Born in Pontedera, Tuscany, Umberto was sixteen years old when he enrolled in a hotel school in Rome, beginning a life-long commitment to food and the world of great restaurants. After more training in London and Paris, he moved to Canada in 1967, and headed west in 1969. In Vancouver he noted the absence of authentic Italian cooking and determined to do something about it.
In 1973, from a yellow house on the fringe of downtown Vancouver, Umberto started a restaurant revolution with his fresh, authoritative food. He now owns three popular restaurants in Vancouver and the ski resort of Whistler;
Il Giardino and Trattoria di Umberto. In addition to authoring 5 best-selling cookbooks featuring hundreds of authentic recipes from his homeland, Umberto has also hosted a popular cooking show "The Elegant Appetite" which has made him a familiar face across Canada.