Chef Rob Gentile
A first generation Canadian, born to Italian parents, Chef Rob Gentile’searliest memories are from his grandmother’s garden. As a boy he learned that food was sacred within his family who for generations grew their own produce, raised animals, cured meat, fermented grapesand preserved anything possible. The skills he learned at home in his family’s kitchen eventually led to his first restaurant job at the age of 13. Rob inherently knew that his career would revolve around food and after working in restaurants throughout his teenage years; he entered George Brown’s Culinary School. By 18 he found his first role in a professional kitchen at North 44 under celebrated Chef Mark McEwan. After 10 years of moving up the ranks from line-cook to Chefde Cuisine at McEwan’s top restaurants, Chef Rob was ready for a new challenge. He soon joined Peter Tsebelis and Gus Giazitzidis of The King Street Food Company to take the helm of Buca. The restaurant opened in 2009 and quickly became one of Toronto’s most sought-afterdining destinations and is considered one of Canada’s best.
Rob Gentile, now Chef Director and Partner of The King Street Food Company’s collection of restaurants, has made his mark for his disciplined craft, determination to source unique, local ingredients and his visionary approach to Italian cuisine. Since the opening of Buca onKing Street, diners and critics alike have taken note of Chef Rob’s commitment to excellence and creativity, resulting in Canada’s 100 Best naming Buca Osteria & Bar (Yorkville) second in the country (2016), honours from the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Gold Award for Independent Restaurateur (2015) and a prestigious Pinnacle Award from Foodservice and Hospitality naming The King Street Food Company 2014’s Company of the Year in Eastern Canada.
In addition to his success as Chef Director and Executive Chef at Buca (King Street), Bar Buca and Buca Osteria & Bar (Yorkville), Rob has cooked alongside and has received praise from culinary icons including Massimo Bottura, Mario Battali and Alain Ducasse. He was also mentor to Canada’s competitor in the international S. Pellegrino’s Young Chef competition during Expo Milan 2015. With regular research and educational trips to Italy, Chef Rob continues to fuel inspiration, refine his skills and develop new concepts for his Toronto restaurants. He still feels the passion for food he has had since childhood. This, coupled with a determined, detail-oriented and thoughtful approach to his craft, ensures there is much more to come in Chef Rob Gentile’s story.