The chef


ROBERTO STABILE

 

As a child, I loved to study my mother as she prepared homemade specialties from Campania.  After high school, I went to work at a restaurant in Saint-Sauveur as a line cook.  The commute was about an hour long but worth every minute.  I was working under a chef whom I adore.  He showed me the basics of working in a kitchen and the importance of respecting the ingredients.  He solidified my interest in cuisine and encouraged me to go to cooking school.

 

In 1993 enrolled in none other than Quebec’s best, l’Institut de Tourisme et de Hôtelerie du Quebec.  I took night courses as a part-time student.  During the time I was there, the sessions focused solely on French cuisine.  Although ITHQ is a great school, and the first place I would encourage someone interested in the trade to attend, I didn’t feel the schooling to be much of a challenge for me.  I truly felt that my skills were stronger so, bored with myself, I eventually dropped out.

 

I began to work in a local eatery thinking a fast paced, high volume restaurant would be best and again I was sadly disappointed.  Not able to add to the menu, not encouraged to experiment, I eventually quit.  With my twenty-eighth birthday approaching and nothing holding me down, I was asked to work at a restaurant in Germany for the Expo 2000 and I agreed.

 

Not speaking a word of German I was excited to discover and explore.  I went to Europe for six months to work as a sous-chef and expediter in a two-hundred seat restaurant.  Living in Hanover, I traveled to Berlin, Amsterdam and Munich.  My mind was racing with ideas and I realized what I was most passionate about-simple Italian cuisine.

 

Upon arrival back home in Montreal, I looked for a small local to open a restaurant with two partners.  Funny enough, it was a place I had driven past all my life-a run-down fast food joint and it was perfect! The local, that is-the partnership like many, didn’t last.  I was stuck between keeping a restaurant I loved and starting from scratch.  Along with a new partner and a positive approach, I kept my restaurant.  Located next to a large outdoor market, I am fortunate to work with local farmers daily. I use only seasonal ingredients combined with Italy’s best exports to create masterful dishes.  My restaurant gives me the ability to showcase my artwork, to demonstrate the truth behind this cuisine.  It is a spiritual connection if you will, between a chef and those that he nourishes.