Dec. 12, 2012 - Issue #895-Japandroids
A taste of Italy
Lit's head chef shares his inspiration
Vue Weekly: How many years have you been in the culinary industry?
Salvatore Mottolla: I have been cooking for 18 years. My formal education is actually in constructional design, but I grew up with a love of Italian cuisine and a passion for cooking that couldn't be ignored. Back home in Italy, I could always be found cooking for friends, family and in the kitchen of the restaurant I owned. Here in Canada, it's the same story.
VW: Why did you want to become a chef?
SM: I have always loved the way food brings everyone together. For me, cooking is a passion and a pleasure.
VW: How old were you when you learned how to cook? Who taught you outside of formal education?
SM: I was 25 years old when I first started cooking and am completely self taught.
VW: How would you describe your culinary style?
SM: Italian comfort food.
VW: What makes a great dish?
SM: Fresh ingredients, the perfect combination of flavours and the utmost attention to detail and care from the start of the dish to the very end.
VW: What inspires you in the kitchen?
SM: Fish. Seafood is my specialty and from which I get the majority of my inspiration. In Italy I lived by the ocean. My grandfather was a fisherman so we often had fish at meals. Seafood is something that holds many fond memories for me; memories from which I get my inspiration. There is nothing quite as endearing as recreating a memory through the senses of touch, smell and taste.
VW: What is the most fulfilling aspect about cooking for other people? What is the most challenging?
SM: Like I mentioned above, food brings people together. Being the one who cooks and adds to that is a wonderful feeling.
VW: What advice do you have for novice cooks or people looking to refine their skills in the kitchen?
SM: If you have the passion for what you love, work hard and keep at it. If you truly love what you do, nobody can stop you.
VW: If you hadn't become a chef, what career path would you have chosen?
SM: Something in the area of construction. V
Lit Italian Wine Bar
10132 - 104 St
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