Paul Chiapetta has been Executive Chef at Quattro Vinotecca for seven years now. During the past two years, he and his colleagues have been working on a special farm-to-table project that is bringing top quality local food to their menu.
Their goal is to bring the best quality, tastiest food to customers of both the Quattro Hotel and Conference Centre and to the Quattro Vinotecca restaurant. They’re doing that in a very unique way for a chef and restaurateur. Quattro Farms was created out of a desire to be able to have direct input into the quality of the food on the menu.
All of the chicken, pork, and rabbit served is raised at Quattro Farms near Thessalon, Ontario, located in the District of Algoma. The project has been so successful, that it has grown from one farm producing food exclusively for Quattro to five farms in the area who have met the strict standards of the program, all this in the year and a half the farms have been supplying Quattro Hotel.
I had the chance to sit down with Chef Paul and talk about his background, his current project, and his future plans for Quattro. He is a Sault Ste. Marie native and a graduate of the Chef Training program at George Brown College.
Paul spent three years as a chef, working on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, and 10 years in the Kitchener Waterloo area.
The Sault brought him back to work at Crimson Ridge, before the new owners of Quattro Hotel and Conference Centre invited him in to the business as Executive Chef. He was involved in the complete renovation of the hotel and restaurant, now ranked highest in the Ascend Hotel Collection.
The popular farm-to-table concept has been around for many years, however it's one that not all restaurants and chefs in the Sault have yet grasped. I was very intrigued to talk about Quattro Farms to learn how it evolved. Chef Paul said that he has known farmer Mark Petingalo for a number of years.
From this relationship, he learned that the way animals are treated, raised, and fed can affect quality. It makes good sense to ensure animals raised for food production lead stress-free, happy lives. The better they’re fed (Quattro Farms animals are fed a non-GM0 peas/barley blend), the better tasting the product.
In fact, he indicated that stress releases an acid into the meat, causing the tissue to break down, thus producing a lesser quality product. Bottom line, Quattro Farms’ main objective is to provide the animals with a clean diet and stress-free daily routine.
They believe that since animals are giving the ultimate sacrifice, they deserve to be treated with respect and appreciation.
- Sandra J. Trainor