In 1994 a blue-haired and starry- eyed Doug Penfold set foot in Toronto’s financial district icon, Jump, as a commis, quickly moving up the ranks at Oliver & Bonacini to take on roles at Canoe and Biff’s.
Thirty years and a beard later, he returns as executive chef at Auberge du Pommier. In the years between, Penfold opened Cava with Avalon’s Chris McDonald, in 2006, the Yorkville darling Chabrol in early 2016, and the Moroccan Atlas in 2017. His love of French cuisine stems from travels in Spain and Morocco. “The explosive mesh of ideas and flavours there inspires me,” says Penfold, who plans to introduce some of these influences to the Auberge menu — gradually. “My style is slow and steady. There won’t be radical changes. Auberge is a ‘story restaurant.’ There have been some incredibly talented chefs over the years. They’ve never slouched — and I am honoured to be here.”