John Arena Obituary, Death – John Arena This week saw the passing of Giovanni “John” Arena, a longtime resident of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) who had moved there in 1956 and made it his home ever since. He was born in the year 1924 in the town of Bellantone, which is located in the region of Calabria in Italy. May he rest in peace among the many other Italian-Canadian men and women who, over the course of the previous century, fought and persisted to make Toronto the world-class metropolis that it eventually became.
May his memory be a blessing to those who knew and loved him. The chef who has served as a personal chef for numerous heads of state, members of royalty, and famous people from all over the world, including the Pope. During his lengthy career, Arena managed nine different establishments in the culinary industry. His most famous venture, Winston’s, a restaurant that formerly operated in the Financial District but has since closed its doors, is the reason for his widespread recognition.
During the time that he was the owner of the restaurant, which began in 1966 and lasted until 1990, he catered to wealthy and powerful customers. In 1987, John raised close to $10 million dollars “almost single-handedly” for the culinary program at George Brown College. A few short months ago, in the midst of widespread closures and reopenings, John paid culinary and lifestyle celebrity David Rocco a visit at his home in Toronto for a one-of-a-kind extended TV interview, which would turn out to be John’s last appearance of this kind.
David Rocco’s home in Toronto was the location of the interview. In this thirty minute special episode, he discusses his love of the hospitality industry, tells stories of the incredible parade of powerful and famous guests he hosted, and even participates in the preparation of some special dishes alongside David, after which he shares some of those dishes with David. He also shares stories of the incredible parade of powerful and famous guests he hosted. David shares some of the dishes with him.