2 Top Toronto Chefs Share Their Favourite Restaurants, Must-Have Kitchen Tools & More

When the city’s top chefs come together and throw a party, you know only good things can come of it.

The Tastemaker Tour is an event that you don’t want to miss — especially if you’re a foodie at heart.

Kicking off the tour in Toronto on May 10 to 12, Tastemaker will bring together over 30 restaurants, chefs, mixologists, and producers for a weekend of unlimited food and drink. The stellar lineup includes notables like Patrick Kiss (Alo), MasterChef Canada judge Claudio Aprile, and Brandon Olson (La Banane), to name a few.

We had the opportunity to talk to two Toronto chefs that are taking part in this year’s Tastemaker event: Anna Chen and Paula Navarette.

They share where they love to eat, what we can expect at this year’s Tastemaker event, and more. Take a peek at the interviews below.

Paula Navarette, Kojin

paula navarrete
Tastemaker Toronto

What’s your personal culinary style?

I like simple, well prepared dishes that highlight local produce. Anything that supports the local farmers.

Who are your biggest inspirations/role models?

For me, cooking is all about how I grew up. My grandmothers are my biggest inspiration.

How do you describe your plating style?

I favour simple plating, to really let the ingredients shine.

What’s your favourite tool/appliance in the kitchen?

Back to basics: a wooden spoon, a spatula, and a peeler.

What do you love to make on your days off?

Eggs, any way, any style. And I eat avocados with everything. I believe I am 80% avocado on the inside.

Where do you love to eat in Toronto?

Sakai Bar has become one of my favourite places to eat. And Edulis is an all time favourite.

What can we expect from your dish at Tastemaker?

It is a take on a Colombian arepa and an English muffin. My amazing sous chef created this recipe and it is absolutely delicious. We will serve it with Niagara ham and nduja.

What are you looking forward to at Tastemaker 2019?

Looking forward to collaborating with Anna and catching up with the other chefs and producers, trying all the food, and overall having a really great night!

Anna Chen, Alma

anna chen alma
Tastemaker Tour

What’s your personal culinary style?

My style is simple and thoughtful, carefully prepared dishes that really allow the ingredients shine.

Who are your biggest inspirations/role models?

My chef role models are Chef Jason Carter of Dandylion, Chef Guy Rawlings of Montgomery’s, James Lowe of Lyle’s (London), Chef Sam Harris of the former Zucca (London).

How do you describe your plating style?

I don’t believe I have a specific style. I just go with what comes naturally at the moment.

What’s your favourite tool/appliance in the kitchen?

I really like to use a turning knife to get into all those grooves in vegetables.

What do you love to make on your days off?

My mum’s simple Hakka dishes are my go-to’s.

Where do you love to eat in Toronto?

I love roti and we have so many great roti shops in the city.

What can we expect from your dish at Tastemaker?

We’re going for lots of flavour and fun!

What are you looking forward to at Tastemaker 2019?

I’m really looking forward to working with Paul Navarette of Kojin and just having fun doing what we love!

Grab tickets to Tastemaker Toronto.

Featured image: Instagram/@sakaibarto

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