operations manager | cellar dweller
Mark started out behind the bar at his family’s restaurant in 1996, mixing cocktails and pouring wine. Back then the restaurant featured a modest lunch and dinner menu and wine list of a dozen international wines.
Over the years the restauranteur and business grew together.
Mark led the restaurant into bold new territory when he introduced modern Italian cuisine and developed then refined his extensive wine cellar. His passion for food and wine has taken him all around the world for business, pleasure and study.
Willie opened a quaint 20 seat Italian restaurant in the west end business park in 1994 with her two sons and daughter-in-law. This restaurant, named after the famous white wine from her husband’s region of Italy became to be known as Verdicchio.
She started the business with a simple wish to replicate some of the classic Umbrian dishes she grew up eating as a young girl. The restaurant immediately stood out thanks to Willie’s attention to detail in the kitchen and dining room. Today, Willie is still an integral part of Verdicchio’s operations organizing weddings and special events.
Francesco joined the Verdicchio family in 2012.
A passion for the culinary arts formed in the Italian-born restaurant professional at an early age. Francesco grew up and studied in Spoleto, Italy and has worked in both hospitality and institutional settings since he was 20 years old. From restaurants to the hospital and army, Francesco has cooked for all types of customers.
At Verdicchio, Francesco says he enjoys working with a kitchen team that draws inspiration from locally sourced ingredients and is tune to modern Italian cuisine.
Mario is somewhat a legend, having worked here since the restaurant opened. Mario handles the day-to-day operation of the front, ensuring customers receive impeccable service and organizing corporate functions. His strong product knowledge whether it be food or wine makes him a definite asset to the business.
“I think my overall knowledge and experience in the restaurant business adds to the Verdicchio Experience”.
Marketing & Office Administrator
Ashley Sidun has worked in marketing at Verdicchio since 2013. When she’s not trying to take over the restaurant world with her next brilliant marketing strategy, she sneaks into the dining room to serve the really great food, wine and cocktails that she often brags about online.
“There are so many reasons I like working at Verdicchio,” says Ashley. “There is a lot of passion that floats around this place and it is very hard not to get caught up in it and feel like you are part of something bigger.”
dining room supervisor | server
Cathy Houghton loves interacting with her guests, making sure their night out is more than sitting down to dinner. She sees her role on the dining room floor equally as important to that of preparing food in the kitchen.
“ I think serving can be an art and taking those extra little steps to make someone’s night makes a difference. I want them to be wowed when they leave.”
Incorporating fresh seasonal ingredients and homemade tinctures is part of Justin’s vision for creating artisanal cocktails.
A self-taught mixologist, Justin has immersed himself in cocktails and drink recipes from years passed while experimenting with his own aromatic combinations, infusions and bitters.
Justin enjoys sharing his creations and knowledge of drinks with customers.
“I have a passion for cocktails, just like some people love food. Verdicchio is the perfect place to expand my horizons.”
Damiano joined the Verdicchio team in 2014 and hails from Viterbo, Lazio, Italy where he studied and worked at various establishments in the hospitality industry, including five star restaurants in the region.
Damiano says he enjoys working at Verdicchio because it gives him the chance to introduce his regional cuisine to North American customers. In his mind food has the power to transport customers to faraway places like Italy. No passport or air travel is necessary; sole requirement is your palate.
Bob Gonko brings with him over 20 years experience in the restaurant business as a former owner, co-owner and employee.
His charm and reputation have earned him respect among customers and staff alike.
“The staff that work here, from the kitchen to the front of the house all take pride in what they do and that is what sets this restaurant apart from others.”
When Corey Belzile isn’t serving customers, you’ll probably find him at a table trying the latest tasting menu. Through his travels Belzile keeps up to date with the latest food and wine trends.
“Whether it is new or strange ingredients, avant-garde cooking methods, table-side techniques, or wine pairing with tours, these are all aspects that I bring to the Verdicchio dining experience.”
Kim has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for more than 15 years. She’s served in pubs, franchises and family-operated restaurants, all the while learning the tricks of the trade.
“Being a server isn’t just a job, it’s my career,” says Kim who enjoys interacting with her customers and making them feel like they’re at home.
“From the staff, to the menu and atmosphere, Verdicchio is a step above with consistent attention to the smallest details.”
Angela’s educational background in hotel & restaurant management and tourism development has taken her around the world, working in hotels, restaurants and spas from Canada’s prairies to Australia.
Angela has a knack for anticipating guests’ needs before they ask. Whether it’s adjusting the temperature in the room or engaging in conversation, Angela’s actions demonstrate her genuine attitude towards her job.
“I am not merely here to ‘work’,” she says.
prep cook | mise – en place | pastas
Chances are you won’t see Heather Pollock when you come to Verdicchio’s. She’s busy prepping in the kitchen and ensuring the night-time crew have what they need to prepare those delectable dishes.
Heather loves to learn and says this is the perfect job for her.