John-Vincent was raised in a traditional Italian family who centered themselves around the joys of food and company. Ambitiously at the age of twelve, he had already made up his mind to go to culinary school. During his youth, he discovered the wonders of Japanese culture. Marking the beginning of his career, he joined Japanese master chef Hashimoto, learning the true insight of the spirit of selfless hospitality, and the intricacies of Kaiseki cuisine. Adding to his resume were internships at world-famous restaurants like the iconic Noma in Copenhagen, and San Francisco’s 3-Michelin Star Benu. Feeling inspired, it was during these experiences that his Asian repertoire of ideas seemed to comingle perfectly with his love and appreciation for nature and ingredients in its purest form.
Returning to Toronto, he became a Chef de Cuisine at Toronto’s Tuscan restaurant, Tutti Matti, where he continued to draw inspirations from his heritage. Eventually, it was finally time for his own restaurant. FRILU is where he would showcase the simplicities of nature using local and seasonal ingredients, combined with the complexity and intricacy of flavors that are brought by his Asian influences.
So Sakata was born in Wakayama, Japan into a family history of working in hospitality. Initially working in traditional Japanese restaurants, he made his way to Canada in pursuit of broadening his career horizons. So dove into the wonders of Italian food. He met Chef Troiano and they both instantly connected over their love for Japanese cuisine and hospitality. So is perfect for FRILU as he brings a wealth of knowledge in Japanese culture to the restaurant that complement the FRILU vision perfectly.
MANAGER / SOMMELIER
Yuya comes from Osaka, Japan bringing a depth of experience from various Michelin restaurants internationally. From restaurants such as INUA, Joel Robuchon and L’Osier, he solidified his credentials as a Sommelier with a specialty in sake and obtaining his Sake diploma. Seasonally, Yuya recreates our alcoholic and non-alcoholic pairings and finds his inspiration by visiting local Ontario wineries and Farmer’s Markets. Yuya oversees the dining room, ensuring a graceful harmony between food and drink to create an all-encompassing guest experience.