Vancouver's Pino Posteraro becomes a knight, the first chef in Canada to garner the nod from the Italian president

The chef/owner of Yaletown restaurant Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill and Enoteca recognized for promoting Italian culture

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      It’s been nearly two decades since chef Giuseppe “Pino” Posteraro opened Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill and Enoteca. The Yaletown spot has been on fire ever since.

      The restaurant makes regular appearances on Canada’s 100 Best list and has won several Georgia Straight  Golden Plates awards. It has a solid local following and draws celebrities including Bono, George Lucas, Jennifer Aniston, Al Pacino, Sarah McLachlan, and Dianna Krall and her husband, Elvis Costello, to name just a few. (The place has a few private dining rooms.)

      Posteraro recently received more high praise, garnering rare recognition from the Italian president.

      He has been named a Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy, an award designated by Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella. Posteraro is the first chef in Canada to receive the honour.

      The knighthood recognizes individuals who promote Italian prestige and good relations internationally.

      Since opening in 1999, Posteraro, who’s also a father, has been in the kitchen every night for dinner service, using local, seasonal ingredients for traditional dishes prepared with modern flair. He also educates chefs across the country in Italian culinary history and technique.

      Born in Lago, Italy, Posteraro started training as a medical student before coming to Canada to work at his brother’s restaurant. He went on to train in several well-regarded restaurants in Europe and Singapore before venturing out on his own.

      Posteraro was invested as a knight by Italian General Consul Massimiliano Iacchini in a private ceremony in Vancouver earlier this month.

      “I never thought I’d receive this award for doing what I do every day,” Posteraro said in a release. “At the end of the day we are cooks, but if we promote Italian technique and traditions in Canada, it’s an accomplishment. For more than 30 years, my motivation has been to promote Italian culture to the local community, introducing Italian gastronomy to a new generation of Canadians.”

      In addition to creating the menu and cooking every night, Posteraro also curates the restaurant’s wine list, which has thousands of bottles, including many hard-to-find and rare vintages.

      Check out Cioppino’s website for more info.