When passion for food is in your blood,
you can only cook and serve some of
the best Italian cuisine.
Meet Jo & Peter Zambri.
On the surface Peter is animated, demonstrative and idealistic. Jo is focused, pragmatic and succinct. While this brother and sister combination couldn’t appear more opposing, they find balance and common ground in their love and respect for Italian cuisine and dedication to simple things done right.
Peter’s palate was shaped by growing up in an Italian household and part of an extended family of food lovers. This childhood spawned a quest to find the perfect place in the world to live and cook great food. Peter began his career at esteemed establishments in Toronto and Vancouver earning the opportunity to work in both the kitchen and the gardens of the world renowned Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island. There he was introduced to the amazing bounty of the Island and started to truly understand the relationship between food and the land you live on.
But Peter is a wanderer at heart, so culinary education continued with extensive travels to South East Asia and India. There his eyes were opened to the glory of the East and its diverse food philosophies. However, it was after the death of his beloved grandfather he felt a need to further explore his own ethnicity which resulted in his four year of living in Italy. Traveling and cooking there brought him back to his food roots and the deep understanding of the connection between the land, food and people. He was further able to form his own philosophy about an uncomplicated yet passionate approach to food and wine. On a trip home to Canada, Peter realized that the best to be had could be easily found on Vancouver Island.
At Zambri’s he has been able to bring together his artistry and passion for cooking, love of Italian cuisine and commitment to the place one lives. He has been part of the Island Chef Co-Operative; trained and fostered a number of younger cooks who now have gone on to successful careers of their own and actively participates in food-related programs on Vancouver Island.
Growing up in the same food-focused family as Peter also shaped Jo’s palate and relationship with food and Italian cuisine. But her career meandered in a far different way. Time spent in school, working in customer service and management allowed her to develop the skills that few outside the restaurant business realize are the cornerstones of building a successful, enduring enterprise. Her former careers enhanced her skills in planning, system management and customer service. It also led her to realize that her true passion was not managing from behind a desk but rather in the environment she most loved and always had a hand in: the food industry. With the team she developed at Zambri’s Jo has proudly ensured the ambiance and service at the restaurant are as inviting as her brother’s culinary creations.