The Secret Ingredient: A Mother’s Love And Care

In homage to the childhood dishes that inspired his culinary creativity, Treasury Brisbane Chef, Dario Milano is treating guests to a taste of his mums cooking this Mother’s Day. We spoke to Dario about the sentimental homemade dishes his mother made him when he was little and share the recipe for a dish that Dario claims “always tastes like home”.

When Treasury Brisbane Chef, Dario Milano thinks of his mum, it doesn’t take long for him to start thinking about his childhood favourite dishes.

Born and raised in Italy, Dario recalls fondly dishes that he made with his mum and sister on special occasions – like her famous strawberry hotcakes.

“When I was a child my family used to spend almost every weekend at our mountain cottage. On Sunday mornings, my mum, my sister and I would wake up early and start preparing the ingredients for my mum’s famous strawberry hotcakes. We would work together, mixing and cooking the batter, and layering the hotcakes with freshly picked strawberries, creating a breakfast that was both delicious and filled with warmth and love.”

But while hotcakes were a fantastic weekend treat, it is the weekday classics that Dario thinks best represent his mum.

“The aroma of the freshly baked gnocchi alla Romana triggers memories of my childhood. I remember the excitement and anticipation I felt as I watched my mum prepare the dish with such love and care.”

“My sister and I could hardly contain our excitement. We eagerly waited for mum to serve us the piping hot gnocchi, each of us vying for the first bite. The dish was always a hit, and we would savour every mouthful.”

“Even now, as an adult, I can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia whenever I have gnocchi alla Romana.”

Book in a table at Will & Flow this May to try Dario’s mum’s Gnocchi Alla Romana for yourself, or try recreating the dish using the recipe below at home with your mum.


250g all-purpose flour
45g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
480ml buttermilk
2 large eggs
56g unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225g fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
Whipped cream, for serving


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Fold in the sliced strawberries.
  5. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.
  6. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup (about 60ml), pour the batter onto the skillet, making sure to leave space between the pancakes.
  7. Cook until the tops of the pancakes are bubbly and the edges are set, then flip and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  8. Serve the hotcakes warm, topped with whipped cream and additional sliced strawberries.