Chef Leo has over 25 years experience in the restaurant industry.
Born near Bari in the southern province of Puglia, Leo started his training in the traditions of Italian cuisine. He acquired cooking skills in the best and healthiest diet in the world – the Mediterranean Diet. Immigrating to Canada in 1982, Leo worked and apprenticed in many fine Vancouver restaurants. He obtained his Red Seal certification from the Province of British Columbia in 1996.
From 1996 to 2000 he assisted in opening four restaurants for others. As Executive Chef at the Lonsdale Quay Hotel in North Vancouver, Leo was nominated for Best Desserts by Where Magazine in 2000. In late 2000 he opened a 50 seat Italian restaurant with two partners in West Vancouver.
After three years he sold his interest and the other two partners are still successfully operating the restaurant. In 2006 Leo and his wife Valerie opened Vita Bella Ristorante in Burnaby and as Chef Owner, Leo was nominated for Best Italian Restaurant by Where Magazine, in 2008 and 2009.
Leo and Valerie are excited to bring a taste of “vita bella” (which means beautiful life in Italian) to their new home of Chilliwack.