A tribute to Franco Prevedello: a chat with Toronto based food icon from Veneto
LUXOTTICA Leonardo Del Vecchio: The most inspiring boss
ARTIGIANI ARTIGIANI ARTIGIANI Learn from the old to create the new
CUCINA VENETA Learn how to make the Best Tiramisù from Chef Marco Dandrea of Al Pompiere in Verona REGIONAL RECIPES & LOCAL WINES
THE ITALIAN SENSE OF BEAUTY
1220 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M4T 1W1
Phone 416 961-2929 www.dekla.ca
Elena di Maria EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER
IN HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHER
Stephanie Palmer CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Federico Guida COPY EDITOR
Amy Cormier DESIGN
small MANY THANKS TO
Franco Prevedello Antonella Colombo Maria Luisa Chiddo Gianna Sami Karina Watsone INQUIRIES & COMMENTS
Robby Vrenozi email@example.com COVER PHOTO BY
Stephanie Palmer T MAGAZINE HEADQUATERS
720 Queen St. W. Toronto, M6J 1E8 INSTAGRAM
@terroniTO @terroniLA @SudForno @barcentraleTO FACEBOOK
Terroni Toronto & Los Angeles printed in Canada
Since starting Terroni Magazine, I’ve often been asked why I chose to devote my energy to creating this publication. I recently realized that this is our tenth issue so I figured this would be the perfect moment to reflect and to try to answer that very question. Terroni Magazine was meant to be a small project of just a few pages, its purpose was to fulfill our desire (mine and Cosimo’s) to give back to our loyal clientele by sharing with them the things we are passionate about. While at its inception it was more factual and food oriented, today it has evolved into the embodiment of my ever-lasting love and passion for Italy. Over ten issues, by travelling to Italy and going to see these artisans, restaurateurs and food producers, some great connections were created, many of which complement the ideology and values behind Terroni. With every issue I get more and more excited about the wealth of topics that I want to share with you. With only two issues (for now!) a year, I have to be very focused on what we will feature, so when it comes down to making those hard decisions, I always use my own litmus test, which I refer to as the “goosebump factor”: when I feel moved upon discovering the personal stories behind people, their regions, their hard work, skills or their natural born passion behind their trade, I know I’m onto something that belongs in our pages. It’s no secret that my country has been going through some challenging times and I feel compelled to promote the wealth of knowledge and craft that Italy houses as a means to help ensure that the traditions that make us unique aren’t lost and passed on. I love to share this content with my community and I look forward in the next issues to add more and more local stories. For this issue we travelled to the Veneto region and are so proud to share these adventures with you. Thank you for looking at these bits and pieces of Italy through my loving eyes. Love, Elena
CONTRIBUTORS Antonella Colombo is a graduate of Medieval and Theatre History. She worked for over 15 years in the theatre and literary field as a production manager and press officer. She has always been interested in food and in the past year decided to turn her passion into a profession: she is currently working as an assistant food stylist while also writing about cooking and culinary history and is in the process of developing a blog about food in relation to television. Veneto Cuisine, p 21
Elisabetta Di Maria Betta lives in Milan, where she writes short stories and creates custom jewellery in silver and bronze. A graduate of modern literature, she has collaborated with several current event newspapers as well as interior design magazines. She has a passion for Italian literature and designer objects, particularly vintage. She loves good food and good wine and she is now completing her sommelier diploma with Association of Italian Sommeliers. Italian Silk, p 5
Jessica Allen started working at Terroni as a dishwasher about 17 years ago. A remarkably quick study, she soon moved on to serving and eventually helped manage the Queen Street location. After she left to take a job at a magazine, she helped launch Terroni magazine with publisher Elena di Maria. Now she works on a TV show, but Terroni will always need her. Index, p 3
Giovanna Alonzi has been with Terroni for 15 years; she has worked at all locations and is their executive chef. You can usually spot her at Sud Forno, where she arrives at the crack of dawn on her bike to bake and cook up a storm. When not there, you might spot her running around the city, teaching a cooking class, eating a bombolone or just hanging out with her two nutty children and husband. Cucina Veneta, p 23
Stephanie Palmer is the general manager of the Adelaide location in Toronto. She has been with the company since 1998. A graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (BFAâ€™00), her passion for pasta is only eclipsed by her love of photography. To explore her latest work visit stephaniepalmerphotography.com Pandoro, p 34
Gianmario Negro is a youthful spirit that lives and works in Treviso (Veneto). He describes himself as a young man whom followed the path life dictated for him, and at the same time tried to also do what he loved, which is to dig in the souls of his loved ones. Bits and Pieces of Veneto, p 17
Cassandra Jeffery is an explorer. As a journalist she has worked for different publications across Canada and has covered a variety of topics from sociocultural issues to the delights of southern Italian cuisine. Always on the move, she enjoys discovering new places and immersing herself in the rich and vibrant traditions of different cultures from around the world. Follow her adventures via Twitter, @Cassandra_Jeff, or check out her online portfolio, clippings.me/cassandrajeff. Mr. Luxottica, p 30
Max Stefanelli is the director of operations for Terroni in Los Angeles and the primary wine director at all Terroni outposts. He began working for Terroni in Toronto in 1999, after he left Bologna, Italy. When he isnâ€™t tasting the bottled fruits of Italy, Max can be found playing ball hockey and zipping around on his shiny Vespa, or hanging out cooking at home with his beautiful wife, Francesca and their three gorgeous bambini. Veneto Wine, p 27
794 Number of years in which the University of Padova, the second oldest in Italy, has been operating
730 Number of days it took Burano lacemakers to complete Louis XIV’s coronation collar
61 Number of years in which the Diesel clothing company, founded in Padova, has been operating
6,000 Number of professional glassmakers operating on the island of Murano as of 1990
55 Number of years Luxottica, the world’s largest eyewear company which includes Ray-Ban, Oliver Peoples and Persol, was founded in Agordo
1,000 Number of professional glassmakers operating today
1291 Year in which the Republic of Veneto relegated all glass makers to the island 25 of Murano, as to Number of villas minimize incendiary designed by Padova- incidents caused born Andrea Palladio, by glass-making inscribed onto the furnaces World Heritage list
TERRONI INDEX 25 Maximum number of visitors at-a-time allowed to enter the Scrovegni Chapel in Padova, lined with Giotto’s famous frescos 15 Minutes they must wait in the air-conditioned waiting room in order to stabilize the microclimate of the chapel’s interior
37.5 to 60 Percentage of alcohol in Grappa, which originated in Bassano del Grappa, Veneto 5 Number of Shakespeare’s plays set in Veneto
3 million Number of people who attend the Venetian Carnival annually $249,000 (USD) Cost of the “Magnificent Sole Luxe” mask, made by Vivo Masks 1965 Year that the company Benetton, headquartered in Ponzano—Veneto, was founded 5,000 Number of worldwide stores to date
1 Number of hours it took Benetton to pull the picture of Pope Benedict XVI, kissing an Egyptian Imam from its 2011 “Unhate” ad campaign series, following the Vatican’s adamant complaints
3343 m Height of La Marmolada, the highest point in the Dolomites 41 Number of glaciers in the region 24 Number of years Marco Polo was absent from his hometown of Venice, during his first sea voyage with his father and uncle 24,000 km Distance they travelled
Taste the secret of the Mediterranean diet The flavour of Olitalia Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds something special to your dishes, whether served at home or in a professional kitchen. Olitalia is the secret of those who expect excellent results and delicious dishes: a secret kept in quality ingredients, cultivated with passion for life and land. Discover this secret with Olitalia. Our premium olive oils and vinegars are now available at fine restaurants and specialty stores across Canada. Foodservice Importer and Distributor Reality Foods Service Inc. 905-669-1185 firstname.lastname@example.org Concord, Ontario www.olitalia.com
Retail Importer and Distributor
Brunello Imports Inc. 416-631-9773 email@example.com Toronto, Ontario
Il condimento Ă¨ il segreto
AR TIGIANATO ITALIANO
TR ADITION AS A TOOL FOR INNOVATION
TRADITION AS TOOL FOR INNOVATION Italy has always attracted and inspired young talented designers, stylists, artists and businesses throughout the world. We must keep this art going without reverting back to the past simply through a nostalgic lens, but rather by giving artisanal work the meaning it deserves: Artigianato must position itself in a new economic and cultural dimension internationally as the starting point for success in the future of enterprises. In the deck of cards Italians have to play, finding an
original collocation amongst the international stage is their most precious hand. It is with this in mind that we continue to search for ways to introduce our readers to the incredible artigianato throughout Italy. We feel a great responsibility to do our part to ensure that these skills are recognized and not lost forever. In this issue we want to introduce you to some of the inspiring masters of their crafts that we came across throughout the Veneto region.
