Whether you live in Toronto or are just visiting the city, AMA is a must visit restaurant if you’re interested in exploring Argentinian cuisine. . Chef, Sebastian Gallucci, is full of positive energy,, passion for his work, and he and his team make AMAZING food. U-Feast had the pleasure of sitting down with Chef Seba to discuss his food, his Argentinian and Italian roots, and what makes this Queen West restaurant such a gem. Take a look!
Q. Where did your passion for food come from?
A. I grew up cooking since, I don’t even remember. My pops opened the first restaurant Argentinian restaurant in Toronto, so I’ve been in the restaurant business since I was four years old and I’ve always loved it. I’ve always cooked in my house. I’ve always cooked for my buddies and I live and die for food. I deal with farmers for all our vegetables so it’s all very connected. I know who’s growing everything and I know wherever it is coming from. It’s absolutely amazing.
Q. Explain why your menu is so unique compared to other restaurants in Toronto.
A. We’re so unique because every week it changes. I’m cooking with the seasons – so we now have no more strawberries because strawberry season is done. Now it’s raspberry season. I pretty much cook with my heart and my other chefs do as well. We don’t have any recipes at all in the restaurants. Every time we cook it’s different. The chimichurri will always be different. The guacamole always be different, which is amazing because every time you come here you’re going to get a different experience. We don’t fry anything. I think we’re the only restaurant in Toronto that doesn’t use the fryer. I want to make sure we let the ingredients shine before you fry them and it tastes like a big fried chicken or something. We go with our heart. Then we grill or we bake and we keep everything healthy with olive oil – it’s very fresh.
Q. What is a classic or traditional Argentinian meal that you would prepare right in Buenos Aires.
A. Asado. That’s probably the number one meal. A bunch of organic grass fed steak. My girlfriend is a vegetarian so there would be a lot of beautiful veggies added onto that beautiful grill just because we would have a nice little mix. Lots of chimichurri, lots of empanadas, lots of wine… lots and lots of wine. We just enjoy our life in Argentina!
Q. Why is it so important to you that you recreate your culture here in Toronto through your food?
A. Very important for me because before I haven’t really found anything that really, really touched my heart about Argentinian cuisine. A lot of places didn’t really connect with me and I’m trying to bring a new fusion, a new flare of Argentinian food to Toronto and Canada. A lot of people come in here and they’re so surprised of how many vegetarian and vegan options, the flavor of the way we cook, the way we treat our customers. It’s like no other restaurant in Toronto.
Q. My final question is, what is the best dish you have ever cooked for yourself?
A. The best thing I’ve ever cooked. It’s going to be a tough one. I cook every single day of my life. My favorite thing to cook for myself is a fresh, spaghetti aglio e oilio.
Interested in having a personal cooking session with Chef Seba? U-Feast Interactive Culinary Experiences will be launching soon! Keep an eye out @ www.ufeast.com.