Culinary Academy

 

Burnbrae Farms Culinary Academy

Learn to cook alongside some of Toronto’s top chefs in these hands-on cooking sessions daily throughout the 10 days of the Fair. Some of our notable chefs include Order of Canada recipient, Jamie Kennedy, Alida Solomon of Tutti Matti, Paula Navarrete of Momofuku, Michael Hunter of Antler, Chopped Winner Keith Hoare and even Amber Marshall, star of CBC’s long-running hit, Heartland. Explore the dates below to see our incredible roster of cooking talent and be sure to secure your spot to learn from the best of the best in the Burnbrae Farms Culinary Academy.

To purchase a $20 ticket upgrade for Culinary Academy Sessions please click below. Please note, upgrades do not include General Admission to The Fair. Schedule subject to change without notice.

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November 1

11:00 am - Emanuela Costantini

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Kids Cooking Series presented by Burnbrae Farms

Ema, is the mind, the hands and the soul behind @hotpotsandchocolate.

Trained in Italy to be a lawyer, landed in Canada to learn English. After seven years in the luxury car business, finally decided to turn her fixation and obsession with food into her profession. So she began her culinary journey. Worked the line, graduated from Chef School, founded Seven Cooks Inc., her catering business dedicated to making lunches for food photographers, and became a Culinary Instructor with contagious passion for food and cooking.

Some call her chef, some the lunch fairy. True nonna at heart. Find her at George Brown College CHCA, making pasta, pizza and all the preserved goods, in between healthy eats and decadent Italian feasts.

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November 2

1:30 pm - John Higgins

Director/Corporate Chef George Brown College


Chef John Higgins has cooked for the Queen at Buckingham Palace, on the Royal Yacht Britannia, for heads of state in Washington and for celebrities around the world.

At the beginning of his culinary career, he apprenticed at the Michelin Star Restaurant in Glasgow, Malmaison, and then worked at the world-famous, five-star luxury hotel in Scotland, Gleneagles. Upon immigrating to North America, John worked for the Four Seasons Hotel in Canada and the United States and his final stint in the hotel industry was at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto.

Now, John is the director of one of North America’s best cooking schools, George Brown Chef School in Toronto. Since arriving in 2002, John has steered the school through a massive expansion due to an explosive demand in enrolment. With his Scottish brogue, keen wit and passion for teaching, John is leading the way for the next generation of talented chefs. He has traveled the world, from India to Italy and Sao Paulo, promoting Canadian cuisine.

John has made several television appearances including, Food Network’s At the Table With, he was also a guest judge on the first season of Top Chef Canada and one of the judges of Food Network’s Chopped Canada. He has a long list of accolades, and was recently awarded the Glenfiddich Award for Chef of the Year by Trillium Chefs Canada and the Gold Award for Educator by the Ontario Hostelry Institute (OHI). Recently, he has been selected to be the President for the Bocuse d’Or Team Canada for the upcoming Bocuse d’Or 2019 Competition in Lyon, France. 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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3:30 pm - Hemant Bhagwani


Supported by Greenbelt

Hemant Bhagwani’s life reflects passion and conviction in everything that he does. He has a true passion for food and is incredibly innovative in bringing that passion to life for his customers, employees and business partners. His leadership style was born out of this passion and vision to make a difference, as well as from his life experiences.

Hemant acquired his hotel and culinary management degree from Switzerland (1993), and followed it up with an EMBA from Australia (1994). He then operated food service establishments in Sydney (Australia) and in Dubai (UAE), at every stage of a restaurant: from start-up operations, to turning around struggling restaurants, to taking successful ones to new heights.

Landing in Toronto in 2000, he started his professional life at CN Tower. A passion for wines led him to achieve professional sommelier certification in 2002.

Shortly thereafter, he decided to venture out on his own, despite well-intentioned warnings from friends and family. With the strong desire to set up high quality Indian restaurants serving the best Indian food, he also wanted to make the experience for his guests unique by pairing wines with Indian food – something not previously done in Toronto.

Hemant established the Amaya Group of Restaurants. Amaya is a household name, bringing fresh, healthy, and quality Indian food with sit-down restaurants, several street and food court locations that are “Express”, a Catering division, and a gourmet division that produces the Amaya naan breads and sauces in grocery stores across the country.

Hemant Bhagwani also established Indian Street Food Co., the exciting and fresh concept in Toronto, which has been a phenomenal success since it opened its doors.

Hemant’s latest restaurant is The Kolkata Club in Mississauga.

In recognition of his work in the culinary world, Hemant was a finalist in 2015 Ernst & Yonge Entrepreneur of the Year.

Since 2002, Hemant has opened 34 restaurants in and around Toronto.

His upcoming ventures are Goa Kitchen, and Tandoori Steakhouse.

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5:30 pm - Anthony Rose


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 and then with Jonathon Waxman at Washington Park. 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 6 restaurants; Rose & Sons, Big Crow, Fat Pasha, Bar Begonia, Madame Boeuf & Flea, and Schmaltz Appetizing (x2). He also has a cookbook coming out in October: “The Last Schmaltz. A Very Serious Cookbook.

The restaurants and book weave the story of Rose’s culture, experiences, childhood nostalgia, and relentless love of food.

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7:00 pm - Renee Bellefeuille


Wine pairing provided by Trajectory Beverage Partners. 19+ only.

With 20 years of culinary experience, Renee has worked at some of the city’s premier dining establishments including Jamie Kennedy ROM, The Drake Hotel and again with Jamie Kennedy at The Wine Bar where she was Pastry Chef for 5 years.

Renee believes strongly in supporting the local community through various culinary fundraisers the likes which include Toronto Taste, The Stop Night Market and Eat to the Beat.

As Executive Chef at the Art Gallery of Ontario Renee leads a dedicated culinary team of more 60 people strong producing an exciting culinary program; together the culinary team collaborate to create menus inspired by the seasons, art and global culture which surround them in the heart of the city.

