Richmond Hill Post - - Contents - — Karolyne El­la­cott BY JOANNE KATES

Our sixth an­nual guide to T.O.’s best restau­rants penned by Canada’s top food critic, Joanne Kates

What be­gan with a few chefs on Oss­ing­ton and Dun­das has ex­ploded into a move­ment: Dozens of resto/bars opened in the last year. Artis­tic con­trol is the one god this cow­boy serves. He doesn’t take reser­va­tions, he may not have a phone, the place is a hole and he’s open late. A sign out­side would be un­cool; and since he’s do­ing this with­out in­vestors to ac­count to, he can do what­ever he wants. We flock!

Which makes us up­town girls into food tourists. We live north of Bloor but we graze in down­town’s Wild West. Jug­gling five restau­rants in ad­di­tion to his new ven­ture with Jamie Oliver, Jamie’s Ital­ian, it’s safe to say that Rob Gen­tile is one busy man. We chat with the tal­ented chef about cooking at home and what you’ll never see on his menus. Why do you and Jamie Oliver make a great team? Jamie is a great friend. We both share the same pas­sion and philoso­phies, which is what brought us to­gether. We both love what we do and re­ally just want to make our guests happy through great food and hos­pi­tal­ity. What is some­thing that will never ap­pear on one of your menus? You will never see any pro­cessed, fac­tory-made foods. I be­lieve the best tast­ing food comes from the best pos­si­ble in­gre­di­ents, treated sim­ply. At what age did you re­al­ize that be­ing a chef was your call­ing?

When I was quite young my mother sug­gested I get a job so I could make my own money. She said what­ever I chose should be some­thing I truly en­joy as I could po­ten­tially be do­ing it for the rest of my life. That made me re­flect. I al­ways en­joyed be­ing around food and eat­ing, so I knew if I was to choose a di­rec­tion that should be it. What is your go-to dish to cook for friends and fam­ily? I love an in­ter­ac­tive, shar­ing fam­ily meal. My wife is French-Canadian, and lately we have been do­ing raclette. A hot stone sits in the mid­dle of the ta­ble and ev­ery­one cooks on top of it. We pre­pare wild game, like moose, when we can get it. It’s a blast!

“Rob Gen­tile is tak­ing over our world. In ad­di­tion to three Bu­cas on the Top 10, he con­trols The Saint (also on the list),

Ja­cobs and Co, and is part­ner­ing with su­perchef Jamie Oliver to open a big Ital­ian resto in York­dale.”

— JK

Jamie Oliver & Rob Gen­tile

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