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The Glue That Keeps Us Together….

It’s extremely important to us at Sarafino to be completely transparent in both the products we represent and the people who help make our company work.

So, here is an inside look at JUST A FEW of the people that make Sarafino tick in no particular order…..

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Elis Halenko

Elis Halenko

Demonstration Specialist, Blogger

Growing up, I watched my grandma maintain a garden and cook the most delicious meals using quality ingredients. This instilled within me the importance of knowing where my food comes from, and I developed a passion for using fresh ingredients, gardening and cooking.

From my mother I learned about nutrition. Although I wasn’t all too keen on being that kid who brought the brown mysterious looking lentil soups to school, over time I began to appreciate my mother’s healthy lunches.

I am one of 5 sisters at the Halenko house and much of our time together is shaped by food whether it’s gathering together for a BBQ in the summer, preparing holiday Christmas cookies or arguing who gets the last bun…we Halenko’s like our food.

Aside from working with Sarafino and teaching people about the most delicious olive oil and other artisan foods alike, I am a registered dietician and fitness enthusiast.

I love cooking and eating, spin class, the outdoors, painting, photography and film.

If I was on a deserted Island and had to pick one SARAFINO product, I would pick Olearia San Giorgio L’Aspromontano.

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Andrea TramontiAndrea Tramonti

Supplier Relations, Eastern Canada Account Manager, Site Manager

Born and raised eating food and good food at that. Lived on a hobby farm and understood what it took to grow and raise REAL food. Enjoy travelling, friends and meeting new people and connecting with them. Married to the most beautiful women in the world.

Likes to support the family and be involved in providing real food to the public.

Favourite Sarafino Product?  Traditional Balsamic Vinegar aged in Cherry Wood.

Relationship with Food? – I Live to eat it!

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Heather CotieHeather Cotie

Event Coordinator, Social Media Specialist, Human Resources, Travel Agent

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Communications, am a Certified Wedding and Destination Wedding Coordinator and TICO Certified Travel Agent. I LOVE weddings and have been coordinating them for the past 8 years as the owner of SoEventful.ca.  I am also the coordinator of annual Sarafino Culinary Tours to Italy.

I love my family, travelling, hydrangeas, peonies and cheese. I am an excellent swimmer but don’t like to be in water where I can’t see my feet….freaks me out!

Favourite Sarafino Product? Obviously I love olive oil but I would have to say my favourite product is the Fabrizia Funghi Spicy Eggplant Spread…..So good on anything….honestly.

Relationship with Food? I grew up in a household where eating at the dinner table every night was mandatory! Hated it at the time but really cherish the memories now. I love to cook and am just starting to love gardening!

Andrea Tramonti and I were married in the olive groves at Olearia San Giorgio in 2011. Click here to see photos.

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Liz ManwaringLiz Manwaring

Product Demonstration Specialist on the East Coast of Canada

I have lived in Halifax Nova Scotia for the last 4 years, working under a few different hats.  Aside from Sarafino, I am a Holistic Nutritionist, a sales associate at a private wine store, and I also work in a wellness centre as part of the office administration team.  Having many different schedules to coordinate can be hectic at times, but it also keeps things very interesting.  No two days are alike, and I meet new people all the time.

As a Holistic Nutritionist I’m passionate about helping people learn about quality food choices. Putting good quality things into our bodies is the key to good health.

Favourite Sarafino product? Ottobrattico, its the key ingredient in my salad dressing, and the key to my moisturized skin!

Relationship with food? I love food.  I love eating it, preparing and cooking it, learning about it and what it can do for my body and health, and teaching others what I’ve learned and experienced.

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Linda Toth-WinterkornLinda Toth – Winterkorn

Product Demonstration Specialist for Western Ontario

My culinary background includes a formal education at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy,  leading corporate culinary team building classes, cooking demonstrations at  the Toronto Wine and Cheese Show, and my current job, teaching culinary classes to at-risk High School students.
To be able to share and educate on the very high quality products Sarafino has to offer is extremely rewarding. To enlighten and educate with incredibly good food is a dream job for me. The Sarafino team provides me with this great opportunity, and I’m grateful.
Favourite Sarafino product? L’Ottobratico Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. It’s quality is unsurpassed and flavour marries so well with our favourite meals of fish, greens and artichokes.
I have 2 daughters attending University of Waterloo and my husband and I love to travel and cook together.In addition to my family and all things culinary, I love to ski and golf.

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Vince TedescoVince Tedesco

GTA, Peel and York Account Manager

Aries, Loves long walks on the beach, favourite colour is 7!

My Mom & Dad had a family of 5 (I’m the youngest) born in Toronto – but lived and schooled in Ajax/Pickering. By my early twenties i was back downtown – I’m a city boy at heart!

