Chef Carmine Accogli

the Original “Big Ragu!”

Chef Carmine Accogli- the Original “Big Ragu!”

From manning the stove to being in front of cameras and students, Carmine Accogli has been generously sharing his passion for making inspirationally good food for decades. The serial entrepreneur got his start after completing his culinary diploma at Toronto’s George Brown College. He started his professional culinary journey at Toronto’s Sutton Place Hotel, followed by stints in various other local restaurants, including the much-lauded Auberge du Pommier. After working in high-end French restaurants, Carmine decided he wanted to work in what he calls “smaller Italian ‘mom and pop’ rustic restaurants” where he learned to make rustic food with soul. He also learned immeasurable culinary and life lessons from his father-in-law, Italian Master Chef and Baker Nicola Chiaravalloti, who taught Carmine the “importance of making something from nothing, and to find ways to always make that ‘something’ special” while at his Buona Via Bakery in Scarborough.


It’s with those words of wisdom that Carmine’s own philosophy of “under-promise and over-deliver” was in part shaped. Always challenging himself while reinventing what he can do, Carmine has been the chef/owner of critically acclaimed Italian Trattoria, The Big Ragu, in Toronto’s west end, the resident chef on the CBC’s internationally syndicated “The Steven and Chris Show” for four seasons, and currently works as the official caterer of the High Park Club under his company, ABC Event Catering, with wife Barbara. During daylight hours, you’ll find him teaching restaurant culinary operations at Centennial College. He’s also taught commercial baking and baking and pastry skills to hungry students wanting to learn from Carmine’s vast experience. His one piece of advice to upcoming cooks and bakers alike? “The only constant in life is change. Always be prepared to reinvent yourself!”