Michael and I had an awesome time in Toronto. It was a first visit for the both of us, and the team at The Drake Hotel could not have been more accommodating. The hotel is very hip and cool, in a artist-driven part of the city along Queen Street, and attracts a very young, educated, and foodie crowd.
We didn't have a lot of time to explore the city, but some highlights included a walk through the cultural diverse Kennsigton Market, Chinatown, and a fantastic dinner at Bar Isabel, with drinks to follow at their sister Spanish restaurant Bar Reval. A late night visit to a Korean-meets Philly-meets Toronto spot OddSeoul didn't disappoint either. You could eat your way around the world in Toronto in a matter of two days.
Our dinner was the first opportunity to really spread our wings and share our cuisine and philosophy with a brand new audience. It was a 5-course tasting menu that celebrated all things pork, but that really made the vegetable the star. We cooked for 125 guests and felt really good about how delicious and well executed the food came out. It's always a challenge working in a new environment with new people, new ingredients, and a new space, but the amazing thing about cooking is that at the end of the day we all speak the same language, and the Drake team were a tremendous help.
If you get the opportunity to travel to Toronto, we highly recommend a stay at the Drake. It keeps you connected to the urban part of the city, rooms are very cool and comfortable, and there are a number of cafes, bars, and restaurants on site to keep you happy and full!
First course: Broccoli stem/Yogurt/Rye/Pig Ear
Second Course: Cauliflower/Smoked Tomato/Speck/Cheddar
Third Course: Potato/Egg Yolk/Clams/Yeast
Fourth Course: Pig Parts/Pickled Apple/Radicchio/Whey
Fifth Course: Concord Grape/Milk Ice Cream/Pig Lard and Whole Wheat Crust