Welcome to L’artista Ristorante Italiano where you will find La Cucina Italiana (authentic Italian Cuisine) in all of its splendor! The story of L’artista’s started many years ago in the deep south of Calabria, Italy.
There was a hard working 15 year old kid who wanted to learn to cook like a professional, and that he did. Antonio Caligiuri (Tony), a self-taught Master Chef, first foresaw his future to become a chef while working as a dishwasher in Calabria. It was there that his relentless work ethic and ability to learn quickly allowed him to learn the tricks of the trade from the “Maestro” of that kitchen. Tony would watch the Maestro cook, he noticed he cooked with a sort of magic touch. Tony called this magic touch, “Tocco Magico”, it is a natural instinctive ability to know just how long to cook something or the amount of spices required. This inherit ability is what puts Chef Tony at the top of his peers. He learned things in Calabria that could not be taught, it took a special student to understand that cooking comes from within.
His passion and ability for cooking was evident in every dish he made. It did not take long for Tony to fulfill his dream of becoming a chef. He bloomed in his field and stood out from his peers. He gained much experience working in various restaurants around Italy. He worked in Rome, Torino, Milano, Firenze, and lastly Lake Como (when Lake Como was still a secret European Getaway). It was in Lake Como where his skills became more refined, elegant, and modern.
Tony moved to Canada with his family in the early 1970’s. It wasn’t easy for a chef from Italy to adapt to a style in which he was not familiar with. He decided to pursue a career change, and went to work in the construction industry. Shortly thereafter he got married to a beautiful Sicilian girl named Rosa.
Rosa was part of a family in Vancouver which was nick-named “The Milano Clano”. They were well-known for being the first people who introduced the first wood burning brick oven to Vancouver. Their restaurant was located in the antique area of Vancouver known as Gastown.
It was in his young bride’s family restaurant where his passion for cooking was ignited once more. It was the scent of freshly baked pizzas emerging from the brick oven which renewed his love for cooking.
Fast forward to today, and Tony has opened and run half a dozen Italian restaurants.His jewel, though, is L’artista Ristorante Italiano which he passionately runs with his wife Rosa, son Francesco and daughter Annalisa.