Toronto is quickly becoming the world’s next culinary destination. It’s no wonder that a lineup of the nation’s best chefs would come together and collaborate to produce a one of a kind experience. The Tastemaker Tour did all the above. It was housed at the iconic Evergreen Brickworks. The space was transformed into an energetic, open- concept food hall with a handpicked selection of restaurants, wineries, breweries and premium food producers from the GTA and abroad.
Some of these culinary masterminds included Michael Hunter (Antler), Vikram Vij (Vij Restaurant), Ivana Raca (Resto Boemo), Rob Gentile (Buca), Brad Smith (Resto Boemo), Afrim Pristine (Cheese Boutique), Alida Soloman (Tutti Matti), Grant Van Gameren (Bar Isabel), Patrick Kriss (Alo), Elia Herrera (Los Colibris), Victor Barry (Piano Piano), and Matt Dean Pettit (Matty’s Seafood Co.)
Guests that attended were treated to a selection of food with surreal creativity and technical ability from the city’s finest chefs in a close up and interactive experience. We sat down with executive chef Michael Hunter who showcased one of his meals at The Tastemaker on why Toronto is changing the way we look at food.
What inspired you to join The Tastemaker Tour?
I loved the concept of cooking and interacting with the guests as well as collaborating with another chef.
You are well known for being called “The Hunter Chef”. Can you tell us about the dishes you created for this event? What are some of the star ingredients or influences in these dishes?
Venison is one of my favourite meats and being paired with Vikram Vij at Tastemaker, a venison madras curry was a perfect match. Lamb is also great prepared with Indian flavours, which is why we rubbed the meat with garam masala, ginger and garlic before roasting it whole.
Why do you think Toronto is quickly becoming the world’s next culinary destination?
Toronto’s diverse cultural influences as well as our talented chefs pushing boundaries.
At your new restaurant Antler, you talk a lot about forest to table and foraging ingredients. Why is that so important for customers to know?
Forest to table is so special to me because it gives the guest a new experience. It’s something they can’t buy in a regular grocery store.
You have mentioned that you are creating a cookbook; can you tell us what kind of recipes we can look forward to?
The book is on Canadian cuisine, hunting and foraging!