Rob Rossi is passionate about food and creating the right atmosphere for people to enjoy it in. In 2017 he closed his five-year-old critically acclaimed restaurant, Bestellen, to achieve his dreams of opening the sleek, authentic Italian eatery, Giulietta in the spring of 2018. Rossi’s favourite part? The chef’s bar that offers seating right in the heart of the action. “Part of cooking is entertaining,” says the chef. This new recipe worked—just months after opening, Giulietta was ranked number five in En Route Magazine’s Canada’s Best New Restaurants list.
It’s Rossi’s second restaurant, and the first he has opened with David Minicucci. (Rossi also became a partner in Minicucci’s L’Unità in 2018). The chef’s bar is all Rossi — it plays to his gregarious nature and pays homage to the television show he stars in on TLN by the same name. “It’s exactly what we do at the restaurant — we cook and we talk and discuss food.” Rossi is no stranger to the spotlight, having charmed viewers and in the first season of Top Chef Canada (he was runner-up) and he has proved that he thrives on the heat of the kitchen, having worked as chef de partie at Canoe and executive chef at all the Mercatto restaurants, before opening his own widely popular establishments. The 35-year-old has accomplished a lot, but for Rossi, it’s not hard work. “I used to cook with my mum all the time,” he says. “It’s one of those jobs that doesn’t feel like a job. It’s just part of my life.”