The opening of Jamie’s Italian Canada marks the first North American eatery for international Chef Jamie Oliver.
The restaurant, located in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, held its first diner service on Dec. 8.
With more than 60 locations worldwide, Jamie’s Italian has grown steadily since its inception in Oxford in 2008. A collaboration between Jamie Oliver and his Italian mentor Gennaro Contaldo, the bistro chain continues to earn praise for its authentic Italian dishes served within a lively atmosphere.
An open kitchen, along with a menu that delivers fresh ingredients with Jamie’s signature approachable, flavour forward style, the new space will emphasize traditional cuisine served family style, with antipasto planks of cured meats, cheese and vegetables as well as a great selection of authentic pizzas.
“Canada is a place very close to my heart,” says Oliver. “I’m always excited about spending time there, and whenever I visit, I always get an amazing welcome.”
On one of those visits, Oliver discovered a kindred spirit with similar culinary passions in Chef Rob Gentile, whose King Street Food Company (Buca, Bar Buca, Buca Yorkville, Jacobs & Co and The Saint Tavern) will partner to bring Jamie’s Italian to Toronto. The King Street Food Company applies its trademark hospitality and commitment to sourcing the best, local and traceable ingredients for the menu’s Italian dishes with an Oliver twist.
“For a while now, I’ve been on the lookout for the perfect partner to open a restaurant with,” Oliver said. “So, when I tasted the menu at Buca, and found that we had the exact same ideas in mind, I knew I had found the right guys to kick start this exciting project with.”
Jamie’s Italian Canada joins a roster of eight international locations in Singapore, Australia, Russia and Dubai.
The Toronto location is currently open for walk-ins and will begin taking reservations on Dec. 14.