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Born in Provence South of France, Mario attended Culinary school and Hotel management. After working in several Hotels, he left for Montreal Quebec in 1976 to work as the youngest Sous Chef in the Meridien Hotel Company. He then moved to Vancouver in 1978, to take a chef’s position in one of the Umberto’s newest Italian restaurant called Al Porto.
The Granville Island Market was just opening in 1979 and Mario opened La Madrague, a French Butcher shop. Three years later, he opened La Baguette et L’echalote. A few years later, Mario opened a restaurant, in Gastown, called Le Souffle, with “the most memorable meal” of 1985, Vancouver Magazine, and the Best wine list. Then came three other stores, and a large manufacturing operation to produce Breads and croissants on a large scale. After the birth of their first child the couple decided to keep only the store on Granville Island to raise their family.
Mario is also a Sculptor. Fourteen years ago, he took the opportunity to explore a life-long passion and enrolled in a stone sculpture workshop with Alberto Riplansky at the Vancouver Academy of Arts, and with Santo Mignosa, the figure in clay. Then he took a clay course with De L’esprit, and an anatomy course with David Klass from New-York, at the Loveland Academy of Art in Colorado. He also participated a figure in clay workshop, with Rodin Prize winner Martine Vaugel. Mario travelled to Italy, to The Galeotti Studio in Pietrasanta, Tuscany, to work on his marble sculptures.
Mario is a former board member and senior artist with Canadian Institute of Portrait Artists (CIPA) and a Member of the Sculpture Society of B.C. His work is primarily figurative, using marble and bronze. He has his workshop and Gallery in his West Vancouver home.
He donates one of his works to charity for fund raising, almost every year.
His work is found in private collections in Canada, the United States and Europe.