Page 1

Festival Style Meets Toronto’s Culinary Stars

Festival Style

As the Toronto International Film Festival settles in for its annual 10-day takeover of the city,  Festival Style magazine rolls out the red carpet for the real stars of the show: our celebrity chefs.

festival style

Patrick Kriss

Alo • 163 Spadina Avenue

Alo’s Patrick Kriss has revived the lost art of the tasting menu. The elegant dining space tucked above street level on the corner of Queen and Spadina requires a well-in-advance booking to secure a table. While Kriss recognises the rising popularity of chefs as pop culture icons, both in Toronto and worldwide, his efforts will always focus on pleasing his number one fans: the patrons. “I enjoy what I do, but I always retain the belief that Alo is a business,” says Kriss. “My responsibility is to keep improving on everything it stands for.”

Festival Style 2

Rob Gentile

BUCA • 604 King Street West
BUCA YORKVILLE • 53 Scollard Street
BAR BUCA • 75 Portland Street

Chef Rob Gentile’s ever-growing Italian dynasty is an ode to his commitment to serving meals with substance. Perfect pasta and pizzas reign on his menu. “People are more interested in what they put in their bodies, these days than ever before, and as chefs, we are at the forefront of this,” says Gentile. All three of Buca’s locations are always abuzz. And the celebrity that’s accompanied Gentile’s climb to the top is no surprise. “Chefs have become revered, which is a very important step in our ability to influence not only each other but the masses,” says Gentile.

Festival Style 1Nick Liu

DaiLo • 503 College Street

Some chefs crack under the weight of expectation, but not Nick Liu. Using predominantly Chinese cuisine from the country’s Hakka region and reimagining it with French techniques, Chef Lui was touted as the next Susur Lee when he first landed on the scene. “In the last five years, diners have become more food educated—they’ve become cooks themselves. I think they’ve realised how amazing some of the creations are that are coming out of this city’s restaurant scene,” says Liu. But with original Asian brasserie fare like the Jellyfish Slaw and Big Mac Bao to his credit, the DaiLo boss is more content to be ‘the first Nick Liu.’

festival style 3Alyssa Figueira

Bar Isabel • 799 College Street
As chef de cuisine of Grant van Gameren’s venerable Spanish tavern Bar Isabel, Alyssa Figueira runs one of the top kitchens in town. She’s also one of the food architects behind Toronto’s most Instagrammable dishes—a whole #octopus grilled to perfection. Though what stands out most about Figueira is her quiet profile, especially since she’s such a key figure at one of Canada’s most bustling eateries. This is one chef who’d rather her spotlight shine on the food.

We’ll toast to that.

For more Festival Style, click here.

News and more

Sign up to our newsletter