||Lino Catroppa was born
in April, 1943, in the Calabria Region, Italy. In the true spirit
of Italians not hesitating to travel around the world, the whole
Catroppa family moved from Calabria to Rome when Lino was twelve.
He immediately began to work in a night club as an apprentice
bartender in the Via Veneto district from 5:00 pm
to 5:00 am. Lino worked in different establishments which remain
a success to date: La Cisterna in Trastevere, Ulpia at the Viale
dei Fori Romani, Alfredo alla Chiesa Nuova, by Piazza Navona.
Lino P. Catroppa, the owner of The Cook Shop Restaurant
of Lino P. Catroppa.
||When Lino reached the old age of 17,
he wanted to experiment in the entrepreneurial field. He did so
by owning his own business, Carioca Café, right in front
of the opera house in the heart of Rome. His last
tenure in Italy was at the Stabilimento Cinematografico di Cine
This is where he worked for three years.
Cine Cittá inspired him to explore the distant world. England
was Lino’s first destination. He managed to obtain a contract
to work in a hotel in Yorkshire. Later, he moved to Lancashire around
the Liverpool/Manchester area. Later, Catroppa worked in a hotel
where the owner called him a fool when Lino announced he was going
Arriving in Montreal, Canada in June, 1965 wearing a heavy, double
breasted English wool suit, Lino was introduced to a surprisingly
infernal heat. He missed Rome where the shaded side is called “al
fresco” and it truly provides instant relief from the heat.
At the same time, Lino missed England, where the temperature was
just about perfect at all times.
Catroppa started to work at a place called The Knotty Pine.
He found himself like a fish out of water. He definitely was going
to leave Canada and that was that. The owners of the restaurant were
a charming couple. They persuaded Lino to stay at least for a while;
they kept assuring him that it would get better. Lino introduced
tableside cooking to Windsor: a wide repertoire of dishes prepared
This was a skill which he had the opportunity to acquire while he
was in England.
Lino then moved on to Beach Grove Golf and Country Club, where he
became manager. After ten years at Beach Grove, Catroppa was engaged
in a short lived venture with a restaurant partnership.
In 1980, Lino Catroppa opened his own restaurant, The Cook’s
Shop. In 2005, the restaurant celebrated its 25th Anniversary.
The motto, “semper item”, regardless of the ups and downs
that life provides, is strongly upheld by providing the loyal customers
with the best of the best, for a price which is dictated from the
heart, rather than the calculator.
Lino Catroppa has three daughters, Gennie, Emily, and Lily and,
as he says, they are "the best part" of his life.Their unconditional
love and affection has kept Lino invigorated by the kind of nourishment
that cannot be found in his restaurant or any other place on earth.
As a family, the Catroppas visit various parts of the world. He always
says that his adoptive country, Canada, surfaces always on top, as
the best. Canada is their home, their land, their country.