AR TIGIANATO ITALIANO
photos Federico Goida
ITALIAN SILK IS BORN AGAIN AFTER HALF A CENTURY
This story originates around a butterfly, the Samia Cynthia, a silk making moth. We are in Pove del Grappa, in the province of Vicenza; spending the afternoon with the Zontas, a married couple of jeweler designers. They are recalling the butterfly they had spotted while building their home, which inspired them to create a collection in gold and silk. Gold manufacturing is very prevalent in this area, so much so that Vicenza hosts the most renowned international gold fair called “VicenzaOro”: Gabriella and Giampietro Zonta are certainly in the right spot. Being very attached to the tradition of “Made in Italy”, when they set out to find silk producers, they were astonished to discover that the precious material hadn’t been produced in Italy for several decades. Thus their journey began; it proved challenging yet captivating, but the result is that the production of silk in Italy— starting from the culture of silkworms to the finished product—is once again occurring. They succeeded in getting the social cooperative of Campoverde of Castelfranco Veneto involved; where in October 2014 an old spinning mill was restored, and for the first time in 50 years Italian silk is spun again using cocoons coming from Calabria. In order to produce local silkworms, fields on the cooperative are used to farm mulberries. The passion that the Zonta’s embody is contagious and the local institutions are enthusiastic to come together to rebuild this industry. In April 2015 “The Rebirth of
the Silk Way” was reviewed by the European Union as one of the hundreds of projects submitted under the Research and Innovation category and was awarded as one the first 4 projects of excellence in all of Europe for the quality of the planning and the realistic perspectives of economical and occupational growth at a national level. Meanwhile at D’Orica, the first jewels in silk and gold are handcrafted and presented at VicenzaOro 2015. The two precious materials are intertwined in delicate shapes, using soft and feminine colours. Delicate patterns spaced out by light points evoke the ancient splendor of gold and Venetian silks. This is a inspiring example of how a historic industry can be brought back to life with special care paid to ethical values throughout the process. D’Orica seeks out ways to collaborate with artisans and enterprises that are involved with social causes; enabling the entirety of the manufacturing process to be sustainable and ensuring that every step from the silkworm to the finished jewel is respectful. “The ethical silk way” marks the rebirth of tradition, placing great value on artisanal craftsmanship, creating important employment opportunities while respecting the environment in every step of the process. DORICA.COM
Elisabetta di Maria
AR TIGIANATO ITALIANO
AR TIGIANATO ITALIANO
MARIO BERTA BATTILORO, THE L AST GOLDBEATER
For almost fifty years, in his historic artisan laboratory, Mario Berta has carried on the ancient craft of Battiloro, which has been the family trade since 1926. To this day Mario Berta runs his workshop in collaboration with his wife and two daughters. The Battiloro (goldbeater) skill is to transform gold, silver and other precious metals into ultra-slim leaves, suitable for applications in a variety of methods. The craft was at its peak in the 1700s, when Venice was home to 340 Battiloro. Today Mario Berta is the last practicing Battiloro in Europe. For decades the art was used in artistic adornment but itâ€™s now finding creative new applications in food, cosmetics and furnishings. In Mario Bertaâ€™s workshop you will find all the same instruments have been used by Battiloro for several centuries. Beginning with a gold bar which is transformed through a series of steps into a packet of gold foil which is then ready for Mario Berta who employs a selection of heavy hammers of different weights to manually beat the gold foil into thin leafs. While many artisans worry about the threat of their trade being lost, for Mario Berta this is a truly an urgent matter. As the sole surviving master Battiloro, unless he finds an apprentice soon, the ancient Venetian art will cease to exist unless it is mechanized. berta-battiloro.com
Elena D. M. & Robby V.
AR TIGIANATO ITALIANO
Myver Glass was founded in 2000 by Glass Master Pietro Viero, he began his career as a creator of blown-glass objects using the ancient technique, known as “a lume” which employs a flame to make the glass malleable at a very high temperature. He first studied the art in 1981 under apprenticeship with other Glass Masters and, over time and research on various glass working techniques, Pietro started to turn out his own art pieces. The workshop’s mission is to develop special and innovative artefacts through a balance of traditional art and the simplicity of clean lines typically found in contemporary design. Though the finished objects appear delicate and light, their quality and resistance is very high compared to typical glass. Besides creating his personal collections he works closely with renowned designers like London based Bethan Laura Wood (bethanlaurawood.com/work/totem), and famous Italian designer Matteo Cibic: (matteocibicstudio.com/ domsai-store). Pietro’s challenge is not to be commissioned work, but rather keeping up with the demand because he is the only Glass Master in the workshop”. Myver is on Facebook as fb.com/myver.vicenza and his website is currently under construction.
Arbos Carta (Paper), was founded by Sergio Paolin in Solagna (Vicenza) in 1988. The company’s foundation is built upon their “3Rs”: Respect for people by applying ethical principles in creating their products entirely in Italy, Respect for the environment by using only recycled materials and lastly the Respect of beauty, which uses art, design, and style to give a character to the product employing artisanal traditions. The eco-sustainable paper making company incorporates modern design and traditional artisanal techniques to manufacture notebooks, toys, lamps, bags, and stationary out of recycled paper, leather (ricuoio) and textiles (ristoffa). Reclaimed materials are used to create simple products that are both functional and aesthetically beautiful: here ethics meets aesthetics. “There is no question that Italians know how to do things, our challenge is in making it known” says Sergio Paolin. “The current trend is to promote businesses through online sales to grow global awareness. Small businesses like mine do not have the resources and technical expertise to take advantage of this platform.”
