Celebrity Chefs – Food Court Social

Mark McEwan

Mark McEwan image

From his early years as Canada’s youngest ever, executive chef at Toronto’s upscale Sutton Place Hotel to his latest endeavor, trendy resto bar Fabbrica, Mark McEwan is never content to rest on his laurels.

McEwan has led the restaurant scene in Toronto for many years. He joins the ranks of the truly innovative with groundbreaking Toronto standards from “North 44” to “Bymark” to the always interesting “ONE”, a staple for the “see and be seen” crowd in Yorkville. With “Fabbrica”, he has taken another turn and captivated customers with rustic Italian fare in a warm, yet contemporary setting at The Shops at Don Mills.

But, it doesn’t stop with dining -- in early 2009 he turned his attention to upscale gourmet food and opened McEwans at The Shops at Don Mills. Always attentive to the changing needs of the consumer.

His best selling cookbook “Great Food at Home” added author to his resume and he hasn’t stopped there. In late 2011 Mark, with the help of Jacob Richler once again wowed us with “Fabbrica” the cookbook based on the recipes featured in his latest restaurant.

Mark has also added television personality to his long list of talents and was the head judge on “Top Chef Canada”. His first show for The Food Network, “The Heat” was a riveting behind the scenes look at North 44 Caters as well as the building of McEwans grocery store - a ratings winner.

In 2013 Mark paired with OTG Management to consult on menus for two restaurant concepts that were built at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Fetta and Nobel have received many accolades since their openings that year. Mark’s grocery store McEwan also took on the task of feeding commuters…there are now 10 grab and go stations in the airport that feature a selection of sandwiches, salads, snackboxes and mini meals all made and shipped daily from  the store to the terminals.

Mark has now taken his famous McEwan food store to the downtown core. The new McEwan is situated in the PATH under the TD Tower and focuses on prepared foods, making breakfast, lunch and dinner on the go a breeze.

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Q&A: Celebrity chef Mark McEwan  

McEwan Group's Website

Michael Stadtlander

Michael-Stadtlander imageMichael Stadtländer, CM, chef, restaurateur, environmental activist, artist. A Member of the Order of Canada, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Leadership and named the 2011 Restaurateur of the Year by the Canadian Association of Food Service Professionals, Michael Stadtländer is a pioneer and leader of Canada’s influential farm-to-table culinary movement. Michael Stadtländer grew up working on his family’s farm outside of Lubeck, West Germany. The oldest of three brothers, he learned about cooking and eating with local ingredients from his mother and grandmother, both of whom cooked for the German border police.

At 15, he began an apprenticeship at a Lubeck restaurant and worked in the kitchens of several restaurants in Stuttgart. For his mandatory military service, Stadtländer served as chef and baker on a German Navy destroyer.

In the late 1970s, he became friends with Canadian chef Jamie Kennedy when they cooked together at the Grand Hotel National in Switzerland. When Kennedy received an offer to head up a new restaurant, Scaramouche, in Toronto, the pair decided to act as co-chefs, and Stadtländer emigrated to Canada in 1980. In 1989, Stadtländer was inspired by a visit to a friend’s farm on the Niagara escarpment to hold a culinary festival. He and Kennedy then founded “Feast of Fields,” a festival where they, and fellow high-profile chefs, prepared dishes using local ingredients at different food stations.

Eigensinn Farm (borrowed from a title of an essay by Hermann Hesse meaning ''single-mindedness'' or ''obstinacy''). The operation exemplifies Stadtländer’s farm-to-table philosophy: for a few weeknights throughout the year, Stadtländer and a handful of apprentices prepare a five-course meal with ingredients from the farm, and nearby growers, for just 12 guests. 2002, Restaurant Magazine named Eigensinn one of the top ten restaurants in the world.

Stadtländer is an outspoken activist for sustainable, organic agriculture and fishing in Canada. An amateur sculptor who designs quirky installations and pieces on his farm and at Haisai, his eco-projects usually mix art, cooking and sustainable food production.

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Michael Stadtlander
A trip to Chef Michael Stadtlander's Eigensinn Farm

Stadlander's Eigensinn Farm's Website

Hiro Yoshida

Hiro Yoshida imageIn 1990, he opened the first sushi restaurant on Church Street in Toronto, Canada, seating twenty people. In 1998, he relocated to the current location on King Street East(East of Jarvis Street)

His restaurant is based on Omakase, which is a part of traditional Japanese society. This concept is to give the host full responsibility for the guest’s menu for that evening. This is when the host and guest builds a mutually respectable relationship. People trust in me to create a menu suitable for them. I wanted to introduce this Japanese system to Canada when we opened, which is available on our menu today.

