Pairs perfectly with seasonal simplicity
If it grows together, it goes together. Such is the mantra that keeps Chef Tony Marzo's cooking focused. Holding court within Vintropolis, one of Vancouver's most celebrated newcomers, his reputation is growing and things are going together better than he ever imagined.
If it grows together, it goes together. Such is the mantra that keeps Chef Tony Marzo’s cooking focused. Holding court within Vintropolis, one of Vancouver’s most celebrated newcomers, his reputation is growing and things are going together better than he ever imagined.
Marzo has a passion for dishes rooted in honesty. He loves the sound of a happy room enjoying his inspired homage to traditional favourites slyly reconfigured. Life in the kitchen is anything but a job.
“Food always played a big role in my family. My Noni grew tomatoes and made incredible sauce that we had all year round. We slow cooked a lot of our meats. When I was in grade four, I was making my own lunch, and by the time I was in high school I was lugging around a small Oscar cooler with some incredible stuff,” says Marzo. “I really don’t know what I would do other than cook.”
A life of cooking became his calling. Moving out to the West Coast from Guelph, Ontario at 19, Marzo enrolled with a cooking school. Before long, he was apprenticing at some of the most organically-minded restaurants in the country, first with the Wickanninish Inn, near Tofino, and then at Victoria’s Café Brio. Both shared and elaborated upon his philosophy of fresh. Heading back to Ontario, he joined another celebrated crew at Langdon Hall, one of only two Relais properties in the province. It was a heady time filled with white linen, fine silver–and a growing sense that something was missing.
“I would not trade my training and experience on the fine dining side for anything. Still, I had always wanted to bring things back to more of a common comfort level,” said Marzo. “I want people to connect with the food, not feel intimidated by it. Here I get a chance to celebrate seasonal ingredients and delicious food in a totally open atmosphere.”
Seasonal cooking is simple sense to Marzo. He is committed to working with what’s on hand, and he encourages others to do the same. Ingredient source aside, if there is one staple Marzo finds most lacking from modern kitchens, both home and professional, it is time.
“Cooking from a freezer full of pre-prepared products is easy, but nowhere near as healthy or fun as cooking should be. When I can take an inexpensive ingredient and coax something incredible out of it, I feel this rush of pride. This is what my Noni did with her tomato sauce!”