AR TIGIANATO ITALIANO
GIOIA DI LUISA CONVENTI, VENETIAN GL ASS BEADING
Gioia di Luisa Conventi, which sells costume jewelry and accessories, has stood in the same location in the heart of Venice since 1987. Using typical Venetian glass-pearls and miniscule beads they assemble beautiful creations—the working of this type of glass-pearl with the classic “a lume” technique has been characteristic of this area since the XV century. These glass beads are known as conterie; just like the spaces where they are manufactured. The labour intensive manufacturing process was originally performed predominantly by men, saved for the last stage: stringing of the beads. This delicate step was considered best suited for women—the Impiraresse. Forward thinking women took on the job as a way of supplementing their husband’s income, working from home in order to also accomplish their domestic duties. Luisa Conventi of Gioia, familiar with the trade as her grandfather owned a similar business, actively works to keep the ancient, almost extinct craft of Impiraresse alive and attempts to also re-invigorate it through her annual “Festa delle Impiraresse” Fashion show. Preserving this ancient art even when all the conterie in Murano are shut down. Luisa is forced to purchase part of her inventory abroad. Her second challenge comes from the internet; today’s customer expects purchases to be delivered promptly which poses a huge obstacle for Gioia as all of their products are handcrafted and prompt deliveries are out of the question. ferenaz.it
RBC Dominion Securities Inc.
Dreaming of retiring in italy? There’s wealth in a guide who can help you get there. If il bel paese is calling you, turn to Canada’s leading wealth management firm. You’ll receive advice from Giancarlo Totino, a professional advisor with more than 15 years of experience at RBC Dominion Securities. Giancarlo specializes in providing comprehensive and tax-efficient solutions, including financial planning, Will and estate reviews, and conservative investment portfolios tailored to your needs. For a free consultation, or a second opinion on your investments, contact Giancarlo Totino today.
Giancarlo ToTino Vice-President, Investment Advisor 416-842-3475 | firstname.lastname@example.org RBC Dominion Securities 181 Bay St., Suite 2200 | Toronto, Ontario
RBC Dominion Securities Inc.* and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. *Member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund. RBC Dominion Securities Inc. is a member company of RBC Wealth Management, a business segment of Royal Bank of Canada. ®Registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. © RBC Dominion Securities Inc. 2016. All rights reserved. 16_90421_J8G_001
12 FRANCO PREVEDELLO THE GRAND INNOVATOR OF THE TORONTO FOOD SCENE
INTRODUCED BY COSIMO MAMMOLITI.
When Elena told me the next issue was going to be on Veneto the first thing that came to mind was Franco Prevedello (Born in Asolo, Veneto). This man, who I have looked up to from a young age, desesrves to be given a huge amount of recognition for his achievements. When I was 17, I began working in the restaurant industry as a food runner and often heard his name from colleagues that had worked for and with him. He was described as a demanding perfectionistâ€”a tough but fair person to work for. I learned that he started as a waiter himself but he had a vision. He opened unbelievably big style restaurants, giving Italian cuisine the recognition it deserves with high quality food and extensive wine lists that were introduced to the scene in Toronto for the very first time. This captivated me and this guy got in my head. Franco was in the press all the time, he was known in all circles. After hearing so much about him, I first met Franco as a landlord, in my early 30â€™s. It was
then that we began going for lunches and dinners that lasted for hours, we had a lot to talk about. Today, I personally want to thank Franco for his contributions, for what he did in his time for this city and for representing Italy and Italian food the right way. For inspiring me to believe that if you have an idea, and believe in yourself and work really hard, you can make it happen. Secondly, I want to ensure that younger kids starting off in this business know who Franco Prevedello is; he always needs to be remembered as the guy who put the Italian restaurant and wine scene on the map in this city. Franco, thank you for carving the path for someone like me, for the inspiration that stems from all the amazing work that you have and continue to do. I believe that the city of Toronto should be thankful for being blessed with a guy like Franco who, with these amazing and beautiful restaurants like Centro, Pronto, Splendido, showed this city dining out unlike anything here before him.
Elena D. M. & Robby V.
A TRIBUTE TO FRAN C O PREVEDELLO
Elena di Maria Franco Prevedello, tell us a bit about yourself; as a person, as a business owner, as an Italian. Franco Prevedelo I was born in Italy in 1946 in Asolo, a small town in Veneto. I studied at Stresa, a private hotel school outside of Milano, which at the time was quite prestigious. I then relocated to Germany where I worked on a cruise ship travelling throughout the Caribbean, Middle East, Fiord and Asia for two and a half years. In 1986 we docked in New York where the cruise ship unfortunately burned down in the harbour. I ended up staying in New York for a while then visited my sister who was living in Toronto and decided to stay there for a year because I really wanted to attend expo ’67 in Montreal. That is where I met my Canadian wife Barbara—shortly after our wedding, I began my career in the restaurant industry working for the Winston restaurant, La Scala and the Westbury hotel as a catering manager. Tell us how you went from being a waiter to being a restaurant owner. I spotted an opportunity after expo ’67 in Montreal and bought my first restaurant “Quo Vadis” on Church Street. Somehow it never felt quite right so I moved on to run Ontario Place. One day, I saw a building for sale on Mount Pleasant and thought that it looked like the perfect spot to open a little place of my own. It was the usual 20 ft. frontage and I decided to put a kitchen at the front, which left the back open for seating under a beautiful skylight. I named it Biffi and it took off so I decided to open Pronto right across the street. As soon as it opened, both spots immediately became much busier with each location feeding off the other. Next came Bindi on Yonge Street, then Gourmet Bistro, followed by Centro, Splendido, Terra, Acrobat and Acrobat Bis. Ostrega! You must have had quite the audience! It was an exciting time—there was a movement happening where people were interested in novelty and different type of cuisine and atmosphere. We created something we used to refer to as “Cucina Nuova” nouvelle cuisine a new way of presenting food. That’s why my restaurants were successful and why restaurants today are successful—once you meet the customer’s expectations you will succeed. Aside from “Cucina Nuova” you also introduced “Vini Nuovi” in the sense that you were the first to bring in important Italian wines. Today Terroni is handling most of the wine business in Toronto with Cavinona, back then most of the Italian wine brands came in through me. There was no representation of Italian wine in Toronto so I would go to Italy to Vignonesi, Anselmi…etc and buy containers of wine for my restaurants. My passion was Italian wines but at the time French ones were predominant, so I made it a point at all my restaurants to carry an excellent selection of Italian wines. We create incredible products in Italy with our own autochthonous wines in abundance. I believe that we have to be ambassadors promoting the quality of our product to help build awareness of all the things we do so well and that are unique to us.
I have heard you also make your own Prosecco, is that true? Yes it is! We grow on a hill without water reservoirs. Our growing process is all natural and entirely organic: we do not irrigate or use any pesticides. We have fun with it—producing very limited quantities and I’m so pleased that the LCBO carries it once a year. What is it named? “Prevedello Prosecco” Ah! Un Nome una Garanzia! (The name says it all) We talked about “cucina nuova” tell us more, Did it ever get a bit crazy? At the time, you had to capture people's curiosity—not everything on the menu but a couple of dishes had to be a little crazy. We tried to get away from the macaroni, the cannelloni, and the veal parmigiana. We had a dish called “Spaghetti Nuovi” with pernod, fennel and grapes; the "Fettuccine Natasha" with smoked salmon, vodka and caviar; and even risotto with strawberries – though I might not do that one again. In my opinion, whatever business you are in, whether it’s a restaurant or real estate, if you do a good job and build a reputation people will follow you. Just look at when Cosimo opened Sud Forno; as a business you are known as Terroni not Sud Forno, but Sud Forno stems from Terroni so people were willing to give it a chance.