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November 3

11:00 am - Keith Hoare


Supported by Greenbelt

Chef Keith Hoare is the culinary instructor at Toronto’s Thistletown Collegiate. Chef Keith regularly takes his culinary students on International food & culture field trips to Europe, his passion for teaching has netted him several honours and awards:

  • Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals ‘Foodservice Executive of the Year’ (2018, Toronto Branch)
  • Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals ‘Canadian Foodservice Executive of the Year Finalist’ (2018)
  • Humber College ‘Greatest High School Teacher Award Winner’ (2018)
  • Etobicoke Rotary Club: ‘Paul Harris Fellow’ for contributions to community and education’ (2017)
  • Chopped Canada Champion 2015
  • Toronto Star ‘Teacher of the Year’ (2014)
  • Etobicoke Guardian: Urban Hero award for Education (2014)
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1:30 pm - Tawfik Shehata


Platinum Cooking Sessions presented by Turkey Farmers of Ontario  Logo

It’s really quite simple. I believe food should make people feel comfortable. It’s all about good, comfortable surroundings and good people. I have cooked in many different restaurants in Canada and the Caribbean (yes I miss the islands, in case you were wondering). I have cooked Regional Asian, Regional Italian, Jamaican, Classical French, Modern French and the list goes on and on. Of the many things I have learned on my journey, it’s not what I cook, it’s how I cook. I have operated a farm which has given me an understanding of the amount of work involved with getting food to the table and an appreciation for who does the hardest work for what we eat. In many cases the provenance of a product is almost as important as the product itself. For this reason I feel sourcing product is as important a process as preparing it. Luckily for me (and you!) Southern Ontario is a Land of Plenty! The best ingredients make the best food, end of story. Voted one of the “Top Ten New Chefs in Canada” by enRoute Magazine and featured on Food Network Canada, CBC and SUN TV, Canadian Living, City Bites, Tonic Magazine, Healthy Directions and the Media Spokesperson for Foodland Ontario.

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3:30 pm - Matt Basile


Matt Basile is the creator of the Fidel Gastro’s street food company. In 6 years they’ve gone from underground sandwich pop-up to internationally recognized food brand. With a growing business of food trucks, a restaurant, multiple quick service locations, festival booths and a massive catering division, Matt is always trying to be different in an industry steeped in tradition. Matt is the author of the Canadian Bestselling, Street Food Diaries and in September 2018 will launch his second book “Brunch Life”. He has also hosted two seasons of his internationally sold television show “Rebel Without A Kitchen” which now appears on Netflix in Canada, USA, South Africa, Europe and UK, India and Australia. Matt currently collaborates with brands and food personalities on his popular YouTube channel and participates on numerous advisory boards’ speakers sessions. Matt most recently helped launch June’s eatery, the world’s first pop-up restaurant where the chefs were all HIV+ in an effort to smash HIV/ AIDS related stigmas. The project received global praise within the health community and news coverage.

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5:00 pm - Jonathan Goodyear


Platinum Cooking Sessions presented by Turkey Farmers of Ontario  Logo

Born in Toronto and raised in Markham, Ontario, Jonathan found a love for cooking at a very young age. By his mother’s side, he was only too willing to help with any task she delegated.

As Jonathan grew, so did his desire to learn more about food. After graduating high school, Jonathan and a few of his friends ventured off to Europe – this is where Jonathan realized cooking was going to be his life calling.

Upon his return from Europe and surrounded by an encouraging and loving family, Jonathan followed his heart and enrolled at George Brown College. It was there Jonathan was recommended for a position at The Four Seasons.

Since then Jonathan has had the pleasure of working both in Europe and here in North America, with roles at Eigensinn Farm, The Four Seasons, Sutton Place Hotel, The Royal Canadian Yacht Club and current holds the role of Director of Food & Beverage and Executive Chef at Canada’s #1 private club, Magna.

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7:00 pm - Jamie Kennedy


Wine pairing provided by Trajectory Beverage Partners. 19+ only

One of the nation’s first chefs to reach celebrity status, Chef Jamie Kennedy remains a reliable and reputable staple in the Canadian culinary scene. In a world where food trends come and go quicker than you can say “cronut,” Jamie’s artistry, commitment to sustainability, and expertise combined with his farm-to-table philosophy make him one of Canada’s most enduring food fixtures which is why he was awarded not only the Order of Canada but also Governor General’s Award in Celebration of the Nation’s Table. Jamie currently calls Prince Edward County home where recently hosted two seasons of a wildly-successful summer dinner series.

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November 4

11:00 am - Cory Vitiello


Cory was born and raised in Brantford, Ontario and began cooking at age fifteen, starting his own catering business out of his family home. He’s a graduate of the prestigious Stratford Chef School and completed his training at Scaramouche Restaurant in Toronto, which has long been considered among the top restaurants in Canada.

Cory owns and operates Flock Rotisserie & Greens, which has just opened its fifth location. Cory founded and led the kitchen team as Executive Chef at The Harbord Room & THRCO – After a successful 10 year run The Harbord Room served its last customer to make room for Cory’s Flock expansion and to focus on his catering company with partner, 10Tation.

In 2017 Cory was also named as the Ferrari Challenge Executive Chef- travelling with the racing series to provide the drivers, their families and supporters with a luxury experience at each track. As if he didn’t have enough on his plate- Cory has just joined the Cactus Club restaurants as the Head of Culinary Development in Toronto!

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1:30 pm - Charlotte Langley


Charlotte Langley hails from PEI where she cultivated a deep love for the oceans and her ‘Maritime Chic’ style of cooking. She aims to nurture and inspire through food with consciously selected ingredients that celebrate season, terroir and the delicate ecosystems that sustain us. Constantly challenging herself and what it means to be a chef, Charlotte founded Scout Canning, Canada’s first fresh canned seafood company, and through her role as ambassador for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) she champions the importance of choosing seafood that is both sustainable and traceable.

