We had the good fortune of connecting with Dino Angelo Luciano and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dino Angelo, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
In a world where pain & sadness exists, art has always been a medium used to lift the spirits of the people. Art has always brought relief to culture all over the world, & art itself has always given artists a place to express themselves. Now, with the widespread knowledge of ingredients & evolution of dishes in many cultures, we’re able to create works of art on a plate, presenting people with beauty, through both visual & taste. Before taking my culinary career seriously, I was deeply immersed in painting/drawing. Now that the life of a chef has taken over, incorporating art into my food is a must. Seeing a person in awe when their plate is placed at their table is a feeling that I’ll never be bored of. We opened Le Mariachi (in Montreal) last November during the Covid-19 pandemic, in hopes to spread joy & offer comfort with our dishes to those going through tough times. Though now is the toughest time to open a business, if our food & the art we create in the kitchen can better someone’s day, we will consider ourselves blessed.

What should our readers know about your business?
At Le Mariachi, we’re in the business of feeding people, every single person. I’m not sure what sets our business apart from others, but we do offer very delicious Southern California style Mexican food in the city of Montreal. Getting to this point in my life, business wise, has not been an easy journey. I’ve worked my way up in various kitchens over a span of 13 years, off an on, doing what I could to survive in a very unforgiving economy. Since we’ve opened 4 months ago, it hasn’t been easy at all. With the government lockdown, we’ve only been able to offer takeout & delivery which doesn’t help financially. Not to mention, the prime minister has enforced a curfew which hasn’t helped as well. From the start of the pandemic, many restaurants & institutions have shut down due to the restrictions, which has been very sad. Places that people were able to find comfort through, having to close their doors. Many people were surprised that we wanted to take such a risk, but as I’ve mentioned before, if we can make people happy during such a tough time, we will have succeeded. We want the people to know, when they spend their money at our restaurant, we take a big portion of that & donate to local charities, homeless shelters & foundations. We aren’t looking for fame or riches, we’re looking to feed every single person possible.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Honestly, there are too many wonderful things to do in Montreal, it would take at least a year to experience it all (as I’ve visited 3 times & just decided to move here). The best part of Montreal is the ability to get around the city through a very convenient way of public transportation, metro & buses, but walking around & breathing in the fresh scent of maple & hackberry trees is my preferred way of getting around. There are two handfuls of amazing museums to visit, a lot of pubs & locally crafted beers to try, & so many beautiful parks in every part of the city, just waiting for you to wine & dine. There’s a giant cross at the top of the highest mountain, with a breath taking overlook where you can view the entire city. Best place to enjoy a warm spring & a very hot sunny summer. Come winter time, my favourite activity is booking a one way flight to California.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to thank God for creating me, my mum for giving me life & raising me well, & my girlfriend Sarah from Quebec City for inspiring me everyday to create. A big shoutout to SD Voyager for giving me an opportunity to share!

Website: www.thegourmetrabbit.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thegourmetrabbit or @thegourmetrabbit

Twitter: @dino.ballerino

Youtube: youtube.com/dinobabydoll

Image Credits
Various friends & family on an iPhone 10.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.