Vancouver is home to some of the best chefs in the world, many have worked for the top chefs and restaurants around the world as well as around the city. Dishing with the Chefs is a series of Interviews with some of the top chefs in and around Vancouver.
Dario grew up in Montreal, he was studying to go into Law but it wasn’t for him. He told his parents that he wanted to go into cooking not law as his career, some supported his decision including his father who ended up setting him up with a cook position in a large banquet hall. Dario ended up applying to get into culinary school which he eventually did. School was 7am – 4pm; and he then worked cooking at a restaurant down the street from 5pm to midnight where he did that for a year during his 1-1/2 years culinary program. He had a big ego back then, he started not showing up to his culinary classes because he thought he knew it all, normally students would be expelled for that type of behavior but he wasn’t as they knew he had talent. In the end he graduated top of his class, he then found a love for pastry, went on and took the pastry and baking program for another 1-1/2 years. At the same time, he worked at the St James Hotel staging in the kitchen.
During the summer he did a 300 hour stage with Club Med in Florida, he came back and finished school in December. He then went back to Club Med and worked in Turks & Caicos for a season as a baker, this was 2014. He then moved to Toronto as their was an opportunity to join Buonanotte where he worked for 2-1/2 years, starting back in the kitchen as a Sous Chef. After Toronto, he ended up in Ottawa working as a chef at Industria for 9 months running the super Modern Italian restaurant. Some of his friends were planning to move to Vancouver, he then wanted to join. Through a recruiter he ended up getting recruited to the Glowbal Group and they offered him a position at their West Vancouver Italian Kitchen restaurant. He then drove across the country with his friends, and started working for the Glowbal Group a month afterwards. He was quickly moved and promoted to the downtown Vancouver Italian Kitchen restaurant to become their Executive Sous Chef. Then, 7 months ago they moved him to the new Italian Kitchen restaurant on Burrard Street where he is the Chef des Cuisine.
You can follow Dario on Instagram @dariolrossi
Do you miss not baking in your current chef roll?
If I could have a bread bakery and pasta shop of my own that is my dream. However, it isn’t profitable and that is preventing him from doing it. I know a lot about the pastry aspect and the techniques to do it if I need too.
You have Salt Baked fish here on the Italian Kitchen menu, is their a similarity to your love for baking?
Partially, but bread is what really interests me – bread.
What are your favourite Italian dishes to make?
Carbonnara made with Nduja (spicy pork fat spread)
Linguini Vongole with garlic, clams, and olive oil, simple and so good.
Beet powder and squid ink linguini
My first chef was crazy about the perfect Linguini Vongole. Since then I have developed my own style and take on it.
What are your Favourite restaurants outside of where you work?
What are you’re your interests outside of work?
Exploring the area outside of Vancouver
What is Trends Unlimited which I saw listed on your Instagram?
I have always had an interest in tech, I recently started this side project outside of my cooking career opening an online store. I can spend a couple hours doing this work each morning after I get up before going to work in the restaurant kitchen.
In your role here at Italian Kitchen, are you working with local farmers?
Yes, for produce I work with about 5 farmers. I also work with a fish rep who provides us with local halibut and spot prawns.
Wine or Beer?
What is your favourite beer right now?
My go to is Peroni, but I also love local brewers, Storm Brewing, Yellow Dog and Twin Sails.
Which of your favourite beers would you pair with your favourite Italian Kitchen dish?
Yellowdog Super Sour pale ale and the Carbonnara made with Andjya
What is your favourite cuisine to eat outside of Italian?
Asian food …Chinese food … specifically noodles (it is a complete opposite from Italian food)
Tell me what makes your style of Linguini Vongole so unique
I love pasta with colours, Linguini Vongole is my favourite dish and put my own spin on it with Andjya on it, as it is one of my favourite ingredients. It is a modern take on this classic Linguini Vongole dish.
Chittara Sausage Ragu
A chef I stayed with a long time had this dish with spaghetti on his menu and this is a kind homage to him.
What is Chittara?
It is a square spaghetti type of noodle and it is made with pesto.
Yukon Gold potatoes
An old Italian chef showed me this recipe and I fell in love ever since. It is different and interesting and a great dish in many forms. I made this one doing my Glowbal Group interview, a different take on a modern risotto.
Stay tuned for the next chef in the Dishing with the Chef series.
By: Richard Wolak