A TRIBUTE TO FRAN C O PREVEDELLO
Was it difficult to find good staff and good ingredients? A good restaurant needs to have a great product, the prices have to be right and hospitality is key. The way I see it, a restaurant is a bit like a theatre—a performance, if you will. If you build a theatre with subpar actors then the theatre is not good. There is a combination of hospitality and quality and it is your job to always strike the right balance. Terroni created a theatre rather than just another place to order pizza or a plate of pasta. Everybody came to see Terroni's new restaurant on Price St. when it opened; but it’s the balance of hospitality, quality and reputation that keeps patrons coming back. Finding good people is always tough, back then it was even tougher because the restaurant business was not at the calibre it is today. Nowadays, there are tons of young chefs available but back then all the people in the restaurant industry came from pretty much the same few restaurants; “North 44” “Centro” and “Pronto”. You are an honorary chair for Second Harvest 2016 Toronto Taste, what inspired you to join this admirable cause? My wife deserves all the credit there! We started second harvest 25 years ago with the support of only a few restaurants at the time. So Second Harvest was your wife's project? Barbara has always been very committed to the cause—we were always bothered by the waste in our
industry. Restaurants don’t always manage their inventory well, especially high-end spots. I used to tell my staff to “take a steak home, please don’t waste it!” As a way to minimize the waste, Second Harvest was built to help feed those less fortunate by bringing food to schools, shelters and other organizations. Today Second Harvest feeds 18,000 people per day in the GTA, which is something we’re very proud of. Bravo Barbara! What inspires Franco Prevedello to give back and how? I tend to encourage or guide people one on one. I am not very active in the restaurant business these days, but more in the development business. That said; I meet with young chefs or young managers on a weekly basis. For instance, this afternoon, I am meeting with a young gentleman who wants to start a chain of restaurants, I am not involved personally, but this is how I give back. I am always on call for advice—to be a mentor, if you will. I think you have also played this role with Cosimo in a way. When it comes to Cosimo, I see this beautiful young man with a beautiful wife, four children and an amazing capacity to grow. He has done amazingly well, starting from a small place and going multi-location which is not as easy as people think, you have to do it properly.
photos Franco P.
I do not know you well on a personal level but I see you as someone who values positive feedback and believes in embracing the good in people. I am not jealous of other people doing well; I have always taken pleasure in helping to prop up others. When people working for me wanted to go into business for themselves, I always tried to encourage them. When I see young people that want to grow and have a solid plan, I encourage them to do it, verbally and sometimes financially. What would your advice be to young people that want to start their own business? We live in a fantastic country and if you have the drive to start your own business and possess the right skills and are prepared to work hard then you should definitely follow your dream. This does not necessarily mean starting your own company alone, sometimes it means being part of one, growing with one. Growth used to be largely individualistic, but today it often happens in groups. For instance, Farinetti of Eataly created an empire because he was able to embrace something new, by transferring his power to other people by encouraging and including them. Just do what you do and do it well—and this is by no means exclusive to the restaurant industry, if you do that anywhere you are bound to succeed. I am now part of a small development company and this concept remains true. A while back I said to Cosimo
A TRIBUTE TO FRAN C O PREVEDELLO
"I have a location for you" he said "I'm not coming uptown, I’m a downtown guy.” but he tried and Terroni did very well on Balmoral Ave. for ten years before moving on to a larger location. The next business that went into that location failed, and the one after that failed again, now there is a third business in there. This goes to show you that it is not the location that makes the business, it’s the business that makes the location. Veneto, tell us something about Veneto in a couple of words. How connected do you still feel to Veneto and how often do you visit? I am very connected to Veneto, most of my family still lives there so I visit three, four times a year. Veneto in 4 words is “The Glory of Venice”. After the First World War Veneto was very poor they were dubbed "I Terroni del Nord" (The Framers of the North) but in the 60's and 70's with the influx of money from immigrants, they began to recover and today they have a very strong economy. What are your thoughts on Italian Artisans? I am going to answer you with a simple example that best sums it up: we were building a home for a VIP client in Toronto who asked us to create a unique fixture for a doorway. We called an Italian artisan; he arrived, did a quick sketch, went back to Italy manufactured it and came back with a piece that fit perfectly. Pure Art!
BITS AND PIECES OF VENETO
To speak of the Veneto region without mentioning Venice poses a bit of a challenge because it has influenced its culture and economy for centuries. When the rest of Italy was still Feudal and Barbaric, Venice was already a republic. The Far East, the Greek civilization and Byzantium have all greatly influenced the shaping and development of the soul of Veneto, that today houses the highest percentage of Italian enterprises and a unique economy characterized by a network of small and medium businesses that are subject to study on a global scale. It is remarkable that this modus operandi survived the Italian Monarchy, the Centralizing Fascism, and a Capitalistic Economy that promoted large-scale enterprises or alternatively co-op model enterprises; none of which favored Veneto’s modern economical structure. Because of its eclectic trading history, Veneto is rich in tradition, art, culture and, not by chance, home to the most beautiful architecture in the world—the Palladian Villas ①. Even without travelling to Venice, whose beauty is astounding, one can find churches and palaces, entrusted keepers of invaluable paintings and sculptures throughout the region. These lands boast great tolerance and acceptance whereby acceptance is known to mean
integration. In the late Middle-Ages, the Jewish population cast away by the rest of Europe, would be welcomed here. These ancient lands have nurtured a culture that strives for excellence in all fields coupled with a strong appreciation for conviviality. It comes as no surprise that the concept of aperitivo, cicchetti and spritz, was born here centuries ago. As taught by Giacomo Casanova ②, playful seduction, banter and flirting hidden behind masks were—when it originated and still today—imperative during the Venetian Carnival ③. We would be remiss to leave out prosecco, a wine that is synonymous of lightheartedness, celebration and love, is produced here in the northern hills of Treviso. This is the land of extraordinary lyrical, never ending, loves, Romeo and Juliet ④ being the most famous example. This is woven into the fabric that blankets this region.People and lands perhaps best experienced in summer with the love of your life by your side, under the shade of a tree enjoying a glass of wine with local fresh cured meats. Although, be forwarned that if you find yourself in the town of Asolo, the Venice lagoon, or the Dolomiti mountains you may fall in love with these places. The only given is that these lands and their people will fall in love with you.
