Tom is the banquet chef at the iconic Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. An ideal city for a gourmet chef to draw inspiration from; Toronto is bursting with markets and restaurants serving a wide variety of cuisines. A life that revolves around shopping for the freshest ingredients and serving up gourmet dishes in one of the most exciting cities in the world is a life we’re ever so slightly jealous of.
Have you always lived and worked in Toronto?
No, I’ve had the opportunity to work on the West Coast along the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains in Alberta. I actually spent a good decade on that side of the country, focussing on other local food offerings. I’ve also had the opportunity to work at the Fairmont Banff Springs and the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, and have helped out in Fairmont sister properties in the surrounding area.
What’s unique about your day to day life?
Every day is different. I encounter a variety of guests and clients from all over the world. These different encounters allow me to showcase what Canada is all about by providing a warm hospitable service. Another unique aspect of working at Fairmont Royal York is our Farm to Table approach for all of our meals. This includes interacting with our local Ontario farmers within 100 kilometres of the hotel and always keeping up to date with the seasonal Ontario produce.
How does Canada inspire you?
We have the luxury of having diverse and ethnically influenced food from around the world right here in Canada. With the rest of the country having pockets of identities, each province produces unique offerings and flavours from coast to coast.
Why would you encourage people to visit Canada?
I’ve travelled across the world and have had the opportunity to see some amazing places, but for me, Canada always feels like home, and its the same for travellers just visiting us here. It just emanates such a welcoming feeling.
What’s more, the food scene here in Canada is pretty incredible. It’s influenced by ethnic settlers but it still holds strong to what the country offers, which is seasonal fruits and vegetables heavily influenced by our farmers. I love that we get to incorporate that Farm to Table approach at Fairmont Royal York and in doing so we showcase the best that our country has to offer.
In particular, why would you encourage people to visit Toronto?
You get a mixture of everything here. I can go for an authentic Portuguese egg tart for breakfast, an Italian meal for lunch and have Mexican cuisine for dinner. We offer such a large variety of ethnic offerings here in Toronto it’s amazing. The city is definitely the hub for international cuisine.
What sort of images can we expect from your camera roll?
Fairmont Royal York is right in the centre of down town Toronto so you can expect markets, food and local landmarks.
Finally, how would you describe Canada in three words?
Treasured. Adventurous. Welcoming.