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3:30 pm - Devan Rajkumar


Platinum Cooking Sessions presented by Turkey Farmers of Ontario

Chef Devan Rajkumar’s dedication and professionalism for his craft as a culinary and food expert is evidenced by his relentless passion and ambition to become one of the best in the food service industry. He is fiercely committed to FOOD at the highest level with compelling authenticity. His love for food and quest to showcase his talent is observable with his natural exuberance and knowledge when he is engaged in preparing a menu demonstrating for the public, competing in live culinary challenges, working the line at various restaurants, catering high end events, food styling or performing on TV. A review of the numerous events he has participated in reveals his symbiotic connectivity and love for ALL things food related. Devan continues to expand his knowledge of food by travelling extensively to broaden his palate.

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November 5

10:30 am - Donna Dooher


Kids Cooking Series presented by Burnbrae Farms

Donna’s been skipping the light fandango through the Toronto restaurant scene since she and her partner, Kevin Gallagher, opened the beloved Mildred Pierce Restaurant in the city’s west end warehouse district. Always up for a great kitchen party Donna went on to create the Cookworks Cooking Studio, which parlayed into a popular Food Network show called The Cookworks with Donna Dooher, watched by foodie fans around the world discovering their love of food in their own kitchens. Donna introduced the phenomena of brunch to the sleepy town of TO when Sunday’s were just a day of ‘rest’ and went on to publish her award-winning cookbook Out To Brunch. She joined forces with the country’s top designers and publishers to bring Wish magazine to Canadian readers and the best seller Wish |Market to Table Cookbook.

Donna’s latest venture, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in the heart of Toronto’s Liberty Village, reflects her commitment for the return to the table and her passion for locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, simply and sumptuously prepared. Donna is actively involved in Canada’s hospitality community and a self-proclaimed ‘fork hugger’, dedicated to supporting Ontario farmers and local agriculture.

Donna currently sits as the National Chair of Taste Canada. She’s served as the Chair of The Board of Directors and CEO of Restaurants Canada, co-chaired the YES CHEF! Fundraising Campaign at George Brown College and has worked extensively with Brand Canada to promote Canadian hospitality around the globe.

Donna’s approach to cooking (and life in general) – cook with love and reckless abandon!

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11:30 am - Cora James


Kids Cooking Series presented by Burnbrae Farms

Cora James has over ten years of pastry experience, and has worked at such notable establishments as Patachou Patisserie, Splendido, Museum Tavern, Buca, Bar Buca, and now Mamakas Taverna. She currently occupies the position of Executive Pastry Chef at Mamakas and Agora, where she attempts to bridge the gap between classic, Greek dessert and a modern, North American approach. In her spare time, she curates the Food in Film series at the Revue Cinema, and is working toward her own dessert-driven business, corvis: dessertbar.

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1:30 pm - Paula Navarrete


Platinum Cooking Sessions presented by Turkey Farmers of Ontario

Paula was born and raised in Colombia and moved to Toronto in her early teens. Paula has been with Momofuku Toronto since opening in 2012, starting as a Sous Chef at Noodle Bar before moving to Daishō where she rose to Chef de Cuisine. Before Momofuku, Paula worked at North 44, Colborne Lane, and learned butchery at Sanagan’s Meat Locker. At Kōjin, the menu is inspired by Paula’s childhood spent around the grill in Colombia, her love of Ontario’s meat and produce, and what she has learned at Momofuku over the past 6 years.

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3:30 pm - Matt Demille


Platinum Cooking Sessions presented by Turkey Farmers of Ontario

Matt DeMille grew up in rural Ontario, surrounded by a bounty of locally grown food, before farm-to-table was cool. Inspired by his French Canadian roots and the comfort food that filled his childhood memories, he knew at an early age that the kitchen was his calling. He completed Chef Training at George Brown College in Toronto and was hooked on the big city and it’s dining scene.

His first culinary job was with the Oliver Bonicini Group and he credits that with increasing his awareness of local food and wine. Matt has completed stints at renowned restaurants LeSelect Bistro, Enoteca Sociale and Parts & Labour, where he grew creatively and honed his love for Canadian-inspired comfort food.

Yearning for a simpler life, Matt made the move to Prince Edward County with his small family. Having grown up in the region, he helped to put Wellington on the food map as chef at PEC restaurant Pomodoro. In the late summer of 2014 he opened the widely acclaimed Drake Devonshire Inn, snagging a spot on Canada’s Best Restaurants List, 2016.

In 2017 he launched a small, in-house, interactive dining program, called EAT with Matt DeMille, that brings the best of PEC into your home.

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5:00 pm - Nick Liu


Chef Nick Liu trained at George Brown’s Culinary Management program, and from there received an internship at Scaramouche. He worked at Scaramouche for nine years, with a one-year sabbatical in Tuscany at Castello Vicchiomaggio.

Chef Liu then travelled throughout England and Australia and worked in such notable restaurants as Rhodes in the Square, Rhodes 24, Fat Duck, Le Gavroche, St. Johns, Tesuya’s and Long Grain.

When he returned to Toronto, Chef Nick Liu became a Sous Chef at Splendido, and later Executive chef at Niagara Street Café. Chef Liu has had the honour of representing Canada during the G20 summit in Toronto and The Pan Am Games in Mexico.

Ever the entrepreneurial trailblazer, he was one of the first chefs in the city to execute a successful pop up restaurant called GwaiLo, which eventually evolved into what is now the iconic DaiLo – one of the jewels in the city’s gastronomical crown. He is currently Executive Chef and Partner at the flagship location DaiLo and at Little DaiLo, located at Assembly Chef’s Hall.

About DaiLo
“DaiLo,” in Cantonese means, “big brother,” a term of endearment to show respect and love to an elder; a not to the ways and tastes of older cultures and generations; implies a connection to future generations. It could also mean, “Big Boss” or “Bad Ass.”

