CENTITALIA Food Symposium
Date: November 15, 2016
Time: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
The CENTITALIA Food Symposium will bring together chefs, food and wine experts, restaurateurs, educators, students, influencers and foodies for workshops plus food and wine tastings –a culinary celebration that food aficionados will not want to miss. The Symposium will kick off on November 15 with industry leaders joining acclaimed Chef Rob Gentile for a thought-provoking panel discussion that explores the future of Italian food in a globalized market, followed by Chef Rob giving a food demonstration and lecture on his personal philosophy of food and traditional Italian cooking practices. After the talk, attendees will break out into workshops led by our chefs-in-residence and other food industry leaders.
Chef Rob Gentile – Chef Director, King Street Food Company
A first generation Canadian, born to Italian parents, Chef Rob Gentile’s earliest memories are from his grandmother’s garden. As a boy he learned that food was sacred within his family who for generations grew their own produce, raised animals, cured meat, fermented grapes and preserved anything possible. The skills he learned at home in his family’s kitchen eventually led to his first restaurant job at the age of 13. Rob inherently knew that his career would revolve around food and after working in restaurants throughout his teenage years; he entered George Brown’s Culinary School. By 18 he found his first role in a professional kitchen at North 44 under celebrated Chef Mark McEwan. After 10 years of moving up the ranks from line-cook to Chef de Cuisine at McEwan’s top restaurants, Chef Rob was ready for a new challenge. He soon joined Peter Tsebelis and Gus Giazitzidis of The King Street Food Company to take the helm of Buca. The restaurant opened in 2009 and quickly became one of Toronto’s most sought-after dining destinations and is considered one of Canada’s best.
Rob Gentile, now Chef Director and Partner of The King Street Food Company’s collection of restaurants, has made his mark for his disciplined craft, determination to source unique, local ingredients and his visionary approach to Italian cuisine. Since the opening of Buca on King Street, diners and critics alike have taken note of Chef Rob’s commitment to excellence and creativity, resulting in Canada’s 100 Best naming Buca Osteria & Bar (Yorkville) second in the country (2016), honours from the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Gold Award for Independent Restaurateur (2015) and a prestigious Pinnacle Award from Foodservice and Hospitality naming The King Street Food Company 2014’s Company of the Year in Eastern Canada.
In addition to his success as Chef Director and Executive Chef at Buca (King Street), Bar Buca and Buca Osteria & Bar (Yorkville), Rob has cooked alongside and has received praise from culinary icons including Massimo Bottura, Mario Battali and Alain Ducasse. He was also mentor to Canada’s competitor in the international S. Pellegrino’s Young Chef competition during Expo Milan 2015. With regular research and educational trips to Italy, Chef Rob continues to fuel inspiration, refine his skills and develop new concepts for his Toronto restaurants. He still feels the passion for food he has had since childhood. This, coupled with a determined, detail-oriented and thoughtful approach to his craft, ensures there is much more to come in Chef Rob Gentile’s story.
Piedmont Workshop with Chef Ugo Mura
"Fritto misto" is a traditional meal of Piedmont, consisting of over 30 different deep fried ingredients including vegetables, meat, fish and even small cookies. Chef Mura will demonstrate how to correctly deep fry a variety of traditional and unusual ingredients ranging from cauliflower to sweet semolina.
Lazio Workshop with Chef Paolo Cacciani
Lazio is famous for its superb pasta sauces. In this workshop, Chef Cacciani will deliver a lesson featuring Lazio’s four best known pasta dishes – Cacio e pepe, Gricia, Carbonara and Amatriciana.
Emilia-Romagna Workshop with Chef Valentino Cassanelli
In this workshop, Chef Cassanelli will discuss Emilia-Romagna gastronomy and lead participants through an exploration of the tastes of this region as they come together in one intensely-flavoured and deceivingly simple bite.
Lugano Fine Foods Workshop
Almost every Italian dish begins with olive oil. Lugano Fine Foods will lead participants through an in-depth olive oil tasting to learn who will learn how to identify the differences and subtleties of olive oil varieties across Italy.
Baci® Perugina® Workshop
Bacio = Kiss
More Baci = More Love
As a symbol of love, this indulgent bite is an Italian staple. Participants will be treated to a tasting, as well as have the opportunity to learn about the history behind and making of this sweet, little treat.
Tuscan Wines Workshop
This workshop highlights some of Tuscany’s most prestigious wines. Participants will be given the opportunity to taste and learn about the how the soils and temperate climate of Tuscany lead to the distinct characteristics in their wine.
Parmigiano Reggiano - Jan K Overweel Workshop (Open to public with priority given to Centennial Students)
Jan K Overweel will lead a lecture on Parmigiano-Reggiano to educate Centennial College students on the attributes, taste and smells distinct to the infamous cheese, as well as provide an understanding of its place of origin and history. For this workshop, Jan K Overweel will also be generously donating a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Participants will learn how to properly crack open a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano, slice and serve it.