Pino Poster­aro

LAGO, ITALY

Canada’s 100 Best - - Travel -

Pino Poster­aro is chef-owner of Ciop­pino’s Mediter­ranean Grill & Enoteca in Van­cou­ver’s Yale­town neigh­bour­hood.

What draws you to Lago?

My roots, my fam­ily and my friends. And the love of un­so­phis­ti­cated,“un­touched” food.

Af­ter you land and set­tle, where do you go first?

I go for an espresso be­cause cof­fee in air­ports and on planes is atro­cious. My motto is life is too short for bad cof­fee. Fernando and his two daugh­ters at Bar San Francesco have the best espresso and, for peo­ple who like pas­try, de­cent croissants and bom­boloni (stuffed dough­nuts).

What do lo­cal chefs and cooks do best?

They def­i­nitely pay at­ten­tion to the raw ma­te­ri­als and in­gre­di­ents. The most sen­si­tive and ta­lented cre­ate nice dishes.

For a quick week­end—just two restau­rant lunches and two din­ners—where would you go?

For the two din­ners I would go to the restau­rant Due Bic­chieri, as there is not enough time to eat the great food there in one visit. The chef, Gian­luca, his wife, Marta, and son Nic­colo have a lit­tle jewel in Aman­tea, a lit­tle town near mine where I at­tended high school. Gian­luca does the most avant-garde cui­sine, with a nice wine list and lo­cal prod­ucts. For one lunch, I would go to the restau­rant Al Valentino in my home­town, where lo­cal dishes have been re­dis­cov­ered, and for another to Le Clarisse in Aman­tea Vec­chia, where an old con­vent pro­vides a great set­ting for a restau­rant, with a breath­tak­ing view, great ser­vice and fan­tas­tic food.

Where do you go for af­ter­noon drinks?

The Tem­ple Bar, where Fernando the pas­try chef and his wife, Marisella, have great pas­tries and stuzzi­chini (ap­pe­tiz­ers). They make amaz­ing cakes as well!

And late-night drinks?

Bar del Corso da Mas­simo, where I also play cards.

Where do you go for a walk?

Al­most every morn­ing, my wife and I walk seven kilo­me­tres be­fore the heat starts.

It’s per­fect up­hill and down­hill ex­er­cise. Churches and the ceme­tery are the quiet places to con­tem­plate and take you back. The coun­try­side is ab­so­lutely gor­geous.

What’s in Calabria that you can­not do or get at home?

Be­ing spon­ta­neous and great raw in­gre­di­ents.

What do you al­ways buy, pack up and smug­gle home from the place?

I don’t smug­gle any­thing, my wife does!

GAMBERI ROSSI

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