Chef Nick Liu believes eating well is a fundamental part of living well. How we cook, reflects how we live. He wanted DaiLo to be comforting and be representative of a time and place, but also have integrity and excitement too. He is also an active champion for supporting local and sustainable food.

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November 6

10:30 am - Ted Corrado


Kids Cooking Series presented by Burnbrae Farms

Chef Ted Corrado joined Drake Hotel Properties as Corporate Executive Chef in 2013. Prior to taking the culinary reins at The Drake, Corrado was Executive Chef at the Royal Ontario Museum’s lauded c5 Restaurant, where he was part of the 2006 launch team as Chef de Cuisine. In its first year, c5 was heralded as one of Toronto Life’s 10 Best New Restaurants, a Top Ten accolade the restaurant held each year that Corrado helmed its kitchen.

Corrado also won Chef of the Year in 2008 from the Compass Group Canada and was named a Top 10 Chef in Toronto for the Gold Medal Plates competitions between 2009 and 2011. Corrado was inducted as a Fellow to the Ontario Hostelry Institute in 2011, a distinction shared by only a handful of Chefs in the province. As a founding member of Crosstown Kitchens, Corrado supports local sustainable initiatives, and works closely with The Stop Community Food Centre.

In his role at The Drake, Corrado oversees culinary operations at the iconic Drake Hotel on Queen West, Drake One Fifty in Toronto’s Financial District, the award-winning Drake Devonshire in Prince Edward County, Drake Commissary, a creative culinary hub in Toronto’s emerging Junction Triangle neighbourhood, and the new Drake Mini Bar, The Drake’s downtown homage to the hotel bar, which opened across the hall from Drake One Fifty in May 2018.

Corrado holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from York University and a Chef Training certificate from George Brown College.

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11:30 am - Anne Yarymowich


Kids Cooking Series presented by Burnbrae Farms

Culinary Professor at George Brown Chef School, and Culinary Judge on 4 seasons of the popular Food Network Production; Chopped Canada, Anne Yarymowich has been a prominent contributor to the Toronto Culinary Scene for 30 years.

During the course of her prestigious career, she held the position of Executive Chef at the Art Gallery of Ontario for 17 years.

Born in Montreal, to parents of Ukrainian decent, Yarymowich’s passion for cooking began at an early age. Influenced by her own ethnic heritage and her exposure to the French-Canadian traditions Anne has incorporated both of these cultures into her culinary repertoire.

As a member of Slow Food and supporter of local producers, she focuses on all aspects of sustainability.

Yarymowich has earned her stripes as the recipient of a number of accolades, including:

  • Chef of the Year, awarded by Ontario Hostelry Institute in 2009 at the annual Gold Awards Ceremony;
  • Winner of the Bronze Medal at the Gold Medal Plates competition in November 2009, competing against nine of Toronto’s most respected chefs.
  • Named No. 3 in Toronto Life’s Top 10 New Restaurants in 2009.

Working with the AGO was a natural fit for Yarymowich, who began with a fine arts degree in visual arts and photography from the University of Ottawa. Deciding to switch from art to a culinary career, Anne graduated from the George Brown College Chef School in May 1989 where she has recently returned as a Chef Instructor, Professor, teaching all aspects of Culinary Professionalism to apprentices and aspiring industry professionals.

As one of Toronto’s leading chefs, she is deeply committed to the concept of mentorship, the practice of apprenticeship and the vocation of teaching, striving to shape a new generation of cooks and chefs with strong principles of sustainability, fair trade and culinary excellence.

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1:30 pm - Anna Chen


Kids Cooking Series presented by Burnbrae Farms

Chef Anna Chen, former Executive Chef of Figo, has opened her own venture in the heart of Bloordale Village at 1194 Bloor Street West. She has trained and worked at a number of Toronto’s best restaurants including Lee, Scaramouche and Buca.

The food is based on an eclectic mix of experiences from both Chef Chen’s diverse career as a chef and her background. Everything is made in house including the stracciatella, pastas as well as items such as the miso and soy sauces that are used.

The setting is simple and unique and designed by Chen herself. Dinner is served Wednesday through Saturday from 6-11pm and brunches on Saturday and Sunday’s from 10:30am to 2:30pm.

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3:30 pm - Afrim Pristine


Afrim Pristine is Canada’s premier cheese expert and owner of the Cheese Boutique, with over 23 years of experience in the art of cheese making. From studying with some of the world’s greatest cheesemakers like Luigi Guffanti, Stefano Sarti, Carl Schilt, Jean-Paul Morin as well as hands on training from his father and world’s most renowned dairy farms, Afrim’s passion and commitment stems from his father and family business of 48 years, Cheese Boutique.

As one of the world’s youngest “Maitre Fromager”, an honour bestowed in February 19, 2013, by the France based Guilde Internationale des Fromageres, an exclusive association representing more than 5,000 dairy professionals worldwide, Afrim is the only Canadian to receive this title, awarded to those who demonstrate exceptional cheese knowledge and recognized within their community.

Prior to that achievement, Afrim was also the youngest Canadian recipient to the “Chevalier,” a distinction from the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Taste Fromage de France (March 2007), following an upgraded status to “Officier du Fromage” in April 2010. He was also awarded with Top 30 Under 30 in the Food Industry by Ontario Hostelry Institute.

Afrim is actively involved with charities and foundations he’s passionate about including CAMH, Sick Kids Hospital, Women in Capital Markets, Toronto & Etobicoke Humane Society, St. Joseph’s Hospital and more. He’s also instrumental in continuing to build relationships and collaborations with some of Canada’s top chefs and restaurants including Momofuku, Langdon Hall, Canoe, La Palma, Scaramouche and Piano Piano to name a few and chefs such as Michael Bonacini, Mark McEwan, Daniel Boulud, David Chang and Lynn Crawford.