Veneto; Venezie and Venezia, Palladian Villas, Romeo and Juliet, Casanova and Marco Polo… if all the cultural and historical references previously mentioned in “Bits and pieces of Veneto” were not enough to captivate you; I am certain that what I have to add about Veneto and its people will. This small region located northeast of the boot, with a meager population of 5 million is one of Italy’s economic powerhouses. Keen business acumen and initiative have been in the DNA of Venetian people starting from the Renaissance and it carries on today. This region is home to inventiveness and drive precursors to modern day practices: dealers of literature and artwork were developing distribution routes from the XIII century, venetian women were entrepreneurs beginning from the XVI century, imports and exports were a well established practice when Marco Polo came about. One example of said brilliance is the Remondini Family of Bassano del Grappa (Vicenza). The family’s patriarch, Giovanni Antonio Remondini founded “La Stamperia Remondini” (Remondini Printing house) at the beginning of the XVI century. His genius was two fold: firstly he enlisted the help of a notably nomadic community, the Tesini, to distribute his religious prints. Secondly, he demanded the Tesini’s bring back examples of holy art from their expeditions in order to produce prints in line with the use and costumes of the visited populations. The Remondini’s were employing consignment distribution and market research before the rest of us even knew what those words meant. Throughout the course of its history this region has known both opulence and ruin, unwavering peace and the havoc of war…yet today it leads the country in GDP (gross domestic product), exports, R&D and specialized manufacturing. I find this to be especially astounding considering that the people of Veneto have had to build up their economy only to see it torn down by the Napoleonic War, which claimed 20,000 of Veneto’s youth in the quest for Russia. Rebuild, only to then face the destruction of World War I, which fought on Veneto ground, devastated much of the region’s agriculture and farming. Rebuild once again, just in time for the turmoil of World War II at the end of which Italy was forced to relinquish Istria and Dalmatia (originally part of Veneto) to Jugoslavia (modern day Croatia) condemning 250,000 Veneto nationals to a brutal takeover. All of these historical events to show that Venetians are made of something special—every time their homes were torn down, they turned inwards to find the strength and will to “roll up their sleeves” and build it anew. Veneto’s modern day economy is highly specialized, prosperous and diversified. The region is home to almost 400,000 small and medium sized enterprises accounting for 9% of the Italian GDP. It is so diverse in fact that if Veneto were to alienate itself from the rest of the country, they’d be perfectly self-sufficient. Agriculture, food retail, industrial manufacturing, automotive and transportation, banking, investments, apparel as well as textile manufacturing, medical equipment, pharmaceutical…if you can imagine it, Veneto is likely to have it.
I M P R E N D I T O R I A V E N E TA The region’s agriculture accounts for 10% of Italy’s produce requirements. Many grape varieties hugely appreciated in the American market are grown here along with the country’s supply of corn, wheat, potatoes and rice; all skillfully exported nationally and across Europe. Apparel design and manufacturing are yet another well-established industry in the region. Companies like Benetton, Bottega Veneta, Diadora, Intimissimi, Marzotto, Pal Zileri, Stefanel, Dimensione Danza, Geox, Golden Goose, Lotto Sport, Sisley, Diesel, Replay and Gas Jeans all originated in this prosperous region. Though the word “Veneto” may sound foreign to you, many of the aforementioned brands will likely not. Benetton, for example, has made headlines internationally with its very provocative AD campaigns—one of my absolute favorites being the UNHATE campaign. As part of their series, the company released a picture of Pope Benedict XVI kissing an Egyptian Imam; this was so scandalous it unleashed the wrath of the Vatican, which forced Benetton to withdraw the offending image from all corporate sites. Angering the Vatican ought to be a first for any Italian company, Veneto once again paving the way to innovation. Industrial manufacturing is yet another indelibly rooted and diversified sector in the region. Veneto specializes in the manufacturing of small household appliances with companies like DeLonghi and ILVE; motorcycle as well as racing bikes manufacturing and international distribution with Aprilia, Laverda, Borile, Campagnolo, Iride bicicles, Pinarello and Wilier Triestina. Luxury automobiles with Fornasari as well as luxury boats and cruise ships with its 97 shipbuilding enterprises. If you have recently sailed the Adriatic aboard a European ship, chances are Veneto made it. This industrious region even manufactures railway models with Lima, amusement parks with Technical Park, farming equipment with Laverda Harvesters and exclusively Italian furnishings. Bonaldo, Unico Italia and Portego, all specialize in the manufacturing of upscale, modern and unique furniture crafted with solely Italian raw materials and by Italian artisans. Are you impressed yet? There is little doubt that this region is among Italy’s leaders in innovation and economical development, but its success in spite of all setbacks did not happen by chance. Veneto has always had the foresight to plan ahead and 2016 is no different; the region has implemented a forward thinking plan to retain its competitive and innovative edge (2014-2020 Operational Programme). The program calls for the allocation of financial resources toward four sectors previously identified as essential to the future wellbeing of the regional economic system; these are Smart Manufacturing, Sustainable Living, Agrifood Smart and Creative Industries. Once again the people of Veneto prove that their economic success is well deserved. In conclusion Veneto is knocking it out of the park by having one of the strongest economies in Italy and it does not look like they have any intention of slowing down! Here is to countless more years of prosperity.
by Elena & Francesca
Retail Store Visit Nella Cucina, located in the heart of Torontoâ€™s Annex, for your complete culinary experience. Shop here for an immense selection of products ranging from cookware, kitchen electrics, cutlery, bakeware and more. Nella Cucina offers professional quality kitchen tools for culinary enthusiasts of all levels.
Cooking School In addition to the retail boutique, Nella Cucina has a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen for hosting cooking classes and private events. Whether youâ€™re in need of team building or independent growth, Nella Cucina offers a range of concepts to curate your culinary whims. To book a cooking class or a private event contact email@example.com
Nella Cucina - 876 Bathurst St, Toronto, 416 922 9055 www.nellacucina.ca or follow us: /nellacucinatoronto @nellacucina nellacucina
THE HISTORY BEHIND MODERN DAY VENETIAN CUISINE
Veneto’s cuisine, one of the most varied in Italy, can attribute much of it’s culinary richness to its history and geographical position. Nestled in the northeast part of Italy and serving as the crossing point between central Europe and the Middle East, Veneto faces the Adriatic Sea on the southeast, the Dolomiti Mountains in the North, the hilly area surrounding Lake Garda in the center and the vast Veneto Plains in the west.
