Celebrity chef Michael Bonacini is the co-founder of one of Canada's leading fine dining restaurant companies, operating 11 unique and innovative restaurants in Ontario.
Born and raised in Tenby, South Wales, his North Italian father and Welsh mother both had huge impacts on their children's culinary upbringing. Bonacini, whose sister is also a chef, spent his youth helping out with the family-run hotel business where he learned the ins and outs of the hospitality industry.
Bonacini trained classically under Chef Anton Mosimann at London's Dorchester Hotel before immigrating to Canada in 1985 and partnering with veteran restaurateur Peter Oliver in 1993.
His first restaurant collaboration with Oliver was a New York-style bistro called Jump in Toronto. Nineteen years later, their operations have grown to include à-la-carte dining, quick service, catering, group dining, and special events, as well as an artisan bakery and chocolate shop.
Bonacini was among the first chefs to showcase regional Canadian cuisine with his ground-breaking Toronto-based restaurant Canoe. In 1996, he was awarded the Ontario Hostelry Institute's first ever Gold Award in recognition of his significant contribution to culinary excellence in Ontario.
In 2010, Michael released his first cookbook, 3 Chefs: The Kitchen Men, a collaborative effort with fellow television chefs Massimo Capra and Jason Parsons.