Afrim’s media appearances include The Marilyn Denis Show, City TV’s Breakfast Television, CTV’s Your Morning, Food Network, and expert consulting for Top Chef Canada, MasterChef, Chopped Canada and more. Most recently, he was honoured as top 50 Most Influential People in Canadian Food by the Globe and Mail, July 2016, and named top 10 Most Influential People in the Food Industry by LCBO Food & Drink Magazine.

When he’s not busy making cheese in nine different countries, Afrim enjoys spending time with his dog Henry and catching a few Chicago Cubs games. Afrim is currently working on completing his cookbook focused on all things cheese, available October 2018.

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5:00 pm - Victor Barry


Victor is a born and bred Ontario chef. His work ethic, passed down from his father, has driven him to his position as one of Toronto’s premier chefs. He has honed his culinary skills around the world and has made an indelible mark on Toronto’s restaurant landscape.

As Chef-Owner of Piano Piano Restaurant, Victor is once again forging new ground on the culinary scene. While he remains focused on finding the magic inherent in every single ingredient; he is allowing himself and his guests a chance to slow down and savour experiences that come with great food, great wine, and each other.

Victor’s desire to give his guests a singular culinary experience in Toronto will never change, though the way he does that has. At Piano Piano Restaurant, Victor and his family welcome you to their ideal Italian restaurant, where your hunger is sated and soul is nourished.

piano, piano va lontano – slowly, slowly we go further.

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November 7

10:30 am - Ivana Raca


Kids Cooking Series presented by Burnbrae Farms

Just entering her thirties, Chef Ivana Raca has already achieved unparalleled success in what has traditionally been a male dominated field. In her early teens, Chef Ivana was accepted into the Humber College Cuisine Apprenticeship program and by seventeen found herself working in the kitchen at North 44, Chef Mark McEwan’s celebrated North Toronto restaurant. Within three years, Chef McEwan had promoted Ivana to the position of saucier, the first female to hold that position in any of McEwan’s kitchens. She continued to rise through the ranks, eventually finding herself as sous chef on the team that opened ONE Restaurant and at the tender age of 24, appointed as the first female Executive Chef of the food emporium McEwan Foods.

Her passion for food and her stellar reputation brought more opportunities. She had an urge to travel and to expand her culinary experience so she headed to Australia’s Gold Coast where, for two years she worked under Two Star Michelin Chef Paul Froggatt at the Palazzo Versace.

Back in Canada and determined to challenge herself to test her talent and artistry against her peers, Ivana entered one of the first Underground Chef Battles in Toronto designed to showcase up and coming chefs and allow well known and established chefs the opportunity to defend and maintain their street credibility and reputation. To no one’s surprise, Ivana made it to the final round.

Most recently she competed on the American Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Chopped Canada” and will be a competitor on Top Chef Canada- Season #5 airing in April 2018.

In 2015 Ivana opened her own restaurant, Raca Café in Parkdale which was nominated best new restaurant in 2016 by Now Magazine, and ranked 88th by Canada’s Hundredth Best magazine. Now she has become a partner in the universally acclaimed pescatarian restaurant UFFICIO at 1214 Dundas West. There is no stopping this extremely talented, ground breaking, female Executive Chef.

Ivana’s next restaurant- a partnership with Food Network Canada’s Brad Smith- Resto Boemo which opened in Toronto in the winter of 2018.

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11:30 am - Julie Miguel


Kids Cooking Series presented by Burnbrae Farms

Julie Miguel is known nationally as a being a fierce competitor in the inaugural season of CTV’s MasterChef Canada. The focus of her blog, Daily Tiramisu, is to empower home cooks to be fearless in the kitchen and she does this by taking traditionally difficult recipes and making them easier to execute.

Cooking is something that Julie has always been fiercely passionate about. She is not a trained chef, however, she is a home cook with a lot of real life experience who has trained with many well-known chefs.

As a wife and a mother of two she knows the importance of healthy, fun and simple recipes!

When she’s not developing recipes for her clients, Julie sits on the Program Advisory Council at Centennial College where she acts as an industry advisor for their Food Media program. She is also the Blog Award Chair for the Taste Canada Awards, Canada’s highest honour for food and beverage writing.

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1:30 pm - Matthew Ravenscroft


Matt Ravenscroft doesn’t believe veggies should masquerade as meat. As Chef de Cuisine at Rosalinda, he’s serving up feel-good Mexican food that just happens to be vegan to Toronto’s financial district crowd. Prior to opening Rosalinda, Matt spent time as the Head Catering Chef at Queen West’s hip boutique hotel, the Drake and at at the city’s west-end hot spot, Parts & Labour. Last year, he proudly represented Canada at Taste of the World in Abu Dhabi.

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3:30 pm - Laura Maxwell


Platinum Cooking Sessions presented by Turkey Farmers of Ontario

Chef Laura Maxwell is a George Brown College graduate and a Red Seal certified Chef. She is a winner of the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Top 30 Under 30 Award for 2012.  Laura began as an Entremetier Chef at Le Sélect Bistro, and worked her way through the ranks to Executive Chef. Laura’s menu focuses on locally sourced, naturally cultivated and sustainable ingredients while remaining true to the style of an authentic Parisian Bistro. She is inspired by Toronto’s dynamic and diverse culinary scene, and the top Chefs she has been fortuitous enough to work with, both in Canada and abroad. When not leading her talented team at Le Sélect, she enjoys cycling, spending time with her husband, Chef Brent Maxwell, and their two giant kitties

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5:00 pm - Alida Solomon

Platinum Cooking Sessions presented by Turkey Farmers of Ontario


Alida Solomon is one of only a few women chef/owners in Canada.

2017 marks Tutti Matti’s 15th anniversary. Since its opening in 2002, Tutti Matti has been hailed by critics and received both local and national awards, including the prestigious 2009 “L’Eccio D’Oro” for Osteria of the Year (an award previously won by Mario Batali and Alain Ducasse).

In April 2016, Chef Solomon was awarded a “Fellow of the Institute” at the 2016 Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Gold Awards.

