Almost a decade ago, Valentina was working in Milan, Italy, as a computer software analyst. But as someone who grew up around food and cooking, Valentina wanted to make a change in her life—a big change. In 2010, she left her stable job and opened up a cooking school in Milan. “I became an ex-software nerd,” she says, “and instead, chose to become a cooking nerd.”
Seven years later, Valentina moved to Toronto, where she worked first as a corporate chef before setting up her own business a few months ago in the Beaches. Although she’s a long way from her birthplace, she’s now much closer to her roots. Growing up on a farm in Italy’s food and wine-rich Piedmont region, Valentina learned the value of farm fresh food and excellent home-cooked meals, sourced from local producers. Cooking and teaching others to cook is second nature to her.
“I know what Italian food should taste like,” she says, “and nothing is a challenge for me!”
These days, Valentina is finding that many Torontonians love to invite her into their homes for events where she might offer a cooking class, cook alongside the hosts as part of teaching, or just prepare everything as if your home were a restaurant, and then leave! With her corporate event background, she brings in whatever is needed, from two people to 100. This includes table wear, chairs, wait staff, plus all the ingredients.
Her cooking classes/meals include making home-made pasta, Italian sauces, fish, pizza, home-made bread, and more complex dishes such as Osso Buco, tiramisu, and risotto.
“Cooking brings people together,” she says, “and whatever you want, I can provide.” After a brief consultation, Valentina and her client decide together the design of the event, 100% tailored to her client’s vision. If the event is a meal, the menu can include 3 to 4 courses, or could be in the form of a tasting menu.
“I bring the restaurant to you, “she says, “and I treat you like the king or queen!”
In addition to her in-home events, Valentina has also become a known name in Toronto’s thriving film industry. Crews are looking for healthy, tasty food, and love the fact that her cuisine is so authentic.
Valentina makes it a practice to source as many ingredients locally as she can. Organic is also preferred. The Beaches neighbourhood is perfect for her and her family. She and her husband have two children, 9 and 12.
“When you love cooking like I do,” she says, “you love challenges, you love researching new dishes, you just love what you do all the time.”
Valentina Giorcelli, Personal Chef
647-573-3039 | valentinacooks.com