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Guest chefs Opal Rowe and Romain Avril looking out from a food truck
No. 54

Food truck seeks chefs

The latest initiative from Toronto’s (okay, Canada’s) premier cheese emporium, the Cheese Boutique, has almost nothing to do with cheese. Instead, it revolves around an old food truck purchased at auction a few years back for the purpose of mobile catering but, for now, is parked on store property. “One day in the fall, Alida Solomon [of Tutti Matti] called me to ask if she could use it for Christmas,” Boutique Big Cheese Afrim Pristine recalls. “I said, ‘Go crazy, sell everything you want.’ She did. She knocked it out of the park.” So, Pristine put up an IG post inviting any other interested local chefs to book a weekend in the truck near his store entrance gratis — on the sole condition that they make a credible promise to sell very good food. Inside of a week, it was booked through November by the likes of Victor Barry (Piano Piano), Julie Marteleira (Leña, Petisco), Craig Harding (La Palma) and legendary pasta maker Leo Baldassarre. Guest chefs are serving 250 people a day — cheering up the Cheese Boutique queue and bringing in new customers, too. It’s all helping turn suburban Ripley Street into a culinary mecca.
—StaffPhoto Credit: Alexander Eidelman

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