Canadian Pizza Magazine

VPN chef Zuccarini snags entrepreneurship award

Toronto – VPN-certified chef and head of Gusto 54 Restaurant Group Janet Zuccarini received top honours for entrepreneurship during the annual RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards held on Nov. 28 in Toronto.

The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards recognizes the country’s top female entrepreneurs. Award categories include the RBC Momentum Award, the Social Change Award and the Telus Trailblazer Award.

A Toronto restaurateur and chief executive officer of Gusto 54 Restaurant Group, Zuccarini was chosen from among 6,400 candidates to receive the TEC Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship. The decision was made by an independent panel of Canadian business leaders.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be recognized by this esteemed group of judges and view this award as a true honour as well as a great responsibility,” Zuccarini said in a news release from the group. “Being recognized for this award puts the Gusto 54 team in a position to lead by example and to continue to inspire positive change throughout the hospitality sector.”


Janet opened her first restaurant, Café Nervosa, in 1996 which was later renamed Trattoria Nervosa. Today, Gusto 54 comprises Trattoria Nervosa and Gusto 101, as well as Pai Northern Thai Kitchen, Same Same, and Kiin in partnership with Jeff and Nuit Regular. The group also is set to launch Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen and Gusto 501. The group operates Felix Trattoria in Los Angeles, which was recently recognized by Esquire Magazine as the #1 Best Restaurant in America.

The award celebrates entrepreneurial excellence by recognizing those whose ingenuity, spirit of innovation, and discipline have propelled their respective companies to huge success and have positively impacted their industries and communities, the release said.

“At Gusto 54, we constantly strive to be innovative and to enhance our industry wherever possible. There is so much room for growth, collaboration and innovation within the hospitality space,” Zuccarini said. “To be the recipient of this award means that we can continue pursuing our mission to create transporting experiences complete with delicious food, inspiring design and soulful hospitality.”

Zuccarini also will receive the “Independent Restaurateur of the Year” award at the Pinnacle Awards taking place on Dec. 1.