Steven Gentile
Name: Steven Eliot Gentile (aka Stefano Elio Gentile)
Hometown: St Leonard
Favourite cuisine: Italian
Drink of choice: Booze
Inspiration: Nonna and Dad
Culinary bio: Makin magic in the kitchen since 1984.

Emmanuel Hessler
My Austrian grand parents owned the Hessler’s Meat Market, a butcher shop out in Winnipeg, Manitoba. My father has a talent for looking into an empty fridge and cooking up a delicious meal with what he can find. My favourite food scene is in the film “What About Bob” when Bill Murray stays at the doctor’s house for supper and goes crazy over how delicious the food is. I hate wasting good food. I am also the official food photographer.

Camille Macnaughton
My cooking style often reflects my mood, from traditional roasts to the more experimental recipes à la Heston Blumenthal. I pride myself in trying any recipe at least once, no matter how labour-intensive or exotic the ingredients. The results may vary (and I’ve had some epic misses!), but the journey is always fun and rewarding. Fuelled with a good glass of wine (or two), some great music and a new challenging recipe, each cooking adventure broadens my palate and cooking skills while keeping it light and entertaining.

Katherine Macnaughton

As a filmmaker and die-hard home cook, I’ve fallen in love with food for its surprising flavours, colours and limitless combinations. Most of all, I love food because it’s an adventure, in which I discover new cultures, cooking techniques and most importantly, because I can share it with friends and family. There’s very little I take more pleasure in than sitting around a table with close friends, sipping delicious wine that flows as freely as the stories being shared, and tasting recipes that have been made with care. My staple, never-to-be-missed ingredients are onions, garlic, paprika and some form of seafood. I’m also a photographer for the collective.

Kimberly Maturo.

Coming from an Italian/Moroccan background, dinners at my house were always interesting. One night, my Dad would make spaghetti aglio e olio and the next my Mom would make stuffed Israeli artichokes. All this to say that my palate is very well traveled. I love homey-style food as well as clean and simple flavours. I guess it depends on my mood (and the weather in Montreal).

Jean-François Michaud.
Born in the cold winter of 1983, Jean-Francois Michaud quickly learned the basics to keep warm: Kraft Dinner, grilled cheese and frozen pizza. Once he got bored of eating the same things, he quickly learned to cook delicious meals with whatever is around the house. Overall, J-F is a full bodied cook, just like a perfectly aged Single Malt Scotch. His Italian heritage reveals a pallet marked by fresh vegetables, smelly cheeses, perfectly cooked meats and delicious fresh pasta. Oh wait, there are no vegetables, cheeses, meats or pasta in the house. Do you wanna just order pizza?

Catherine Moreau.

I consider cooking a therapeutic experience; it has the ability to transport me to a serene, fun and limitless place. That said,I am by no means a culinary genius. However, what I lack in innate talent I make up for with my desire to discover new flavours. This curiosity pushes me to constantly expand my foodie knowledge and try out new things in the kitchen. I love complex flavours as much as I do simple ones when done right. As humble as classic dishes may seem, it takes many attempts and many more failures to get them just right, but, in my opinion, that’s what makes cooking so enjoyable.

Julie-Anne Petrilli.

When I cook solely for myself, I am sadly a functional cook (read eating to stay healthy and alive). When I cook for others it’s another story. To me it is a way of communicating, learning, teaching, experimenting and showing I care. I love finding new recipes ( rocks my world) which I usually only use as inspiration and never really follow other than for an idea of ratios for ingredients. Most of the time I pull off interesting results and I do think that its partly due to the love I put in it as well as the fact that I’m not scared of messing up (after all fresh pizza is always a phone call away).

Amanda Piedimonte.
Whether cooking everyday meals (mostly free of gluten, dairy and often vegetarian) or more gluttonous entertaining, I strive for la scarpetta each time I cook. I want it to turn out so good that, even though you’ve eaten to the point of bursting out of your pants (hey, I’m Italian, I always cook for double the amount of people), you need a piece of gluten-free bread to wipe off all the bold  flavours sitting at the bottom of your plate.

Aurélie Ptito.

I’m all about keeping things simple in the kitchen and I pride myself on being able to whip up a great last-minute meal (the spicier the better) with whatever is in the fridge.  Since I often forget to go grocery shopping, this usually yields some pretty interesting results (foie gras pizza anyone?) My inspiration is usually spur-of-the-moment, depending on who’s coming over.  I’ll try anything once, but always keep a bottle of Sancerre handy just in case.


14 thoughts on “Throwdowners

  1. yo sistah says:

    I want to be a chef too!!!!

  2. Fabrizio Cipro says:

    can i join also i know someone in the group….right aurelie

  3. Christine says:

    Hello Amanda!
    Do you Throwdowners ever thought of publishing your recipes?
    Your Blog is really beautifully set up!
    Winston and Bailey’s Mommy

  4. Rob Braide says:

    Thinking of opening a commercial kitchen in Montreal where small batch chefs can rent certified cooking space by the hour. Would include smoker, sous vide, bread ovens, Hobarts etc. any interst or suggestions?

    • Katherine says:

      Hey Rob! It sounds like a great idea. As far as interest goes, we usually host our Throwdowns at alternating friends’ places, but maybe one day we’ll want to hold an event! Who knows. Suggestions-wise, I would make the space as fun and group oriented as possible. The kitchen at Atelier et Saveurs in the Old Port is a good example of that! Best of luck!

  5. Talia Ralph says:

    You guys are my new heroes. Can’t wait to make pasta with you at Santropol.

  6. Hi Katherine,
    Great post on Throwdowners! Please e-mail me at It’s about wine of course 🙂

  7. ortal says:

    Hi Katherine,
    Name is Ortal… I would love to get more information about this great initiative. I work for a community TV channel in Montreal andalways looking for local initiative. Would love to chat with you about your project
    Hope to hear from you soon!

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