The background music in the restaurant is selected by Chef Hiro, who mostly enjoys swing and jazz music. He considers female jazz vocals to be a perfect match for the molding of his sushi. Or perhaps he just likes the music?

Most of the servers at Hiro Sushi are foreign exchange students with temporary work permits. Chef Hiro continually educates his staff about the basics of hospitality. He encourages his staff to involve their hearts in their service. We hope that as a community, both staff and customers, we can all help them lead in the right path.

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Taste Test: Legendary Toronto chef Hiro Yoshida gives us the goods on the best bowls of udon in town

Hiro Sushi's Website

Roger Mooking

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Roger Mooking has earned an international reputation as one of North America’s premier Chefs by developing a culinary philosophy built on the perfect execution of globally inspired culinary traditions. Coming from a culturally diverse background, the Trinidadian-born, Canadian-raised Chef is no stranger to combining various influences to new and exciting culinary adventures. After Roger’s paternal grandfather migrated to Trinidad from Quandong, China he went on to open several bakeries on the small Caribbean Island. This sparked the family’s many successful forays into the restaurant and catering business, with Roger’s father and extended family eventually overseeing many establishments.

While Roger’s earliest influences are his family’s Chinese and Caribbean specialties, Roger also trained under Japanese, Chinese, French, and Swiss German Chefs including his formal training through the esteemed George Brown Culinary Management Program where he graduated with Top Honors and is now the Chair of the Professional Advisory Committee.

This third generation restaurateur continued his training at Toronto’s world-renowned Royal York Hotel before co- owning and consulting on many food and beverage operations.

Partnering with HMSHOST and Toronto Pearson International Airport, Roger has launched “Twist by Roger Mooking’; a restaurant that incorporates global flavors and ingredients into locally sourced North American comfort food.

Over the years, Roger’s restaurants and affiliated projects have garnered many accolades including winning the prestigious “Premiers Award” in Ontario for excellence in the field of Creative Arts and Design.

He is the host and co-creator of his own Internationally broadcast television series Everyday Exotic. His award- winning cookbook, based on the show, explores pairing ingredients from all corners of the globe with everyday meals. He is also the co-host of Heat Seekersairing on Food Network and host of Man Fire Foodon Cooking Channel. Roger is a reoccurring judge on Chopped Canada,which premiered to an all-time audience record high for Food Network Canada. His culinary talents have led to appearances throughout Asia, North America, the Caribbean & Latin America and include features on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Top Chef Canada, Iron Chef and Chopped as a guest judge as well as winning the special All- Star Chopped celebrity chef episode.

Taking his talents outside of the kitchen, this Juno award winning recording artist has graced the stage with artists such as James Brown and Celine Dion. In 2016, Mooking’s world came full circle; catering the Juno Awards Gala and serving up his signature Mookingculinary dishes to the best in the Canadian music scene. According to Roger ‘food feeds the body, music feeds the soul”.

But for Roger, what is most important is being a dedicated husband and father of four daughters. You could say Roger has a full plate! 

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Cooking up a happy marriage with chef and musician Roger Mooking and his wife Leslie
Many ingredients in Roger Mooking's success

Roger Mooking's Website

John Higgins

John Higgins imageJohn has cooked for the Royal family multiple times, at both Buckingham Palace and on the Royal Yacht Britannia. This photo is from 1980 when he cooked Christmas lunch for the Royal Family at Windsor Castle.

John's first job, at the age of sixteen, was an apprenticeship in Glasgow where he cut the top of a finger off while chopping parsley. He ended up in hospital with six stitches and when he got back to his apprenticeship, his boss said, "Okay Higgins. Finish chopping the parsley and don't cut your other hand!"

John has travelled the world, from India to Italy and Sao Paulo, promoting Canadian cuisine. He was captain of the Canadian Culinary Olympic Team at several different international and worldwide competitions.

John has made several television appearances including, Food Network’s At the Table With and he was also a guest judge on the first season of Top Chef Canada.

John has a long list of accolades, including being the first chef to receive the Toronto Arts Culinary Award, and he was captain of the Canadian Culinary Olympic Team at several different international and worldwide competitions. In this era of celebrity chefs, he reminds his students that being a chef is hard work that requires passion and dedication.

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13 Things You Didn't Know About John Higgins
Chef John Higgins
Canadian chef recalls cooking for the Queen

Glory Hole Donuts

Glory Hole imageGlory Hole Doughnuts is a small, independently run, artisan doughnut shop located in the heart of Parkdale.

