Cooking School

Trendsetter: Mirella Amato

By: Daniela Payne

Photography by Jo Kim Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by Jo Kim

Cooking School

Trendsetter: Mirella Amato

By: Daniela Payne
Mirella Amato, Canada's only Master Cicerone, shares her answers to our 11 questions.

When did you become a Cicerone?

In 2010, and I got my Master Cicerone certification in 2012.

Lager, stout, pilsner, porter or ale?
It depends. If it's a hot summer day and I'm at the lake, I'm probably going to be drinking a pilsner or wheat beer. on grey, rainy days, I tend to gravitate toward stouts and porters.

What's the hot new trend in beer?
My obsession is beer cocktails. I formulated my favourite one with mixologist Christine Sismondo. It's called a Rusty Knot and it combines pale ale, tawny port, grapefruit juice and pomegranate grenadine. It's quite delicious!

How do you avoid a beer belly?
By being mindful of what I consume. Beyond that, I cycle around toronto and take exercise classes.

What temperature do you like your beer to be?
It depends on which beer I'm drinking. I prefer my beer at cellar temperature. The flavours come out better and more carbonation escapes as the drink warms. But, if it's summertime, I'll drink a pilsner straight out of the fridge.

What's the best destination for beer lovers to go?

Two places stand out to me, and they're both in Rome. One of them, a restaurant called Bir & Fud, combines mind-blowing Italian food with mind-blowing craft beer. Across the street is Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà, a tiny hole-in-the-wall bar run by incredibly passionate people who drive all over Europe and pick up all kinds of rare beers. If I could leave tomorrow, that's where I'd go.

Who inspires you?
I have a mentor named Lorenzo Dabove. He's a professional beer taster in Italy. Sensory evaluation is a very objective field, and he's really taught me to keep an open mind, to stay humble and open to learning new things.

Who would you be star struck to meet?
Leonard Cohen.

Do you cook and what’s your favourite thing to make?
Absolutely. Pasta.

What’s your favourite dish?
Right now I have two obsessions, one of them is Ceasar salad. I'm also exploring curries - there are just so many different interpretations.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Gingerbread men.
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Cooking School

Trendsetter: Mirella Amato