Solstice Restaurant and Wine Bar continues to be a family owned and operated, fine dining neighbourhood restaurant offering exceptional quality and value. The Angheloni brothers Vince, John Paul and Andrew opened Solstice Restaurant in Clarkson in 2005. They jumped on the opportunity to own a promising space in a great South Mississauga community.
John Paul is the celebrated head chef at Solstice and he combines a unique talent for cooking and creativity to create delicious Italian dishes. John Paul underwent an intensive three-year apprentice training in Italy and travelled all over the country for his inspiration.
Q and A:
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
At about 14 years old.
What is your favourite food memory?
During my training in Italy, I visited the island of Sardinia and ate at a Agritourismo restaurant where they grow and prepare everything at their home.
Where did you train, and how difficult was your training?
I started as a dishwasher while attending high school at my father’s restaurant (The Elliott House). I later attended George Brown and studied Culinary Management. I had the opportunity to take part in their Italian Program. I spent the better part of 2 years studying.
Is there a celebrity Chef you admire and follow? Why?
I would say Jamie Oliver. He reminds me a bit of myself. He started young in the family business, loves horticulture, and teaching young cooks.
What do you eat at home?
I’m pretty simple at home. I have a young family and have to please their palates and in the summer I barbeque a lot. I also love interesting cheeses and salami’s.
What would be your last meal?
I would start out with burrata cheese, fresh tomatoes off of my tomato plants, then a Rack of Lamb. Dessert would be my mother’s Tiramisu finished with a nice espresso.
Where do you find your inspiration for new dishes or menu ideas?
I talk with my suppliers constantly about what is in season and then I put my own twist on things. My style is definitely New Classics.
What ingredient can’t you work without?
There are a lot, but I would say good olive oil and fresh basil.
What was your most challenging day you had in your career?
I catered an office party for 100 people and had a tiny office to work in with all my ingredients and portable burners to cook on. I somehow pulled it off and the party went on without a hitch!
What is the most fulfilling part of your career?
Sounds cliché, but I love when my customers are extremely happy. Also, I love to teach up-and-coming cooks my tricks of the trade.
What are challenges you have as a chef in today’s environment?
Good ingredients cost a lot of money and you want to provide good value for your customers, so as a chef you have to be very creative and make sure to not waste any product.
Solstice Restaurant is located at 1801 Lakeshore Road West in Clarkson Village. Follow Solstice on Twitter: @SolsticeWineBar or join their Facebook page. For menu choices visit Solstice on the web at www.solsticerestaurant.ca. Contact the restaurant by phone at 905-822-1801.