Chefs' House: An airy and inviting interior.
I’m in a hip restaurant in downtown Toronto.
The server sets down my appetizer, a puck-shaped construction layering rich avocado, sweet tomato and bracing red onion freshened with lemon and lime juice and fragrant coriander.
On top, sweet minced crab and tangy crème fraiche; on the side, a pool of brightly flavoured red-pepper coulis.
Is this a Jamie Kennedy or Mark McEwan restaurant? No, it’s Chefs’ House, part of George Brown College’s Chef School.
In the 65-seat facility, 10 to 12 students produce meals, under a teaching chef’s supervision, for paying customers.
Dominating the space is a large and busy open kitchen. Sky-high ceilings, exposed brick, dark wood, au courant light fixtures and picture windows create an airy and inviting room.
On the plate, what really impresses is the kitchen’s attention to detail. Much is made in-house: The crème fraiche on that crab-and-avocado app; the focaccia and chewy, country sourdough bread; even the butter accompanying the bread.
Rounding out my three-course lunch – a steal at $22 – is moist grilled salmon, with a summer-perfect salad of feta, tomato and green olives, and to finish, ginger-scented peach cobbler.
On the meetings and events side, the dining room accommodates sit-downs for 65 and stand-ups for 90. A downstairs private dining room accommodates sit-downs for 18.
Between them, the two spaces can function as a business meeting venue and can host receptions, breakfasts, lunches and dinners, product launches – and, of course, cooking demos and food-themed team-building.
For info, visit their site