Kitchen Party: John Paul Adamo of Adamo Estate Winery

Everyone knows that the best parties always end in the kitchen. With our series, Kitchen Party, we’re sitting down with Feast On Chefs to get to know them, and the local foods that inspire them, a little better.

John Paul Adamo 

Adamo Estate Winery  Orangeville, Ontario

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What’s your favourite seasonal ingredient?  Tomatoes – nothing better when they are in season and grown locally . I don’t necessarily need to make a composed dish out of tomatoes and that’s what I love about them. Growing up in a Southern Italian family, tomatoes have always been a major part of my heritage and obviously our cuisine. Having helped my Nonno (Grandfather) in his garden as a child, my favourite time of year was when tomatoes were in season. Today I love it when our tomato patch in our two acre farm at the Resort (Hockley Valley) is in full swing. A quick wash, some really good olive oil and sea salt is all I need with some crusty bread. The salt pulls out all the lovely juices from the tomatoes and when combined with good olive oil and bread, you can’t go wrong.  To me this sums up summer as it takes me back to my childhood. What’s your drink of choice?  Toronto Cocktail – Rye, Fernet Branca, Simple Syrup, Bitters  Most underrated ingredient?  Tomatoes – when in season. I think people try to manipulate them too much and fail to recognize their simplicity and don’t enjoy them in their natural state. I am also of the opinion that tomatoes get lost in the shuffle during the summer months.  In most cases when they are season the majority of gardens/farms in Ontario are in full bloom and giving us so much to choose from that the simple tomato gets lost amongst the bounty. It’s not like fiddle heads, ramps and morels that all chefs go crazy for in the spring simply because we have all be in hibernation for 6 months and are craving anything that grows locally. You see these items everywhere on menus from April –June but the same cannot be said, in my opinion, about tomatoes. Favourite restaurant?  Cascina Spinasse in Seattle. Simplicity at its best. Simple is very difficult and they have mastered this. Currently I love two dishes: Vitello Tonnato and Tortellini with dark chicken stock, tender thyme and pecorino. They hand make their pasta every day during dinner service in a corner of their kitchen. It truly does make a difference. Off-duty, what are you most likely to be cooking at home?  You can find me cooking for my son – he loves osso buco and fresh pasta. What’s the best part of working with Ontario food and drink? Meeting new passionate growers, producers and purveyors every year and their products keep elevating our craft. Fill in the blank: “If I entered a competitive eating contest, I’d definitely win if the item wasChocolate

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