I’m a graduate of Second City Toronto & Los Angeles and every once and a while love the head back to west coast for some R&R, I loved my time there and still have many friends that live in the LA area.

I am part of the Sarafino team because I am the chosen one!….Just kidding, but you can say I had a “calling”? When I traveled to Calabria (in 2010) it was my first time back in 23 years, I got a chance to re-connect with all my cousins and see my aunts and uncles again. But for the most part I fell in love with our family business…olive oil! The Fazari Family is made up of 5 brothers and 5 sisters – my mom being the only one to move to Canada, and start a life here. But back home there is over 70 years of tradition in the olive oil business (Olearia San Giorgio) starting with my grandfather Domenico Fazari…and then his sons, and now their sons!

When I got home to Toronto I wanted to be a part of it all and help flourish the tradition in North America, so I made a call to my cousins in Uxbridge….the rest as they say is history!

My strengths would include my love for food, and interacting with people on a daily basis. I’m an innovator, and I like to think outside the box. I love a great conversation and I can get lost in the topic of anything passionate.

If there is one thing that I’m passionate about it’s my family’s oil! I also love to make people laugh and enjoy building great connections with my clientele. Plus meeting new, innovative chefs and restaurateurs and this always leads to a recipe for culinary creativeness!

Favourite Sarafino Product? Call me bias, but I’m going with Olearia San Giorgio olive oil! I put that s*!t on EVERYTHING!

What is your relationship with food? I love food, and love to cook! There isn’t anything I wouldn’t try once! I have worked in the restaurant industry for the majority of my life (server, bartender and manager) and the only aspect I didn’t know was the kitchen. I came very close to enrolling into culinary school, but became the GM of a large neighbourhood restaurant in Toronto – which got me working beside so many talented chefs and expanding my knowledge and love for food even more!

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Kim Brown

Kim BrownDemonstration Coordinator

I began working for Sarafino less than a year ago shortly after retiring from thirty-years in the public sector. Why? Because I LOVE FOOD! Not just any food, but food that is good for the body and good for the soul.  My favorite food quote is from American author Laurie Colwin who wrote “One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating
while you are eating with friends”. Gossiping with friends in my early twenties about a scandalous party they attended, my first question would be “What did you wear?” Now in my fifties, my first question would be “What did they serve?” As you get older, you discover that life revolves around food. Celebrations and life milestones are remembered by the meals shared by family and friends at the dinner table, the pot-luck dish enjoyed at an outdoor barbecue and by the conversation with friends over a glass of wine or decadent dessert.  I love working for Sarafino because they bring together my passion for fine food and the sharing of fine food with family, friends and new friends that I meet while demonstrating Sarafino’’s products.
Favourite Sarafino Product? Solefrutta Marmalade with Chili Pepper

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Nolan McGinlay

Product Demonstration Specialist Toronto

Nolan McGinlayI’ve been passionate about food for many years. My very first job was working for a world class pastry chef from Vienna Austria. Since then I knew I always wanted to work with food, and Sarafino seemed to be the perfect place to take my business accumen and skills in sales and apply it with my love of food. I think my biggest strength is my background in business management. Knowing how an organization is meant to operate has allowed me to take my passion for food to a whole new level within this organization.

Favourite Sarafino Product? This would have to be a tie. The butternut and beer chutney and the ottobratico extra virgin olive oil. The chutney for the simple reason that it’s delicious and uses one of my all-time favourite beers (ie. Beau’s Lugtread Lagred Ale). The oil because that slight pepperiness mixed with the great medicinal benefits makes it a must have product.

I’ve always been passionate about food. My father is an excellent home cook and I always try to emulate his successes in the kitchen, without much personal success. That’s why I’ve taken the road through business school (another of my passions) so that I can apply that to the food world.

I’m currently finishing up my degree (Bachelor of Commerce) at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. I live in the beaches neighbourhood of Toronto, and in particular right across the street from the beautiful Balmy Beach with my two parents and 2 beautiful dogs. I am a trained Maitre Fromager or Cheese Sommelier.

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Jason Thomson

Jay ThomsonProduct Demonstration Specialist Eastern Ontario, Delivery Guy

I live in Beaverton and I have 2 children. A 5 year old boy and a 3 year old girl (Austin and Ellie).

I enjoy any sports and playing with the kids in my backyard.
Favourite Sarafino Product?  Siglio Oro Balsamic Vinegar
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Coming soon!

The Glue That Keeps Us Together…..Part 2

Starring: Angelo Tramonti, Doug Copping, Sharon Pope, Canadina Tramonti, Melanie O’Brien, John Paul Tramonti, Vincenzo Tramonti and Lisa Cotie….

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