A Tribute to Dads Everywhere
Our very own O&B dads reflect on their favourite Father’s Day traditions, Dad’s best cooking advice, and share their ideal celebratory meal
Chef and Co-Founder Michael Bonacini with his son Oscar.
An annual celebration of Dads and Dad figures everywhere, Father’s Day is a welcome occasion to recognize good ol’ Pops in all his wisdom. Whether raising a frosty beer in his honour, spending some quality time crafting homemade pizzas (more on this below), grilling up his favourites, or treating him to a meal you’ve prepared just for him, there are plenty of ways to show Dad you care. In honour of Father’s Day, we’re sharing some tidbits from a few of O&B’s own dads, while shining a light on their hard work and dedication each and every day of the year.
WHAT IS THE BEST COOKING ADVICE YOUR FATHER OR A FATHER FIGURE HAS EVER GIVEN YOU?
“While it’s more like counter-advice, my dad always taught me to cook steak well done. Over the years, I learned that I didn’t love a dry, leathery cut of meat… Sorry, Dad! Eventually, I got the right education and learned how to cook steaks to be juicy and flavourful, unlike how my dad had been known to cook them. In the end, it was his advice that played a hand in helping me to figure things out.” —Dan Perrella, Creative Director, Oliver & Bonacini
“Growing up, my mom played the role of both parents. As a kid, I was a very picky eater. My mom used to tell me, ‘Son, if you can’t eat what I have prepared, you will need to make your own meal’. Funnily enough, that’s how I got started in the kitchen!”
—Gerry Williams, Executive Chef, Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, Blue Mountain
Chef Gerry with his daughters, Kylie and Sanjay.
DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL MEMORY OF COOKING WITH YOUR DAD OR FATHER FIGURE? WHAT ABOUT COOKING WITH OR FOR YOUR OWN KIDS?
“My daughter Kylie loves being in the kitchen and always shows great interest whenever there’s a meal that’s being prepared. You might say she gets it from me! One of our favorite things to cook together is homemade pizza.” —Gerry Williams, Executive Chef, Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, Blue Mountain
“When it comes to cooking with my kids, a highlight is definitely Friday nights when we make homemade pizza together. As it happens, my son isn’t the most adventurous eater, but we can always count on the fact that he’ll clear his plate on pizza Fridays!” —Patrick Forrest, Chef de Cuisine, CIBC Client Dining by Oliver & Bonacini
“My father always enjoyed having my friends over for barbecues in the summertime, and I hope to make the same memories with my son Massimo and his friends when he’s older. These days, Massimo and I love making pizza together. I think it’s important to get him involved at a young age (even if it means just throwing mushrooms and cheese in the general direction of the pizza dough).” —Dan Perrella, Creative Director, Oliver & Bonacini
Dan and his son Massimo crafting homemade pizza in the kitchen.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL FATHER’S DAY TRADITIONS WITH YOUR DAD OR FATHER FIGURE? ARE THERE ANY NEW TRADITIONS YOU’VE STARTED WITH YOUR OWN KIDS?
“As a chef, I’m often cooking for others on special occasions and holidays, so my Father’s Day is usually spent working. However, I can always count on coming home to something special that’s been prepared by my kids, which is exactly what I want after a long day on my feet.” —Gerry Williams, Executive Chef, Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, Blue Mountain
“My Father’s Day traditions have always centred around the BBQ. As far back as I can remember, my dad and I would share the responsibilities of grilling. In my teens, I graduated to the primary barbecuer, which I can definitely credit with sparking my passion for cooking.” —Patrick Forrest, Chef de Cuisine, CIBC Client Dining by Oliver & Bonacini
“Since I’m still relatively new to celebrating Father’s Day, we don’t have any annual traditions just yet, but I’d be thrilled if my first Father’s Day experiences became the norm. Thanks to my wife, I’ve been treated to an amazing charcuterie board and beers while watching soccer with Massimo. At the time, he was too young to get into cured meats, so I was able to claim the whole board to myself. As he gets older and his love for food grows, I’m thinking I’ll have to start sharing!” —Dan Perrella, Creative Director, Oliver & Bonacini
Chef Patrick with his kids, Henri (7) and Catherine (5 months).
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM FATHER’S DAY MEAL? WHAT ARE YOU HAVING? WHO COOKED IT? WHERE ARE YOU EATING?
“My ideal Father’s Day meal would be a backyard BBQ. I’d love a big spread of BBQ pork back ribs, jerk chicken wings, and cornbread. I’d leave the cooking to both my girls Kylie and Sanjay. While parenting has its challenges, they are the most profound gifts I have ever received and are the most important people in my life.” —Gerry Williams, Executive Chef, Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, Blue Mountain
“My dream Father’s Day meal is all about enjoying some BBQ on a nice sunny patio. While I’m likely doing the barbecuing myself, I most definitely have a cold beer in hand!” —Patrick Forrest, Chef de Cuisine, CIBC Client Dining by Oliver & Bonacini
“If I could pick any Father’s Day meal, it would be surf & turf with all the fixings. The ultimate dinner would be a beautifully prepared local fish dish while vacationing in Sardinia, overlooking the ocean… what a dream!” —Dan Perrella, Creative Director, Oliver & Bonacini
To all the dads out there, we wish you a happy Father’s Day filled with traditions new and old, and most importantly, a delicious meal enjoyed in the company of loved ones.