Itinerant South African–born Quinton Bennett has landed his first executive chef posting at the posh new Enigma, in Toronto’s Yorkville. “It’s a great opportunity for me,” says Bennett, whose CV includes a recent stop in Vancouver at Hawksworth, as well as gigs in the U.K. (including Northcote, The Gun) and Copenhagen (Noma). “We want to deliver an international experience with European style. Simple, sophisticated food [that’s] seasonal, clean, pure.” The dining room has 40 seats with an additional six at the tasting bar. For now, Enigma is riding on a complex day-long takeout system that runs the gamut from viennoiseries to heat-at-home pot pies and multi-course dinners. Next, there will be a Mediterranean-themed 28-seat patio and, finally, the dining room, which will offer tasting menus only, in the “Scandi-Nordic style,” meaning lots of courses (8 to 12) served fast (90 minutes or so) and with an acute focus on seasonality. Anticipate a relaxed atmosphere, with various chefs bringing dishes to your table and lingering for a quick chat. “It’s a simple concept. We’re not saving lives. We just want people to have a good time.”
500 g (4 cups) flour, sifted
90 g (½ cup) sugar
30 g (2½ tbsp) baking powder
3 g (½ tsp) salt
80 g (⅓ cup) butter, diced
3 eggs, lightly beaten (keep 1 separate)
150 g (⅔ cup) buttermilk (or cream)
60 g (¼ cup) milk
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook. Add 2 eggs, buttermilk (or cream) and milk, and knead at medium speed until a firm ball of dough forms — 3 to 4 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
On a floured work surface, roll out dough to a thickness of 2.5 cm (1 inch). Cut as desired — with a circle cutter or into squares. Arrange on a baking sheet. Brush with egg wash, set aside for 5 minutes. Repeat. Transfer to middle rack of oven and bake until bronzed — 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes.
Photo credit: (Lobster/interior) Martin M.Y Production. (bakery treats) Enigma.