The Story of Head Chef Claudio Ranallo
For the East Vancouver Italian restaurant, La Piazza Dario, it isn’t just about bringing great, authentic Italian food to the neighbourhood (although it is about those things), it’s about family.
Born in Ateleta, l’Aquila, Italy, La Piazza Dario’s Head Chef, Claudio Ranallo, has been cooking since he was a small boy in Italy. Claudio grew up raising animals, herding sheep throughout the vast mountains of Ateleta. Growing up with such a close relationship to animals, Claudio appreciated from a very young age the meaning of quality and fine food. Learning to cook alongside his father, who was also a chef, food has always been a family affair. The lessons and traditions that were ingrained in Claudio from his father have stayed with him throughout his entire life, apparent with each bite of every dish served at La Piazza Dario. It is truly a restaurant rooted in Italian tradition and family.
Claudio went on to become a culinary arts student at Cesare Augusto Hotel in Sorrento, Italy at the age of 15, and in post culinary arts school, he became a member of the Italian army where he was chosen to cook for many of the well-known generals. When Claudio was finished serving the army, he became a chef in northern Italy in an area known as Lago Maggiore. Here, Claudio worked with some very well-known Italian chefs who helped cultivate his knowledge of authentic Italian food.
It was not until 1979 that Claudio and his parents came to Canada, a move that was made in order to be with their extended family. It was then that Claudio began working at La Piazza Dario. It wasn’t long before he was made Head Chef. Five years later, Claudio became a partner in the business and this April will mark the 34th year since Claudio began creating the authentic Italian food that La Piazza Dario is so well known for.
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