Italian chefs in Canada "How we spread our traditions"
di Marzio Pelu del 25 March 2021
VANCOUVER - Italian chefs in Canada in the spotlight: the APCI (Professional Association of Italian Chefs) is growing exponentially in every corner of North America and last Sunday it was the protagonist of the World Tiramisù Contest, which saw one of the association's chefs engaged in Alberta, Alberto Alboreggia, who presented a live video recipe.
Great credit for the growth of APCI in Canada certainly goes to Chef Giovanni Trigona (in the pic above), president of the Canadian section of the association since 2015, resident in Vancouver. "Since I was chosen to lead the association in Canada - explains Trigona - I have surrounded myself with colleagues and teachers to give importance to the APCI and to expand it throughout Canada". And so it was.
"Since then - continues Trigona - delegations have been created in Ontario with colleague Alex Ziccarelli and Lady Chef Anna Marchese and the important adhesion of Chef Dario Tomaselli, in Alberta with Chef Manuel Panfili and in British Columbia with Chef Alessandro Riccobono and with great masters such as the master pizza maker Giuseppe Cortinovis, the master ice cream maker Giorgio Barassi, the Chef Fabrizio Buso with his vegan cuisine, the colleague Dario Rossi, the Maestra Pizzaiola Simona Trigona and Lady Chef Laura Trigona: with this team, we have organized courses of Italian cuisine and culture at Vancouver Community College, in close collaboration with the BC Chamber of Commerce. In addition, we have proposals for openings in Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan and we are cooperating with the delegation of the APCI in the USA ".
Trigona's experience is remarkable: born in Palermo and arrived in Canada from Taranto in 1982, after having worked for our newspaper (he distributed it at night throughout the area of North Toronto, in 1984-85), he operated under the wings of Franco Prevedello at the Wine Bar Center, with the Grieco family at La Scala, at the “Posto” in Toronto and then in many other structures such as the London Hunt & Country Club in London, always as Restaurant Manager and Sommelier. He was also on the board of COMITES and CTIM. Until becoming the Canadian president of the APCI.
Trigona, which is your "mission"?
"Defending Made in Italy, working for the defense of Italian Sound and the proposals of Italian products abroad, regional cuisines and their cultures, thus also helping our Italian economy".
How is the situation of Italian restaurants in Canada today?
"COVID has blocked all work activities, as well as meetings, disclosures ... but we, always with the same enthusiasm, have expanded by opening the Delegation of Alberta and working for the opening of the others. The number of colleagues who voluntarily asked to join is growing, with different culinary variations: pastry chefs, chefs, pizza makers. We are also planning a card for students and supporters and for simple lovers of Italian cuisine, not professionals".
Do you already have any post-Covid initiatives planned?
"Yup. Exchanges between students of Canadian hotel schools and schools and Italy, cooking classes, show-cooking, food and wine tours in Italy and the assistance of Italian colleagues who decide to come to Canada for a work experience. And then, the Italian branch would like to repeat Canada here, the event held in 2019 for the week of Italian cuisine in the world. It was a real success, with the arrival in Vancouver, for the first time outside the Italian borders, of the Italian Delegation of the APCI led by the general director Sonia Re, followed by Marta Tosi, Giorgio Perin, Luca Malacrida and Vito Semerato. With them, and with the great collaboration of Chef Pino Posteraro del Cioppino, we met the young chefs of the V.C.C, and their teachers, developing a beautiful Master Class in the presence of other non-Italian colleagues, with a final gala dinner and show cooking ".
You also have "pink quotas" and "honorary" members ...
"Sure! In Ontario the Lady Chef Anna Marchese, in BC, in addition to Laura and Simona Trigona, we also have on board the Lady Chefs Veronica Reale and Rosangela Atte and then others are arriving from the other provinces. And in BC three 'Ad Honorem' cards, proposed by us in Canada and delivered by the Italian headquarters, for the career, generosity, defense and dissemination of the culture of Italian cuisine in Canada: Chef Emad Yacoub, Chef Umberto Menghi and Pino Posteraro (who had some restaurants in Toronto with his brother Celestino). In addition, in Toronto we gave a lifetime achievement award to Chef Dario Tomaselli, who teaches at George Brown College, for his dissemination of Italian culinary culture in Canada. Finally, the Michelin-starred Chef Barbara Pollastrini, Ambassador of Taste in the USA, joined the APCI".
Among the post-Covid projects, there is also a congress, "Les Toques Blanches d’Honner", to be organized in Canada with an itinerant formula. Meanwhile, waiting for the pandemic to end, there are the website www.apci.it and the "app" APCIChef, also active abroad, to stay updated on all the initiatives of the APCI in Canada and to learn about the great reality tricolor catering in North America. An ancient tradition, but one that always looks ahead.