Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is chef Vittorio Colacitti, who opened Toronto’s The Good Son as an outlet to express himself through his work and offer fond memories for everyone that walks through the door. Mission accomplished…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
My job is to cook delicious food and create fond memories for every guest that walks into my restaurant.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I started The Good Son because I have always been, and continue to be, inspired by food and hospitality. I decided to open my own restaurant because I realized it was the only way I could truly express myself through my work. There are a lot of career routes that a chef can take, but none is more satisfying to me than working with my team to create great guest experiences in an intimate environment.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is having the opportunity to cook food that I love. The most challenging part is executing dishes to the highest possible standards on a consistent basis.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
Well, it’s hard to see family and friends. When most people are away from work, I am getting juiced up on the line. I love this, but sometimes the only way to see the people closest to me is if they come to my restaurant!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I will be continuing to evolve as a chef, and I hope to be building a great team that brings amazing food and drink to other Canadian cities.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
I would say the major challenge was figuring out what type of food I would choose to serve as a head chef. I have had so many great culinary influences – between my family and my career – and I am now figuring out what it is that I am capable of.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success to me is having a busy restaurant that people want to come back to. Giving people happy memories is the reason I work the hours that I do. In addition to happy guests, success to me means making a difference in the local food scene – both with farmers and by passing on any knowledge I can to the next generation of young cooks.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I would have to say cooking for Masaharu Morimoto, when he told me I obviously had great talent and imagination. This was a true honour for me, as I have always held him in such high regard.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Always stay true to yourself and surround yourself with people who are better than you at what you are striving to do.
Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
My favourite place is George Restaurant. Lorenzo Loseto does an amazing job with his execution and flavour profiles. The tasting menu with wine pairings is always world-class!
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
I love to spend time on Toronto Island, usually on the beach.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
My favourite place to travel is Italy, especially Rome. I have been going there since a very young age – spending time there with loved ones is the best. I always get a mystical feeling when in Rome, and some of the restaurants serve amazing traditional Roman cuisine.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I would have gone to Law School and retired by 40.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I support a children’s foundation in Thailand, the Duang Prateep Foundation. Locally, I am looking to start working with food banks, schools, as well as homeless shelters to provide healthy food options for those in need.
What to you is notable?
Notable is how amazing the City of Toronto is becoming. The opportunities here are endless, and I am excited for the way the City is progressing overall.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone every time!