OpenRoad Driver Volume 14 Issue 1 - Page 12

12 » OpenRoad Driver You moved to Canada almost fifty years ago. Congratulations. How do you feel about your adopted country five decades after your arrival? I’ve been here long enough to feel like Canada is home. My family is here, my son was born here, my wife is Canadian and my business is here. As you grow with your business, you integrate the style of living of your adopted country. But still, I feel Italian and Canadian. I’ve created my own territory, and my own style of restaurant which represents central Tuscany, central Italy and Mediterranean cuisine. That’s also helped me feel at home. You once said, “Non son morto” (I’m not dead). That’s an understatement. You’ve brought Tuscany back to Vancouver, and made a triumphant return with Giardino Restaurant. After closing Il Giardino, I think in the back of my mind I always knew my hiatus from the city would not be forever. It is in my blood. New and loyal diners have embraced Giardino, and we are very glad. Tell me why you chose granaries as the inspiration for Giardino. I see all the details in the tile and woodwork. I was inspired by the granary because that’s where families used to put grain to dry and store whatever they had produced, to ensure they always had food. I was born in 1946, after the Second World War, and that time was all about raising food and raising families. At Giardino we’re trying to bring diners back to the simple things in life: friends, family and food. The colours are warm, like Tuscany, and the feeling of belonging and comfort is important to me. I want everyone to feel at home. Was it bittersweet to sell Il