Pino Posteraro is chef-owner of Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighborhood.
What draws you to Lago?
My roots, my family and my friends. And the love of unsophisticated,“untouched” food.
After you land and settle, where do you go first?
I go for an espresso because coffee in airports and on planes is atrocious. My motto is life is too short for bad coffee. Fernando and his two daughters at Bar San Francesco have the best espresso and, for people who like pastry, decent croissants and bomboloni (stuffed doughnuts).
What do local chefs and cooks do best?
They definitely pay attention to the raw materials and ingredients. The most sensitive and talented create nice dishes.
For a quick weekend—just two restaurant lunches and two dinners—where would you go?
For the two dinners I would go to the restaurant Due Bicchieri, as there is not enough time to eat the great food there in one visit. The chef, Gianluca, his wife, Marta, and son Niccolo have a little jewel in Amantea, a little town near mine where I attended high school. Gianluca does the most avant-garde cuisine, with a nice wine list and local products. For one lunch, I would go to the restaurant Al Valentino in my hometown, where local dishes have been rediscovered, and for another to Le Clarisse in Amantea Vecchia, where an old convent provides a great setting for a restaurant, with a breathtaking view, great service and fantastic food.
Where do you go for afternoon drinks?
The Temple Bar, where Fernando the pastry chef and his wife, Marisella, have great pastries and stuzzichini (appetizers). They make amazing cakes as well!
And late-night drinks?
Bar del Corso da Massimo, where I also play cards.
Where do you go for a walk?
Almost every morning, my wife and I walk seven kilometers before the heat starts. It’s perfect uphill and downhill exercise. Churches and the cemetery are the quiet places to contemplate and take you back. The countryside is absolutely gorgeous.
What’s in Calabria that you cannot do or get at home?
Being spontaneous and great raw ingredients.
What do you always buy, pack up and smuggle home from the place?
I don’t smuggle anything, my wife does!
PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY: (POSTERARO) BY ERICH SAIDE; (OTHERS) COURTESY OF PINO POSTERARO