Family heritage and career inspires Hollo’s Signature Series menu

Avi Hollo

Passion heritage work experience and family.

These are some elements that will be reflected in chef professor Avi Hollo’s menu for his  upcoming Chef Signature Series dinner.

Hollo is the fifth in a series of six special dinner events each designed to showcase the unique talents of a different CFWI chef professor. Like the others before him his menu will reflect his signature style.

“My students always ask me how I became a chef so I decided to dedicate this menu to things people and places that are important to me” said Hollo.

Hollo will be dedicating his first course to his passion for curing meats and charcuterie boards. Meats are what he has become known for at the College. He has long held a love for cured meats which is a staple of Turkish cuisine. In fact his interest in charcuterie has led him to the Culinary Institute of America where he completed courses in the subject.

His second course will be dedicated to his Turkish heritage featuring a mezza style vegetarian dish. Hollo was 10 years old when he moved with his family from Istanbul to St. Catharines. He discovered his love for food at an early age one which is shared by his family. The family dining room table is central to many of his fondest childhood memories.

He calls his third course ‘Pinnacle’ with a signature dish course featured from his days at 17 Noir. Hollo opened this fine dining restaurant in 2003 where he became chef de cuisine. He worked there until 2007 when he joined Niagara College.

The main course will be all about family. Hollo notes that the evening will be particularly meaningful to him because it will be the first time that his wife and two young children will be attending one of his dinners together. His wife son and daughter have all inspired elements of this course.

Hollo has never forgotten his apprenticeship at the Gate House Hotel Ristorante Giardino and in its honour will be offering five distinct Italian desserts that were a staple there including fresh made-to-order Ricotta gelato and classic tiramisu.

”I loved my apprenticeship years. That`s when I feel in love with Italian cooking” says Hollo.  ”It was the simplicity of it to have clean simple flavours without overcomplicating it that appealed to me. ”

Hollo is looking forward to working alongside his students for the event. For him being able to share his passion for food with the next generation of chefs one of the greatest rewards of being a chef professor at NC. He enjoys viewing food from the eyes of his students.

”When you introduce them to something and they have no frame of reference they respond with pure honesty pure passion and pure enthusiasm ” he says. ”It reminds me of my apprenticeship days when everything was new and it was just about the love of food. ”

Hollo is not only a chef professor at NC – he is a graduate of the College’s culinary skills program.

”To see NC grow and to become a part of that growth is very special to me” he says.

Hollo’s Chef Signature Series event will be held April 25 at Benchmark Restaurant.