Culinary Chronicles Podcast
Ep 005 | Restaurants, Rock 'n Roll and California Dreaming with Janet Zuccarini
Join Lisa as she chats with Janet Zuccarini the sole owner and visionary behind Gusto 54, Janet stands out as a female entrepreneur in the restaurant industry and she is currently a judge on Top Chef Canada.
Subscribe on your favourite media player:
In this episode of the Culinary Chronicles Podcast, Lisa talks with Janet.
Join me (Lisa!) as I chat with Janet Zuccarini.
As the sole owner and visionary behind Gusto 54, Janet stands out as a female entrepreneur in the restaurant industry. She is the driving force and soul behind Gusto 54, which in 2019 was recognized as a Deloitte Best Managed Company.
- In 1996, she opened Trattoria Nervosa in Toronto’s Yorkville area.
- In 2012, Gusto 101 launched in King West; in 2014 brought PAI Northern Thai Kitchen.
- In 2015, Gusto 54’s Catering and Commissary Kitchen were added to the growing roster.
- 2017 was a year of growth and saw the expansion of the Gusto family with concepts Kiin, Same Same, Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen and Los Angeles-based restaurant, Felix, which was lauded as Esquire’s “#1 Best New Restaurant in America,” LA Weekly’s “Best Restaurants in LA,” and shortlisted as a finalist for the James Beard “Best New Restaurant 2018” award.
- In 2019, Gusto 54 branch out with the launch of a much-anticipated opening of its newest King East outpost, Gusto 501 as well as Gusto Green in Los Angeles’ Jewelry District, and Azhar on Toronto’s Ossington Strip.
An adventurous traveler, Janet has a unique pulse on the world of restaurants and food. Today she marries that passion with her entrepreneurial spirit by curating innovative and delicious dining experiences on a global scale. In 2019, Janet received the “ICCO Air Canada Business Excellence Award” for Businesswoman of the Year. Janet was also recognized as Foodservice & Hospitality’s Pinnacle Award winner for “Independent Restaurateur of the Year” and, among thousands of candidates across the country, was selected by the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards as the recipient of the “TEC Canada Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship.” In addition to these accolades, she also happens to be the first woman in Canada to become an AVPN certified Pizzaiola.
She currently is a judge on Top Chef Canada.
In their conversation, Lisa and Janet talk about;
- Her journey in the restaurant business and some of the adventures in building her restaurant group
- What feeding her rockstar husband looks like
- What led her to moving to Los Angeles
- Her experiences with being a female entrepreneur in the the food industry and her advice to others starting out
Enjoy the conversation!
**Links mentioned in this episode:**
- Restaurants owned by Janet in Toronto. And list of restaurants in partnership with Jeff and Nuit Regular Gusto 54 Group
- Robbie Robertson, Canadian music legend and Janet's hubby (they got hitched!)
Restaurants to check out in LA
- Japanese restaurant N SOTO
- Japanese restaurant N NAKA
- Saffy's LA
- Hikes in LA: Los Leones & Hollywood Sign Hike
Special thanks to our sponsors, Juli's Cookie Company and Le Dolci Culinary Classroom.