About Celso


Born in Rome, Italy and being raised in the restaurant business with restaurateur parents Umberto and Maria Grati, Celso was already displaying his culinary fondness at a very young age. Surrounded by the olive groves and vineyards his first experience was with the families 300 seat restaurant located in the hills of Rome’s famous countryside which often catered for the city’s prestigious.

Upon migrating to Australia his avid interest in the world of good food began to then expand. The Grati’s first opened their doors with the celebrated – and first – Il Bolognese in Leichhardt, which operated throughout the 70s and was followed by a second eatery in Petersham. After this came the longer venture of their restaurant in Sydney's Goulburn Street. The toast of the city, this popular destination was often visited by the Qantas stewards, pilots and many international travellers looking to be familiarised with the creations of Italy’s finest.

Celso then ventured into the study of culinary arts where he began an apprenticeship at Ryde Catering College. Often representing the college his many skills, knowledge and proficiency put him ahead from winning the college competitions to excelling to his final year as Apprentice of the Year.

Celso then moved on to open his first business in the newly opened Luna Park which proved to be a busy and demanding 2 years. He then introduced Italian Dining to the Hunters Hill and Gladesville area in the form of 'Celso’s' which thrived and became a well-known port of call for the surrounding residences. The expansion of his restaurants then moved to Lane Cove which sparked a very busy period in his career - not only was the business often full for both lunch and dinner but the prominent Il Bolognese also commenced in Boronia Park. 

Il Bolognese has been the Grati Family gem and most regarded and reputable eatery to date. Often being described as ‘a beautiful reminder of Italy’ it displays the elegance of unique and innovative dishes made from the family’s original recipes having been passed down through the generations. Continuing the tradition he now has the next generation (his daughter Isabella) working alongside him as she strives to work with her father’s strengths to see the family business flourish in the coming years.

In addition Celso has entered himself into the world of teaching through Ryde Catering College for the previous 6 years. Working together with well-known chefs such as Miguel Maestre, his commercial cookery classes have well developed into his teaching and sharing of skills to one of the finest culinary courses in the world – Le Cordon Blu. Having taught several hundreds of students, his effective coaching has resulted in many students successfully becoming part of his business ventures including his second in command Chef at Il Bolognese.

With his schedule especially fast paced Celso loves to make time for his hobbies and leisure interests. His love of the sea plays a huge part in his life and if he’s not cooking, teaching or being with his family he is often training or taking part in not only Australian but international swimming races with his close group of swimming peers. He prides himself in his children Claudia, Andrew and Isabella and loves to spend time with his grandchildren Calogero and Marcello who have both proved themselves to have Nonno’s love of the deep blue sea.

Celso is very enthusiastic on the ever rising success of Il Bolognese and its patron family and looks forward to creating further Italian memories in the many years to come…