SIMI Winery Executive Chef Kolin Vazzoler grew up in North Vancouver, British Columbia, where his Italian grandfather made wine and grappa in the cellar and the family devoted much time to their garden where vegetables thrived year-round in the mild, maritime climate. Putting together a meal was always about making the most of what was in season.
“My family cooked Italian food that was rustic and casual,” Kolin says, “but we always used fresh ingredients and that made all the difference in the quality of the dishes. That experience I had growing up certainly lends itself to what is going on in California today.”
In 2012, Kolin took his first winery position when he joined SIMI Winery as executive chef. Perhaps no winery could be more appropriate for someone with his background. “My father came over from Italy,” Kolin says, “the same as the two Simi brothers who started the winery. And I’m second-generation Italian—just as winery matriarch Isabelle Simi was.”