Established in 2012 by Owner/Pastry Chef Ashley Jacot De Boinod, GHD has been making fresh, handmade doughnuts ever since.
We strive to create the highest quality doughnut by using fresh, local, and organic ingredients whenever possible

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Ashley Jacot De Boinod/
Get to know a Baker: Ashley Jacot De Boinod, Glory Hole Doughnuts
Ashley Jacot De Boinod

Glory Hole Donuts Website

Donna Dooher

Chef Donna DooherDonna Dooher, has spent more than 20 years pursuing a passion for food and its creation. She has been creating memorable experiences at the Mildred Pierce Restaurant, Avant Gout Catering, and the Cookworks for more than 10 years. The Cookworks Cooking School, has been leading the culinary instruction scene in Toronto since 1998. Armed with impeccable standards, she is a highly respected chef and advocate within the culinary world, with a network of chefs and suppliers that stretches across the country.

A successful entrepreneur, Donna is also a frequent representative at food industry events, requested by such icons as Julia Child and Williams-Sonoma and has been featured on CBC’s Venture, Air Canada’s on-board Toronto profile, and in numerous national magazine and newspaper articles. She has strong instincts about the future of the culinary arts and the energy to realize her vision of a return to the simple joys of the kitchen.

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Donna Dooher

Donna Dooher’s Website

Brian Cheng

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Brian Cheng’s career in the culinary arts has already taken him around the world, from Italy to India. After building a strong foundation as an apprentice in some of Toronto’s best kitchens, Brian enrolled in Culinary Arts – Italian, a partnership program that includes a semester spent abroad, with courses at international Italian cooking school ALMA, located near Parma. While in Italy, Brian completed an externship at Michelin-star restaurant Locanda delle Tamerici in La Spezia, where he developed not only his cooking technique but also a taste for working abroad. Not long after graduation, he was packing his bags again – this time for a nine-month assignment as chef at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi, India. Upon returning to Toronto, he launched The Edible Story, specialized catering and event space in 2012 and continues to work as a culinary entrepreneur.

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George Brown alumni’s dreams come true at The Edible Story
Student wins inter-college iron chef-style competition, MLSE’s Second Culinary Olympics

The Edible Story’s Website

Matt Basile

Matt Fidel Gastro image

Matt Basile is the President and Creator of the Toronto-based street-food brand Fidel Gastro Street Food Co. What started off as a pop-up selling street-food in underground markets across Toronto has now evolved into a successful restaurant and Toronto’s #1 food truck.

Four years ago he started Fidel Gastro's in Toronto as a sandwich popup and from there grew it to Canada's number 1 food truck. Their Queen West restaurant Lisa Marie has been rocking the street-food and brunch game hard for Three years while hosting a slew of events out of the space and had been featured on "You Gotta Eat Here", CBC's "Chef in the City" and ETalk Canada's trendiest spots in Canada segment. 

Matt hosted 2 seasons of his on TV show, Rebel Without A Kitchen which sold internationally to the Cooking Channel in the U.S. And FoodNetwork Asia. His first cookbook Street Food Diaries was published last October by Penguin Publishing. Chef Matt and his partner recently launched their own YouTube kitchen studio.

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Get to know a Chef: Matt Basile, Fidel Gastro's/
Matt Basile/
Street food phenom finds a home: a profile of Fidel Gastro’s Matt Basile

Fidel Gastro’s Website

Anthony Rose

Anthony Rose image

Before he became a star on Toronto’s explosive restaurant scene, Chef Anthony Rose honed his skills in some of the top kitchens in San Francisco and New York. In San Fran, he worked with Michelin-starred Bradley Ogden and developed his lasting appreciation for truly local dining. This philosophy was combined with the simple elegant principles of the French Method during his tenure at The Mercer with Jean-Georges Vongerichten in New York. Returning home, Rose began a prominent stint as head chef at the Drake before opening up his first restaurant, the iconic Rose & Sons, on Dupont.

The Wilder Rose empire now consists of four restaurants; Rose & Sons, Big Crow, Fat Pasha, and Rose & Sons Queen West, Bar Begonia, as well as an appetizing shop, Schmaltz. Together, they weave the story of Rose’s culture, experiences, childhood nostalgia, and relentless love of food.

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How Anthony Rose became Toronto’s comfort-food king
Inside the kitchen of chef and comfort-food king Anthony Rose
The bloom is off the Rose & Sons: Review

Rose and Sons Website

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