ‘Donleavy Fitzpatrick award’ – The Age Good Food Guide.
2011 publication of ‘MoVida Cocina – food from 5 kitchens’ and ‘MoVida Barcelona’ – a food guide to that wonderful city.
Jan. 2012 Bar Pulpo by MoVida opens gate side at the Melbourne International Airport.
April 2012 MoVida Bakery opens in South Yarra – A joint venture with our long serving pastry chef Michael James, the Bakery will operate as a small café and retail to the general public as well as wholesale to other businesses.
And MoVida finally headed north of the border and opened up MoVida Sydney in October 2012. At MoVida Sydney we are focusing on capturing the MoVida Spirit that our customers have come to love in Melbourne but in a fantastic venue in Surry Hills.