Celebrated the world over for its beauty, Venice and its famous lagoon became part of UNESCO’s world heritage list in 1997. Colonized by the Romans, the region became Venezia—or the Serenissima—an important Maritime Republic in the XIII and XIV century. Historically famous for spices trading, Venetians have widely adopted them in their cuisine: peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves and corinthian raisins are an integral part of Veneto’s
C U C I N A V E N E TA
cuisine which is perhaps best characterized by a balance between sweet, sour and savory. Sarde in Saor is a tasty example of these evenly matched flavours; fried sardines are laid on a bed of onions and dressed with vinegar, pine nuts and raisins. This classic recipe, which can also be made with other types of fish, allowed for the preservation of food for several days. Other typical foods of the region are rice, polenta, beans and salted codfish. Rice, cooked 40 ways, comes from the Arabic regions with whom the republic of Venice used to trade. First farmed in the beginning of the 1500s on the hills of the Verona area, the most notable variety il vialone, is still harvested there today. Two of the favourite ways to prepare this rice are risi e bisi and risi e figadini, two dishes made respectively from fresh baby peas and chicken liver. Many varieties of risotto are made with fish and escargot (snails). Polenta, also known as the gold of Veneto, is made from corn flour. It first arrived in Veneto in the 1500s after the discovery of the Americas and is used in many recipes, like polenta osei (little birds) polenta latte e cipolle (milk and onions) and polenta pasticciata (botched polenta). Beans also originating from South America, began circulating in the 1500s in the area of Belluno—where the most notable variety of lamon is still farmed. These beans are the main ingredient for soups, risottos and the
photos Stephanie Palmer
very traditional pasta e fasoj (pasta with beans). Last, but not least, Baccalà or Stoccafisso (dried cod and salted cod respectively) hailing from the northern seas, can be served as an aperitivo, a primo or secondo paired with sauces, or polenta. The most renowned recipe is Baccalà alla Vicentina (Vicenza style) and can be made in different ways: with milk, potatoes or many other ingredients but all made with the same cooking time of two hours. Another typical dish is the fegato alla veneziana (liver Venetian style), which combines the distinct taste of the liver with the flavour of the onion. The origin of this recipe, referred to as figà aea Venissiana in Veneto dialect, traces back to the Roman ages when they used to cook the liver with figs in order to mask its strong smell. Over time Venetians came to substitute the figs with onions. Other local foods we would be remiss to forget include the salumi (cured meats) like the soppressa vicentina PDO, and the Prosciutto Veneto Berico Euganeo PDO as well as the Asiago and Montasio cheeses. Of particular relevance among the vegetable garden products are the excellent red radicchio of Treviso PDO and the white asparagus of Bassano PDO which are the main ingredients for renowned dishes like risotto with radicchio Trevigiano (from Treviso), the radicchio cotto al forno (oven baked) and the asparagi made alla Bassanese (Bassano style) or simply with eggs.
Superseded by the use of polenta, the only typical pasta are the bigoli, big spaghetti made with the aid of a manually operated press, which makes the pasta’s surface particularly rough, making it perfect for retaining sauces. A very popular dessert is the Spiedini Golosessi: dried figs, walnuts and apricots, previously coated in caramel, skewered on a wooden stick. The origin of this peculiar dessert, a precursor to lollipops, is unknown but a similar dessert can be found in China. One could imagine that Marco Polo hoped to revisit this treat from memory, calling on the local Venetian bakers to recreate it for him. Typically from Veneto, but appreciated throughout Italy and the world over, are the Christmas Pandoro, which was invented in Verona, and Tiramisù the world famous spoon dessert made with mascarpone cheese, eggs, coffee and ladyfingers. The origin of this delicious dessert has been at the center of contentions between the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto for the past centuries. The ruling of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina is clear: Tiramisù was invented in Treviso in 1962, thanks to Ms. Alba Campeol, owner of the restaurant Alle Beccherie. With a territory that touches the sea, the planes and the mountains and a historical heritage that embraces multiple cultures, Veneto cuisine comprises such varied
C U C I N A V E N E TA
and diversified dishes which are best enjoyed when eaten in loco for you to truly appreciate its rich and varied delicacies. AL POMPIERE BY GIOVANNA ALONZI
As an ardent lover of Verona with a particular appreciation for its foods and wines I often wonder about the interesting twist of faith which in the early 1950s pushed a retired firefighter away from saving cats from trees and into opening an osteria in the city of Osterie. I call it a stroke of luck because in the fifties Verona was home to around 100 osterie. In fact, that “one” without a name became so well frequented as to have its patrons carve out its name “Al Pompiere” (the firefighter) is not only due to luck. Personally, I feel something very special every time I dine there. Now, if this is because of the elegant room loaded with historic photographs, or because of maestro Natalino with his slicer and his prosciutto selection or because I really have a special spot in my heart for bigoli—I don’t know. I do know that chef and proprietor Marco Dandrea always personally ensures that things at “al pompiere’ are just top; this is not just another stroke of luck. However, Chef Marco has agreed to share some of his best recipes in this edition of Terroni Magazine… Lucky you. alpompiere.com
Spaghettini with salted anchovy & Garlicky Bread Serves One
Venetian style veal liver
Ingredients 90 g of spaghettini
Ingredients 130 g of liver (per person), sliced in thin slices 3-4 mm each
9/10 anchovy fillets in salt (or in oil if salt unavailable) 6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (EVO) 1 tbsp of breadcrumbs 1/2 clove of garlic
Method Remove the excess salt from the salted anchovies by rinsing them with water. Gently strain out excess water and dab dry. Keep refrigerated with just a light drizzle of oil. In a pan sauté the garlic in 1 tblsp of EVO until golden. Add the breadcrumbs and toast for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Set Aside. In a large pot of boiling water cook the spaghettini. In the meantime place the anchovies in a pan with 3 tblsps of EVO and sautè. Drain the spaghettini and toss them in the pan with EVO and anchovies. Plate the spaghetti topped with the garlicky breadcrumbs.
110 g of yellow onion, sautéed with some bay leaf and butter 2 slices of toasted polenta 30 g of butter 7 leaves of sage Salt to taste
Method Heat a cast iron pan until very hot. Add butter and sage, frying sage for 10 seconds. Add lightly salted liver and fry quickly over lively flame. Add the previously sautéed onion. Once everything is hot serve over polenta. Liver should be just cooked through and never over cooked.
Salted Cod from Vicenza
Ingredients 500 g of stockfish or salted cod*, cut into pcs roughly 10 cm in length
Ingredients 120 g of pasteurized yolk
one small thinly sliced onion 1 bay leaves 30 g of anchovies in oil 250 (ml) of EVO 250 (ml) of milk parsley to taste rice flour (or regular) as needed to lightly coat the cod Salt to taste 25 g of grated parmesan
Method Sautee the onions with the bunched parsley, bay leaves and anchovies. Add cod cut into 10 cm pieces and lightly coated with the rice flour. Add salt and sautee for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add milk and bring to a boil. Bake in oven at 140 degree Celsius for 1 hour and 40 minutes. At that point check the cod for desired soft texture, add salt if necessary and then parmigiano. The cod and its sauce should be looking well mixed, and the sauce should not be runny nor too dry. *In Verona, they use salted cod that has been dehydrated and not preserved with salt. It must be previously soaked in water for five days and the water must be changed once a day
Method Beat egg yolks with sugar until creamy. In a separate bowl in a stand mixer place the egg 60 g of sugar whites with the icing sugar and whip. In the egg yolk bowl add 500 g of mascarpone mascarpone and whip well, add previously whipped cream, mix 50 g of whipping well. Add the whipped egg cream, whipped whites and mix well. The mascarpone cream is ready. In your 125 g of pasteurized preferred serving vessel layer egg whites the ladyfingers dipped in coffee with the mascarpone cream. 90 g of icing sugar *The ladyfingers we prefer are 300 g od cold the ones packaged by Vicenzi, espresso they should be dipped in coffee for 2 seconds exactly so that 18 lady fingers* they are not too dry. The tiracocoa misu' tastes better if prepared the day before.
