CHRISTOPHER developed his passion for Italian food at a young age. Spending much of his childhood in Italy as his father, a Renaissance historian, conducted research there, Christopher would frequently seek out ingredients and instructions from the locals for preparing traditional Italian dishes. Skipping class in university to wash dishes at the high-end French restaurant Didier, he soon realized his calling to the kitchen. Christopher became a prep cook and went on to help open Buca, developing handmade pasta and bread recipes. Throughout his cooking career, he has been drawn back to Italy several times, as the roots of his passion for food lie there, where he learned how to raise livestock, the art of butchery and salumi production, pasta-making, and preserving. While working on a farm in Tuscany, he met his soon-to-be wife, Sarah.
SARAH’s love for food stems from her suburban stay-at-home mom, who creatively kept Sarah and her sisters busy in the kitchen while she cooked for the family. While studying clinical nutrition at New York University, she became aware of the importance of real food and listening to one’s own body to discover good health. She went on to complete the natural foods chef’s training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute in Manhattan, and, thereafter, travelled near and far to learn from a variety of small food businesses. To better understand food, Sarah ventured to Tuscany to live and work on a farm, cooking, serving, and enjoying Italian food and culture. Then, along came Christopher, and the rest is history.
THE TWO have since established careers in the Toronto food industry, refining their management and customer service skills, and building relationships with producers, chefs, and suppliers from all over Ontario. In the fall of 2015, they set out to achieve their dream of starting their own business — making fresh pasta for shops and restaurants throughout Toronto — and, in 2017, they opened a neighbourhood Alimentari of their own.