Alida lived and worked in Montalcino, Tuscany, for 6 years, and was highly respected in the regional hospitality industry where she garnered acclaim for the hilltop restaurant Boccon di Vino, for whom she earned Michelin recognition.

Tutti Matti has stayed true to its roots — serving food and wine that honours the spirit and culture of Tuscany.

Alida is also currently working on “Motherland”, a documentary filmed in Italy, that celebrates women in wine and food.

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November 8

10:30 am - Rob Bragagnolo


Kids Cooking Series presented by Burnbrae Farms

Rob Bragagnolo is the Chef and owner of Labora Restaurant, located in Toronto’s King West district. Labora is a Spanish restaurant and bar focused on simple, rustic, regional recipes.

Born into a long line of respected Venetian chefs, Rob starting cooking at a young age in Veneto, Italy where he spent his summers learning at the family Trattoria and bakery. Rob’s grandfather and great aunt invented the dessert ‘La Fregolotta’ in 1924 and is now one of the Veneto regions most celebrated dishes. Bragagnolo studied restaurant and hotel management in Neuchatel, Switzerland for 3 years, staged in Mexico for six months, and later moved to Mallorca, Spain where he co-founded and operated a Michelin-starred restaurant, tapas bar, and bistro in Palma de Mallorca.

After cooking and living in Spain for 12 years Rob decided to return to his native Toronto to open Labora restaurant.

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11:30 am - Janet Hoediono


Kids Cooking Series presented by Burnbrae Farms

Born in North York, Janet majored in dance in high school at Etobicoke School of the Arts before going to the University of Guelph and earning her degree in Biological Science. Janet then went on to earn her culinary management degree from George Brown College.

Janet loves creating new dishes and recipes that she knows people will love, while always finding the balance between art and science. Janet started her culinary career as a sous chef at Ellipsis restaurant in Little Italy, before becoming the chef de cuisine at the critically acclaimed Spanish tapas restaurant.

Patria and has recently become the chef de cuisine at the hot new Peruvian restaurant, MIRA.

As the chef de cuisine at MIRA, Janet is excited about the new challenge of learning and creating new Peruvian dishes and expanding her culinary repertoire.

Janet lives in Toronto and is also a proud fur-mom to her beautiful American bulldog Leo.

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1:30 pm - Trista Sheen


Supported by Greenbelt

Recently teaching at George Brown College at The Chefs House for over a year. I have been inspired to take another career path derived from the restaurant industry that has been my passion for over 15 years.

Graduating at George Brown for culinary management, I was fortunate to have my externship at Scaramouche in Toronto. I continued to work there for a total of 6 years.

Between that time I travelled and worked in countries such as England, Spain and Australia for 2 years. I was able to work and stage at Michelin Star restaurants such as the Fat Duck, Tom Aikens and The Capitol.

Arriving back home to Canada I received my first sous chef position at Crush Wine Bar. After one year I was promoted to Chef de Cuisine.

Around that same time I was a contestant on Top Chef Canada season 2. In 2016 I partnered up with Chef Anthony Rose and opened up Bar Begonia. While at Bar Begonia I decided to be a part of Top Chef All-Stars. After Top Chef All-Stars I came to a decision that I wanted to start teaching the next generation of young cooks.

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3:30 pm - Nuit Regular


Platinum Cooking Sessions presented by Turkey Farmers of Ontario

Chef Nuit Regular is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of PAI Northern Thai Kitchen, Sabai Sabai, Sukho Thai and the renowned Royal Thai cuisine restaurant, Kiin. The first Thai Select Ambassador for Canada, Chef Nuit has been recognized by the government of Thailand for the authenticity of her Thai cooking and has been awarded the prestigious Thai Select Premium designation for her restaurants.

Chef Nuit and her husband Jeff Regular have transformed the Thai food scene in Toronto through the distinct flavour of Northern Thai cuisine and hospitality. It all began when Chef Nuit opened the the humble Curry Shack in the small town of Pai, in Northern Thailand. She made the decision to leave her career as a nurse so that she could share her passion and life experiences through family recipes, street market dishes, and Royal Thai cuisine in Canada. Over a decade later, Chef Nuit now has seven restaurants across the city.

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5:00 pm - Lilian Cardoso


Executive Chef Lilian Cardoso is a Brazilian Chef, graduated from the world renowned culinary institution, Le Cordon Bleu and Master in Science by one of the top Universities in Sao Paulo. Chef Lilian has worked with the best Chefs in Brazil, Ottawa, Montreal and Paris. With great aspiration and passion for her art she now brings her culinary expertise to Zebu Steak + Bar, downtown Toronto.

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7:00 pm - Carl Heinrich


Supported by Greenbelt

Born in Calgary in 1985, Carl Heinrich clocked a lot of mileage as kid, living in Montreal, the North West Territories, and all over Vancouver Island. At 13, Carl started working as a dishwasher in his uncle’s restaurant and hasn’t left the kitchen since.

After graduating from Stratford Chef’s School in 2005, Carl travelled and worked in New York City, France and Vancouver before ending up in Toronto. Work experience highlights include the Sooke Harbour House and Camille’s West Coast Fine Dining on Vancouver Island, Gramercy Tavern and db Bistro Moderne in NYC, Le Comptoir and Georges Blanc in France and Le Louis XV in Monaco. Working under many talented chefs and running reputable restaurants gave Carl the tools he needed to eventually run kitchens of his own and earn the title of the Food Network’s “Top Chef Canada” in 2012.

In Toronto, Carl reunited with old classmate Ryan Donovan to open Richmond Station, the bustling neighbourhood restaurant downtown. Since then Carl has hosted 4 seasons of AMI’s Four Senses with Christine Ha and received the Pinnacle Award for Chef of the Year in 2015. Carl’s cuisine is inspired by quality ingredients and driven by classic and modern techniques. He makes food that he knows his mom would like to eat and keeps flavours pure, never getting too complicated.

