CENTItalia Food Symposium



DATE: November 15, 2016
TIME: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
COST: Free – Register here

8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Acclaimed Chef Rob Gentile will kick off the week at the Food Symposium with a food demonstration and lecture on his personal philosophy on food and traditional Italian cooking practices. A panel discussion will explore the future of Italian food in a globalized market. Post-discussion, attendees will break out into workshops led by our visiting chefs from Italy and other food industry leaders. The day will bring together chefs, food and wine experts, restauranteurs, educators, students, influencers and foodies for workshops, food and wine tastings – a culinary celebration that food aficionados will not want to miss.

Piedmont Workshop with Chef Ugo Mara

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm / 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Focus on traditional dishes of the Piedmont region.

Lazio Workshop with Chef Paola Cacciani

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm / 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm / 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

The workshop will feature Lazio’s four best known pasta dishes – cacio e pep, gricia, carbonara and ametricana.

Emilio-Romagna Workshop with Chef Valentino Cassanelli

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm / 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm / 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Emilio-Romagna gastronomy and the intensely flavoured taste of this region will be featured in this workshop.

Olive Oil Workshop

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm / 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Lugano fine food will lead participants through an in-depth olive oil tasting who will learn how to identify the differences and subtleties of olive oil varieties across Italy.

Baci© Perugina Ⓡ Workshop

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Participants will be treated to a tasting, as well as have the opportunity to experience a live Baci Chef demo.

Parmigiano Reggiano Workshop

1:15 pm – 2:00 pm

Jan K Overweel will lead a lecture on Parmigiano-Reggiano to educate on the attributes, taste and smells distinct to the infamous cheese, as well as provide an understanding of its place of origin and history.

Tuscan Wines Workshop

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Discover the complexity of the region of Tuscany through its wines.   From the most famous terroirs to the hidden jewels of the land, this workshop will take you through a unique tasting journey.

Industry Only Workshops (Invite Only)

12:30 pm – 2:30 pm / 2:45 pm – 4:45 pm

The Italian Association of Geographical Indication Consortia (AICIG) will deliver specialty workshops on DOP/IGP products. The following products will be featured:
Grana Pardano DOP
Piave DOP
Prosciutto Toscano DOP
Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP
Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP

Our Special Guest

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 and kitchen, where he soon learned that food was what fascinated him most. When challenged by his mother at age 12 to choose a job that he could love forever, he inherently knew it would need to revolve around food. After working in restaurants from the age of 13, Chef Rob entered George Brown’s Culinary School and joined the kitchen at Grazie in 1998. Soon after, he found his first role in a professional kitchen at North 44. After ten years working in Mark McEwan’s celebrated restaurants, Rob was ready for a new challenge. He was introduced to Peter Tsebelis and Gus Giazitzidis of King Street Food Company and joined them to take the helm of Buca. The restaurant opened in September of 2009 to rave reviews and soon became one of Canada’s most celebrated dining destinations, not to mention its most sought-after dinner reservations.

In addition to his enthusiastic search for the exact ingredients needed for each recipe, Chef Rob made his mark for his disciplined craft and innovative, artisanal approach to Italian cuisine. Regular trips to Italy continue to fuel inspiration and refine his skills in his family’s homeland. Diners and critics alike have taken note of Chef Rob’s commitment to excellence and creativity, resulting in awards and accolades such as Canada’s 100 Best naming Buca Osteria & Bar (Yorkville) second in the country in 2016, honours from the Ontario Hostelry Institute with 2015’s Gold Award for Independent Restaurateur, as well as opportunities to cook with and earn the praise of culinary icons such as Alain Ducasse, Massimo Bottura, and Mario Batali. After success as Executive Chef at Buca (King Street), Bar Buca and Buca Osteria & Bar (Yorkville), Chef Rob still feels the passion for food he has had since childhood. This, coupled with a determined, detail-oriented and thoughtful approach to his craft, ensure there is much more to come in Chef Rob Gentile’s story.