Veneto is slightly smaller than Italy’s other main wineproducing regions—Piedmont, Tuscany, Lombardy, Puglia and Sicily—yet it generates more wine than any of them. Here lakes of pale red Valpolicella and watery Pinot Grigio are poured into bottles by the millions to be shipped to Italian restaurants around the globe. The Veneto region can be roughly split into three geographical areas, distinguished by their topography and geology. In the north-west the foothills of the Alps descend along the eastern edge of Lake Garda, their path mirrored by the Adige river as it descends from the heights of Alto Adige. Here in the cooler, alpine-influenced climate, fresh, crisp whites are made under the Bianco di Custoza and Garda titles, while refreshing, unassuming Bardolino from the shores of Lake Garda deliver Veneto’s lightest reds. Just east of the lake and north of Verona is Valpolicella and its
sub-region Valpantena. Valpolicella is the only DOC to rival Tuscany’s famous Chianti outside of Italy. Immediately east of Valpolicella is Soave, home to the eponymous dry white wine that now ranks among Italy’s most famous products. Gambellara is an eastern extension of Soave, both geographically and stylistically. Garganega and Trebbiano are the key whitewine grape varietals here, while Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella make the vast majority of reds. In the north-eastern corner of the region, on either side of the Piave river, sparkling Prosecco, made from glera grapes, reigns supreme. The same grape variety is also used in the making of still wines. In central Veneto, around Vicenza and Padua, are the Colli Berici, Colli Euganei and Breganze where Italy’s flagship white wine, Pinot Grigio, finds its home.
CAVINONA SELECTED PRODUCERS
• La Cavalchina The Azienda Agricola Cavalchina, owned by the Piona family, was created in the early 1900s. In the early 60’s Cavalchina’s producers felt that their white wines; made from Fernanda, Trebbiano and Garganega, deserved their own recognition, so they differentiated their product from the soave title by labeling it under the Custoza Branding. Only the grape varietals that are most suited for the area are grown, yields are kept low and only the best clusters go into the wine that is bottled. Modern technology is used in the cellar, but tradition is also respected. The wines produced are: Bianco di Custoza DOC, Bardolino DOC, Bardolino & Chiaretto, Bardolino Superiore DOCG
Soave offers significant acidity and sapidity, especially when partnered with Garganega. The vineyard soils of this region are considerably less fertile than the alluvial soils in the plains. In the western part of the Classico zone, the soils contain a high percentage of limestone that retains the warmth of the afternoon sun and helps produce more fruit-forward wines. In the eastern vineyards near Monteforte d'Alpone, the soils are made of decomposed volcanic rock that tends to produce leaner and drier wines.
• Piccoli Daniela Azienda Piccoli, is located on Monte La Parte, a beautiful hill of tuffaceous and calcareous soils in Parona di Valpolicella, a few minutes from Verona.The vines are 250 meters above sea level and due to the windy climate and excellent sun exposure, produce high quality grapes devoted to making structured, complex, elegant and fruity wines.
The vineyards of Azienda Agricola Suavia are located in the center of Soave Classico’s zone. This hillside terroiry has produced Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave for centuries. Elevations of roughly 1,000 feet and volcanic soils yield wines of structure and character. Garganega from this area is known to generate some • Torre Degli Orti of Italy's most exciting white wines. In youth, the wines have a aromatic focus of ripe fruit, hay, a flicker of flo- Azienda Agricola Torre d’Orti is located in Marcelrality and a minerality veering toward wet stone sensi- lise, in the Valpolicella (VR) and is also owned by the bilities. The tale of Trebbiano di Soave is historically Piona family linked to Veneto and genetically bound to the older variety Turbiana, grown around Lake Garda. Trebbiano di
• La Cavalchina 2014 Amedeo Custoza Superiore DOC This is a great alternative to Soave. In the glass, this wine shows typical Custoza aromas like green apples, some lime and quince but also hints of flowers. On the palate it’s dry with a strong but overall balanced acidity. It has a mineral touch and is quite fruit-driven with notes of white fruit that recall the aromas from the nose. It’s a light, elegant white wine with a lingering aftertaste. 2015 Bardolino Chiaretto DOC A vivid yet delicate cherry blossom pink with a fragrant, fresh and fruity flavor. Its taste is delicate, with scents of berry fruits, and endowed with great freshness. Its finish is dry and of good persistence, characteristics typical of the personality of Bardolino Chiaretto. It pairs well with aperitivo such as prosciutto with melon, figs or main courses such as pizza and fried calamari. 2014 Santa Lucia Bardolino Superiore DOC The color of this wine is ruby red, dark garnet, with a fragrance of fruits like cherry and red berries. It has fresh, dry tannins and lively acidity. It is the perfect alternative to Valpolicella and, in my opinion, a more sophisticated option.
• Piccoli Daniela Valpolicella “Zèfiro” The true expression of this territory, young wine and fragrant. Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore “Caparbio” A concentration of freshness and drinkability. Valpolicella Superiore “Rocolo” Maximum expression of elegance and character. Amarone “Monte la Parte” A concentration of power, complexity and harmony.
• Suavia 2014 Soave Classico DOC Suavia’s Soave Classico is composed of 100% Garganega grapes harvested from the Tessari family's 12-hectare estate, in the heart of the Soave appellation. It is vinified only in stainless steel tanks with several months’ lees contact before bottling. The resulting wine has clarity of expression and regional typicity. Bright and lemon yellow in color with fresh aromas of apple, pear and almond, balancing clean minerality with a hint of fresh herbs. Crisp and refreshing on the palate, the flavors and aromas build towards a harmonious and lingering finish. Ideal as an aperitif, it matches well with a wide array of dishes, from hors d'oeuvres and fresh fish to white meats and young cheeses. 2013 Massifitti Bianco Veronese IGT Made from 100% Trebbiano di Soave, Massifitti is fermented in stainless steel tanks following a 24hour cold soak maceration. It is then refined for another six months in tank. Clear and brilliant in appearance, this wine displays intense aromas of stone fruit, white flower blossoms, and minerals. On the palate the texture is creamy and the wine showcases defined minerality and vibrant acidity. All of these characteristics
• Torre Degli Orti 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Torre degli Orti This is a “meditation wine” and to quote the famous Italian wine writer Luigi Veronelli, is a “very complex and unusual wine, which is to be enjoyed in a long winter evening, sip for sip by the fireside and every sip generates a bit of a surprise, warmth and happiness.” The low ph is exceptional for such a big wine and gives a deep vibrant color to the Amarone Torre d’Orti and great drinkability. Even with the high alcohol level the structure and tannins make this wine sophisticated and balanced and capable of great aging. The complex bouquet with an intense spiciness, especially pepper and cherry notes, makes it easily recognizable on the nose.
