Head Chef

Stefano Mondonico

Hello, I'm Stefano. I was born in Brazil to an Italian  father and Brazilian mother. I grew up in Brazil and did my hospitality school in Milan, Italy. My food journey began in my father's restaurant back in Rio, when I was 14 years-old. It was a kitchen focused in Italian and Mediterranean flavours. 


When I was 18 I moved to Milan to study and did my apprenticeship over there, working in award winning kitchens. I eventually moved back to Brazil and worked as Chef de partie at Quadrifoglio which was named as the best Italian restaurant in Rio in 2012.


I was also lucky enough to work for the twins Sergio and Javier Torres, who both holds two Michelin stars in Barcelona, at Eñe, a Catalan restaurant in Rio de Janeiro.  I think moved back to my family business managing it for a couple of years before I moved down under!


I love traveling and have explored much of South America and Europe, absorbing food experiences from both regions. I try to take these trips and use my techniques with Australian and New Zealand seafood as main ingredients at North Bondi Fish. 


I've been a 'spearo' since a young age, I love to go out to sea on my mornings off and get fresh fish to cook for my family and friends. I also train Brazilian jiu-jitsu holding a purple belt at moment. 


Come and say hello next time you're at North Bondi Fish.

General Manager

Shay Cullen

Hey, I'm Shay. Growing up in a family restaurant in New Zealand definitely has its benefits. Even if you start by washing dishes at the age of 10, standing on a crate as you can’t touch the bottom of the sink. $5 an hour never felt so good. I worked my way up through the kitchen, dad being the Head Chef didn’t make this easy, especially as he treated my brother and I harder than others in the kitchen, understandably, he didn’t want us to have the job because we were his sons. This kind of childhood definitely drove a passion that has stood with me for the entirety of my adult life. 

I spent a few years fresh out of high school travelling with my older brother, doing all the things we should have been at that age. Surfing, snowboarding, working in beautiful areas and learning a lot about life. However, after 3 years of Europe things had to go back to semi-normality. I moved to Sydney to study hotel management in the Blue Mountains. Three months before my course started, I landed my first front-of-house job as a waiter at Chiswick. Even after knocking a glass of Champagne into a lovely ladies (very nice) handbag, I still got the job.

Studying then took me to Chicago, where I found my real passion for beverage, which would brew over the coming years and take me into the position I'm in now. After a semester in Chicago with some amazing stories and memories, I've ended up looking at one of the most iconic beaches every day from the balcony of North Bondi Fish. After moving through a couple of roles over the years, the opportunity arose to take over the bar and all things beverage, which I happily grabbed with both hands.

For over a year now, I have been able to express myself through cocktails, wine and beer, showcasing the very best Australia has to offer, especially with our native and seaside ingredients. 


I look forward to meeting you at NBF!