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Grand chef auto: Montreal chef hits the road in his fast Volvo

TV host, cook, and author Stefano Faita drives a2012 Volvo XC70 T6

Stefano Faita

Profession: TV host, cook, and author

Age: 37

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Hometown: Montreal

The car: 2012 Volvo XC70 T6

Notable achievements

  • Author of three best-selling cookbooks in French
  • His mother, Elena, is a well-known food personality in Quebec
  • Taught cooking classes at his mother’s Italian cooking school, Mezza Luna
  • His family owns Quincaillerie Dante, a hardware, hunting and kitchenwares store in Montreal’s Little Italy
  • Appeared alongside his mother in the French cooking series, À la di Stasio on Tele-Quebec in 2004


  • In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita airs on CBC weekdays at 3:30 p.m. ET, with new episodes beginning Sept. 23
  • Fourth cookbook hits bookstores this fall
  • Food contributor on Kampai, Radio-Canada’s weekly health series
  • Host of cooking show, Al Dante, on Casa, a French-language specialty network


As the old saying goes, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." However, that's not the case for celebrity cook and author, Stefano Faita, as things are heating up fast for the host of the CBC's hit cooking series, In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita.

His show is back for a third season starting Sept. 23 and the trilingual Montrealer also has a new cookbook set to debut this fall.

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Amid this hectic work schedule, he's juggling family life with two small daughters, Emilia and Anna. Faita needs big wheels to get around town – that's why he drives a 2012 Volvo XC70 T6.

Why did you buy a Volvo?

Safety first, because of the kids. And I needed space. I actually had the smaller version. I had the V50 before, which is one of their hatchbacks but smaller. I had a second child so I needed more room. So that's why I went with a bigger car.

Above all, it's about safety. I think it's a family car that still looks good. It's a T6, so it's got the turbo engine, so it's still a bit sporty. I can have fun with it. And the roominess is incredible. It's comfortable.

I had already driven a Volvo and I knew I wanted another Volvo. The big difference between the two Volvos I had is the V50 was a standard and the XC70 is automatic. I had a little more fun driving the standard one. But I'm sold on Volvo.

The next car I buy will probably be the truck, the XC90 or another XC70 because I'm having a lot of fun with it. It's great in the city and its great in the wintertime. I don't have to shovel the snow. Its like a 4x4. My girlfriend doesn't need to shovel – if ever she's somewhere and needs to get out of a snow bank, she can. Volvo buys you piece of mind.

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What does a Volvo say about you?

It says I'm a family guy that likes the outdoors, likes cars, and likes to have a bit of fun. With the T6 version you get the nice mags. I'm a guy and I like to have my good-looking car. I like to have a bit of speed if I'm alone in the car and have fun driving it.

Are you a car guy?

I am, maybe not as much as I should be. But I am. I've always liked to have a nice car. But is it my priority? Not really. I'm usually the type of guy who doesn't go over budget. I had a budget and the Volvo fit in my budget.

If the Volvo XC70 were a dish what would it be?

A grilled steak or Tagliata Fiorentina, which is like a nice big thick T-bone that's just lightly grilled and seasoned with salt and olive oil. Because it's simple, but rugged a bit. And it looks amazing.

What was your first car?

My mom has had Volkswagens all of her life. The first car I bought was a used (1986) Volkswagen Jetta.

And then I had a white Jeep Cherokee. I had always wanted a Jeep, so I bought one. Then I went from the Jeep to the Volvo because I felt like I wanted a car and not a truck. But I still wanted the 4WD and a bit of room.

So I bought my first Volvo, the V50. The Volvo fit the bill. And then I just fell in love with the V and now I have the XC70.

What's your best and worst driving story ever?

One of the worst, I was driving back from Montreal from Chicoutimi, which is about six hours away in a major snow storm. So the six-hour drive took us almost 11 hours. That was pretty rough. The roads weren't very nice, but luckily I was driving my Volvo V50.

The best one – should I say this? Montreal to Quebec, an hour and 15 minutes.

So you like speed?


Have you landed in any speeding tickets?

Nope. Never. Never. Never. Never. No speeding tickets. In the city, I'm okay. On the highway, if I'm alone, I like to have fun.

Any accidents?

No. never.

Are there any rules in your car when it comes to your kids?

No. No rules in the car. I mean, I like to buy nice things, but I know that I am going to use them. It doesn't really bother me. We just came back from Quebec City and the kids had snacks in the car and it doesn't really bother me. I bring the car in to get cleaned and that's it. There's no smoking in the car, but no one smokes. Besides that, I try and wash the car on a regular basis and do maintenance in the fall and in the spring – that's it.

If I could bring you the keys to any vehicle what would it be?

You'd have to bring me a Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo. And nothing under a 911. If you bring me another Porsche that's not a 911 for me, its just not a Porsche. For me, its got to be a 911.

I'm a Porsche guy. I've always been a Porsche fan. I don't know why. I just like Porsches. I'm hoping one day I'll own my own Porsche. I'm pretty sure I will, but we'll see when I get there.

Twitter: @PetrinaGentile

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About the Author

Petrina Gentile is an award-winning automotive journalist - one of the few women who cover cars in Canada. Her life revolves around wheels. She has been writing for the Drive section since 2004. Besides auto reviews, she also interviews celebrities like Norman Jewison, Patrick Dempsey, Rick Hansen, Dean McDermott, Russell Peters, and Ron MacLean for her My Car column. More


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