Courtesy // Daniel Costa

Chef Daniel Costa’s favourites

By Sean Deasy

Daniel Costa has an appetite for being busy. The Edmonton-based chef, whose family hails from Campania, in Southern Italy, is passionate about preserving the ever-evolving traditions of Italian cuisine. When Costa isn’t helming one of his eateries along Jasper Avenue—Bar Bricco and Uccellino—he’s likely in Italy devouring regional culinary knowledge (and clams). In the midst of preparing for the opening of his next Edmonton restaurant concept, Costa took a breather to dish on a few of his favourite things.  

Where do you like to take visitors to Edmonton?  

I usually start at my own place, Bar Bricco, where we’ll have cocktails and snacks. Then on to places like Clementine or Bündok. If it’s Friday or Saturday, we’ll end the night at The Bower, a small hidden club. They play great music, have good cocktails, and it’s a great vibe.  

What culinary lessons have you learned from visiting Italy?  

How important it is to not complicate a dish. Always source the best possible ingredients and allow them to shine, and remove anything that masks what you’re trying to showcase.  

Where else have you recently enjoyed visiting?  

I really love the scene in Paris—hopping into different wine bars, standing outside with a drink and a snack. You’ll see parents casually meeting up with friends for a glass of wine in the evening, and they always have their kids with them. That really appeals to me.  

What do you always do while travelling?  

I really research where I want to eat. I hate the idea of wasting bites on a trip. I also write a lot—I can really focus on jotting things down as I’m processing and thinking. Alberta winters can be long.  

How do you embrace the season?  

I generally hunker down and work as hard as I can, and I try to stay active. I play pickleball with a few guys, which keeps everything upbeat. I also watch a ton of films and read.  

What’s your perfect day, anywhere in the world?  

It would definitely be in Southern Italy on the Mediterranean Sea. I would wake up with my wife, eat a ton of fresh fruit and go to the beach. Eat a lot of spaghetti with clams with some good cold local white wine. Go home, put the kids to bed, watch a great film with my wife. That’s perfection.  

What does it mean to bring the food you love to the people of Edmonton?  

I feel very fortunate that I get to wake up every morning inspired. To be able to express what I love and believe in—it’s a reward, and I’m very lucky I’m able to do it. I definitely don’t look at it as a job.