We’ve already seen the best and worst of humanity through the brutal COVID-19 pandemic . . . and in the case of Michael Maloni the former unquestionably applies.

A final year student of Parade College in 2011 and a qualified chef by profession, Michael recently decided that the best way to lend a hand to those living in isolation was to also go it alone . . . and now he wonders what took him so long.

“One of the best things I’ve done in my life was to use this opportunity to start something that I have so much passion for - cooking food for people,” Michael said.

“With 10 years’ experience as a chef in hot sweaty kitchens it was time to venture out on my own. My objective now is to bring a little bit of my home into everyone else’s while we go through these testing times.”

It seems that crisis created opportunity for the 26 year-old Michael, who until recently followed his career calling from the Carlton Café at Ikon Park through to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Medallion Club at Marvel Stadium, the Arts Centre and more recently the MCC Long Room.

"With everything happening in the industry given the current climate I wasn't going to get much work going forward, so I thought 'Why not go about it myself?'," Michael said.

“About a week ago I put a call out on social media, asking whether people thought it’d be a good idea to offer a home delivery food service. I felt a bit insecure about it all, but thought ‘I won’t know unless I give it a try’.”

As fate would have it, Michael’s one-man venture got kick-started by another Michael – the former Carlton full-back Michael Jamison - who saw the initial facebook post.

“Funnily enough after I put out the call, Michael Jamison who I knew from my days at The Carlton Café, posted a message along the lines of ‘Masterstroke. I’ll support you 100 per cent’,” he said.

“As soon as that happened I was away.”

Working out of his parents’ home in Bundoora and with the support of his mother Anna as kitchen hand, Michael now prepares delectable servings of lasagne, cannelloni, arancini and polpetti which he delivers to the door at no cost to anyone living in metropolitan Melbourne.

Yesterday, deliveries took him from Sydenham to Ferntree Gully and anywhere and everywhere in between.

In the wake of the past week’s happenings, and having been inundated with orders, there’s no turning back for Michael now. From hereon in he’s going it alone . . . and all that’s missing is a trading name.

Old Paradians (and anyone else for that matter) wishing to place a food order through Michael Maloni can contact him on 0431 639 509 or via his facebook page.

And if you’re an Old Paradian currently providing an essential service for the greater good, or know of an OP who is doing so, we’d love to hear from you – either on 9468 3301 or via email,