Food is born in the blood
Mark was raised in an Italian family of food purveyors delivering an early appreciation for culinary excellence. Skilled in a selection of restaurants across Ontario and combined with his tenure in France and Italy, Mark returned to Canada in 1996, which led to a unique opportunity to pioneer culinary excellence in Niagara.
In pursuit of life long learning and academic excellence, Mark completed his Bachelor of Commerce (HAFA) degree from the University of Guelph, secured his Certified Chef de Cuisine (1999) and his MBA (2016) with distinction at Niagara University, New York. This has parlayed into consulting for small and medium sized businesses with a focus on Leadership and Succession Planning, Strategic Initiatives and Cross Culture Development.
The local Niagara purveyors have known Mark for his uncompromising passion for excellence and his deep respect and commitment. Working closely with them, he develops menus based on farm fresh ingredients often highlighting and promoting his purveyors on each of his custom created menus.
Mark’s sense of community and, by extension, the role a business should fulfill, established the Elsie Picone Community Service Award in 2012. This award is presented to a graduating high school student in good standing who has demonstrated, through voluntary contributions, particularly in a leadership capacity, a commitment to making Dundas and surrounding area a better place to live. The Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario recognized Mark with its Business Excellence Award for Arts, Culture and Science in 2013.
In addition to his role as a Chef Professor at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Mark is a member of the Board of Directors at the Vineland Research & Innovation Centre and continues his work as a Trained Sensory Panelist – Consumer Insights.