Chef James Santon

Chef James Stanton



James grew up in a small town in Southern Ontario with his parents and two sisters. He moved to Toronto in 2004 to complete his post secondary degree at York University. James was always in tune with nature and had aspirations of working for a conservation authority or a NGO.


James had a passion for cooking from a very young age. In fact there are many treasured family photos of him cooking for his family from the time he was able to reach the stove. In university James would always cook for his roommates and friends but cooking never struck him as a viable career option. Then one day, everything changed; shortly after his university graduation James was involved in a serious car accident. He fell asleep while driving home late one night and went off of the road. James rolled his car and sustained some very serious injuries, the most severe being a broken C2 vertebrae. James spent the better part of a year in a hospital bed recovering from his accident. It was in this time that James realized how fragile life was and that it could be taken away from you at any moment.


Once he recovered, James decided to start doing what he loved: cooking. James packed up and moved back to Toronto, where he dedicated himself to his passion and craft. Over the past few years he has worked for some of the marque restaurants and restaurateurs in the city. However, it wasn’t until he found his place at Enoteca Sociale that he really grew into himself as a chef. With no prior experience or real knowledge of Italian cuisine, James instantly fell in love with the beauty and simplicity of Italian cooking. He worked his way up from line cook, to sous chef, and in Spring of 2016 James became Chef. It’s the elements of Roman cuisine that resonate so much with James; fresh, local, not fussy. But it’s more than just food, in Enoteca, James has found a home – he loves the restaurant, the people, and the atmosphere. He insists there is something special in the air here.