A Father’s Day Interview with Chef Rob Gentile

Rob Gentile, one of Toronto's hottest chefs, shares about his first Father's Day with his daughter and offers new dads some helpful advice.

Rob Gentile is one of Toronto’s hottest chefs. He’s the Chef Director at King Street Food Company and best known as the executive chef at Buca Restaurants. When he’s not in the kitchen, you can find Rob with his wife and six-month old daughter strolling downtown or hanging out at home. 

With your first Father’s Day coming up, how do you feel?

It’s very exciting! To be honest, it didn’t even cross my mind at first that I’m a dad and will be celebrating Father’s Day. In some ways, I’m still getting used to it but it’s an incredible feeling. It’s not often in life that you hit such a significant milestone – a transition so transformative, you’d do anything in your power to make sure it is the best it can be. I feel blessed with such a beautiful family and to spend the whole day with them is all I ask for on Father’s Day. 

 How do you like to spend time with your little girl?

Working in the restaurant business has its scheduling challenges. I’m up the moment she awakes and by about 8am I scoop up our dog Norma, load up our Bugaboo Cameleon3 stroller, and with my coffee in hand, we head out. We usually head to a local park or even Brickworks for a beautiful nature trail. Love my daily walks with the family. 

 What’s the best part about being a dad?

Everything. From her smiling to shaping the person she’ll become. It’s also the little things, watching her development and milestones, seeing her personality shine through. She just started eating solids and she is so excited about it and so am I! 

 What’s your favourite dad hack?

As I said, we spend a lot of time walking. In the beginning, I would take my daughter out with Norma and we would walk and walk so she could nap in the Bugaboo Cameleon3. I had a portable sound machine attached to the stroller, and between the movement, fresh air, and white noise, we were set. Now that Clarice is older, she’s sitting up and taking in the scenery.

Any advice for new dads?

Master the diaper. I consider myself a bit of a diaper Ninja. Yes, that’s a thing. Maybe it’s the chef in me, but I like the changing table to be very organized. Everything in its place and stocked up well enough, that if there is ever a world shortage of diapers, we’re still good for a month. I work quickly and efficiently. I put lots of Sudocrem and then the key is what I call the diaper croissant: Wipes neatly secured inside the diapy, roll it like you would prosciutto around a piece of cheese, left and right with the sticky pads, then Voila! A perfect tight package that can sit on any counter for days with no smell in case you forget about it.

How do you plan to spend your first Father’s Day?

My wife and I are heading to Montreal to spend some time with family. For me, nothing is more relaxing than to take a trip to another city or to the cottage with my girls. Anywhere I can be with Clarice and Norma and my wife Audrey is where I want to be. 

To learn more about Rob, follow him on Instagram @rob_gentile



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