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November 9

10:30 am - Tom Filippou – 10:30

President's Choice Cooking School


Highly charismatic Tom Filippou is the Executive Chef of the President’s Choice ® Cooking Schools for Loblaw Companies Limited. In this role he is directly responsible for more than 150 President’s Choice ® Cooking Schools across the country.

When he isn’t dreaming up fabulous recipes and classes and leading his talented team of chefs and cooking school coordinators, Tom delights audiences across the country with his easy-to-follow recipes, cooking tips and fun easy-going attitude on popular TV shows such as Cityline, Steven & Chris and Breakfast Television.

Tom learned to cook at a young age. After completing his culinary education, Tom’s professional career began at the Royal York Hotel, a famous Toronto landmark. There, he spent his time as an apprentice, obtaining his Red Seal certification, honing his skills and building credibility working his way up the ranks in its fine-dining kitchen. While Tom’s distinguished skills have afforded him the pleasure of cooking for royalty and celebrities alike, his greatest pleasure is still cooking for family and friends.

A native of the Toronto area, Chef Tom joined Loblaw Companies as Executive Chef of the President’s Choice ® Cooking Schools in 2000. His teaching methods combine his passion for food and his sense of humour, providing an entertaining and unique experience for his students.

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11:30 am - Tom Filippou – 11:30

President's Choice Cooking School


Highly charismatic Tom Filippou is the Executive Chef of the President’s Choice ® Cooking Schools for Loblaw Companies Limited. In this role he is directly responsible for more than 150 President’s Choice ® Cooking Schools across the country.

When he isn’t dreaming up fabulous recipes and classes and leading his talented team of chefs and cooking school coordinators, Tom delights audiences across the country with his easy-to-follow recipes, cooking tips and fun easy-going attitude on popular TV shows such as Cityline, Steven & Chris and Breakfast Television.

Tom learned to cook at a young age. After completing his culinary education, Tom’s professional career began at the Royal York Hotel, a famous Toronto landmark. There, he spent his time as an apprentice, obtaining his Red Seal certification, honing his skills and building credibility working his way up the ranks in its fine-dining kitchen. While Tom’s distinguished skills have afforded him the pleasure of cooking for royalty and celebrities alike, his greatest pleasure is still cooking for family and friends.

A native of the Toronto area, Chef Tom joined Loblaw Companies as Executive Chef of the President’s Choice ® Cooking Schools in 2000. His teaching methods combine his passion for food and his sense of humour, providing an entertaining and unique experience for his students.

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1:30 pm - Amber Marshall


Born and raised in London, Ontario, a city with one foot in its rural past and another in its urban future, Amber grew up with that same blend of big-city smarts and down-home groundedness that has enabled her to accomplish success in each of her many passions. Now in her twelfth year starring as Amy Fleming, the horse-whispering miracle girl at the centre of the television drama Heartland, Amber plays a character who, not by accident, rings true with the show’s millions of fans around the world.

Now more than a decade later both Amy Fleming and Amber Marshall have grown into strong, capable young women. Amber left behind the rolling hills of southwestern Ontario and now proudly makes her home in the same beautiful terrain of southern Alberta that is depicted on Heartland. This is where reality departs from the myth-making of television as Amber competently manages her own ranch and is a fiercely independent soul fully capable of disappearing into the mountains for a weekend of fishing, trail riding and camping. During the winter, Amber enjoys snowmobile trips to the mountains and spending time with her animals and family.

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3:30 pm - Tom Filippou – 3:30

President's Choice Cooking School


Highly charismatic Tom Filippou is the Executive Chef of the President’s Choice ® Cooking Schools for Loblaw Companies Limited. In this role he is directly responsible for more than 150 President’s Choice ® Cooking Schools across the country.

When he isn’t dreaming up fabulous recipes and classes and leading his talented team of chefs and cooking school coordinators, Tom delights audiences across the country with his easy-to-follow recipes, cooking tips and fun easy-going attitude on popular TV shows such as Cityline, Steven & Chris and Breakfast Television.

Tom learned to cook at a young age. After completing his culinary education, Tom’s professional career began at the Royal York Hotel, a famous Toronto landmark. There, he spent his time as an apprentice, obtaining his Red Seal certification, honing his skills and building credibility working his way up the ranks in its fine-dining kitchen. While Tom’s distinguished skills have afforded him the pleasure of cooking for royalty and celebrities alike, his greatest pleasure is still cooking for family and friends.

A native of the Toronto area, Chef Tom joined Loblaw Companies as Executive Chef of the President’s Choice ® Cooking Schools in 2000. His teaching methods combine his passion for food and his sense of humour, providing an entertaining and unique experience for his students.

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5:00 pm - Tom Filippou – 5:00

President's Choice Cooking School


Highly charismatic Tom Filippou is the Executive Chef of the President’s Choice ® Cooking Schools for Loblaw Companies Limited. In this role he is directly responsible for more than 150 President’s Choice ® Cooking Schools across the country.

When he isn’t dreaming up fabulous recipes and classes and leading his talented team of chefs and cooking school coordinators, Tom delights audiences across the country with his easy-to-follow recipes, cooking tips and fun easy-going attitude on popular TV shows such as Cityline, Steven & Chris and Breakfast Television.

Tom learned to cook at a young age. After completing his culinary education, Tom’s professional career began at the Royal York Hotel, a famous Toronto landmark. There, he spent his time as an apprentice, obtaining his Red Seal certification, honing his skills and building credibility working his way up the ranks in its fine-dining kitchen. While Tom’s distinguished skills have afforded him the pleasure of cooking for royalty and celebrities alike, his greatest pleasure is still cooking for family and friends.

A native of the Toronto area, Chef Tom joined Loblaw Companies as Executive Chef of the President’s Choice ® Cooking Schools in 2000. His teaching methods combine his passion for food and his sense of humour, providing an entertaining and unique experience for his students.