30 OLIVER PEOPLES
S TA R C K E Y E S
R A L P H L A U R E NÂ
PERSOL MICHAEL KORS
R AY - B A N
LUXOT TI C A BROOKS BROTHERS
M R . LUXO T T I C A
LEONARDO DEL VECCHIO, THE BOSS EVERYONE WANTS
According to Forbes magazine, Leonardo Del Vecchio is worth more than $16 billion and in 1986, the President of the Republic of Italy, Cossiga appointed Leonardo as the Cavaliere dell’ Ordine al “Merito del Lavoro, or the Knight of the Order for Labour Merit. As the world’s largest producer and retailer of designer sunglasses such as Ray-Ban, Persol, Oakley and Oliver Peoples as well as the manufacturer of designer brand eyewear of the likes of Prada, Armani, and Dolce and Gabbana, he has built an astounding corporate empire. In addition to an appreciation of their products, what might interest many is that the business is built on a foundation of respect, kindness gratitude and a sincere concern for the welfare of his employees. By necessity, employers have to focus on employee satisfaction and retention, but it seems, more often than not, it’s only with the profit in mind. Leonardo stands out from the pack because he strives to constantly provide his employees with opportunities to grow as individuals and to cultivate their crafts resulting in happy staff and astounding profits. Born in 1935, Leonardo spent his early years living in an orphanage just outside of Milan after his mother had to hand him over at age seven because she could no longer afford to feed her children after her husband died. At the age of 14, he started to work at a local factory that made parts for cars and eyeglasses. The people he worked for didn’t even know his name, instead called him “Boy”. After long days working, at night he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brera along with all his fellow apprentices. After three and a half years, a friend who was also a die maker offered him a job as head machinist and stamper. This set the stage for what would become his life’s work. In 1961, at the age of 25, he moved to Agordo, Veneto and began to build a business that would eventually grow to become a company recognized globally as the leader in the eyewear industry under the moniker of Luxottica. The company manufactures and distributes designer glassware throughout more than 150 countries under several established super-brands such as Sunglass Hut, Lens Crafters, Ray-Ban, and Oakley. When reflecting on his success on the fiftieth anniversary of his company, he spoke about how the fear of ever being dependent on others drove him to ensure that they would always be financially strong. He began initially only distributing to suppliers and then realized the next step was to also sell certain products directly. Along the way, there were
many ups and downs and he never imagined that one day he’d lead a publicly traded company and the worldwide market leader in their field that Luxottica became. When asked about the future, he confesses that he worries most about the security of his employees. He knows that they are the backbone of his success and he shows his appreciation to them daily—with a keen eye, he has poured energy and resources into the welfare of others and in the importance of living a balanced lifestyle. Leonardo simply cherishes his employees. Developing an extensive resource network for the individuals and families who have helped to build Luxottica, Leonardo has cultivated strong ties to the local Italian community. In 2009, He established the enviable “Luxottica Welfare System” providing benefits to the approximately 8,000 employees from seven different manufacturing plants throughout Italy and additionally extends these benefits to approximately 75,000 Luxottica employees, and their families, worldwide. All of this allowed Mr. Leonardo to create a sense of community within the Luxottica family. Instead of simply focussing on his individual wealth, he upholds the credo that when the people in your life flourish mentally, physically, and emotionally, you too will prosper and
M R . LUXO T T I C A
develop as an individual. In an era when multinationals are looking for ways to cut costs and are constantly scaling back the benefits provided, this reverse model has served to build a successful business that continues to reach new heights. Through scholarships and bursaries, he ensures that employees and their family members have access to education and professional guidance. Through counselling, increased vacation time, and comprehensive maternity and paternity leave, he encourages his employees to take care of themselves and their families. Leonardo takes an active interest in advocating for the malleable minds of youth by promoting personal growth through internships, and encouraging travel and working abroad. Taking it a step further, his care extends beyond concern for his employees and through Luxottica’s associated charity, OneSight, Leonardo and his family of employees work to ensure that children around the world are given the ability to experience the world’s beauty with clarity.
“At Luxottica, being a leader in eyewear and eye care also means being a leader in helping the world see. That’s why we encourage our employees to use their skills and expertise to give back to those in need through OneSight,” reads a Luxottica press release. “As OneSight’s founding global sponsor, Luxottica provides annual operating support, frames, and the engagement of their 18,000 doctors and employees.” At the end of the day, Leonardo Del Vecchio stayed true to his roots and put his money where his mouth is. To celebrate his 80th birthday, he distributed $10 million in company shares to all of his employees. How’s that for a company perk? The more we dug into the story behind the brand, the more we were in awe and admiration for everything Luxottica and Mr. Del Vecchio. It’s easy to simply focus on the amazing business model but the sincere humanity we uncovered is what truly inspired us. #totalrespect
photos & article Stephanie Palmer
PA N D O RO We know it is Christmas in the Veneto Region when Pandoro (“golden bread”) makes its annual appearance in the pastry shop windows. With its tall pyramid shape, dusted with icing sugar, this traditional Veronese sweet bread may evoke the magical sight of the tall snowy peaks of the Italian Alps. A simple recipe of flour, eggs, butter & sugar, Pandoro is the Veronese sibling of another celebrated Italian sweet bread, panettone. Dating back to the 18th century when this delicate sweet bread was only to be found on the plates of Venetian aristocracy. The recipe and mass production of Pandoro that we enjoy in modern times was perfected and patented in 1894 by a talented baker from Verona named Domenico Melegatti, who designed the Pandoro to almost look like an overdeveloped, three-dimensional eight point star. A clever design feature that over the decades lead to the development of a beautiful family Christmas tradition in the north of Italy—the Pandoro albero di natale (Pandoro Christmas Tree). When cut horizontally it produces star shaped slices that can be arranged into the shape of a beautiful Christmas tree. Ask anyone who grew up in Northern Italy about this tradition and undoubtedly a big smile will light up their face as they remember decorating the Pandoro Christmas tree with colourful candies, fresh berries, cream and other such confectionery creating that festive Christmas atmosphere. Just like the Canadian family tradition of decorating gingerbread houses at Christmas time. I can tell you that a big smile came upon my face when I was treated to the delicious albero di natale by our very own Sud Forno master bakers Fabio and Luca.
LA BICICLETTA O F F E R I N G T H E B E S T I N I TA L I A N C Y C L I N G
1180 CASTLEFIELD AVENUE, TORONTO M6B 1G1 www.labicicletta.com
416 762 2679
vegansoulinthecity penne arrabbiata from @terronito.
terronito Reminiscing about how much fun we had at The Extraordinary Italian Taste event
sudforno It's our favourite day of the week: #AperitivoTuesday!
sudforno Did you know... The term cannolo comes to us from a diminutive form of canna..
cumbraes The Cumbrae burger bun by @sudforno... the perfect meat holder.
bookhou tea time with our new stones tray
patrycja.maka #Cornetto with #pancetta and poached egg #breakfast #italiano
thegreycanvas amore weekends and everything chocolate @sudforno
jennbartoli This Nutella-filled bombolini was today's bite-size indulgence
terronito Thank you to our loyal customers for voting for us
buona_sarah @sudforno lunch in the park with some friends
terronito Did you know that you can buy your favourite Terroni products online?!
didieryhc walked for 45 minutes because I was craving @sudforno food and it didn't disappoint
sudforno With your help, we've sold 2450 plates of #AMAtriciana!
sudforno Get #SudForno delivered to your door with @ubereats
terronito Work hard, play harder. Executive chef @pasquinig81 and chef @chef_jonward
sudforno Freshly baked bread by our head baker Fabio! #ChefWednesday
premy.shan Food over everything @terronito
Simply Delicious.... Tasty and Nutricious!
From our family to your family table for over 50 years.
For a complete list of our hand-made cheeses, please visit:
www.internationalcheese.ca (416) 769-3547