One man who knows this all too well is Sydney-based carving chef, Daniele Barresi.
Hailing from Bagnara Calabra in the southern Italian region of Calabria, Daniele is revered in his motherland and across the world for his stunning creations which he carves into anything from fruit and vegetables to soap and cheese.
Daniele can transform a pumpkin into a phoenix or a fruit into a delicate flower with a single knife and a whole lot of imagination.
His favourite fruit to work with is watermelon, “because it has the colours of Italy”, and he can work on this particular fruit for up to six hours to reach a final product worth around $200.
The 26-year-old talent was forced to push his lifelong creative flair aside early, leaving school at a young age to work with his father on a fishing boat and help out with the family business.
It was on the boat that Daniele discovered another art – the art of cooking – as his father taught him how to whip up delicious seafood dishes for the crew.
After five years of working on the water, a 19-year-old Daniele decided to return to his studies, pursuing his newfound passion for food at cooking school.
When Daniele discovered the ancient art of Thai fruit carving, dating back to the 14th century, he knew that it was the answer to his dreams of combining his love of both art and food into one practice.
Having honed his skills every day for two years, Daniele decided to share his talent with the world by turning to competitive carving.
After taking home bronze at his first competition, the knife-wielding superstar went on to win gold at the world championship in the Swiss city of Basel, and again in Luxembourg.
Word of Daniele’s unique gift began to spread and before long his masterpieces were increasingly sought after for weddings and other special occasions in Italy and abroad.
He even opened his own school, Dany’s Art School, and taught the art of food carving to over 200 students.
Daniele’s talent also landed him a job with a Sydney catering company shortly after he moved to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa around two years ago.
“One of my dreams was to live in a country like this; I love speaking English and I want to perfect the language,” he says.
The Calabrian also adores the modernity that major Australian cities, including his new home in Sydney, ooze.
“My dream was to live in New York, but now that I’m here I don’t think I want to move,” he laughs.
“I love everything about Sydney and so does my wife; we’ve found what we were looking for.”
Daniele has brought his passion for carving to Australia, and people come from all over the nation to participate in his classes, the most recent venturing from Perth and Brisbane.
Though this ancient craft isn’t as popular in Australia as it is in Europe and Asia, Daniele hopes to change that and share with us the art he holds so close to his heart.
“I want to know what people think when they see something new like a snake on a watermelon,” he says.
“Many Australians are shocked by my sculptures because they haven’t seen anything like them before.”
The creative Calabrese has launched an English website for his Australian fans and hopes to also sell his soaps and other masterpieces at markets.
The end goal is to have his own TV program, where he can demonstrate his skills to an international audience.
First things first, though, and before Daniele’s business booms here in Australia, he wants to gain permanent residency and become settled and certain of a long future Down Under.