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7:00 pm - Michael Hunter


Platinum Cooking Sessions presented by Turkey Farmers of Ontario

Hunter by name and trade, Michael is an outdoorsman, forager and hunter. Born and raised on a Caledon horse farm, Hunter’s dream was to own a restaurant that would combine his love for food with a passion and respect for local ingredients. Formerly of Sassafraz, Luma, Scarpetta, and Reds Wine Tavern, he has used his experience in the outdoors to explore his culinary creativity, becoming chef and co-owner of Antler Kitchen and Bar. Antler is strongly rooted in regional food culture – pure, fresh and seasonal. It embodies local flavour and spirit, offering contemporary dishes with an emphasis on wild food and farm-fresh ingredients that are always sourced locally.

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November 10

11:00 am - Eden Hagos – 11:00


Eden Hagos is a celebrated host, food writer, and founder of the media and events company, Black Foodie. She’s an Ethiopian Canadian with a passion for African and Caribbean cuisine and hosts unique food events throughout Toronto. Her work and notable mentions have been featured in the: Chatelaine, Essence, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and CBC to name a few.

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1:30 pm - Elia Herrera


Platinum Cooking Sessions presented by Turkey Farmers of Ontario

Elia Herrera, Los Colibris talented Executive Chef. Born in Cordoba, Veracruz-Mexico, she was exposed to the fascinating world of cookery from a very young age. Growing up, culinary exploration was encouraged in her home, since her grandmother initiated a catering business at the young age of 16th, a pioneer in the industry that reached all levels of clientele from Mexican society, celebrities, Presidents, Ambassadors and Governors of Mexico to the Kings of Spain passing the business through generations, sharing her expertise, knowledge and passion for not only traditional Mexican cuisine but International as well. Elia has followed her roots and has brought the tradition of authentic Mexican cuisine to Canada.

Naturally, then, her family wholeheartedly supported her choice to delve into the culinary industry, and enthusiastically supported her studies at The Culinary Institute of Mexico. Elia graduated as an Executive Chef with specialization in Pastry.

Taking bits and pieces from her training abroad, having perfected her craft in countries like Spain, France, Belgium, Italy and Canada, Elia puts a little bit of herself in every dish she creates. She has been fortunate enough to work with some of Barcelona’s top Pastry Chefs, including Jordi Butron, Xano Saguer, Walter Volt, and Ricardo Martinez.

Elia came to Canada in 2003, and immediately put her skills to work. Like any good recipe, success is a product of good ingredients. Passion, dedication and extensive knowledge has led her to where she is today.

She is inspired by her grandmother Luz Del Carmen Dominguez de Herrera and mother Elia Del Carmen Herrera Dominguez as well as Pastry Chef Paco Torre Blanca.

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3:30 pm - Craig Harding


Supported by Greenbelt

Celebrity Chef Craig Harding is the owner and executive chef of Toronto’s renowned Italian restaurant Campagnolo, hot spot La Palma and the newly opened Constantine.

Craig’s passion jumps off every plate which is why Campagnolo has received rave reviews and accolades including being named one of Canada’s best new restaurants by enRoute Magazine and landing a highly-coveted spot on renowned food critic Joanne Kates’ “Top 100” list annually since their first year of service. It’s also why, in a city where restaurants regularly come and go, Campagnolo continues to be destination dining after more than eight years.

And across the street from Campagnolo, you’ll find the widely acclaimed La Palma, which blends classic Italian with a laid back California vibe. In just under a year of service, the design-friendly restaurant has garnered consistent praise and landed a top 5 spot on the highly coveted Toronto Life best new restaurants list.

If the success of Craig’s first two restaurants are any indication, his new spot, Constantine, launched in spring 2018 and blending classic Italian with Mediterranean flavours is sure to become another culinary staple.

But Craig’s talents aren’t limited to back of house, he’s also a star in front of the camera, most recently appearing on Food Network’s Chef In Your Ear, TLN’s Chef’s Bar and TLN’s Opening Canada in celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday. Prior to that, he and fellow chef Rob Rossi starred in Opening Argentina and Opening Italy where they ventured to distant and remote locations to find the most authentic food possible.

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5:00 pm - Eden Hagos – 5:00


Eden Hagos is a celebrated host, food writer, and founder of the media and events company, Black Foodie. She’s an Ethiopian Canadian with a passion for African and Caribbean cuisine and hosts unique food events throughout Toronto. Her work and notable mentions have been featured in the: Chatelaine, Essence, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and CBC to name a few.

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7:00 pm - Rob Gentile


Wine pairing provided by Trajectory Beverage Partners. 19+ only

A first generation Canadian, born to Italian parents, Chef Rob Gentile’s earliest memories are from his grandmother’s garden and kitchen. Combining those skills learned at home and a passion for food, Rob took his first restaurant job at the age of 13. He inherently knew his career would revolve around food and after working in restaurants throughout his teenage years entered George Brown’s Culinary School. By 18 he found his first role in a professional kitchen at North 44, under celebrated Chef Mark McEwan. After just 10 years, he advanced from line cook to Chef de Cuisine at McEwan’s top restaurants and joined Peter Tsebelis and Gus Giazitzidis at The King Street Food Company to take the helm at Buca. Opened in 2009, Buca quickly became one of “Canada’s Best” and a highly sought-after dining destination.

Rob Gentile, now Chef Director and Partner of The King Street Food Company’s collection of restaurants, has earned critical acclaim for his disciplined craft, determination to source unique, local ingredients and visionary approach to Italian cuisine. Since Buca’s opening, diners and critics alike have taken note of his culinary direction and creativity, resulting in Canada’s 100 Best naming Buca Osteria & Bar (Yorkville) second in the country (2016), honours from the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Gold Award for Independent Restaurateur (2015) and a prestigious Pinnacle Award from Foodservice and Hospitality naming The King Street Food Company 2014’s Company of the Year in Eastern Canada.

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Attend the Fair

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